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Arts Advocacy Week

December 2, 2020

If there was ever a year for Arts Education Advocacy Day, this is it!… so mark your calendars for February 17 – 28th!  This year’s Virtual Advocacy “Day” will be a full week-and-a-half of important events and meetings. Our plenary session on Wednesday, February 17th will feature reports from the field by the leaders of each of the four professional arts educators’ associations that partner with MAAE in the Arts are Basic Coalition (ABC), representing visual art, music, theatre and dance. They’ll be sharing how the pandemic has impacted their discipline, and showing us how they’ve been responding to the challenges, including students’ voices as well.

The week and a half will also be an opportunity for Maine arts students to advocate directly with their legislators in small groups, a tradition we started in 2016 that brought students to Augusta from all around the state. This year zoom meetings will make that trip a lot easier! And the student delegations will also have other advocacy opportunities this year. Our new ABC Student Leadership Group (SLG – see below) has been hard at work on an initiative to form the teams of students who will be representing their schools on Advocacy Day first as advocacy teams at their school who can support arts education locally, as well as connect with the other school teams around the state via our student-managed Instagram account!

Organizing the teams will start this week with a message to the arts teachers from the ABC and Student Leadership Group asking the teachers to encourage one or two enthusiastic arts students at their school to attend a zoom meeting with the SLG about forming a team. The meeting will take place on December 6 at 7 pm

You can help!  If you’re a high school or middle school arts educator but not a member of your ABC arts organization, you can contact Melissa Birkhold, MAAE Advocacy Coordinator, at melissa.birkhold.maae@gmail.com to start the process. If you’re not an arts educator, please forward this email to your local arts educators so they can follow up.

Our SLG students below are looking forward to connecting with other students who share their arts enthusiasm. Their goal is creating a broad network of student arts advocacy teams for Advocacy Day and beyond!  This is the year when those teams are needed more than ever. We thank you for your help, and we’ll keep you posted as we make progress!

If you have any questions please contact Susan Potters, Executive Director
Maine Alliance for Arts Education at maaebangor@aol.com.

ABC Student Leadership Group

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