"Sometimes we choose to serve our country in uniform, in war. Sometimes in elected office. And those are the ways of serving our country that I think we are trained to easily call heroic. It's also a service to your country, I think, to teach poetry in the prisons, to be an incredibly dedicated student of dance, to fight for funding music and arts education in the schools.
A country without an expectation of minimal artistic literacy, without a basic structure by which the artists among us can be awakened and given the choice of following their talents and a way to get to be great at what they do, is a country that is not actually as great as it could be. And a country without the capacity to nurture artistic greatness is not being a great country.
It is a service to our country, and sometimes it is heroic service to our country, to fight for the United States of America to have the capacity to nurture artistic greatness." ~ Rachel Maddow, speaking at Jacob's Pillow
Stand up for the Arts! The importance of the advocate in shaping public policy cannot be overstated. The resources below are provide to equip the arts community with tools and information to conduct effective advocacy. Remember… nobody can tell your story better than you!
Position Papers on the Arts
Tip Sheets (PDF) from the Division of the Arts
- Advocacy Websites
- Advocacy Action Strategies
- How to be an Effective Advocate
- Tips for Contacts with Legislators
The Arts and State Economic Recovery
Arts & the Economy: Using Arts and Culture to Stimulate State Economic Development. Using concrete examples from many states, this report from the National Governors' Association details benefits provided by the creative industries – including job creation, increased tourism, and ways the arts give businesses a creative edge.
Delaware Arts Research
Arts & Economic Prosperity IV — The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts Organizations and Their Audiences in the State of Delaware. This Delaware study, released in 2012, reveals the impact the arts have on the First State's economy …
"A vibrant arts environment stimulates and sustains a richer quality of life and economic health. In Delaware, where the arts are among our top 10 employers, we see how the arts contribute to the renaissance of downtown areas, enhance our educational system, and attract new businesses and residents to the state." ~ Governor Jack A. Markell, Chair, National Governors Association
Arts & Economic Prosperity — The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts Organizations and Their Audiences in the State of Delaware. This 2006 Delaware study reveals the impact the arts have on the First State's economy…
"Understanding and acknowledging the incredible economic impact of the nonprofit arts, we must always remember the fundamental value of the arts. They foster beauty, creativity, originality, and vitality. The arts inspire us, sooth us, provoke us, involve us, and connect us…but they also create jobs and contribute to the economy." ~ Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO, Americans for the Arts
Delaware State of the Arts — A longitudinal financial analysis of 33 arts organizations in Delaware completed in 2007, with follow-up questions for consideration. Representing a cross section of Delaware's arts community, this study reveals ongoing financial challenges…finding answers to critical questions can keep Delaware's arts groups strong.
"The arts are an essential element in promoting the health of our communities: economically, socially and educationally. Our state’s cultural diversity brings together the people who live, work and play in Delaware." ~ A Call to Action for Strengthening the Arts, Nonprofit Finance Fund
The Creative Vitality Index™ (CVI™) — created and administered by the Western State Arts Federation (WESTAF), measures annual changes in the economic health of an area by integrating economic data streams from both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Using per capita measurements of revenue data from both for-profit and nonprofit entities as well as job data from a selection of highly creative occupations, this 2010 research aggregates the data streams into a single index value that reflects the relative economic health of a geography's creative economy.
The following documents (PDF format) are available for your use:
The CVI™ has the potential to be an important tool for benchmarking progress in Delaware and to advocate for increased investment in arts and culture to meet proposed benchmark goals. The CVI™ value and the economic measurements tied to the value allow for measurable outcomes related to creative economic growth to be tracked over time. For example, given the measurements in the CVI™, goals can be defined based on the necessary increases in the number of jobs and revenues needed in order to increase the overall CVI™ value.
Additional Advocacy Sites
Delaware Arts Alliance (Delaware's grassroots umbrella organization for the state's arts community, advocating for arts and culture throughout the state, asserting the importance of the arts in the development of livable communities, vibrant economies, and creative citizens.)
Americans for the Arts Advocacy Site (An excellent resource for advocacy and public policy materials, as well as an Arts Action Center to facilitate email advocacy efforts.)
National Assembly of State Arts Agencies Advocacy Publications (Excellent advocacy materials, white papers, and updates on legislation pertaining to the arts)
- Know Your Legislators (A link to the Delaware General Assembly page, where you can find contact information for your legislators)
If you believe in great things, you may be able to make other people believe in them, too. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
How are you doing with advocacy? Check out the "Arts Advocacy Checklist" a self-evaluation tool for arts organizations and advocates, provided by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.