Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Arts Advocacy Day and the STEAM Caucus

Hey there,

So it's Arts Advocacy Day, a national day of advocacy for the arts, organized by Americans for the Arts.

I wanted to share a call-to-action which I posted on my Facebook, particularly for anyone who's interested in participating, but couldn't make the pilgrimage to Washington, DC to join their fellow artists, arts administrators, and other arts advocates.

They have a campaign, which they informed their community, to Urge your U.S. Representative to Join the House STEAM Caucus:
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) are co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional STEAM Caucus, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. 
The Caucus aims “to change the vocabulary of education to recognize the benefits of both the arts and sciences—and their intersections—to our country's future generations. Caucus members will work to increase awareness of the importance of STEAM education and explore new strategies to advocate for STEAM programs.” 
By filling in your address information in the corresponding box, you will automatically be provided a message for you to send requesting your Representative to join the caucus - or a message thanking him or her for serving as a member already. Thank you for taking two minutes to send this message!
So in addition to sharing the link on Facebook, I said the following:
So today's the day!! It's Arts Advocacy Day!! And Americans for the Arts' Arts Action Fund makes it uber-easy to advocate. 
In fact, if you haven't sent an email to your representatives yet, I recommend you check out one of the fund's latest calls to action, either urging your reps to join or thanking them for joining the House STEAM Caucus, which adds the Arts to STEM. 
Obviously, there's work to be done at all levels (nationally, regionally, & locally) and this is just one form of advocacy on one particular arts issue. But if you don't know where to start and/or you just have 3 minutes you should definitely consider clicking on this link, because we gain so much more momentum with each person that lets their representatives know that the arts matter and are important to their constituency.
Anyway, that's what I wanted to share, particularly for all of you that might not be my friends in real life and on Facebook, or might not be following me there. If you would like to see my Facebook post, like it, and/or share, please feel free to.

And if you have two minutes, please, please, PLEASE go to this Arts Action Fund Action Alert and reach out to your representative, to thank them for joining the STEAM caucus, or to ask them to join it.

Together, we'll steam ahead!! Yeah, I know, not the first time someone's said that. In all seriousness, I've got one more resource to share. I recommend checking out this website, STEM to STEAM.
The STEM to STEAM initiative, championed by RISD President John Maeda, is supported by teachers, researchers, policy makers, students, and businesspeople from RISD and beyond.

At the heart of the activity, a team of student research assistants works in the Office of Government Relations to apply their firsthand knowledge of Art + Design education to exploring new avenues for STEM to STEAM.
That's it for now. As usual, let me know what you think, in the comments,

JR
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