The Educational Theatre Association’s Advocacy Leadership Network (ALN) is now accepting applications for new chapter representatives. 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 26 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. The goal of 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 other EdTA members.
According to EdTA Director of Educational Policy James Palmarini, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a new urgency for arts education advocacy, given the economic hardship and resulting funding cutbacks being proposed by school districts throughout the country. “I think we all know how difficult things have been in 2020, and that theatre programs are at risk, given the shifting priorities of education towards core subject areas like math and English,” he said. “We need more direct and focused advocacy on behalf of our programs in 2021, if theatre is going to be available to all students. That’s where the grassroots district efforts offered by the ALN can make a difference.”
Interested members should review the 2021 ALN application guidelines, which contain a link to the application. The application closes December 16.
See the current ALN members and find resources to advocate for your program in the Rapid Response Advocacy Center