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October 2020

Raise Every Voice

A longtime, artist member sent me a message several weeks ago:

"Keep politics out of the arts!"

My first reaction was politics is not a dirty word. It is about governance, and as a citizen, it is a privilege to participate in the political process. Civic discourse is a core value of representative democracy. The constitution grants citizens the right to vote, the right to protest, and the right to lobby their elected officials to enact policies that serve their interests. For example, if you believe in public funding for the arts, or not, you may use the framework of government to influence policy.

As an arts advocate, it is difficult to witness the decimation of the nonprofit arts industry in the wake of such loss and isolation that the pandemic has created. More than 200,000 Americans have died, with thousands of family members grieving. Millions of people have lost their jobs. Hundreds of arts venues are dark. With so much death and destruction, the arts can provide hope and help the nation heal. After months of distancing from each other, however, it will take time to bring people together.

In the meantime, keep connected to your patrons, your audiences, and your elected officials. Let them know how you are coping.

Randall Forte, Executive Director

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Celebrate National Arts & Humanities Throughout October!

The arts enrich our lives and provide transformative experiences; they allow us to explore ideas, create bonds, and express hope. Here’s how you can get connected:

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31-day Instagram challenge. Find daily themes and post along with us all month long using #ShowYourArt2020. Tag us on Instagram too!

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Tell the world how the #ArtsCreateHope for you. This year, as we struggle with the pandemic and fight harder for racial equity, the arts are there to support us. Share your story on social media, or add your story to our Power of Story library.

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Vote! Make a plan for November 3rd whether you mail in your ballot or vote in-person. Sign up for the Arts Action Fund’s ArtsVote2020 campaign.

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Enjoy the arts virtually, on your own, or with people you love. Try something new - take an online class or check out local organizations' virtual and in-person opportunities listed in our Arts Calendar.

Visit American’s for the Arts for more ideas on how you can join the festivities.

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Community Voices

Advocacy is multifaceted, and a big part of it is representation and storytelling! Lehigh Valley Arts Council and PBS39 are pleased to announce, Champions of Inclusion, a documentary highlighting the state of cultural access in our region. Meet the mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, the activists, and the advocates who have nurtured a culture of accessibility and belonging in the Lehigh Valley. Click below to watch Champions of Inclusion, the documentary, online. Watched it already? Let us know what you thought!

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Watch Champions of Inclusion Online

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Be a Voice for the Arts

As the November 3rd election draws near and the pandemic roars on, let us know how you advocate for the arts. Take our short, 5-question survey below.

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Vote November 3rd

Are you registered to vote? Pennsylvania voter registration is quick, easy, and can be completed online. Deadline: October 19th. Find out what's on your ballot with Vote 411.

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Arts Advocacy Page

Visit our website to view a compilation of resources and advocacy tips, as well as a contact sheet for legislators in the Lehigh Valley.

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The Arts for Biden | Harris

The PA Arts for Biden Network has created a new Facebook page promoting the Arts best chance at survival over the next four years. Stay informed and show your support today.

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Americans for the Arts: Action Fund

Action Fund's Mission is to enlist and mobilize one million citizen activists to advance the arts and arts education at the federal, state, and local levels. Learn more on the ArtsVote website.

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"Art, says Ginsburg, 'makes life beautiful.'”

Washingtonian Interview, 2012

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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (accompanied by the tenor Lawrence Brownlee) after appearing in the speaking role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp in Donizetti’s “La Fille du Régiment” at Washington National Opera in 2016. Source: NYTimes

"It seems appropriate to me that Justice Ginsburg's first name rhymes with 'truth.' Her profound allegiance to truth was evident in everything she did, from her work on the bench to her deep love of classical music, which she must have recognized as one of humanity's most successful attempts at finding it."

Joshua Bell, American Violinist and Conductor

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The "Arts Advocate" is a bi-monthly e-newsletter published by the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. Stay in the loop! Conversations on the Arts cross many topics.
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