Advocacy: Why Me?
If you are an artist, a board member of a cultural organization or someone who enjoys the arts, you have a reason to advocate. Sadly, when budgets are tight, the arts are frequently easy targets and first on the chopping block. Legislators, who are elected officials, LISTEN to voters. They hear what is important to their constituents. If you want the arts to flourish in your community, take the time to tell your legislators that the arts are important and worthy of support.
Who To Contact
Click here to find the legislator for your district.
Appropriations Committee Members
The Appropriations Committee handles all matters of appropriations and budgets for state agencies. The subcommittee assigned to the Department of Economic and Community Development (including the Connecticut Office of the Arts) is the Conservation and Development Committee.
Need guidance on making an effective argument? Here are some talking points:
The arts make Connecticut a more vibrant place to live and work, providing opportunities for enjoyment and education. The state’s world-class theaters, museums, and festivals lure visitors to our state.
- Cultural Vitality
The New Haven, Stamford and Hartford metropolitan areas ranked in the top ten communities in the number of non-profit arts organizations, community celebrations and festivals and arts jobs in a national 2006 study by the Urban Institute entitled “Cultural Vitality in Communities.”
- Artists in the Workforce
Do you know that Connecticut ranks high among the 50 states by numbers of artists in the workforce, with a total of 29,861. According to a recent National Endowment for the Arts study “Artists in the Workforce 1990-2005,” Connecticut ranks 4th out of 50 states in percentage of artists in the labor force and 7th by number of artists per capita.
- From the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism’s 2007 Economic Impact Study
Arts = Jobs
The arts employ over 27,000 people in Connecticut, and the arts industry supports over 44,000 jobs statewide.
The arts benefit the Economy
The arts generate over $3.8 billion in gross state product annually, including $2.6 billion in personal income.
State arts funding is a good investment
State funding for the arts (grants to arts organizations and artists) is matched by private sector contributions at the rate of $11 for every dollar spent by the state.
The arts impact the lives of many people
Over 22 million people per year experience Connecticut’s cultural attractions.
New to this? Read up on our Advocacy How-To’s.