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What is Advocacy?

The Vermont Arts Council defines advocacy as a political process in which individuals or groups of people influence public policy and resource allocation decisions at national, state, and local levels.

Government decision makers deserve to be well informed as they craft policy and legislation. It is fundamentally useful to speak about the real value that arts and culture provide in our communities and in Vermont.

make a difference

A single opinion has proven to have considerable strength, especially when expressed collectively. There are a number of avenues for effective advocacy.

Illustration includes captions. Illustration includes captions. North Bennington VAE; North Bennington Train Depot, education, exhibition, and performance space; Masonic Hall, basement music series; I am the Art Bus our "mission in motion" Rolling out to school events and festivals; Village School of North Bennington, teaching artists run the art program for Pre K through 6th grade! Also a summer art camp site; Left Bank, exhibition and performance space; Bennington College, partners in Fed. work study, internships, exhibition, and performance; Hilton Hall Garden; Head Start, art education for Bennington and Rutland Counties; VT School for Girls, art education and community partner projects for girls who have experienced complex trauma; United Counseling Service, intergenerational classes with Vermont School for Girls.

This drawing from the Vermont Arts Exchange beautifully characterizes the many layers of impact the organization has on the community (detail).

research agenda

  • increased cognizance of the arts, culture, and creativity in Vermont’s identity
  • incentives for small creative businesses
  • expansion of legislative commitments to the arts, drawing from ideas of model states


advocacy update

Sometimes an update, sometimes a call to action. Always information about the Council's position during the legislative session.


  • January 2018 update  NEA remains level funded | Arts Advocacy day in Washington, D.C. March 12 and 13 | Council level funded in state budget | stories matter


  • November 2017 update  House committee passed tax reform bill | tax code changes expected to affect creative sector | no movement on federal appropriation for NEA | state budget at discussion level | Creative Network Summit outcomes
  • October 2017 update  FY2018 federal budget not yet passed | doubling standard deduction threatens nonprofit giving | first drafts of state budget begin | Creative Network Summit approaching
  • September 2017 update  NEA recommended budget remains $145m | charitable giving deduction scrutinized, Giving100 Campaign developed | Creative network Summit date November 8 and 9
  • August 2017 update  NEA recommended budget remains $145m | charitable contributions and Artist-Museum Partnership Act may be included in tax reform |  Karen Mittelman to lead Arts Council | advocating locally
  • July 2017 update  $5M cut to NEA and NEH recommended | Summit November 8 and 9 | advocating in summer months
  • June 2017 update  President's budget calls for deep cuts to NEA | Leahy introduces Artist-Museum Partnership Act | Governor Scott vetoes state budget | advocating in summer months
  • May 2017 update  federal budget increases NEA funding | state appropriation level funded | Results-Based Accountability included in Council's strategic plan | advocating outside the legislative session
  • April 2017 update  federal budget still hanging | state budget through senate committee, Alex Aldrich stepping down | national arts advocacy day in review | what you can do
  • March 2017 update  federal budget news approaching | state budget news approaching | arts advocacy day approaching | what you can do
  • February 2017 update  status of funding for NEA still in question | national arts advocacy day coming | state arts advocacy day review | what you can do
  • January 2017 update  elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts proposed | Vermont Arts Advocacy Day is February 3, 2017 | Council begins testimony and legislative meetings
  • January 2017 welcome  2017 agenda | actions | advocacy tools available | national update | Vermont Arts Advocacy Day | National Arts Advocacy Day
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