April is Arts Advocacy Month

3 min readMar 28, 2024

By Tracy Hudak, Director of Field Engagement for CA for the Arts

In 2019, arts advocates joined forces to secure a state resolution honoring April as Arts, Culture & Creativity Month (ACCM) that year. A 2021 follow-up resolution made that designation annual while declaring that artists are “essential” and the state’s “second responders.”

Embedding those simple phrases into state law is like anchoring a hold on the side of a mountain while on a big climb because this is what we are up to: changing the conversation about how artists, culture bearers, creative workers, and cultural organizations are seen and valued in California public life. Moving from the perception that art is an amenity to art being essential is a heavy lift — it’s a paradigm shift.

But it is happening because each of us is taking on a part of the load that we can manage on either the local or the state level. In every conversation we have with decision-makers, every time we invite them to experience what we do, inform them of what we are making happen in their districts and our communities, or offer to partner on a civic issue, every time we get them excited to take action on a policy or see themselves as a champion for the arts, we are collectively changing the conversation, making our value visible, helping them imagine new possibilities, and building their capacity to provide solutions.

And April is a great month to move that mountain through actions small or mighty. This year’s ACCM theme is “Art Work Is Real Work”. Visit our ACCM 2024 webpage to download toolkits that make it easy to participate in a social media campaign, write an op-ed, or produce your own ACCM-linked event to invite your local or state representatives. Or you can visit our Advocacy Month webpage to participate in state legislator meetings in Sacramento on Advocacy Day at the Capitol (Wednesday, April 17) or organize your own meetings with our DIY toolkit. We provide all the tools, resources, and support you need.

Be sure to join us in Sacramento for the CA Arts & Culture Summit on Tuesday, April 16.

Artists and civic leaders are natural partners as both groups often work in the medium of love for our communities. We hope you find an opportunity during April to both create and connect with your representatives in celebration of arts, culture, and creativity.

Tracy Hudak serves as the Director of Field Engagement for CA for the Arts. She is a painter and theatre artist who specializes in devised works. Her artistic practices inform the creative placemaking and civic imagining platforms she has produced as principal consultant for CreativityWorks, which develops programs and cultural infrastructure at the the intersections of art and economic and community development. Prior to her role at CA for the Arts, she served as the Program Officer for the Westside Community Development Corporation in Ventura. She is based in Ventura County.




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