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Arts Advocacy Day in Austin
by Stephen Becker 19 Feb 2009

Danielle Georgiou is a new guest blogger here at Art&Seek. She is the assistant director of the UTA Dance Ensemble and a Ph.D candidate studying arts and humanities at UTD. She recently attended the Texans for the Arts Arts Advocacy Day in Austin. Here is her report:

Last week, Texans for the Arts (TFA) hosted their Arts Advocacy Day in Austin, where interested citizens and arts leaders from around Texas joined together to discuss the current arts climate. The main goal of the conference was to ensure that legislators and the public are aware of and understand Texans for the Arts’ 2009 Legislative Agenda.

Throughout the 81st Legislative session, TFA has been working to secure an increase in state arts appropriations to $1 per capita while continuing to monitor legislation and public policy that affect the arts statewide.

North Texas was represented with founding President and CEO of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Bill Lively (pictured) as the keynote speaker. As DCPA President, he  raised $324 million in 8 years to build the new performing arts center. And he is one of the most active arts advocates in North Texas.

Richard Huff, Executive Director of the Irving Arts Center, and past Executive Director of the Texas Commission on the Arts, was awarded the Texas for the Arts Leadership Award.

“We were able to visit dozens of legislators in the afternoon and many of them attended the evening reception hosted by Richard Huff, Irving Arts Center,” said Judy Pollock, Dallas Cultural Affairs Commission Chair, event coordinator and Art Advocacy Day co-chair.” The response from the legislators was positive, and everyone is very enthusiastic about maintaining communication with their representatives. The attendees definitely want Arts Advocacy Day to become a regular statewide event.”

Texans for the Arts (TFA) is a non-partisan, statewide arts advocacy organization that provides coordinated information about legislative activity relating to arts issues. It organizes advocacy efforts in order to increase public funding for the arts in Texas.

For more information about TFA, visit: texansforthearts.com.