Monday, March 19, 2012

Catching up on things, Part 1: Arts Day

Last week was ridiculous.  My schedule was so flooded that I can't believe my head's still above water.  But here I am, breathing still.  Many of the things I've been up to seem worth mentioning, so I will give them each their own post, starting first with Arts Day, because it happened first in the week (kind of).

I stumbled upon Arts Wisconsin, a state arts advocacy group, through facebook, through which I found their website, through which I learned that Arts Day was approaching.  What is Arts Day?  Well, I had no idea, but it sounded like something I needed to be a part of, so I signed up and went to both the actual Arts Day and the pre-day arts leaders' advocacy conference.

Here's what Arts Day is all about:  It's a day when artists and arts advocates (people in charge of non-profits, teachers, patrons, etc.) come to Madison from around the state to speak up for the arts.  You make appointments to meet with your legislators and tell them why the arts matter.  Not to you, but to your community-- their constituents.  A lovely idea.  Sadly, most of the legislators were tied up with bill-passing and such, and not many of us got to meet with them.  We were encouraged to keep in touch with our legislators regularly on our home turf.  This sounds like a good idea to me.

If you'd like to know more about how you can speak up for the arts, no matter where you are, learn here: Arts Action Toolkit.

A selection of arts advocates enjoying
muffins and listening to speakers talk
about the role arts play in communities.

If you're in Wisconsin and are associated with the arts in any way-- you have a kid who likes to dance, a parent who writes, a friend who paints, you stop by a community art store sometimes on your way home from work, etc.-- you should go to Arts Day next year.  The pre-Arts Day event was more intimate, and I got to meet amazing people who are doing great things for the arts in places like Rhinelander and Woodruff, WI.  If you can, I urge you to go to both. You'll meet amazing people and learn why the arts matter in your community and their importance throughout the state.

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