Texas Arts Advocacy Summit


Thank you to all our participants in our 2021 Virtual Arts Advocacy Summit! 

Texas Arts Advocacy Day February 2019


Every other February, while the Texas legislature is in session, Texans for the Arts Foundation hosts Texas Arts Advocacy Day at the state capitol building. The event consists of learning about the relevant legislative issues, advocacy training, meeting with legislators, and celebrating the importance of arts and culture in our state. 

This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, access to the Texas State Capitol was restricted, so we hosted our first Virtual Arts Advocacy Summit.

One thing that was consistent is that our message has not changed - the arts are transformative and an essential part of our community life and help build safe, vibrant and equitable communities.  It continues to be vitally important that our Texas State legislators hear from each of us about how the arts benefit our lives, our school children, the Texas economy, and much more!  The arts change our lives and are a cornerstone of community health and livelihood all across Texas!


As follow up to our 2021 Virtual Arts Advocacy Summit, here are a number of resources and links drawn from the Summit and that are important for continuing our conversation with our elected officials:

"See the full program for Tuesday, February 9th's training session here!"

"See the Full Speaker Biographies for Tuesday, February 9th's training session here"

The entirety of January 26th Session 1 of the Summit and February 9th Session 2 are below:

As a resource or leave behind, you may also find information about TCA Grants helpful:

Don’t forget that you can access the video “Why Public Arts Funding Is Vital to Texas” that was played at the Summit and can be sent as a digital leave behind on our YouTube channel or by clicking the following link:

If you are interested in the publications by Summit presenter William “Bill” Joseph O’Connell, please see the following links:


In addition, as part of the Media and Communications panel on January 26th, Texans for the Arts' Board member Chris Heinbaugh, spoke to how TACA, Dallas Arts District, and Dallas Area Cultural Advocacy Coalition came together in 2020 to collaborate on conducting an Arts Impact Survey for the Dallas arts sector. Here are the planning documents they generously shared.

Dallas Arts COVID Impact Survey

Goals of COVID Survey

Dallas Morning News

Arts Impact Survey Background

Dallas Arts Losses


If you participated in the Summit and a legislative visit(s), please take a few minutes to complete our surveys:

If you have any questions regarding the Survey and/or have some particular materials you need for your legislator(s), please email us at [email protected].


If you have not yet met with your legislator(s) and need assistance, don’t forget that you can email us at [email protected] and we will be happy to help you. Some of the offices are still adjusting to the virtual meeting format and we are happy to be a resource for you moving forward. 

We hope that you will stay connected with Texans for the Arts by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, by ensuring you are subscribed to our newsletter, and by becoming a member.

Please be on the lookout for our next steps:




Day Time Description
January 26, 2020 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM CST "Setting the Stage" - Virtual Training Session around how to set up a legislative meeting and what to accomplish followed by a panel discussion on how to use the media to tell your stories!
February 9, 2020 9:00 AM - 12:00 Noon CST Speak Up Speak Out" Virtual Training Session on the key advocacy issues, guest speakers, art breaks and more!
February 9, 2020 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM CST Scheduled visits with your legislators and/or their staff. These visits are being organized by advocacy "Captains" in each district. When you sign up, you can designate whether you would like to be a "Captain"!
February 11, 2020 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM CST "Celebrate and Next Steps!" Virtual Wrap Up and Online Happy Hour!


Texans for the Arts Foundation's Texas Virtual Arts Advocacy Summit is generously supported by the Texas Commission on the Arts.

You'll join arts leaders and citizen activists from across the state as we gather to learn, share, and participate in the democratic process! Everyone has a story about how the arts make a difference in their own lives, in that of their families, and in their communities. Your voice (and your vote!) are the most important tools that you have in speaking up about the importance of investing public resources in the arts across our towns, cities, regions, state and nation.

We face unprecedented challenges in our sector due to the devastating impact of COVID-19. It is more important than ever that we come together and share our stories about the challenges the pandemic has created, but also the vital importance of the arts in our lives during these times of struggle and isolation. 

Typically, we meet in the Texas Capitol in Austin, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic the building has restricted access to the public until further notice. We are excited to come together nonetheless! With this year’s summit being held virtually, it creates a unique and exciting opportunity for you, as advocates, to participate from anywhere in the State!

At the Texas Arts Advocacy Summit Virtual Sessions on Tuesday January 26, 2021 and Tuesday February 9th, 2021 (and a virtual Happy Hour on Thursday, February 11, 2021), learn how to put your passion about the arts into constructive and informative advocacy through orientation, training, and more. Texans for the Arts Foundation will provide digital materials for you to share with your legislators on the issues most important to all of us:

* protecting public support for the arts

* protecting the municipal Hotel Occupancy Tax and the 15% allocation for the arts, particularly through the COVID-19 recovery period

* ensuring our vital resources provided by the Texas Commission on the Arts and their Cultural District program funding remain intact

* seeking additional support for COVID-19 relief for the arts and culture sector

* supporting other policies and programs including arts & the military, arts & education, arts & the justice system and more.

As artists, arts administrators, board members, and citizens interested in the arts, you are already advocating every day through your work.

JOIN US as we demystify arts advocacy and set attendees off on productive and rewarding virtual visits with their elected officials.


A special thank you to the Texas Commission on the Arts for their critical support of

Texans for the Arts Foundation's 2021 Virtual Arts Advocacy Summit!