Reaching out to Your Elected Officials

Participants in MassCreative's Arts Matter Day 2017 march to the Massachusetts State House, by Ann Wicks/NEFA.

It’s more critical than ever to share the value of the arts.

As part of the reporting process for our National Endowment for the Arts funded programs, New England States Touring (NEST) and Expeditions, NEFA grantees are required to write letters of appreciation to their elected officials. This is to inform them about the purpose of their award, and the impact it has on the grantee organization and service to the community. It is also an opportunity to formally invite representatives to attend events and see work in action.

Though it is not a requirement of other NEFA grant programs, we encourage all of our grantees and arts allies to find your elected officials, courtesy of Americans for the Arts Action Fund, and share why these grants or grants you have received from the National Endowment for the Arts are important to you or your organization.

To that end, below are excerpts of letters from NEST grantees that demonstrate the impact of the funding. Americans for the Arts also offers sample letters and an email campaign in their advocacy toolkit.

  • “A big first for us is support for presenting works from our good friends at New England Foundation for the Arts through their NEST- New England States Touring - program. The program encourages touring of professional artists in and among the New England states, and is significant that it is creating more work for artists with monies directly for their performance fees, creating a value for the 'home grown' (We buy from local farms...why not local dance?).

    We know there are many challenges in what you fight for on our behalf. We offer these words of thanks and cheer and information to build an arsenal of thoughts, idea and worth the next time someone questions the value of arts regionally or in the state. Again, many thanks for all you do. Know we will continue to bring art and creativity to the beginner and professional, and continue engage all in dance.”

    –Peter DiMuro, executive director, The Dance Complex to Rep. Cory Atkins (D-MA)
  • “On behalf of the Autorino Center for the Arts and Humanities I want to inform you of the amazing support that we have received this year from NEFA, the New England Foundation for the Arts. Through grants NEFA underwrites much of the work that we are able to present at the Autorino Center at USJ.

    NEFA’s mission is to cultivate and promote the arts in New England and beyond. NEFA’s programs support artists across many forms of expression and many geographies, connecting them with collaborators and communities, fueling creative exchange and public discourse, and strengthening the creative economy.

    Through NEFA’s support we have received grants to allow us to bring two incredible acts, Sandglass’s D-Generation, a puppetry performance about peoples and caretakers of those with dementia as well as Women of the World, an acapella women’s choir made up of multiple nationalities, singing in 30 languages about peace, joy and wisdom.

    The above projects were supported through the New England States Touring grant, in which we were successful in securing significant funding, allowing these world-class performers to come to West Hartford and engage with our community. As a member of your constituency I thought you would want to know of NEFA’s good work and support that have a positive effect on your constituents and their access to the arts.

    The artists performed in front of hundreds of audience members, helping to contribute to cohesive and community building efforts that focused on family, health and peaceful community relations. The artistry was exquisite and the impact profound. Both artists also accomplished workshops for students and community members alike, inspiring participants with hands on experiences that led to personal growth and community connection.”

    - Steven Raider-Ginsburg, director, Autorino Center for the Arts to Senator Beth Bye (D-CT)


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