Dear MinnesotaPlaylist readers:

You know that most theaters in this town rely on grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board or Regional Arts Councils to keep their doors open. And more healthy theaters means more opportunities for actors, designers, directors, and all aspiring artists.

Did you also know that one of the reasons Minnesota is so full of great theaters is that Minnesota Citizens for the Arts is up at the State Capitol working with a statewide network of arts advocates, making sure that public funding for the arts stays strong. MCA even lead the coalition to get dedicated funding for the arts into the state constitution in 2008—as part of a partnership with conservationists to pass the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.

But there is trouble now, and we need you to step up. The state has a $6.2 billion deficit, and the threat of cuts to the arts—and even re-direction of our "Legacy" funds into projects that only barely qualify as cultural—is absolutely real.

So, here's where you come in: On March 8th, at the state capitol, you can be part of Arts Advocacy Day with more than 500 of your closest arts-loving friends. On that day we'll sit-down with all our legislators and talk about why the arts are important to our communities and why arts funding should be spared. Or, at least not cut more than everything else!

Worried that you won't be a good advocate? Don't be. You will be part of a team that will be led by an experienced advocate who has participated in past Advocacy Days and knows what to do. Over the course of the day, you will visit with a series of legislators, giving you plenty of time to get to know, and enjoy, your teammates while learning everything you need to know about the issues you are discussing.

It'll be easy. You'll have fun, and your simple presence, showing your face and being counted, will be enough to make an important impression.

Here's the schedule:
At the MN History Center:
8:00 AM Advocacy Class for New Attendees/Registration and Coffee for everyone else
8:30 AM Arts Rally, and Organize into Teams
9:30 Walk/Ride to the Capitol for meetings with Legislators
At the Capitol:
9:30-1:00 Legislators appointments (we will schedule them for you) and report back

By working together, we show the strength of Minnesota's Arts community. Last year, we had 500+ people but this year, with all the drama and difficulties in state capitals around the country, we should double that number to almost 1000 people. Show your legislator how important the arts are to you, your neighborhood, and your state. Join us at the capital on Tuesday, March 8!

Sign up now at: www.mncitizensforthearts.org. The event is free. Register by March 4th, so we can be ready for you.

Sincerely,
Sheila Smith
Executive Director
Minnesota Citizens for the Arts