Connect with Congress — Advocate at Home Throughout the 2019 Year

Hands down, the most effective advocacy is face-to-face engagement between a constituent and a member of Congress while on recess throughout the year. “Advocacy” is a broad term, and you are likely already doing it! Simply put, it is in every orchestra’s best interest to show your elected officials – at all levels – the kinds of programs you offer and the variety of partners with whom you work. In turn, you should keep up with what elected officials are doing via social media and their e-newsletters. When you are doing something noteworthy, take a moment to share the news in a variety of ways – phone call, social media, mailing a brochures or glowing news coverage, etc. Not sure how to contact your Representative and Senators? Just enter your zip code here, and select the hyperlinked name of an official to find a complete profile page with full contact information including social media, as well as committee assignments. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions about which committees are related to key issues for the arts.

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 – especially since 2018 was an election year resulting in a lot of new Members – 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  posted so we can bolster your efforts!

Visit our Advocacy resources for ideas on how to involve policymakers in an orchestra event, get a refresher on lobbying rules (yes, you ARE allowed!), and to review Congressional gift rules.

2019 Calendar of Opportunities: 116th Congress, 1st Session*

Dates in red represent longer periods of time when elected officials may be available to meet with you at home. Also note that elected officials from states near D.C., may be available at home on weekends - be sure to check with the district office.








House at home:



Senate at home:


Suggested action: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:



Senate at home:


Suggested action:
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. With elections taking place throughout the country on November 5th, officials are likely to be home but very busy. Plan well ahead if you hope to meet with them!



House likely to be home:

12/13 onward


Senate likely to be home:

12/14 onward

Suggested action:
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 concert 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 11, 2018)