Sample Advocacy Letter to Legislator
By using the Template below begin to craft YOUR story. Explain how the arts in Tennessee have touched you personally. Your voice matters, so if you have a direct story of an impact from a Tennessee Arts Commission grant please share this with your Legislator. Click the button below to find your legislator and begin advocating for the arts today!
Dear Senator Kelsey,
This year Tennesseans for the Arts (TFTA) held our annual Arts Advocacy Day virtually. Many of our members from all across Tennessee joined a Zoom meeting and instead of our usual in-person meetings, we are reaching out to our legislators via email, phone calls and Zoom meetings.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of the arts in Tennessee. TFTA members are committed to protecting and promoting the specialty license plate program and the significant revenue it generates for the Tennessee Arts Commission’s grant program. Last year 982 grants were given across all 95 counties and more than 3/4 of the funds allocated came from tag revenue.
Here at the Germantown Performing Arts Center, we are especially appreciative of your support. The pandemic has affected so many local businesses and the not for profit arts sector has been hit hard. In spite of the difficult times, we have continued to use our creativity to pivot and find solutions to challenges. I want to share a video of the huge impact made by a small grant from the Arts Commission.
GPAC’s well known Youth Symphony Orchestra Program typically holds a concert on the GPAC mainstage in the Fall to showcase their work to family and friends. This year, the pandemic prevented this from happening in person with family present in the audience but a grant from TAC allowed GPAC to film the student ensembles over the course of three days. The students played together, some on-stage, safely and socially distanced, and some joined from home. The grant included monies for editing the video, and in early January, the films premiered on Facebook and YouTube. More people have viewed the students performing than ever were able to attend the concerts live! The work was shared with family and friends all over the world, and continues to be viewed.
Being able to film the final product of a semester’s worth of hard work helped support the artistic community at large by demonstrating the power of creativity and collaboration in the face of huge obstacles (especially teaching symphony music to youth in a pandemic). It also supported arts education teachers and local industry technicians who were needed for filming and editing. The final “story” is not just about the music the students learned to play but their collective journey to get to a place where they can celebrate their talents, both virtual and in-person learners, and the beauty of the combined result.
Response from parents and students was overwhelmingly positive - “Every musician had an opportunity to display their talent - even the ones playing from home!” from a parent. And from a student, “Being part of the GYSP program has made me feel more normal in all this chaos. Making music is something I love and being able to feel like part of a group has made me a lot calmer about what’s going on in the world. It gives me a feeling of togetherness in a time of isolation.”
We are proud of the arts in Germantown and Tennessee - again, thank you for your support!
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