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Recap: “Go Forth by Phone!” for National Arts Advocacy Day

We partnered with Artistic Rebuttal Project to present our second annual phone bank.

On Tuesday, March 24th, GroundSwell and Artistic Rebuttal Project partnered with the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy to host Go Forth by Phone, a phone bank for arts advocates who were unable to attend National Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC.

 

While a broad cross section of Pennsylvania’s cultural and civic advocates descended on DC to make the case for federal support for arts education, the National Endowment for the Arts, and charitable giving other arts and culture supporters gathered locally to man the phones in City Hall at the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy. Advocates arrived ready to stress the importance of developing strong public policies and the need to appropriate more funds for the arts.

The phone bank idea was originally conceived by Artistic Rebuttal Project Executive Director Amy Scheidegger, who thought of the project when she realized she wouldn’t be able to attend last year’s National Arts Advocacy Day conference in Washington. "I knew there had to be different ways of advocating, especially for the type of person who can speak easier when there's less pressure,” said Scheidegger. “This phone bank idea came from wanting to provide people with a low-pressure environment and everything they need at their fingertips so that they serve as back-up to those in Washington. It also hopes to convince people that advocating can be done from anywhere at any time, not only in DC on designated advocacy days."

In total, 27 advocated by phone, and 71 sent emails to their U.S. Senators and Representatives. Our advocates emphasized the tremendous economic impact of the cultural sector in Southeastern Pennsylvania and urged them  to support a $155 Million appropriation for the National Endowment for the Arts and $30 million for the Arts in Education Program of the Department of Education in the FY2016 Labor-HHS-Education appropriation bill.

We'd like to thank everyone who joined us in advocating yesterday, and urge you to continue to look for news from the GroundSwell team on how you can take action, get involved and do something good for a change! in your community. Keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter, so you never miss an update!

 

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