Want to advocate for the arts, but don’t know where to start? Begin by having the conversation. Tell your local MP and city/district Councillors that the arts matter to you and your community. Write a letter, or make a phone call. Local leaders are there to serve, and they love hearing what matters to their communities.
Here are some messages you could share – cut and paste, and add your own local examples:
The arts matter for happy and healthy people
Involvement in the arts improves personal health and well-being. Being involved in arts, culture and creativity helps people to understand and adapt to the world around them, and can inspire, stimulate and raise life aspirations. The arts also build individual skills and talents, and instil a sense of self-worth, confidence and personal achievement.
The arts matter for talented and creative people
Arts education fosters critical thinking. Being involved in arts, culture and creativity helps build the skills communities need to thrive, including empathy, creativity, problem-solving and teamwork.
The arts matter for strong and prosperous communities
The arts allow communities to come together and express shared values and beliefs. They help build social cohesion and community resilience. The arts work for our businesses and economy by creating jobs, promoting spending and attracting people to our communities – they have a ‘multiplier’ effect.
The arts matter for our identities
Arts, culture and creativity is important for people and communities to explore and express their identities, individually and collectively, which helps build strong communities. Participation in the arts help us understand our own humanity and reinforce shared human connections. The arts promote civic participation and provide an accessible forum for discussing our shared challenges and opportunities in Aotearoa.
The arts matter to New Zealanders every day
New Zealanders overwhelmingly demonstrate that they care about the arts and value the role of the arts in our society. We see the evidence measured in 2020 New Zealanders and the Arts research. New Zealanders are more positive than ever about the vital role the arts play in our lives; the arts are making a powerful contribution to New Zealanders’ wellbeing and are helping us get through COVID-19; more New Zealanders appreciate the arts’ powerful role in connecting whānau and communities; and the arts are helping more of us explore and build our own sense of identity, as well as growing our connections with other New Zealanders.
The arts need support to flourish
To grow the positive impact of the arts on community wellbeing, artists and arts organisations need support. Encourage local leaders to continue to support arts, culture and creativity; and where possible grow that support.
Keen to do more?
Creative New Zealand’s Advocacy webpage has more detailed links to examples of submissions and tools to use to advocate for the value of the arts in your community:
Tell your local councillors and mayors about the value of the arts
Make a submission to your local council’s planning processes
Tell MPs about the value of the arts
There is also this helpful resource: Arts and culture: part of your community’s future Ngā Taonga Toi: ngā taonga pāpori āke āke
Thanks for being All in for Arts!