Arts Vote Texas
Elevating Arts, Culture, & Creativity in Elections in TEXAS
Elections are a time for candidates and voters to discuss the strengths and challenges of our municipalities. It is also the time where we as a society can openly debate our vision for our communities and think about what is possible.
While arts and culture play a role in our local economies, our educational systems, and in the vibrancy of our neighborhoods and downtowns, candidates often times
do not include arts and culture as part of their vision for the future.
Seeing the need and opportunity to make arts and culture a critical part of the candidates' platform, Texans for the Arts has launched Arts Vote Texas, a nonpartisan public education campaign to raise awareness and support for arts, culture, and creative expression.
We hope to change that and elevate the importance of arts and culture with our elected leadership by bringing together artists, arts leaders, residents, and educators to work together through strategic organizing and advocacy to make it a platform issue with elected officials and community leaders.
Dallas Area Cultural Advocacy Coalition (DACAC) and Texans for the Arts (TFA) are partnering to roll out a pilot plan to elevate arts and culture in the platforms of candidates running for Mayor and Council positions in the upcoming Dallas elections this May. We need the help of the arts community, artists, arts supporters, creatives and educators to engage candidates and voters through the use of education, awareness, and activism to ensure that the arts are part of the solution in building more vibrant, healthy and connected communities.
Texans for the Arts would like to recognize MASSCreative, Massachusetts' Arts Advocacy Organization, which organized their first Create the Vote campaign in 2013 during Boston’s mayoral election. MASSCreative’s initial Boston mayoral campaign hit a big benchmark when their newly elected mayor delivered on campaign promises made through the Create the Vote process to elevate the arts and support an arts renaissance in Boston including hiring a cabinet-level position for the arts.
We see a direct correlation between educating candidates for elected office, activating citizens to be educated and committed arts voters, and positive electoral outcomes in support of arts and culture!
In 2014, MASSCreative’s Create the Vote went statewide. In 2015 and 2017 MASSCreative partnered with cities across the Commonwealth to insert arts and culture in the conversation. And in 2018, they partnered with Connecticut for the Arts to engage Connecticut citizens in their gubernatorial election.
Through Arts Vote Texas, Texans for the Arts sees the opportunity to shift the conversation in Texas to ensure that the arts are front and center in both municipal and statewide funding and policy decisions, promoting a rich and vibrant arts and culture policy across the state.
In May 2019, voters in Dallas, Texas will decide who they want to represent them as Mayor and as members of their Dallas City Council. The outgoing Mayor Mike Rawlings, a strong supporter of arts and culture and recipient of the 2018 Americans for the Arts large-city “Arts Mayor of the Year”, will leave big shoes to fill as a visionary for the arts. And, with the completion of the new Dallas Cultural Plan in December 2018, there has never been a better time when the residents of Dallas will openly debate the vision for their community and think about what is possible!
On January 30, 2019, Dallas Area Cultural Advocacy Coalition (DACAC) will kick off Arts Vote Dallas at their monthly meeting, share the draft Arts Vote Dallas Action Plan and grow the commitment from arts leaders and citizen activists to become “Arts Voters”!
Texans for the Arts would like to thank The Embrey Family Foundation for their support of this inaugural effort.