June 19

Advocacy Does Not Stop When Session Ends

The first session of the 54th Oklahoma Legislature ended on May 24, and won’t convene for the second session until February 3. It may be seven or eight more months before we have to lobby specific legislation that poses a risk to public funding for the arts, but we can’t wait that long to advocate.

Advocacy is a year-round activity. If we wait until legislators are back at the capitol to try and influence outcomes, we’ll miss critical opportunities and even risk failure. So, make a point this summer to pick up the phone and invite your state senators and representatives to your local arts or cultural events. Click here to find your lawmakers. If possible, try to connect with them via their district offices. This contact information is available on the legislators’ individual contact pages.

Example:

Consider dropping them a personal, handwritten note letting them know what you’re doing this summer. Send pictures, brochures and other details about your activities including ticket information. If you know they’re going to attend, when suitable, acknowledge their presence publicly. Above all, make sure you make the connection between the event and funding your organization may have received from the state via the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Here is a piece of artwork my 5-year-old created at a recent camp at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. I passed it along to my elected officials.

Bridgette’s Depiction of the Devon Tower, Oklahoma City