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Arts Advocacy Overview



Arts Day at the Capitol 2017
Mississippi State Capitol Rotunda, 400 High St., Jackson
Wednesday, March 29, 1:30-4:00 p.m.

The annual Arts Day at the Capitol, hosted by MAC, is a signature event highlighting the significant contributions the arts have made to create a better quality of life for all Mississippians. This day promises to be filled with important opportunities for artists and arts organizations to share, with Mississippi lawmakers, how the arts have impacted their lives. This time at the State Capitol is meant to engage, network and unify the arts community across the state.

The Mississippi Arts Commission is the official grants-making and service agency for the arts. It is funded by the Mississippi Legislature; the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; and other private sources. Understanding why the arts are a worthwhile investment during hard economic times, and why the government should support the arts are essential to creating a stronger voice within Mississippi’s arts community.  


Be an Advocate for the Arts; The Arts Matter! 

Here is why:

One person can make a difference. Support from elected officials can produce results that serve the public and bring the arts to more people. A single individual in a community can bring together like-minded people to convince a key member of Congress to support federal arts funding. MAC partners with communities to provide enrichment, and the promotion of the arts.

Advocacy is essential to our democratic form of government. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the right of the people to inform our policy makers about the importance of the arts. MAC provides a platform for artist to speak to legislators about the benefits of public arts funding.

Advocating is easy. At the heart of advocacy is the simple act of telling a story. Arts advocates can make a difference in a legislator’s position on arts legislation by explaining through personal experience how the arts add value to community. MAC stimulates the preservation of Mississippi’s cultural heritage and tradition in the community.

Policy makers need your expertise. Legislators depend on solid information to help their decisions, and they want to hear from the people they represent. Become a reliable source of information for your legislators about the arts in Mississippi. MAC supports reputable artists, musicians, and arts organizations.

Nonprofit arts organizations are important players in developing public policy. Our government seeks the views and participation of the nonprofit sector. The expertise and experience of nonprofit arts organizations in serving the public are essential to telling legislators what is needed and what will work best for their constituents.  MAC supports non-profit arts organizations through all of its programs.

The Creative Economy revitalizes dying communities and as a result, changes the lives of at-risk youth. The arts create jobs and produce tax revenue. A strong arts sector is an economic driver that stimulates business activity, attracts tourism revenue, and retains a high quality work force. The arts have been shown to be a successful and sustainable strategy for revitalizing rural areas, inner cities and populations struggling with poverty. MAC contributes to the new concept of creative placemaking by working with local communities to find new and innovative ways to boost the quality of life for their citizens.

Find out why government should support the arts:


Arts Advocacy Resources

American Arts Alliance

1112 16th Street, NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036

Established in 1977, the American Arts Alliance is a nationwide consortium of nonprofit performing, presenting and exhibiting arts organizations. The mission of the Alliance is to be the principal advocate for America's professional nonprofit arts organizations and their publics in representing arts interests and advancing arts support before Congress and other branches of the federal government.

Americans for the Arts

1000 Vermont Avenue, NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20005

Americans for the Arts is a leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. They are dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every individual to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Their website has abundant resources for arts advocates, including arts research, connections to state and federal representatives, and news on federal legislation affecting the arts.

Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest

2040 S Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009

The Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest (CLPI) is a national organization that educates nonprofits about the important role lobbying and public policy participation can play in achieving their missions. CLPI provides training on lobbying and advocacy, as well as motivational, legal and how-to information via its website, books and one-pagers. CLPI is unique in that it works with nonprofits across a broad spectrum of interests and focuses mainly at enabling nonprofits new to the public policy arena to become strong advocates for their causes.

Mississippi Alliance for Arts education

101 Carrie Road
Hattiesburg, Mississippi  39402

The Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education is committed to increasing public understanding of the benefits of arts education and providing arts education for all students - from their first day of school until graduation.

National Assembly of State Arts Agencies

1029 Vermont Avenue, NW, 2nd Floor
Washington, DC 20005

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) is the membership organization of the nation's state and jurisdictional arts agencies. They are involved in a number of advocacy efforts, including serving as a national co-sponsor of the national Arts Advocacy Day in Washington D.C. NASAA has a number of publications on advocacy available on its website.

National Conference of State Legislatures

444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 515
Washington, D.C. 20001

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) monitors arts and culture-related legislation at the state level and provides information to legislators and the public.

Vote Smart

This site makes it easy to find out who your federal and state representatives are and provides information on candidates and elected officials in five basic categories: biographical information, issue positions, voting records, campaign finances and interest group ratings. The organization also has publications available for voters and reporters.