Advocacy Day 2020 is March 30! Note that we have expanded the day til 2 pm to allow for more time with the legislators!
Click HERE to Register
Monday, March 30 from 9 am to 2 pm will be Arts Education Advocacy Day at the Capitol. As in 2016 and 2017 arts students from all around the state are invited to join us at the State House to advocate one-on-one with their state legislators. Arts educators and supporters as well are invited for a morning of performances, speakers and lunch. The exhibit tables in the Hall of Flags will be set up to show student work from each county of the state, and we welcome all who want to join the delegations at every table – showing Maine’s statewide support for arts education.
In organizing Advocacy Day this year MAAE is collaborating with the Maine Department of Education and working with our partners in the advocacy group ABC (Arts are Basic Coalition), representing the Maine Music Educators Association, the Maine Art Education Association, the Maine Educational Theatre Association and Maine dance educators. This year the ABC Coalition also includes our newly inducted Student Leadership Group, whose 12 high school students will be helping us to organize and lead the day’s activities.
The event is free, but registration for both students and adults is required. All students must be registered by adult “sponsors,” even if the sponsors are not attending themselves. For more information about this year’s Advocacy Day see the FAQ below or contact MAAE Executive Director Susan Potters at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you belong to one of the ABC organizations you can also contact your advocacy rep from the list below:
Music / MMEA: Vicky Cherry – email@example.com
Visual Art / MAEA: Theresa Cerceo – firstname.lastname@example.org
Theatre / MEdTA: Rick Osann – email@example.com or John Lincoln – firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions about Advocacy Day:
1. What will the day’s activities include?
For student advocates the day will include the opportunity to speak one-on-one with their state legislators and interactive activities with other student advocates, as well as a program of student performances and speakers.
2. How will the students be connected with their legislators?
Based on the location of the student’s home town, MAAE will match each student with either their state senator or representative. All students and their adult sponsors will be sent the template to customize for an email message to send their legislator a week ahead of March 30, letting them know when and where at the State House the student will be able to meet with them. At the State House itself all the students will be wearing name tags and they will also have a card to hold up with their legislator’s name on it.
3. How does the student advocate to the legislator?
Students can simply speak from the heart and tell the legislator how they are involved in the arts and what the arts have meant to them.
4. Is there an age requirement for student advocates?
Dedicated arts students of any age and art form can be advocates. The only requirement is that the student have the willingness and confidence to speak individually to a state legislator.
5. Is there a limit on how many students I can send or bring?
The only limit is the size of the group that meets with each legislator. Three or four students at the most per legislative (not school) district is the most effective.
6. Is transportation to Augusta provided?
No, students must have transportation to get to and from the Statehouse.
Free parking is available in the nearby parking lot.
7. Is food provided?
Yes, snacks and lunch are provided for all participants.
8. Is registration required and is there a fee?
The event is free, but registration for both students and adults is required. All students must be registered by adult “sponsors,” even if the sponsors are not attending themselves. Please note that all the registered adults will be added to MAAE’s email list to receive advocacy notices and alerts. (Notices are infrequent – usually less than one a month – and you may unsubscribe at any time.)
9. Can adults come without students?
10. Can students come without adults?
Yes, if they have transportation and an adult sponsor registers them.
Other questions? Contact us!
Arts Education Advocacy Day 2017
Arts Education Advocacy Day 2017 was a special day… when arts educators brought enthusiastic arts students from every county in the state to set up shop at the exhibit tables in the Hall of Flags and advocate one-on-one with their legislators.
And that was just the beginning! From SAD #33 in northern Aroostook County Charles Michaud’s music students came to provide music, and Theresa Cerceo’s Student Leadership Arts Movement (SLAM!) group demonstrated their strategies for keeping the arts front and center.
A “table-hopping” game of mutual interviews gave the students an excuse to meet each other, and the hall’s grand staircase once again provided the site for a group photo behind the ARRT banner. It also provided the audience space for our new-this-year Open Mic, organized by Maranacook HS art student (and stand-up comic!) Gavin Diou Cass.
Each of those performances was special… students reading their poems, singing and accompanying themselves to songs they had written… and who can forget Mikayla Smith’s impassioned speech about arts education!
At the formal noontime program Acting Commissioner Robert G. Hasson welcomed everyone on behalf of the Department of Education, advocate Mary Hermon urged the students to stay with their arts – and to stay in Maine!… and Argy Nestor read a speech from Julie Richard, director of the Maine Arts Commission. And there were more performances: Emma Campbell’s dance students from Thornton Academy performed (beautifully) a piece with some difficult and lyrical partnering; and we were all so moved by the group of formerly incarcerated youth from Maine Inside Out, whose original theater performance and heartfelt words afterward showed how much power the arts have to transform young lives.
This is an important time for arts education advocacy in Maine. Not only will we soon be learning the results of the Census of arts education in Maine schools, conducted by the Maine Arts Commission; but the ESSA federal regulations requiring a state plan this year and district plans next year are offering arts education advocates important opportunities to make their voices heard. Susan Potters urged everyone gathered at the Statehouse to stay tuned to be part of that advocacy, and encouraged all to visit MAAE’s website, www.maineartsed.org and click on “stay in the loop” in order to receive announcements about it.