2021 Calendar of Opportunities: 117th Congress, 1st Session
Below are the dates members of Congress are expected to be home*, along with key advocacy opportunities and some suggested actions you can take. Many people will be competing for your officials’ time, so remember to plan early! Well before your legislator goes home for a recess, contact their district office to schedule a meeting or extend an invitation to a performance or event. Please keep the League’s DC office posted so we can bolster your efforts!
Dates in italics represent longer periods of time when elected officials may be available to meet with you at home. Also, policymakers from states near D.C. may be available at home on weekends, so be sure to check with the district office.
House at home: 1/9-1/20
Senate at home: 1/7-1/19
Send a happy new year note to your elected officials. Consider recapping how your orchestra innovated in 2020 and is planning ahead for the new year, noting any special community events your elected officials might find of interest.
House at home: 1/29-2/7 2/12-2/22 2/27-3/15
Senate at home: 2/13-2/21
Planning a special President’s Day concert or event? Do any past U.S. presidents hail from your state? If your orchestra is helping schools or the community celebrate, invite your elected officials to come, and consider giving them a brief speaking role.
House at home: 2/27-3/15 3/26-4/12
Senate at home: 3/27-4/11
March is Music in Our Schools Month! Consider coordinating activities and social media to be part of a groundswell of support for music instruction in schools. Prepare stories that demonstrate how vital the arts are, and the role you play in supporting music within schools.
House at home: 3/26-4/12 4/23-5/10
Senate at home: 3/27-4/11
Invite officials to visit your office and check out any education or community programming behind the scenes, or go to their district office to sit down and chat. Let them know what you’re up to and ask what they could use from you to help do their jobs in Washington.
House at home: 4/23-5/10 5/21-6/13
Senate at home: 5/1-5/9 5/29-6/6
Memorial Day events at home are an ideal time to show officials how orchestras are part of local celebrations and observances. Again, remember to plan ahead and consider inviting officials to speak at special events you may be holding.
House at home: 5/21-6/13 6/18-6/21
Senate at home: 5/29-6/6 6/26-7/11
The League of American Orchestras’ National Conference takes place online June 7-17, 2021. Join us, and let people know you’re attending, what you’re learning, and how your orchestra is part of a large field dedicated to enriching communities through the power of music!
House at home: 7/2-7/18 7/31-9/19
Senate at home: 6/26-7/11
Nearly every orchestra participates in a 4th of July celebration. Your elected officials will be looking for opportunities to be part of civic events – make sure they know well in advance, so they can join yours. Again, these types of community-wide celebrations make for ideal moments to provide a brief speaking opportunity to policymakers to welcome the audience and kick off your local celebration of our nation’s independence. Also, remember to plan well ahead if you hope to meet face to face during your officials’ August recess.
House home entire month of August
Senate home beginning 8/7
The August recess is typically the longest stretch of time when members of Congress go home. Plan ahead so you can be part of your officials’ summer plans. If you don’t have any programming to show them, collect your best stories from the year to date, and ask to meet your officials in their office so you can have a catch-up chat to learn how each other’s year is going and where your interests and activities may line up.
House at home: 7/31-9/19
Senate at home: 8/7-9/12 9/16-9/19
National Arts in Education Week takes place 9/12-9/18. Queue up testimonials, photos, and video demonstrating how your orchestra supports in-school music education – share these with your patrons, friends, and most definitely your elected officials. If you are doing anything at a school during that week, this would be a great time to invite your U.S. Representative to come and see your orchestra in action.
House at home: 10/2-10/18
Senate at home: 10/9-10/17
October is National Arts and Humanities Month. If you partner with any humanities/literacy organizations, this is a great time of year to showcase your joint efforts and offer support to those partners. The best advocates are third party – do your fellow nonprofits a favor and use your platform to celebrate them, thanking them for the work they do and for being great partners!
House at home: 11/6-11/14 11/19-11/29
Senate at home: 11/6-11/14 11/20-11/28
Are you helping to honor local veterans for Veteran’s Day on the 11th? Do you have anyone in your orchestra family – on stage, behind stage, or in the administration – who has served in the military? This is an excellent time to thank them for their service, past or present. If you are involved in any arts and military efforts, let your community know, and invite your elected officials to learn about them firsthand.
House home beginning 12/11
Senate home beginning 12/11
Don’t forget to include your elected officials in any holiday cards you may be sending. Thank them for their year of government service, and thank any who have supported the arts or let them know how you hope for increased support in the future. If you’re planning a festive event or participating in a community-wide celebration, make sure your officials are invited, and if appropriate, find a speaking role for them.
Congratulations on a full year of advocacy!!
* All House and Senate recess dates are subject to change. (Created December 22, 2020)