Texas Arts Advocacy Day 2019, Austin. Photo credit: Matt Stryker

Arts Advocacy Day 2019

On February 5th, over 180 arts leaders and advocates spoke up at Texans for the Arts' 2019 Texas Arts Advocacy Day.  Traveling from across the state, participants spent the morning learning about the issues, at lunch enjoying music in the Rotunda, and then an afternoon making over 80 visits with their Texas legislators and their staff.  They shared important data and their stories about how the arts make a difference in their communities and in their legislators' districts and sharing Texans for the Arts' 86th Session Legislative Agenda.

A special shout out to all of our presenters who are listed in the schedule below including Representative Gina Hinojosa (D-49), and to the State Preservation Board's staff for making a day in the Capitol so rewarding. 

We still have our work cut out for us in the coming weeks.  Make sure your legislators continue to hear from you about your work and why supporting the public investment in the arts is so important!  The state budget is not finalized until the end of the Session, so keep up the outreach in the coming weeks and months. We will continue to keep you apprised of how to make your voices heard.

The arts change our lives and transform our communities!  Thank you, again, to all of the participants, for speaking up and playing a vital role in advocating for a strong public investment in the arts.  It continues to be important that our Texas State Legislators hear from each of us about how the arts benefit our lives, our communities, our school children, the Texas economy, and much more!  

* * * * *

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Texas State Capitol, Austin, Texas


Capitol Auditorium, E1.004

10:30 a.m.              
WHO – Welcome – Texans for the Arts Foundation     
* Who we are, what we do, how we engage across the state, why we are here
Cookie Ruiz, CFRE, Executive Director Ballet Austin; President, Texans for the Arts
Ann S. Graham, Executive Director, Texans for the Arts

10:40-10:50 a.m.     
WHY – From the Legislator’s Perspective
* Why advocacy matters, what makes for a successful legislative visit  
Representative Gina Hinojosa, District 49

10:50-11:20 a.m.    
Invest in the Arts, The Arts Perform, ArtCanTexas
* Hear about their new economic and arts education impact report providing valuable data and perspectives from across the state.
Heidi Marquez Smith, Executive Director, and Jenny Parry, Director of Programs, Texas Cultural Trust; 
Travis James, TXP, Inc.
Brent Hasty, Executive Director, MINDPOP

WHAT - Overview of Texans for the Arts' Legislative Agenda for the 86th Session
Ann S. Graham, Executive Director, Texans for the Arts

11:20-11:30 a.m.    
HOT Municipal Hotel Occupancy Tax
How the Hotel Occupancy Tax ("HOT") plays a role in fueling the creative economy, to the partnership
between TFA and THLA, and what to watch out for in the 86th.
Scott Joslove, CEO & President, Texas Hotel & Lodging 
Cookie Ruiz, President, Texans for the Arts,

11:30-11:40 a.m.     
Texas Commission on the Arts and TCA Cultural Districts
Discuss the impact of Cultural Districts and our work to restore $5 million to the TCA Cultural District grant program.
Dr. Gary Gibbs, Executive Director, Texas Commission on the Arts
Fiona Bond, Executive Director, Creative Waco, Board Member, Texans for the Arts

11:40-11:50 a.m.
The Arts and Military Initiative - "Creative Forces"
Learn about the $500,000 TCA "Exceptional Item" request and how these funds could support a breadth of programs that use the arts - easing veterans' transition back to civil society or supporting formal art/music therapy programs addressing mental health needs.
Jonathan Wei, Executive Director, The Telling Project

12:00–1:00 p.m.      
Celebration and performances in the Capitol Rotunda

Travis High School Classical Guitar Ensemble   
Kupira Marimba Trio

Capitol Auditorium, E1.004

1:15-1:25 p.m.        
HOW - Advocacy and Lobbying
Shannon Ghangurde, Government Relations Strategist, Texans for the Arts

1:25-2:00 p.m.
HOW – Speak Up-Speak Out – Advocacy 101
Demystify arts advocacy through role-playing and what-works-and-what-doesn’t to prepare you for your legislative visits.
Cookie Ruiz, President, Texans for the Arts
Nicholas Dragga, Executive Director  Ballet Lubbock, Board Member, Texans for the Arts
Chris Kiley, Associate Director, Texans for the Arts

2:00-2:10 p.m.        
Closing Remarks - The Impact of Your Voice!

Gwendolyn Kelso, Professional Actor, Voice Artist, Educator

Texas State Capitol, Legislative Offices

2:30-4:45 p.m.          

Texans for the Arts' staff will pre-schedule office visits with attendee’s respective legislators and include that information in attendees’ packets.

The Townsend Austin, 718 Congress Avenue, Suite 100

5:00-7:00 p.m.         
CLOSING RECEPTION & HAPPY HOUR for 2019 Arts Advocacy Day for attendees and all Legislators sponsored in part by the Texas Cultural Trust.  
Relax, review the accomplishments of the day, network while listening to live music by Cosmic and enjoying Happy Hour victuals.  Special thanks to The Townsend Austin for their hospitality.

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