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BW Students Meld Advocacy with Networking in Supporting Arts

Learning the importance of voicing their beliefs, representatives of the Baldwin Wallace University Arts Management Association (AMA) took part in the 24th Annual Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. on April 1-5.

Gathering with almost 600 other undergraduate and graduate students as well as industry leaders and professionals, 14 BW students met with over 12 Ohio congressmen’s and senators' staffers. They voiced support for funding for the National Endowment for the Arts as well as educated the staffers on the benefits of the arts in education. Accompanying the students was Bryan Bowser, AMA advisor and assistant director for external affairs for the Conservatory of Music.

A yearly national event, the Arts Advocacy Day is organized by Americans for the Arts, who provided a day of training and information for the participants. 

Including information on federal arts advocating, how to meet with legislators, as well as facts and figures to support the effort, the training prepared students and professionals alike for what were to be brief but informative meetings at the Capitol.

BW students of all majors, ranging from business and marketing to studio art and vocal performance were present, representing BW as a voice of concern for students who plan to graduate and pursue jobs in the arts-related industry. 

The students met with legislators' staff such as Senator Sherrod Brown, Representative Marcia Fudge, and Speaker of the House John Boehner, to name a few.

AMA members also used their time in the nation’s capital to network with arts managers at organizations such as the Tony-award winning Signature Theatre. While there, the group met with associate director of development Erin Harms, who works to steward support from corporations, foundations and government sources. 

The Signature Theatre, which is a leading producer of groundbreaking musical and innovative contemporary work, opened its new $16 million, two-theatre building in 2007 and won the Tony for “Best Regional Theatre” in 2009.

The BW Arts Management Association is a student-run organization comprised of about 50 students from all academic disciplines who seek networking and educational opportunities in all areas of the arts.

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