Arts Alert: Arts Action Week Wrap Up Happy Hour and Celebrate Sheila Friday 4PM



Featuring a chance to celebrate with Sheila Smith on her retirement from MCA after 25 years. 

 Register to get the zoom info.



Again through out today people have been meeting with their legislators via zoom. 28 MORE meetings were held today. Just one more day to go!

From Advocate Mark Turner: “Sen. Gazelka (Senate Majority Leader) said he likes the Regional Arts Council system – which works to get dollars out into Greater MN – thinks we are doing a great job. Gazelka quote: “Artists give color to the world.”  His wife is a practicing artist and he showed off some of her work.

From Advocate Jamie Andrews: “The meeting with Rep. John Thompsonwas fantastic. As a former tuba player, and his school-aged children active in the arts, his enthusiasm for the arts is strong. He is happy to support the “47%” and Governor’s General Fund recommendation. He also asked us to keep in touch to let me know how else he could support the arts. It was one of the most positive legislative meetings I have had in almost 20 years of arts advocacy work.”

From Advocate Hal Cropp: “We had a great meeting with Rep. Greg Davids about pledging to uphold the law regarding the 47% and he committed to strongly opposing anyone who wanted to monkey with the percentages. After listening to our ask and stories, he then spoke at length, articulately and passionately about the huge boon that the arts have brought to the economies of the towns in his district and, in spite of having major issues with the governor’s overall budget, strongly committed to securing arts funding.”

From Advocate Peg Churchwell: “Rep. Mary Frason was supportive of the arts and the 47%. She is proud of the work that is funded. She’s very familiar with the Andria Theatre and Theatre L’Homme Dieu and the economic impact they bring to the Alexandria area.”

From Advocate Mara Hanel: “We met with both Senator Mark Johnson (yesterday) and Representative Burkel (01A) today. Our meetings went smoothly with both hearing our message clearly and writing it down and showing support.  They both are nice men who have connected with the arts in our area with their families.  Senator Johnson attended our exhibit reception in August 2020 in Warren so I continue to feel like our interaction with him is positive.  He has student art by his office in the Senate that we provide! Music is very important to Representative Burkel’s family with his two boys playing trumpet and one playing trumpet at BSU in college. He, like me, is sad about his Senior son not being able to have a normal final year in high school.  It was really nice to meet him today since I had not met him before. I look forward to talking with him again soon.  So yes, they did understand the COVID stories that we told.  They both said they would support 47% and look at the recommendations for arts in the Governor’s budget and seemed very supportive.”

From Advocate Leslie LeCuyer: “I had the distinct opportunity to meet with my new Senator since moving to Pine City a year ago. He grew up right across the road from my new home. Senator Jason Rarick listened attentively to the artists in the meeting, he talked about his attendance at several past arts events in the district. He mentioned his recent conversation with Senator Rudd and added, “..I know Senator Rudd is a strong supporter of the 47% and I am too.” He said he would look into the governor’s recommendations as well.”

(Photo of meeting with Sen. Bakk provided by Advocate Mary Ann Aufderheide).

You can still participate! Contact your legislator now at: 

Virtual Arts Advocacy Week:
Ask Legislators to Protect Arts Funding


Watch a recording of the full RALLY on YouTube:

Or on  Facebook

Watch a clip of Sen. Klobuchar t
alk about her Save Our Stages bill and
give a tour of the art in her office.

Listen to Congresswoman Betty McCollum 
about her fight to increase federal arts funding

See the clip of Governor Walz
urge on arts advocates.



Our goal is to deliver the SAME MESSAGE to all legislators using our own stories. 

Think about what you can (briefly) say about: 

  • How has COVID impacted the arts organization your work with or your life as an artist? 
  • How have you rallied to serve the public despite the challenges? 
  • Because of this crisis it’s even more important to protect arts funding so… “Please support the law that dedicates 47%
    of the Legacy Arts & Culture Fund to the MSAB/RACs
    and the Governor’s General Fund recommendation for the arts.” 

MCA is committed to the safety and wellness of our arts community, so MCA has canceled our day on the hill this year and instead will hold a VIRTUAL Arts Advocacy WEEK.

Your legislators need to know that their constituents support the arts. Please take five minutes to thank them for continued arts funding, and let them know that when you invest in the arts, the Arts Give Back.

As the crisis deepens, the effects on the arts community has been severe. With all of the theaters, museums and other venues closed, events canceled, and people losing their jobs, the economic impact on Minnesota and on the arts is huge. We realize that these problems will be faced by all Minnesotans – our hearts and our talents will be a part of the recovery. But it means that there will also be lasting damage to our arts community and to the public who we serve.

Even though you are staying in your house, you can all still make a difference by making sure your legislators know the importance of the arts to you and your community. We have provided a sample letter, but you can edit it any way you want. Virtual Arts Advocacy Week: Ask Legislators to Protect Arts Funding

Be well, and be kind to each other.

Sheila Smith
Executive Director
Minnesota Citizens for the Arts