As a former Board Member of the Washington State Arts Alliance, it has been my privilege to represent the Choruses as I continue to assist with our annual statewide arts & heritage day. This year we gathered in Olympia on February 5th and 6th to meet with legislators and advocate for the role of the arts in education and our local neighborhoods. Much of my work occurs prior to the day in coordinating all 6 of our Seattle area districts: 32, 34, 36, 37, 43 and 46. With assistance from one of our stellar organizational volunteers, Kelli Hart, we contacted literally 1,000s of arts professionals and supporters to encourage attendance at this event which benefits all of us!
Our overall message is simple and clear: statewide investment = statewide reach in local communities.
Currently we are focused on returning arts and heritage funding to pre-recession levels. While many projects are fully funded in the Governor’s budget, unfortunately many are not. Because of this, we focus on communicating the value of projects, particularly those which aren’t currently funded. Cultural investment generates significant economic impact and public benefit, including positive outcomes in youth development, health and wellness, and neighborhood vitality.
Advocacy day has become quite a wonderful collaborative effort. In addition to communicating budget needs for our statewide arts agency, ArtsWA, we advocate for the Washington State Historical Society, Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau, Heritage Capital Projects, and Building for the Arts.
We also monitor legislation for positive or negative impact in the arts and heritage community. This year we have proposed legislation of our own which directly impacts all of King County through equitable arts, heritage, community funding.
I hope to grow participation from our arts enthusiasts and have you join in the activities next year! Follow the Washington State Arts Alliance on Facebook to be alerted about next year's advocacy day.
Karen J Lane
Director of Development