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Numbers Matter: Arts Advocacy Day 2023 Recap

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

Tennesseans For the Arts is a statewide Arts Advocacy Organization. Each year in March, Tn4Arts 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 over 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 communities. Since 2021 AAD has been held virtually creating greater attendance and greater impact.

Thank you to all who attended!

Arts Advocacy Day Line-Up

Key Takeaways

Did you miss the event? Link to Video


AAD23 Line Up


Parke Kennedy, President of Tn4Arts

Stephanie Conner, Chair of TAC, Middle TN Vice President Tn4Arts

Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton

Senator Becky Duncan Massey, Chairwoman of Arts Caucus

Senator Raumesh Akbari, Arts Caucus

Patsy Hazelwood, TN State Representative

Scotty Campbell, TN State Representative

Anne Pope, Executive Director of TAC

Molly Pratt, TFTA Education Consultant

Pam Breaux, President and CEO of NASAA

David Butler, East TN Vice President Tn4Arts

Courtney Jernigan, Owner and Creative Director of KGH

Whitney Jo, West TN Vice President Tn4Arts


Pedro de Silva, Playhouse on the Square

Key Takeaways

Numbers Matter. The number of Tn4Arts organizational and individual members show strength to our Legislators through advocacy which leads to the preservation and enhancement of Tennessee Arts Commission funding for arts programs and artists based on the number of specialty license plates sold. For major cultural organizations to grassroots community centers, Tn4Arts acts as a unified voice that supports the Arts for all Tennesseans in all 95 counties. We work to support and expand public funding for the arts. In addition to supporting our states legislative Arts Caucus our primary work is devoted to defending the specialty license plate program which provides 80% of the funds granted to nonprofit organizations by the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Action Items from AAD23

JOIN or RENEW your membership today

Tn4Arts Members understand there is strength in numbers, and your membership not only helps sustain us, but sends the message to lawmakers the arts have a unified voice here in Tennessee.

Attend our Regional Meetings

Click to Learn More about our in person regional meetings across the state this year.


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.

Did you miss this event? Link to AAD23 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 2023.

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

Stephanie Conner, Chair

Mary Kilbride, Vice Chair

Deanie Parker, Secretary

Steve Bailey

Jenny Boyd

Marc Burnett

Anne Davis

Nancy Dishner

Cindy Cameron Ogle

Amy Rhodes

Jason Rudd

Kurtis 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 Janice Bowling

Senator Richard Briggs

Senator Rusty Crowe

Senator Ferrell Haile

Senator Ed Jackson

Senator Jack Johnson

Senator Sara Kyle

Senator Jon Lundberg

Senator Shane Reeves

Senator Steve Southerland

Senator John Stevens

Senator Art Swann

Senator Bo Watson

Senator Ken Yager

Senator Jeff Yarbro

Representative Scotty Campbell

Representative Karen Camper

Representative David Hawk

Representative Patsy Hazlewood

Representative Dan Howell

Representative Kelly Keisling

Representative Jason Powell

Representative Johnny Shaw

Representative Dewayne Thompson

Representative Mark White

Representative Sam Whitson

Representative Ryan Williams

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