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Arts Advocacy Day 2022 Recap

Each year in March, Tennesseans For the Arts hosts Arts Advocacy Day. Providing members and organizations across the state of Tennessee the opportunity to join with fellow Arts Advocates and to amplify our commitment to the arts in Tennessee, the support of the Specialty License Plate program, and grants provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission. For two decades, Arts Advocacy Day was held in Nashville during The General Assembly's legislative session. Giving Tennesseans the opportunity to show Legislators just how much we value the arts in our community. Since 2021 AAD has been held virtually creating greater attendance and greater impact.

Key take aways... Become a member of Tennesseans for the Arts, Advocate for the Arts by reaching out to your Legislators and invite them to your local Arts & Culture Events, & Support the arts by buying a Specialty License Plate so a portion of those funds can go back to the Arts & Culture organizations here in Tennessee.

Thank you to all who attended!

Arts Advocacy Day Line-Up

Letter from AAD22 Chair - Whitney Jo

Did you miss the event? Link to Video

All the ways YOU can support Tn4Arts

Thank you to our Sponsors and Volunteers


AAD22 Line Up


Jan McNally, Chair of TAC Commissioners

Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton

Parke Kennedy, President of TFTA

Lt. Governor Randy McNally

Anne Pope, Executive Director of TAC

Congressman Steve Cohen

Molly Pratt, TFTA Consultant

Senator Becky Duncan Massey, Chairwoman of Arts Caucus

Senator Raumesh Akbari, Arts Caucus

Kelly Barsdate, Chief Program and Planning Officer, NASAA

Whitney Jo, West TN Vice President


Pedro de Silva, Playhouse on the Square

Assistant Videographer

Tempest Thomas, Playhouse on the Square

Letter from AAD22 Chair - Whitney Jo

Dear Arts Advocates,

Arts Advocacy Day 2022 was so inspirational and educational. Learning the history of the Specialty License Plate program and how it truly impacts the arts across the state of Tennessee was the message that everyone needed to hear... how to support the arts annually with your license plate. I am proud of my license plate (The Arts Fish) and I hope that everyone who joined us for Arts Advocacy Day 2022 was inspired to advocate, be proud of your plate, and to see the overall impact that Tennesseans for the Arts has to the health of the arts in Tennessee. As the chair of Arts Advocacy Day 2022, I would like to thank all of our fabulous speakers, Tennesseans for the Arts, Tennessee Arts Commission, and most of all...YOU! Your support is everything!! Now get out there and spread the word. Thank you!

Whitney Jo

TFTA Arts Advocacy Day 2022 Chair

Managing Director

Playhouse on the Square

The Circuit Playhouse

Did you miss this event? Link to AAD22 Video

Want to experience it all over again? We don't blame you, it was fantastic! Maybe you missed the event, or even just want to share with your friends and colleagues. Click the link below to watch and share Arts Advocacy Day 2022.

All the ways YOU can support Tennesseans For the Arts

JOIN or RENEW your membership today

TFTA Members understand there is strength in numbers, and your membership not only helps sustain us, but sends the message to lawmakers the arts have an army in Tennessee.


We must never forget, revenue from the specialty license plate program accounts for nearly 80% of the funding distributed annually by the Tennessee Arts Commission for grants to support the arts and sustain the work of our arts organizations. Tn4Arts members understand this funding is our lifeblood and protecting it is crucial.

Thank you to our Sponsors & Volunteers

There are so many organizations and people across the state of Tennessee that make Arts Advocacy Day possible. From our many Volunteers to the support from the Tennessee Arts Commission, South Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Thank you to all involved!

Tennesseans for the Arts Board of Directors and Staff

Parke Kennedy, President

Susan Robinson, Past President

Bob Willie, Treasurer

David Butler, East TN Vice President

Stephanie Conner, Middle TN Vice President

Whitney Jo, West TN Vice President

Rachel Smalling, Secretary

Deanie Parker TAC Representative

Debby Koch

Anne Locke

Bryce McDonald

Virginia Salazar-Buda

Kenneth Weaver

Molly Pratt, Consultant

Dereama Sherrill, Business and Membership Manager

Tennessee Arts Commission

Anne Pope, Executive Director

TAC Commissioners

Jan McNally, Chair

Stephanie Conner, Vice Chair

Amy Rhodes, Secretary

Steve Bailey

Jenny Boyd

Marc Burnett

Anne Davis

Nancy Dishner

Michael Dumont

Mary Kilbride

Cindy Cameron Ogle

Deanie Parker

Jason Rudd

Johnnie Wheeler

Kustis Winstead

Arts Caucus

Senator Becky Duncan Massey – Chairwoman

Lt. Governor Randy McNally

Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton

Senator Raumesh Akbari

Senator Paul Bailey

Senator Mike Bell

Senator Janice Bowling

Senator Richard Briggs

Senator Rusty Crowe

Representative Curtis Halford

Representative Patsy Hazlewood

Representative Dan Howell

Senator Ed Jackson

Senator Jack Johnson

Representative Kelly Keisling

Senator Sara Kyle

Senator Jon Lundberg

Representative Jason Powell

Representative Bob Ramsey

Representative Johnny Shaw

Senator Steve Southerland

Senator John Stevens

Senator Art Swann

Senator Bo Watson

Representative Terry Lynn Weaver

Representative Mark White

Representative Sam Whitson

Senator Ken Yager

Senator Jeff Yarbro

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