Start using this one message to save the arts

TL;DR: Start talking (loudly and repeatedly, please) about how creative experiences help create new connections with the people you care about, with yourself, and with your community—it's the strongest argument you can make in support of the arts. 

The State of the Arts

It's early afternoon, Central Time, on Thursday, March 16 so this is likely old news already for many of our readers, but this morning the White House released their budget outline, which proposes to eliminate all funding for the NEA, NEH, IMLS, and Corporation for Public Broadcasting -- or, as the Washington Post calls it, a "worst-case scenario for arts groups."

While it's still a blueprint, rather than anything set in stone, it's clear we have work to do. Some of that work will require immediate action now, and Americans for the Arts has lots of tips (and action items) to get you started.

But some of our work will require a fundamental shift in the way we talk about and view arts and cutlure in America. And that's the whole reason for Creating Connection: 

We need to change societal expectations around arts and culture, shifting from a social norm in which access to the arts is viewed as a nicety, toward a powerful movement in which access to arts, culture, and creative expression is embraced as a necessity.

What can we do?

Anyone who has ever heard a chorus knows that there is incredible power in collective voice.

Creating Connection is rooted in a proven theory that posits that when we begin to speak with a clear, centralized message that resonates with the values held by the public, we will begin to build public will for our issue, create new awareness for its importance, and empower a multitude of champions to take sustained action on its behalf.

The time for that action is now.

Here are some tangible next steps:

  1. Dig in to the data that uncovers why the public values arts and culture so you know which messages about arts and culture are most likely to resonate with your audiences, your friends and family, and your legislators.
  2. Review the Creating Connection Message Guide for immediate ways in which you can apply and adapt public-facing messages that demonstrate how your arts organization contributes to the greater good.
  3. Contact us if you have questions, get stuck, or if you are interested in offering a training or webinar to your community.
  4. Speak with one voice, be clear, and remember that the #1 reason people engage with arts and creativity is that is helps them make connections with themselves, their friends and family, their communities, and their identities.