Why Aren't You at the Table?: Arts, Humanities, and Cultural Advocacy


John Nicholas Brown Center, 357 Benefit Street

Cultural leaders across the country hear this question as we recoil from yet another round of budget cuts to arts and cultural programs. We wonder why we aren't we better represented at the table of political decision makers.This seminar discussed how supporters of the arts, humanities, and cultural programs can earn a seat at the "table." Participants learned to navigate the political landscape in 2008 and beyond – as non-profit organizations and as citizens. The workshop addressed the rules governing the political roles of non-profit organizations. And, participants worked together to develop strategies to build a stronger environment for arts and cultural programs to prosper.

facilitator Dan Hunter is the executive director of the Massachusetts Advocates for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities (MAASH), a statewide advocacy and education group. An award-winning playwright, songwriter, and humorist, Hunter also has 17 years experience in politics and arts advocacy, serving as director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and running a successful advertising and political consultancy firm in Des Moines. As director of MAASH, Hunter has successfully campaigned for cultural facilities funding and an increase of 70% in cultural funding during a time when the total state budget increased by only 14%.