What an extraordinary time to be alive and to be in Chicago. I’m not from Chicago and so felt even luckier to be here Tuesday night, watching the world watch us. I know that many of you worked on the campaign, I would wager that almost all of you gave time or money. Imagine if all the time and money and hope and work that were put into that campaign were put into the arts. Late Tuesday night a friend asked me “What are we going to do now?”
What we need to do is take our energy and the energy of our constituents and turn it towards making the country’s policies on the arts the envy of artists of all nations. Read Obama’s Arts policy and work with him to make it happen. I urge you to reach out, as I will, to your Aldermen, your state representatives, your congresspeople, and your senators.
Be loud, we are vitally important to the cultural health of this nation. Now is the time, don’t let up, I say again, BE LOUD. Make sure your representatives know the impact your organization has on your neighborhoods, your audiences, everyone you serve. Have meetings with them, invite them in, pester them until they pay attention, it is their job to pay attention. Encourage your boards, and your company to do the same. Let’s make ourselves heard on this issue.