Students advocate for the arts on Capitol Hill
By Lauren Highfill
Members of the Kennesaw State Arts Advocacy Group
at the annual Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C.
Art and politics go hand in hand for some Kennesaw State University students. Members of the KSU Arts Advocacy Group recently took a trip to join other similarly minded organizations, politicians and celebrities in Washington, D.C. for the 21st annual Arts Advocacy Day.
The event emphasizes the importance of developing strong public policies and increasing funding for the arts. Participants have the chance to hear from congressional leaders and experts in the arts and public policy, network with other arts advocacy organizations and meet members of Congress.
For many of these reasons, the KSU Arts Advocacy Group wanted to be a part of this event. Additionally, the arts summit allowed the student group to exercise its goal of “fostering leaders who can play an active role in legislation and volunteering for arts organizations,” said Pre-Collegiate Leadership Programs Coordinator for the KSU College of Student Leadership Zachary Smith, who serves as adviser for the group.
As a member of the Arts Advocacy Group, College of the Arts student Deanna Rowland has the opportunity “to combine two subjects I’m very interested in: politics and art.” This was Rowland’s second trip to Arts Advocacy Day. “I enjoyed meeting the Congressmen—walking through the halls of Congress and participating in the democratic process to support the arts is incredible,” Rowland said.
One of the congressional representatives the group had a chance to meet was Georgia Congressman Phil Gingrey, who just a short time later accompanied National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia on his visit to KSU.
“Our people are passionate,” said Smith about the Arts Advocacy Group. And that passion and the knowledge gained from events like the Arts Advocacy Day will be applied to the group’s 2008-2009 theme of “Art, Power and the Civil Rights Movement.”