As the arts sector continues to face prolonged hardship from the after effects of the pandemic and turbulent economic conditions, CultureSource has been focused on a five-pronged approach to help arts organizations navigate the new and unusual normal.
Part of that plan is to develop a strategy to increase consistent engagement of state policymakers and influencers. This past summer, we put out an open call for CultureSource members to join a working group, focused on identifying the collective policy priorities of our creative community.
In October, we convened this group at The Henry Ford with George Moroz and Kelly Zemke, who lead The Henry Ford’s government relations initiatives. We spent a productive afternoon together discussing what advocacy looks like, sharing common challenges, and learning what actions we can all take to make change.
Our conversation identified some key challenges faced at arts organizations throughout the region:
- The need to diversify revenue streams
- Organizing collaborative action to amplify the voice of our creative community
- Communicating the value of the arts to state and national policymakers
This discussion highlighted a few key areas of focus for our budding advocacy strategy:
- The need to raise awareness about the kinds of advocacy nonprofits can engage in
- Increased cross-sector collaboration, which CultureSource will continue to foster through our network of members, funders, and arts professionals
- More robust engagement with policy influencers and state legislators to make the case for increased support for the arts sector.
We encourage you to take a look at our key takeaways document which summarizes the insights from this convening, and outlines the principles that are guiding our thinking as we continue to develop resources to ensure your success.
In 2024, we’ll continue to engage our member working group as our strategy develops, and share updates on our progress via our monthly newsletter. We’ll also reopen the interest list for this group so we can grow our coalition and bring more arts advocates together at our next in-person roundtable.