On January 26th members of the University of Florida community headed to Tallahassee and were a part of Art Advocacy Day. The team included Piper Call from the Deans office and three students, Ariel Reich (School of Theatre +Dance), Sophie Press (School of Music) and Kimberly Crowell (School of Art + Art History) who were all recognized for their work in art advocacy.
Art Advocacy day is a day, organized by the Florida Cultural alliance, when arts advocates form all over the date of Florida descend on the capital to speak up for support for art programs and art grants. The team attended arts rallies and met with legislatures to speak about grant funding.
“Seeing so much vibrancy and color in the state capitol building was an unexpected treat,” mentioned Reich.
Piper Call explains that arts in Florida are a public/private enterprise with the public funds only supporting half of all the arts funding in the state. “Funding for the arts should be a no brainer says Call. She explains that it is important to approach legislators with the right angle. “No one is going to say the arts are not important, but you have to make people see that this is a worthwhile investment” says Call. She continues “Funding for the arts is a tiny amount of money and there is a 5:1 return on investment on this money. That is Huge!” This money not only helps the arts, but the entire state of Florida.
The hope is that the legislature will fully fund all arts grants. It is exciting to note that local representative Keith Perry understands and advocates for arts and education. Perry sponsored a bill which put music in elementary schools.
This is the second year that representation has gone to Tallahassee for arts advocacy day, an important tradition they hope will continue.