Meet Your New Legislators!
Who is my legislator?
Now that elections are over, the first step in doing arts advocacy for our state is to find out who your new legislative representatives are. Then you can find ways to communicate with them to introduce them to the important ways that the arts and culture impact the lives of all Oklahomans. First, find your Oklahoma house and senate district numbers here: OK House District Maps and OK Senate District Maps.
When you know your district numbers, you can check the these lists to find your new representatives: OK House Members and Senate Members. Each representative’s name should have a link to more information about them and ways to contact them. Additionally, you can check this news article for color coded election results.
Or, call the legislators’ offices to ask for an appointment (switchboard 405-524-0126):
You may talk to the executive or legislative assistant or the legislator directly.
Introduce yourself: Tell them that you are a constituent and would like to talk with your legislator about the arts and culture in Oklahoma.
If he/she is unable to meet, offer to drop off information.
How do I communicate effectively with my legislators?
Meetings or calls should be short, plan for fewer than 20 minutes (usually more like 5). The time goes fast! Practice your presentation. Focus on one personal story/example, keep it positive, and keep the focus on the importance of public funding for the arts and arts education.
Introduce yourself if you don’t already know your legislator
Hello, my name is [Full Name]. I live in [City or Community], [District #] and work/teach [Job Title] at [Organization/School].
Data + Story
Provide an example from your own experiences. Address any of the following: the impact of Oklahoma Arts Council funding on your organization or life, how arts funding affects your community, school or organization. Highlight your connection to the arts – as a board member, parent, teacher and/or community member.
Also, how does public funding for the arts further the economic development, educational and health goals of the state? For example, you could talk about how the arts increase economic prosperity, provide jobs, improve Oklahoma’s competitiveness, etc.
Conclusion: The “ASK”
Ask for the legislator’s support for the Oklahoma Arts Council, arts education and public art. Thank that legislator if he/she commits continued support. Invite the legislator to an arts/community event in the district when out of session. Be respectful and thank the legislator for his/her time!
Resources for Arts Advocacy
Here are some great resources for stories, data, and information about the impact of the arts and culture:
Arts & Social Impact Explorer: This new interactive online tool from Americans for the Arts shows how the arts and culture play an important role in all aspects of life. This is a great way to show your legislators how arts programs and arts education impact community life.
Americans Speak about the Arts in 2018: What do Americans think about the arts and arts funding? Americans for the Arts polled 3,023 adults in the USA on topics such as “the importance of arts education, support for government arts funding, personal engagement in the arts, and personal and community benefits that come from engaging in the arts.” Their results show that Americans strongly support arts funding, and they have created a variety of helpful infographics to display the data.
Oklahomans for the Arts Newsletter: Sign up for our newsletter to keep track of important arts related legislation and events in Oklahoma
Oklahoma Legislative Candidate Survey: We surveyed candidates to find out their positions on the arts before the midterm elections and published our results. Now we have collected the information we have about the candidates who won. Use these links to find information about your new legislators: OK State House and OK State Senate