ADVOCATING NATIONALLY FOR THE ARTS

Julia Kirt and Brian Parsons with Senator Inhofe's Legislative Correspondent Dominque McKay

Julia Kirt and Brian Parsons with Senator Inhofe's Legislative Correspondent Dominque McKay

A delegation of Oklahomans participated in National Arts Advocacy Day yesterday, meeting with legislative staff people in offices for Senator Jim Inhofe, Senator Lankford, Congressman Steve Russell and Congressman Tom Cole.

Federal arts policy impacts our state through funding, resources, educational standards and more.

Brian Parsons, the new Associate Dean of Theatre at Oklahoma City University, and I (Julia Kirt, Oklahomans for the Arts’ Executive Director) asked for our elected officials’ help improving our state through arts education and funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Legislative staff members were receptive and helpful. We were pleased to open the dialogue and begin offering more details showing the arts and culture sector’s huge impact on Oklahoma’s success.

Americans for the Arts serves as a national leader in advocating for positive federal arts policy. Enthusiastically, Oklahomans for the Arts is a state partner for advocacy and I serve as a State Captain. Americans for the Arts helped us craft our state-specific advocacy agenda and case for support for the arts.

See the in-depth Congressional Arts Handbook, which includes fact sheets on many arts and culture-related federal issues. The handbook also references much of the newest and best research on the education, community-building and economic benefits of the arts.  Also, the handbook outlines arts-friendly voting records by federal elected officials.

If you are disappointed to have missed National Arts Advocacy Day, you can join us at Oklahoma Arts Day on May 5, 2015 and let me know if you want information about going to DC next year!


Arts & the Military

Amber Sharples, Julia Kirt & Brian Parsons with Congressman Steve Russell’s staffer Harvey Sparks

Amber Sharples, Julia Kirt & Brian Parsons with Congressman Steve Russell’s staffer Harvey Sparks

While Brian and I advocated, Amber Sharples, Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director, informed the staffers by delivering details about Oklahoma’s new arts and the military initiative. She asked for their help distributing this community survey widely and for contacts to make sure the initiative serves veterans and active duty military as uniquely and appropriately as possible. She also invited them to the national conference on military and the arts.

Hosted by Cameron University in Lawton, the Military Experience and the Arts Symposium will take place May 14-17. 2-15.  See this website for more information. What a great project for our state!