First, please make time to read through the League’s resource, Playing Your Part: An Orchestra’s Guide to Public Policy Advocacy. In it you’ll find easy-to-read advice on how you can be an effective and engaged advocate for your orchestra. Volunteers are especially valuable advocates! Not only do you have a personal connection to the orchestra that has inspired you to devote your own time and energy to it, but it is often the case that volunteers are active in their communities in many areas, which connects them with key civic leaders and sometimes to policymakers themselves. Your voice is worth more than 10 to 20 “special pleadings” by any Washington lobbyist. To a member of Congress, the only thing more influential than “the average constituent” is someone who speaks for an organization that is honored in the community.

The League encourages orchestras to identify an individual on both their governing board and in their volunteer association to hold primary responsibility for legislative issues. Many orchestras have found that establishing a government issues committee maximizes advocacy efforts. You’ll find helpful guidance in Playing Your Part, but don’t forget that the League has dedicated government affairs staff who not only speak up on behalf of member orchestras in Washington, D.C., but are available as resources to help you with any questions you may have. Feel free to be in touch, and send an email to advocacy@americanorchestras.org.

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