MN Arts Give Back. Minnesota Citizens for the Arts Arts Action Week.


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to join online events and zoom meetings with legislators, and/or

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Virtual Arts Advocacy Week: Ask Legislators to Protect Arts Funding


Wow! Arts Action Week kicked off this morning with the RALLY featuring Governor Tim Walz, Legacy Chairs Rep. Leon Lillie and Sen. Carrie Ruud, U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. Opera singer Maria Jette opened the event by leading us in “America the Beautiful.” MCA thanked unsung arts advocacy hero Faye Price with the “Larry Award.”

The rally also included lots of fun videos showing the great Minnesota arts community.
You can watch a recording on YouTube

Or Facebook

Here’s some great quotes from the rally:

Gov. Tim Walz: “Your dedication to advocating for the arts is essential to ensuring our cultural institutions and artists continue to thrive…The arts have a unique ability to bring people together and are so vital to the fabric of our state…After this extraordinarily challenging and divisive year, the arts have an incredible opportunity to unite and heal us. We need that power of the arts more than ever. As Governor, I’m committed to supporting the arts throughout this legislative session.”

Rep. Lillie and Sen. Ruud received MCA’s highest honor, the “Standing Ovation Award.”

Rep. Leon Lillie, Chair of the Legacy funding committee in the Minnesota House:

“I’m so honored to work on the arts…We’re committed in the House, the Speaker has made it clear that we’re committed to the arts community and doing everything we can and we’re going to support you. I’m going to support you. We’re so lucky to have such a great arts community and I’m happy to do my part.”

Sen. Carrie Ruud, Chair of the Legacy funding committee in the Minnesota Senate:

“I made the pledge in 2016 and 2018 and I’m going to make it again, to honor the 47%. It is so incredibly important to do that, that we remember that that’s what needs to happen.”


Our goal is to deliver the SAME MESSAGE to all legislators using our own stories.

Think about what you can (briefly) say about:

  • How has COVID impacted the arts organization your work with or your life as an artist?
  • How have you rallied to serve the public despite the challenges?
  • Because of this crisis it’s even more important to protect arts funding so…“Please support the law that dedicates 47%
    of the Legacy Arts & Culture Fund to the MSAB/RACs
    and the
     Governor’s General Fund recommendation for the arts.”


All day long today people have been meeting with their legislators via zoom. Behind the scenes, Operations Manager Mark Albers and our interns Jennifer and Keana are running meetings and continuing to schedule more with legislators. Thirty meetings were held today. (Photos provided by Advocate LaTia Childers: Meetings with Representatives Leon Lillie, Ginny Klevorn, and Mike Freiberg).

From Advocate Michael Jon Pease: “Rep. Moran(‘s meeting) went great. She’s a clear supporter, but even so her response that “what you do is foundational to our soul and will help us all get through these times” “

From Advocate Tamara Nadel: “Rep. Hornstein did his annual Bob Dylan impression for us again this year. He listened and responded thoughtfully to each of our stories. He was genuinely sorry to hear that our time was up and, if we hadn’t had to free up the Zoom, I think he would have stayed there all afternoon listening to us talk about how we’ve all been impacted – and have worked diligently and creatively to remain connected to our communities – throughout these difficult times.

“Rep. Christensen was excited to hear Lynn Beck say that her live-streamed performance event had reached an audience of over 400,000 people around the world.”

From Advocate Debra Denoyelles: “Representative Her talked about her family’s involvement in the arts, and how moved she has been by the arts. She said, “I am with you. If the arts need something let me know because I stand with you.

From Advocate Brenda Byron: “We had a great meeting with Rep. Bjorn Olson… He is a new legislator but very knowledgeable about arts activities in his district. He said he participated in the arts in H.S. The arts folks talked about each of their art forms or activities, and the meeting was an A+. He is very supportive of the arts.”

From MCA Intern Jennifer Gilles: “Rep. Anderson thanked the RACs for creating a system that’s working well to distribute funds.”

Rep. Brian Daniels spoke at length about he and his family’s longtime connect to the arts and how he looks forward to returning to the Paradise Center for the Arts.” Heidi Nelson from Paradise Center for the Arts spoke about how their revenue due to covid is down 70%.  For this reason they are grateful for the upcoming help through Legacy funding.

From MCA Operations Manager Mark Albers: “Rep. Urdahl intends to support the 47%”

Rep. Reyer Is a former Music Major and mentioned how Caponi Art Park has been very important to Eagan.”

Rep. Hornstein said, “Yes we will protect the 47%!””

MCA is committed to the safety and wellness of our arts community, so MCA has canceled our day on the hill this year and instead will hold a VIRTUAL Arts Advocacy WEEK.

Your legislators need to know that their constituents support the arts. Please take five minutes to thank them for continued arts funding, and let them know that when you invest in the arts, the Arts Give Back.

As the crisis deepens, the effects on the arts community has been severe. With all of the theaters, museums and other venues closed, events canceled, and people losing their jobs, the economic impact on Minnesota and on the arts is huge. We realize that these problems will be faced by all Minnesotans – our hearts and our talents will be a part of the recovery. But it means that there will also be lasting damage to our arts community and to the public who we serve.

Even though you are staying in your house, you can all still make a difference by making sure your legislators know the importance of the arts to you and your community. We have provided a sample letter, but you can edit it any way you want.

Be well, and be kind to each other.

Sheila Smith
Executive Director
Minnesota Citizens for the Arts

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