Greetings and Updates from CAA’s New President

Dear Members, Supporters and Friends,

Late last year, Connecticut Arts Alliance shared with you our first three-year strategic plan with a focus on building a stronger, more effective advocate for the creative sector in our state. Since then, we’ve been working hard on doing just that. As CAA’s newly-elected president, I’d like to tell you about the considerable progress we’ve made and share what’s coming up next.

We’re growing an advocacy network.

Legislative advocacy has always been at the center of CAA’s work, but it will be particularly challenging this year as the state grapples with the financial fallout from the COVID crisis. That’s why we’ve launched the Connecticut Arts Advocacy Network. The Action Network will allow us to work closely with state government leaders and ensure that there is a strong, collective voice for our community. Activities of the Advocacy Network are supported by membership dues and will align closely with CAA’s work to educate and organize on behalf of the creative community. 

We’re securing critical funding.

Our strategic plan recognizes that we need the support of Connecticut’s philanthropic institutions if CAA is to truly be a statewide resource for the creative community. We’ve reached out to the state’s community foundations and have received generous support from the Connecticut Community Foundation and the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut . The Connecticut Office of the Arts has also pledged significant support for our work, while a number of members have made 3-year membership pledges, often at levels beyond their base dues. 

We’re building a stronger, more resilient organization.

One of CAA’s core strengths has always been the experience and expertise of our Board of Directors and its leadership. As CAA works to fully embrace its role as Connecticut’s only statewide advocate for arts organizations, artists, and the entire creative sector, I am fortunate to be working with a truly outstanding board led by newly-elected officers Daniel Fitzmaurice as Vice President, Frank Tavera as Treasurer, and Tatiana DaSilva as Secretary. With this team in place, we have developed a three-month operating plan that focuses CAA’s energy on building value for our members, ensuring our elected officials in Hartford understand and support the needs of the arts community, and rallying the community around issues that affect us all.

We’re ready to go!

With a solid foundation in place, we’re ready to launch Create the Vote for the 2020 election cycle. This nonpartisan campaign, which we first launched for the 2018 election, will focus on connecting voters with the issues that impact the arts and share information on where candidates in their districts stand. We’ll also be working with candidates to educate them on the value of the arts, especially in this time of unprecedented need. There’s never been a time in memory that the arts have been more important yet our community more challenged. Create the Vote will help ensure that those who hope to be elected this fall know that we vote for the arts!

We are proud of the amazing work that you do, every day, to promote healing in this time of sickness, champion unity in a time of divisiveness, and give voice to those who have not been heard. Thank you for this vital work. It’s what drives CAA in our mission to inspire support for the arts. And, to our members and funders, THANK YOU! Your support makes our work possible and nourishes the arts community statewide. 
Not a member yet? Add your organization’s voice in support of the arts by becoming a member now.

Stay safe and be well.

Calida N. Jones

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3 Comments

  1. Allen Lowe

     /  September 9, 2020

    so….I am glad to hear all this, though truly the turn-out-the-vote-for-the-arts thing, in this particular election, is way down on my list of priorities. The highest priority is really money for artists, for performances, exhibitions, documentation, active education (through performance), etc etc and honestly I see next to nothing addressing this. The money needs to go toward stimulating a scene which was moribund even before the pandemic. We need statewide, multi-disciplinary arts festivals, arts, crafts, music, theater, painting, wrestling, whatever we can find. There are jazz musicians here, rock players, blues, folk, country, all kinds of interdisciplinary beings who need your assistance but are not getting it. Where are you in all of this? Truthfully you are not coming near to addressing what needs to happen. I hope you are not defensive about this, but it is accurate. These things have been talked about for 30 years with little or no action. Let’s do something! Thanks!

    -Allen Lowe

    Reply
    • Thank you, Allen. We appreciate and share your concerns. Our state can only get funding and other support for the arts by electing representatives who value the arts and are willing to put state funding behind them. That’s why we believe that Create the Vote is such an important initiative. We recognize that everyone has different priorities, but we truly believe that no change can happen without having the right people in office who will amplify the importance of funding all of our CT arts community.

      Reply
      • Allen Lowe

         /  September 21, 2020

        ok, that makes sense – but then you have to articulate WHAT KIND of change you want with the money and the votes. And truthfully, I don’t see any vision expressed other than the idea of verbal and psychological support, when what is needed is material support, events, cutting edge plans.

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