Anyone watching the news knows that the fall election season has begun in earnest. There is much to focus on locally, and at a recent meeting with the LA County Registrar-Recorder, we learned that there will be a minimum of 19 ballot measures to consider on November 8.
This summer at the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) national convention in Boston, I participated on the panel, "Everything You Need to Be a Top Arts Advocate This Election Year," which focused on the tools we use to reach and prepare our constituents for local advocacy and impact.
This conversation revealed how those of us working in the arts sector are of two minds: how do we inform our audiences about bills and measures that will affect them and the arts sector, and how do we as individuals show up and engage in the civic process?
In the coming weeks, Arts for LA's ArtsVote campaign will include the following strategies:
Candidate Surveys: Arts for LA will survey every candidate in 3 school districts and 7 municipalities (see details below);
Candidate Briefings: Arts for LA will meet with each of the run-off candidates for the Fourth and Fifth District races for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Regardless of who wins, these meetings build relationships with decision-makers and strengthen the arts & culture platform;
Ballot Measures: Arts for LA will demonstrate what these measures will mean to you personally and as an arts sector, beginning with Prop 55 which is essentially the extension of Prop 30, a measure which produced the Local Control Funding Formula for public education and directed millions of dollars to our public schools, including arts education;
Polling Places & Poll Workers: Arts for LA will continue collaborating with the Registrar-Recorder's office to encourage arts and culture places to become polling places and to support their staff and volunteers in being poll workers;
Coalitions: In addition to our work with LA County's Registrar-Recorder, we are also deepening Arts for LA's relationship with the League of Women Voters and other community initiatives such as National Voter Registration Day (Sept 27), Cal Nonprofit's Vote With Your Mission, and LA Youth Vote.
In preparation for upcoming actions and arts advocacy, please take a moment to update your record with your home address (see below), so we can send you specific Action Alerts for elections in your voting district.
Louis Pasteur reminds us that “fortune favors the prepared mind,” and as we enter this dynamic and complex election season, we want you to be as prepared and informed as possible.
ArtsVote: Update Your Voting District Address
Elected officials respond to those who live and vote in their districts, so we want to ensure our advocacy is accurate and impactful. In anticipation of our ArtsVote work this fall, we're planning to update our database so we can send you targeted Action Alerts specific to your voting district.
You can update your information here: http://www.artsforla.org/take_action_sign_up
Candidate Surveys: Volunteers Needed
Arts for LA will soon contact candidates running for office in the following school districts and cities on November 8:
SCHOOL DISTRICTS - Acton-Aguar Dulce Unified; Alhambra Unified School District (1st, 2nd, & 3rd Districts); Santa Monica-Malibu Unified (3 seats).
CITIES - Alhambra (3rd & 4th Districts); Downey (1st, 3rd, & 5th Districts); Malibu (3 City Council seats); Palmdale (Mayor & 4 City Council seats); Pomona (Mayor & 3 City Council seats); Santa Clarita (2 City Council seats); and Santa Monica (4 City Council seats).
Volunteer opportunities: if you live and/or work in these districts, consider volunteering to contact candidates and encourage them to participate in our Candidate Surveys. We provide contact information and a script, so you can volunteer at home, or in the Arts for LA office. For more details, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legislative Update: SB916 Moves Forward
On August 11, the Assembly Appropriations Committee voted to approve SB 916 (Allen), also known as the Theatre and Dance Act (TADA!), which is now headed to the Assembly floor for a vote.
SB 916 requires the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to issue single-subject credentials in theatre and dance. Senator Ben Allen (D-Los Angeles, right) presented the bill, stating, “To tell people who have earned a degree in dance or theatre that they can’t teach in their respective fields unless they get a credential in PE or English is a disservice to them as teachers, to their students, and the subject matter.”
Stay tuned for more legislative updates from Arts for LA.
CFTA Presents Confluence 2016, Sept 26 & 27
On September 26 and 27, Californians for the Arts (CFTA) will hold CONFLUENCE 2016, a statewide arts conference, at the Sacramento Convention Center. This year’s theme is “Better Together – Best Practices from the Field.” Last year’s CONFLUENCE attracted more than 250 arts leaders to Sacramento, and an equal number of key influencers and decision-makers are expected to attend this year to share ideas and to learn from thought-leaders in the field, including Arts for LA Executive Director Sofia Klatzker.
Nina Simon, an internationally-recognized expert on active community participation in cultural institutions and has been named a “museum visionary” by Smithsonian Magazine for her innovative approach to design, will deliver a keynote address. Breakout session and roundtable discussion topics include: Arts Education, Arts in Corrections, Storytelling and Making the Case for the Arts, Cultural Districts, Diversity & Equity, Arts and Public/Private Partnerships, Fundraising, Grant Panels and Grant Writing, Public Art, Working with Individual Artists, Arts and Technology, Arts Marketing and others.
For more information, including registration, visit here.
Sept 27: National Voter Registration Day
Arts for LA has signed up as a partner on National Voter Registration Day 2016 on Tuesday, September 27, a single day of coordinated activities aimed at registering as many eligible Americans as possible.
In 2008, 6 million Americans didn’t vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn’t know how to register. On September 27, 2016, volunteers, celebrities, and organizations from all over the country will “hit the streets” for National Voter Registration Day. This single day of coordinated ﬁeld, technology and media efforts will create pervasive awareness of voter registration opportunities–allowing us to reach tens of thousands of voters who we could not reach otherwise.
To find out how you can participate, visit here.
WESTAF presents State Arts Advocacy Symposium, October 3-5
Arts for LA's Executive Director Sofia Klatzker is a presenter at the symposium, which will examine the current condition of state-level arts advocacy and consider what kinds of strategies, collaborations, and possible organizational reinventions are needed to ensure success. The symposium will inform WESTAF leadership as it considers ways to bolster its work in state-level arts advocacy.
Those interested in attending and observing the symposium must register here by Friday, August 19. Registered observers will be notified via email by September 1 and will receive additional details regarding their participation at that time.
New Board Member at Arts for LA
Arts for LA welcomes a new member to its 2016-17 Board of Directors: Shana Mathur (right), who has dedicated her career to music and the arts. Shana joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association as Vice President, Marketing & Communications in 2008, where she oversees marketing, sales and customer experience at Los Angeles’ most iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. Prior to the LA Phil, Shana was Director of Marketing at UCLA Live (performing arts at University of California, Los Angeles), from 2002-07. She moved to Los Angeles in 2002 from New York City, where she was Director of Marketing at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) from 1998-2002. Since she joined the LA Phil, she has spearheaded major, multi-faceted campaigns, including the introduction of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, the 10th Anniversary of Walt Disney Concert Hall, key festivals and record-breaking seasons at the Hollywood Bowl.
Find out more about the fantastic board of Arts for LA.
Introducing the Program Advisory Committee 2016-17
Arts for LA welcomes the Program Advisory Committee 2016-17, whose fourteen members will meet five times during the year to advise and assist Arts for LA in its program development: Taz Ahmed, Betty Avila, Tiffany Bong, Michael Che, Mario Davila, Michelle O'Grady, Allison Ostrovsky, Cristina Pacheco, Nadine Rambeau, Ella Turenee, Matty Wilder, Sarah Williams, Steven Wong, and Sue Bell Yank.
Find out more about PAC and its members.