Ms. Zauzmer Goes to Washington!

By Emily Zauzmer posted 04-18-2014 09:42


Back in February, I received an exciting call from Jim Palmarini, who told me that I had won the Educational Theatre Association’s nationwide Democracyworks essay contest. As a result, I would have the chance to deliver my essay at Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C.

My trip to Washington, D.C., this March was the thrill of a lifetime. A highlight of the trip was lobbying on Capitol Hill for a cause that means so much to me, arts education. It was both fun and educational to enter the Senate and the House of Representatives to explain the importance of the arts. While I was missing my government class in school, I was witnessing government in action in our nation’s capitol!

So many other aspects of National Arts Advocacy Day were equally exhilarating – from talking to other arts advocates, to learning about the issues, to listening to Maureen Dowd’s incredible lecture at the Kennedy Center, to hearing from members of Congress who support the arts, to meeting Alec Baldwin.

One of the best parts of my experience was reading my essay to the general assembly. In my speech, I explained that I wrote a children’s book, Once Upon a Masterpiece: An Art History Adventure, to introduce underprivileged children to the magic of art history. Thanks to a grant and a donation, I have donated my children’s book to elementary schools in the Philadelphia School District, where a financial crisis has put the arts on the chopping block, and the Detroit Institute of Arts, which may be forced to sell off its art collection to bail Detroit out of bankruptcy.

To my delight, the attendees at Arts Advocacy Day were incredibly supportive of my efforts. Many individuals generously donated $10 in exchange for a copy of Once Upon a Masterpiece; I will use the donations to give more books to more children in need.

Thank you so much to Jim Palmarini, Julie Woffington, and everyone else at the Educational Theatre Association! I am grateful and humbled to have won the Democracyworks contest and to have had the opportunity to participate in Arts Advocacy Day. The memories of my spectacular trip and the many wonderful people I met will motivate me to continue to advocate for the arts.




04-21-2014 18:53

Thank you so much, Katie! It was wonderful to meet you!

04-21-2014 11:51

Congratulations! I am so glad you got to come! It was a pleasure to meet you and your essay was incredible!!