Words of Wisdom for a Successful “Day at the Capitol”

Stacy Cramer Moore, Executive Director of the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, offers tips for a successful Oklahoma Arts Day as a participating organization.

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Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan

Legislators and staff are bombarded by these events nearly every day at the capitol. Successful days have the perfect blend of colorful community characters, civic leaders, and tasty treats.

It is hard for this to be a one person show, though for many of us, that is our only option.  Ideally your team brings:  a “suit” whether it be your Executive Director, Board Chair, or Eloquent Supporter; a “story teller” who has on the crazy T-shirt that the kids made at art camp and can really talk and do; and your “salesperson” that is handing out materials, talking about fact and figures with the people that actually come to the booth.

Especially in rural areas, use your community/regional partnerships.  If you don’t know who gets funded, you can click on the OK Arts Council site and find out.  Consider sharing a booth and joint legislative visits to make a bigger impact.

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Metropolitan School of Dance, OKC

 

Come prepared.  Bring fact sheets about your organization.  Bring business cards.  Bring schedules.  Know your legislators on sight – study if you have to www.oklegislature.gov.  Know your House and Senate District numbers.  Know the difference between your Federal and State elected officials.

Be positive.  Be positive in what you are doing.  Be positive in what your community partners are doing.  Be positive about the impact of Arts in Oklahoma.  People want to be with winners.

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Norman Arts Council

 

Remember, staffers see this stuff every day.  What makes your group interesting or unique?  What do you have that will make them stop, look, and listen? Video? Interactive task? Think about snacks.  People love free treats, and it gives you that few second window to pitch your group.

Don’t be upset if your legislators are quick to move on.  Session is a crazy time, and time is their most precious commodity.  Touch base again on a Friday or other day back in the district.

Oklahoma Arts Day is May 5, 2015. Learn more and register here.