Advocacy

ADVOCACY

“I can’t thank you enough for all you have done to help USUO this session. We are so grateful and appreciate your time and effort in helping us receive some funding for the POPS RFP.”  Hillary Hahn, Utah Symphony | Utah Opera

 

Advocacy Tools

  • Our Advocacy toolkit (a how to guide on advocacy also includes what c3's can and can't do as well as contact info) // Available on the members only page of our website. Or, request a copy by emailing staff@utahculturalalliance.org. You must be a current member of Utah Cultural Alliance to have access.
  • Priority Bills & Appropriations for the 2017 Legislative Session (as of 2.6.17)
  • Click on the Advocacy blog page to see candidate survey responses, recordings of our advocacy forums, legislative committee reports, bill tracking lists, lists of current appropriation requests, and other useful tools.
  • WESTAF's Advocacy Toolkit & NASAA's Why Should Government Support the Arts guide, specific to the NEA

What We Do

UCA is a statewide voice for the arts and humanities that mobilizes the cultural community to effect positive change. UCA speaks on behalf of the entire cultural community to the various government entities and elected officials. UCA’s board and staff tracks, takes positions on, and lobbies for and against bills and appropriation decisions that affect the cultural sector.

 

2017 Advocacy Calendar from Americans for the Arts

Grassroots Training & Political Information

 We seek to advance grassroots involvement in public policy through:

  • Information Source // We track relevant bills and appropriations. We attend relevant legislative committee and municipal council hearings and take notes which we distribute to members.
  • Updates // UCA keeps members apprised of public policy changes that impact the cultural sector through its weekly newsletter, blog, and social media.
  • Legislative Forums // Offered during the 45-day legislative session, these meetings keep members current on the legislative climate, and encourage action as appropriate. We train members on how to build relationships and communicate needs with elected officials.
  • Advocacy Workshops // Near or on Arts Day on the Hill, UCA offers an advocacy workshop at the state capitol. Members receive a tour of the house and senate, and learn the most effective ways to communicate with elected officials.
  • Advocacy Toolkit // a member-only benefit and provides a primer of advocacy tips and techniques and contact information for elected officials.
  • Candidate Surveys // During election years, we develop and distribute surveys focused on arts and culture issues to all candidates. Results are tabulated and posted on our website and distributed to members, the general public, and the media.

Direct Advocacy

  • Advocacy // UCA’s board and staff tracks, takes positions, and lobbies for and against bills, appropriations, zoning, and other political decisions that affect the cultural sector.
  • Lobby Days on the Hill // UCA partners with entities such as Utah Division of Arts & Museums, the Utah Museum Association, the Utah Nonprofit Association, and State History to co-host Arts Day on the Hill, Museums Day on the Hill, Nonprofit Day on the Hill, and History Day on the Hill. We organize the advocacy portion of these events, determine messaging, and organize attendees into regional advocacy groups to meet with legislators. We educate attendees on the relevant bills and appropriations that affect the cultural sector. Through these days, hundreds of cultural individuals and organizations come to the Capitol to speak with legislators.
  • National Advocacy // Our Executive Director serves as the Utah State Captain of the Americans for the Arts. This person acts as a conduit of information between members and issues on a national level. We organize and attend all Utah meetings with the federal delegation for National Arts Day. UCA is fundraising to send a representative to National Humanities Advocacy Day.
  • Cultural Caucus // In 2003, the legislature formed the Utah Legislative Arts and Cultural Caucus. Currently 61 Legislators participate in the caucus. The Cultural Caucus supports the philosophy that culture builds communities by voicing messages that drive legislative leadership to sustain and grow arts and culture as an industry.
  • Legislative Break // Held annually, this event is a way for our board to share information supporting the arts and cultural community with legislators and grow the Cultural Caucus. We serve them snacks in the house and senate kitchens. 

Click here for Legislator contact info and to look up bills & meetings.
Important committees to follow:

UTAH CULTURAL ALLIANCE (UCA) ADVOCACY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES:

In fulfillment of its mission, the UCA may take a public position on issues affecting the Utah cultural community at large. If it so chooses, the UCA will speak to issues that reflect its constituency and affect the cultural quality of life in Utah. The UCA seeks to advocate on behalf of legislation that has a statewide or regional impact, and is broad-based in nature.

Limitations of UCA Advocacy:
The UCA will not act on legislation in a manner that is contrary to our mission and goals or is substantially damaging to one constituent group over another. UCA’s position on any issue shall not have been formally determined without a letter on UCA letterhead that is signed by the Administrator or the Chair of the Board of Directors.

Process for Determining a UCA Position:
To request advocacy assistance or for formal public actions by the Utah Cultural Alliance, please email staff@utahculturalalliance.org.

Non-legislative, public policy and community issues will be reviewed within 30 days. The Administrator will complete a UCA Advocacy Staff Report that will include a recommendation that will be forwarded to the UCA Executive Committee. The UCA Executive Committee will review the staff report and recommend an official position for final determination by the Board of Directors.

In order to proactively address pre-session Legislative issues, UCA is open to receiving proposals — between May 1 and August 31 of any given year — for the upcoming Legislative session from member organizations seeking UCA support. Two tiers of UCA support are available. Member organizations may submit proposals requesting: 1) general support requiring a simple endorsement by UCA for an issue, or 2) specific support requiring pro-active advocacy by the UCA. Members should indicate in their proposal what type of action they are requesting. The Administrator will complete a UCA Advocacy Staff Report with recommendations to be forwarded to the UCA Executive Committee. Between September 1 and November 15, UCA’s Executive Committee will review all proposals and staff reports simultaneously and recommend an official position for final determination by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors may limit the number of proposals to act on in any upcoming legislative session.

For legislation or other time-sensitive issues that arise during the Legislative session, a determination by the Board of Directors will be made as quickly as possible. The Administrator will complete a UCA Advocacy Staff Report that will include a recommendation that will be forwarded to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will review the staff report and recommend an official position for final determination by the Board of Directors.

UCA’s Administrator or Chair may act on behalf of the organization as long as it is in accordance with UCA’s goals and missions. Whenever possible, the Administrator or Chair will provide a summary of the issue and action.

UCA’s staff and Executive Committee may consider its own limited resources and risk tolerance when making a determination on a proposed advocacy action or position.

Criteria for determining UCA positions:

UCA advocacy shall meet or exceed at least one of these criteria:

  • Promote unity within the cultural community;
  • Expand public awareness and appreciation of culture;
  • Increase financial support from the public and private sectors;
  • Champion access to cultural activities for all Utahns;
  • Ensure public policy for culture is inclusive and equitable;
  • Ensure public policy creates a balance between preservation and creativity;
  • Build relationships with constituents, elected officials, and community leaders; and Enhance communication with our members, elected officials and the general public.

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