QUESTION: what does "advocacy" mean to you -- in the arts, and especially in music? Advocacy, in the arts and especially in music, means thinking and speaking about, staging, and engaging in arts presentations which celebrate the relevance, immediacy, accessibility, and emotional reward of these activities for all community members. We have found that, in our region, audience outreach, development, and education must all work hand-in-hand, and should ideally be complementary elements of every public performance or other event. We can never presume our audience’s expertise, but must find avenues that “open up” the repertoires and performance approaches such that audience members unfamiliar with our work feel empowered and inspired to learn more and to become involved. Advocacy means to demonstrate and celebrate the powerful positive forces that drew us as practitioners to the arts—and to provide analogous avenues for our audiences to experience that same sense of empowerment and celebration. We are all educators, all advocates, all artists. Our job is to create, for all of our current, future, immediate, and potential audiences that same sense of empowered ownership and commitment to the arts as essential, vital, endlessly rewarding parts of the experience of human communities.
“ We must recognize that, as professional creators and teachers of the fine arts, we are engaged virtually every hour of the working week in creating events, objects, and connections that enrich quality of life in local communities. This is especially true of the performing arts—which depend upon the direct, face-to-face contact of creators and consumers. Every performance, every lesson, every lecture, every service activity (from church choirs to schools presentations to public/sporting events to pro bono teaching) provides an opportunity for outreach, audience education, and the enhancement of the community’s recognition of the art’s day-to-day practical, positive impact on quality of life.” Advocate Articulate