March 2018

By Jill McMillan

Photograph by Ethan Palm

Jill McMillan is the Executive Director of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville, where she is thrilled to serve the cultural sector at the intersection of arts and business. You can reach her at

For over 30 years Americans for the Arts, in partnership with over 85 other organizations, has hosted Arts Advocacy Day in March. Arts Advocacy Day is the largest assembly of its kind, bringing together a broad cross section of cultural and civic organizations in related gatherings across the country to raise their voices on the benefits of the arts in our communities.

This past year has brought challenges to funding for the NEA and other cultural agencies, arts education policy, charitable tax deductions, and more. Advocacy is more important than ever, especially as we continue to understand the significant return on investing in creativity.

Art can and must play a critical role in the everyday life of every person, in our schools with a well-rounded STEAM education, and in our communities. There is an urgent need to advocate for meaningful change in attitudes and recognition that the arts are not only nice but necessary to the wealth and well-being of our society.

This March, join the Arts & Business Council in advocating for the arts to ensure a vibrant future for Nashville. Want to take action but not sure where to begin?

  • Join Tennesseans for the Arts for Arts Advocacy Day at the Nashville Public Library on March 7
  • Speak to your local community groups about how the arts change lives
  • Join an arts advocacy group like Nashville Arts Coalition, Tennesseans for the Arts, or Americans for the Arts
  • Show your support by buying a specialty arts license plate
  • Know your legislators and write them about issues affecting the arts
  • Invite people to participate in local arts events with youMost of the time advocacy is about simple communication with those you come into contact with. Telling others about the arts or the specific work you or your organizations do is one of the strongest ways you can be an advocate every day. Check out the advocacy section on the Arts & Business Council’s website to get data about the impact of the arts as well as more ideas about how to make your voice heard this March and beyond.

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