The Educational Theatre Association’s Advocacy Leadership Network (ALN) will begin accepting applications for new chapter representatives on November 1. Launched in 2017, the ALN is designed to train adult members in grassroots advocacy efforts on behalf of theatre and other arts education. The network, currently including 22 chapters, was founded to address a new era of public education signaled with the passage of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015. ESSA gave greater responsibility to state and district decision makers to determine how and what education is delivered to their K-12 students. According to EdTA Director of Educational Policy James Palmarini, the new state ownership demands coordinated and ongoing advocacy by theatre and other arts educators to ensure that their disciplines are appropriately represented in school, district, and state decision making regarding curriculum, professional development, funding, staffing, and other critical issues.
“Our goal with the ALN is to create a coordinated team of chapter representatives from throughout the country who can monitor and share local, district, state-based arts education policies, legislation, and advocacy successes that can be modeled by others,” he said. “There is a lot of great advocacy being done by EdTA members and the network is intended to give them the opportunity to share their knowledge and skills with each other.”
The EdTA national office will cover the travel and room/board cost of attendance for new 2020 representatives at an ALN in-person meeting in Cincinnati April 17-19 and additional financial support to help offset the cost of attending the National Arts Action Summit (formerly Arts Advocacy Day) in Washington, D.C., March 30-31. There are also Incentive-based stipends available to all ALN members
Interested members who do not currently have a chapter representative should review the complete 2020 ALN application guidelines. The application closes on December 1.