August 4, 2011

Arts Advocates Wanted

Hometown view, local voice counts the most

The best advocates for public funding for the arts are people like you with local voices and a hometown view. You have the ability to make the most compelling case for the public benefit of tax dollars spent on the arts. Whether talking to a legislator from your house or senate district or a member of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation, you are the key spokesperson who can ensure the government’s commitment to arts support. You are the best person to articulate the personal value and public benefits of arts programs. You have information your legislators need to make a great decisions about public funding for the arts.

Position
VOLUNTEER Advocacy Captain

Purpose
In partnership with the Director of Oklahomans for the Arts, an Advocacy Captain is responsible for coordinating and leading an advocacy team and advocacy activities in one of Oklahoma’s 11 sub-regions (see below).

Goals
  • Increase community awareness of and support for arts and culture, particularly as the foundation of Oklahoma’s creative economy.
  • Educate elected officials about arts, culture and arts education in their communities and the role of public funding for the arts in Oklahoma.
  • Develop and empower local leadership for arts, culture and arts education.

Qualifications
  • Self-starter, highly organized
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Knowledge of social media and participation across social networking channels including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more.
  • Passionate about arts, culture and arts education in Oklahoma.
  • Keen understanding of the role of public funding for the arts.
  • Ability to navigate the intersection of arts and politics with diplomacy, aplomb Knowledge of the local political environment
  • Eager to learn about arts, culture and arts education in your region.
  • Eager to learn about how government works and how ordinary people can work to change government.

Time Commitment
  • Two to four hours per week, particularly from February to late May when the Oklahoma Legislature is in session.
  • Attendance at one of two advocacy training sessions in fall 2012.

Responsibilities
  • Create, manage and lead a local arts advocacy team of volunteers in your region
  • Organize letter-writing, email and phone-calling campaigns
  • Participate in social media activities in support of arts, culture and arts education.
  • Meet with local policy makers
  • Attend training sessions
  • See “Goals”

Training and Support
Advocacy training opportunities will be available to advocacy captains in fall 2011. At that time, you will receive an advocacy toolkit that will give you the resources you need to be an effective advocate in your community. Training will include most or all of the following materials and/or sessions:
  • Campaigning and Advocacy Skills
  • Sample press materials, letters, emails and phone scripts
  • What do you ask a candidate?
  • Why we need public funding for the arts
  • Why students need arts education
  • Working with public officials
  • Organizing a meeting
  • Building your region’s advocacy team
  • Campaign planning
  • Media and publicity
  • Advocacy event planning
  • Recruiting and training volunteers

Benefits
Advocacy Captains will become the face of Oklahomans for the Arts, Inc.
  • Direct involvement at a grassroots, local level in impacting government policies in relation to public funding for the arts.
  • Position at the forefront of framing public debate on arts and culture as key components of any community’s economic development.
  • Meet new people
  • Gain experience in nonprofit and political advoacy work
  • Participate in friendly competition with other advocacy captains and compete for cool prizes and perks
  • Chance to attend Arts Advocacy Day in Washington D.C., April 2012
  • Free training
To Apply
Please send a letter of interest highlighting relevant skills, experience, accomplishments and references to:

Jennifer James, Director
Oklahomans for the Arts, Inc.
P.O. Box 454
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73101

or email

Oklahoma.arts@gmail.com.

Must include which one of the following regions you are interested in serving:


REGION 1
Canadian, Cleveland, Logan, Oklahoma
FILLED! Erin Smith, Curator, Moore-Lindsay House Historical Museum, Norman

REGION 2
Caddo, Comanche, Cotton, Grady, Jefferson, McClain, Stephens, Tillman

REGION 3
Hughes, Lincoln, Okfuskee, Pawnee, Payne, Pottawatomie, Seminole

REGION 4
Adair, Cherokee, McIntosh, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Sequoyah, Wagoner

REGION 5
Craig, Delaware, Mayes, Nowata, Ottawa, Rogers, Washington

REGION 6
Creek, Osage, Rogers, Tulsa, Wagoner
FILLED! Britt Greenwood, Artist and Tulsa Blogger, Tulsa ArtSpot

REGION 7
Choctaw, Haskell, Latimer, LeFlore, McCurtain, Pittsburg, Pushmataha

REGION 8
Alfalfa, Blaine, Garfield, Grant, Kay, Kingfisher, Major, Noble

REGION 9 - Beaver, Cimarron, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Texas, Woods, Woodward
FILLED: Dr. Sarah Chan, Music Professor, Northwestern Oklahoma State University


REGION 10 - Atoka, Bryan, Carter, Coal, Garvin, Johnston, Love, Marshall, Murray, Pontotoc
FILLED! Shannon Bever, Librarian, Davis Public Library, Davis, Oklahoma
Shannon also has degrees in art history and museum studies.

REGION 11
FILLED! The Honorable Alex Damon, Mayor of the City of Cordell.
Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills, Washita

On Twitter
@OK4theArts

On Facebook
www.facebook.com/OklahomansfortheArts.

Further Reading:
Please visit http://www.oklahomansforthearts.org/

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