Tips for Effectively Communicating with your Legislator
1.Write your legislator.Ideal contact would be at least four times throughout the year.
2. Build a relationship with your legislator now. Familiarize your legislator with your organization, school, program or issues by sending a packet of information. Mention successful programs and services involving the arts and arts education and the importance of public funding. Your legislator will be more able to discuss specific legislation if you educate them on the importance of public funding of the arts prior to session.
3. Inform your legislator that you will be sending information pertinent to the legislative agenda for Missouri's arts industry. Explain to the legislator the importance of the Missouri Arts Council (MAC), the Missouri Cultural Trust, the Missouri Fine Arts Academy (MFAA) and other arts education programs.
4. Let your legislator know if you are a participant in the Missouri Cultural Trust, receive money from the Missouri Arts Council, Missouri Humanities Council, National Endowment for the Arts as well as private funding from foundations or business support. Let them know how you use public funding to serve your constituents.
5. Ask for their support of public funding of the arts when they vote for the FY2013 budget next spring.
6. Be sure to invite your legislator to your activities: exhibits, theatre and musical performances, openings and receptions. Designate the legislator as a "special" guest. Give your legislator "in front of the curtain duties" such as introducing a performance or presenting a scholarship at a student awards banquet or give him/her a tour.
7. Seize the opportunity to show your legislators what you do by adding the legislator's name to all mailing lists.
8. Provide artwork for your legislator to display. Help legislators cover their offices with art to emphasize the vitality of the arts in their home community.
9. Get your Board wired into MCA's advocacy network. Have their email addresses added to MCA's email action alert system and have them respond to alerts and other advocacy news.
10. Visit your legislator at Citizens Day at the Legislature in Jefferson City the second Wednesday of February each year. To look up your legislator, go to: http://www.senate.mo.gov/llookupNEW/leg_lookup.aspx
Other ways to communicate your legislative message include:
writing letters to the editors of your newspapers, submitting articles to trade publications, attending public forums and meetings that concern arts issues and sharing your viewpoint.