By: STO Caleb Creech, Royse City HS, Troupe 8003
At our first ever virtual super Saturday, we had an advocacy workshop. The workshop's purpose was to teach thespians skills to become an arts advocate for your troupe and self! What exactly is an advocate? It is someone who publicly recommends or supports a cause. In our case, we want to be the best Arts Advocate we can be.
When it comes to being an advocate, there’s one small acronym to help you remember what steps you need to take.
R- Reach Out
S- Social Media
Now, you may be wondering where you can advocate. You can advocate practically anywhere, but here’s some tips for advocating in your school. Using ARTS, we can effectively advocate in our school by creating posters and flyers, reaching out by inviting peers and staff to see shows, teaching yourself and others the importance of theatre, and using social media as a great resource not only for yourself but for your entire troupe!
Let’s move on to how you can advocate in your local community. Ask local businesses if you can put up flyers or posters for upcoming events. Attempt to get a newspaper article written about your troupe. This is an excellent way to advocate. Make sure to get in contact with your local representatives to discuss making March theatre in our schools month in your town.
How about advocating at a state level? Set up meetings with your state representative to discuss declaring March as Theatre in Our Schools Month. Work with area wide administrators and lawmakers to increase support for the arts.
We also recommend that you prepare an elevator speech. This speech is used to set up a future meeting to discuss what you are advocating for. It is typically around 1-3 minutes long, concise, professional and to the point. Since we are living in a time when it’s not always best to be together, how do we make change when separated? We can use email to set up meetings with elected officials to advocate for the arts!
Here’s how to write a email:
We strongly recommend that when you are typing a structured email, you include the following:
Your Name and Affiliation lets them know who you are and what your qualifications are. The next thing you should do is mention some accomplishments. Also when persuading the reader with your email, it’s crucial to provide statistics that will help bolster your cause. The most important thing that should go into the email should be a meeting request. This way, the entire email was worth the person's time and a line of communication for change has been started.
You’ve got a meeting, now what? Make sure to consider the who, what, where, when, why and how. Who are you meeting with? Do a little background research on the person you’re meeting with. Information you research can be very helpful to you in the future. Try to find some common ground for an easy conversation.What do you want them to get from this meeting? Find the content and substance for this meeting. Where is your meeting? This one is simple. Agree on a meeting place. When will your meeting be? Make it a priority to be punctual. Why are you doing this? Find why this is important to you and apply it to the meeting. How will you do? If you come to the meeting on time with a good first impression and speak clearly with helpful statistics, it will go a long way to achieving your goal.
Speaking of goals, below are goals of Texas Thespians advocacy team.
As an arts advocate, it is important to know what your goals are, so maybe take some time to write them out so you can know what you want to work towards. Hope you enjoyed this advocacy recap. If any you want to see the live presentation of this workshop, stop by the STO Corner during the 2:00pm Workshop Session at the 11/21 Super Saturday. We can't wait to see you all there!
You’re never done advocating,
Your 2020 State Thespian Officers