Coffee with your legislator
Reach out to your state legislators (email, phone call, or snail mail) for a conversation on arts and culture and state investments in the arts. Legislators are happy to meet somewhere in their districts, at your facility, or at the Legislative Office Building. Since the session starts in February, legislators will be more open to meeting (and more attentive) before then. Make contact now so there is enough time to schedule a meeting before the session begins.
- You get to know your legislators. They are eager to hear from you! Really!
- Make sure your legislators understand that the CT Cultural Fund is a better way to invest in arts and culture for their districts.
- Encourage your legislators to connect with legislative leadership to restore the CT Cultural Fund.
- Educate your legislators on the importance of the arts to their district.
- Share the importance of Arts and Culture to our state. - Use this fact sheet
- If you're part of an organization that received a Cultural Fund grant, share what it allowed you to accomplish for those you serve.
- Share how the loss of the Cultural Fund will impact the community you serve (loss of jobs, cuts to services, etc).
- Share the outcome of the FY24 budget. - Use this fact sheet
- Share the impact of the Cultural Fund in FY23 vs the line item appropriations in FY24 - Use this fact sheet
- Encourage them to support the Cultural Fund as a better investment for state funds.
How to contact your legislators
What to say
Here is some sample text you can use for your invitation:
My name is (your name) and I'm reaching out today as (share your connection..a voter in your district, a staff member at xyz organization in your district, etc). I'd love to sit down with you to talk about the arts in Connecticut and how important they are to our state. The arts community supports our state's economy, our cities and towns, and the health and quality of life for our residents. And, every investment in the arts is a good investment for the state.
Could we find some time to sit down for a cup of coffee (in the district, at xyz organization, at your office) or schedule a video chat? I look forward to it!
City or Town
If you don't receive a response, don't hesitate to follow up with another email, phone call, or hard copy letter. Studies have shown that it can take up to three contacts to get a response.
Share this action alert with your board, your colleagues, and your network.
Not feeling confident or need more information? Get in touch and we'll help.
Please let us know you've reach out so that we can keep track of our progress.
Do's and Don'ts
- DON'T criticize the FY24/25 budget. What is done is done.
- DO point out that future investments through the CT Cultural Fund are better than relying only on line item appropriations and other inequitable investment strategies.
Why? The CT Cultural Fund reaches more organizations, more legislative districts, more towns, and more residents than line item appropriations and other past forms of funding. The CT Cultural Fund is also more accountable to taxpayers because recipients are required to meet certain requirements and report on the use of funds. (See the CCF vs Line Item Fact Sheet)
- DON'T place the blame on the line item organizations.
- DO focus on line item appropriations and other low impact funding strategies as legislative decisions.
Why? Organizations seek funding on their own when there's no alternative. Legislators need to understand that they can provide that alternative with the CT Cultural Fund.
- DON'T refer to state funding.
- DO refer to state investments, economic activity, and tax revenue.
Why? Each $1 invested by the state returns at least $3 in economic activity and tax revenue. These investments mean a more robust state economy, more vibrant cities and towns, and better health and quality of life for our residents.
- DON'T be aggressively critical or play the blame game.
- DO be firm but respectful when making your case.
Why? Legislators need to be educated, not scolded. They need to hear about how state investments affect the arts--both positively and negatively--but no one likes a whiner.