I went to an event hosted by Arts Alliance Illinois titled Uniting for Impact: Arts Policy and the 2012 Election. The best part about it was Representative Jan Schakowsky spoke and she said quite a few things that made an impact on me.
One thing she said was that members of congress do measure input. I’ve said this before, they actually care when their constituents call or write a letter. I have to believe that they would rather take a call or spend time with their constituents than some big business interest. Probably much more fun and enlightening, but they can’t do that but they do know how many people have called or written about a specific issue and it makes a difference.
I know I sound like a broken record but reach out to your Alderman. They can really help you in surprising ways and they are ecstatic to have arts organizations in their wards. Just get to know them, invite them to your events, share your statistics and your successes with them. Make sure they know that you are an important part of your neighborhood.
Finally Representative Schakowsky said WE ASK FOR TOO LITTLE. She refers to the entire budget for the NEA as “budget dust.” She said we should be bolder and say this is what it would look like if we had X. 2012 is coming. What would it look like if we had X?
As always, we try to keep you as informed as possible but please go to the Arts Alliance website as well for info and updates. http://www.artsalliance.org/getinvolved.html.