claimyourARTS is a Teen Council committee, open to teens interested in advocating for the arts in their communities! We host trainings and conferences, visit politicians on the local, state and national level and mobilize around issues affecting arts education. Email email@example.com to get involved.
I am an arts advocate. The arts are vital for my education. They empower and inspire. The arts are necessary for my development as a person. They help me to be open-minded, empathetic and creative. The arts improve my community and my world because they generate and captivate. I will speak up for the arts because every person, no matter their background, deserves to be unique, blissfully playful and confident. This is our education. Our voice. Our arts. And this is why I am an arts advocate.
Want to take an active role in claimyourARTS planning for the 2013/14 school year? We’d love to have you on board! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations to support the work of claimyourARTS teens and their initiatives can be made to their Conference Fund.
Teen Council delegates attended Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. for the second year in a row! Three teen members participated in a day of training with over 500 national arts advocates and lobbied on Capitol Hill. The teens took packets of signatures from the STEM to STEAM lobby campaign and delivered them to staff from Senate and House offices.
During the Arts Advocacy Day preconference, School of Theatre Director Rachel Fink made a special presentation to the State Arts Action Network about the history, philosophy and pedagogy involved with the CLAIM initiative. During her presentation, Rachel shared resources including the online toolkit and conference curriculum with the hope that other districts may start similar programs.
Check out our Storify about Arts Advocacy Day and CLAIM!
claimyourARTS launched a lobby campaign during Berkeley Rep’s production of Fallaci. Patrons were invited to support STEM to STEAM—an initiative to include the arts with science, technology, engineering and mathematics-based education—and the STEAM caucus through House Resolution 51. The campaign at Berkeley Rep garnered over 700 signatures in support of STEM to STEAM. Check out our fact sheet (PDF) to learn more.
We formalized the curriculum for our CLAIM Arts Advocacy Showdown, the culminating event at the CLAIM Conference in November 2012. In the Showdown, students are given four Case Studies through which they need to pitch the importance of arts in education and arts advocacy. It’s a useful exercise in articulating the need for the arts in a public forum. The curriculum is available here, free of charge (PDF).
What’s the big idea? Teen Council was featured in Americans for the Arts’ Arts Link (PDF), a quarterly publication shared with professional members of Americans for the Arts.
Teen Council held a conference call with Center Theatre Group’s teen arts advocacy chair and staff advisor. During the call, we shared our CLAIM best practices and offered advice in how they can shape their new initiative. We hope to continue to foster our relationship with this Los Angeles-based group and have aims to create a state-wide teen arts advocacy coalition.
Youth Radio interviewed claimyourARTS co-chair, Sam, about his work around the Student Voices campaign and his interest in arts advocacy. Check it out.
The CLAIM Conference served as a kick-off for the claimyourARTS initiative in the 2012/13 school year. The event was an opportunity to bring teens from many disciplines of the arts together for an afternoon of games, prizes and rallying around the importance of arts in education and arts accessibility. Participants were divided into teams and competed in games modeled after charades, Taboo, Jeopardy, Pictionary and the television programs The Voice and American Idol. Through the games, participants were eased into building a vocabulary for talking about why the arts are important through facts, key terms and the incorporation of their personal experiences. At the end of the day, each participant made a mock speech urging for the support of arts in education whether it be financially, legislatively or through advocating. TILT, the Youth Program of the Ninth Street Independent Film Center, created a documentary of our CLAIM Conference in November 2012. Check out the video.
CLAIM co-chair, Emily Radler, wrote about her experience at the CLAIM Conference.
CLAIM co-chair Emily spoke at Educating for Democracy, an education forum sponsored by the Alameda County Office of Education to educate the community about the upcoming statewide ballot initiatives. The event was hosted at the Oakland School of the Arts and was open to the public.
Teen delegates attended the Arts Education Resource Fair and Celebration hosted at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum. Honored speakers included California Arts Council Chair Malissa Ferruzzi Shriver, CAC Director Craig Watson, San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, San Francisco Board of Education Commissioner and San Francisco Mayor’s Education Advisor Hydra Mendoza, San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Richard Carranza and California State PTA President Carol Kocivar. Performers included internationally known musician Martin Luther McCoy, students from SFUSD elementary schools and more!
claimyourARTS sent four teens to the Theatre Communications Group National Conference in Boston. To learn more about their experience, you can read our Storify account of the live-tweeting that happened throughout the conference! As part of a larger fundraising campaign, claimyourARTS bracelets were available as a gift for those who donated to help get these delegates to the conference.
We trained and sent a delegation of six teens to Americans for the Arts’ National Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. They documented their trip on our Tumblr!
We produced an arts advocacy PSA based on the winning design from February’s conference. Click here to watch!
We celebrated Art is Education Month and Theatre in Our Schools Month by spreading important arts advocacy facts through school announcements and social media.
We hosted a teen arts advocacy conference and kicked off the claimyourARTS initiative. 60 teens attended and began their work as advocates for arts education through training games, debates and the design of an arts advocacy PSA. Through advocacy Mad Libs, attendees also put together the claimyourARTS manifesto (above). To learn more about the event, you can read our program article from In Paris (PDF), this Berkeley Rep blog post or our Storify account of the live-tweeting that happened throughout the day!
want to advocate for the arts in your community? here are some resources to get you started!
“Art is crucial to creating a better, more progressive world in every sense. It allows us to communicate through different means and learn more about other cultures; it teaches us to be empathetic and expressive; and it helps us be more creative and innovative.”
—Maddy, Arts Advocacy Day Teen Delegate
“We need to get our voices heard! If we want to support the ideal that art is for everyone, this is the perfect place to start.”
—Oscar, Teen Council Membership Chair, TCG Teen Delegate
“I am a strong believer that arts advocacy has the potential to save programs and institutions that act as outlets for people to immerse themselves and express their creative and independent thoughts.”
—Tessa, Teen Council Arts Advocacy Chair, TCG Teen Delegate
what can you do?
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