2014 Advocacy Day - Springfield, Illinois - Update


The 2014 Arts Education Advocacy Day was an amazing success! Over 40 advocates from ILMEA, Illinois Art Educators Association and Arts Alliance Illinois convened at the Hoogland Center for the Arts in Springfield, Illinois. The morning consisted of networking, training and conversations, followed by an afternoon full of legislative meetings. ILMEA was represented by Rick Murphy, Justin Sisul, Dr. Catherine Ming Tu (Professor, Millikin University), George Quinlan (CEO, Quinlan and Fabish Music Company), Frank Alkyer (Publisher, Downbeat Magazine and Music, Inc.) and Darcy Nendza (ILMEA Executive Director). 

Ra Joy, Executive Director of Arts Alliance Illinois, led the training portion of the morning. He gave an Advocacy 101 presentation and moderated a legislative panel made up of Representative Camille Y. Lilly, Representative Stephanie A. Kifowit, Senator Pamela J. Althoff and Senator Daniel Biss. Their topic was, “Being an Effective Advocate." This candid, real-life advice from current lawmakers gave the audience of 95% new advocates confidence and insight going into the afternoon.

After the nine geographically-organized teams met at lunch to plan their legislative meetings, the advocates were off to the Illinois State Capitol! Each team had at least one scheduled meeting with a lawmaker, and then had packets of information to leave behind at each office with which they did not have an appointment. These packet drop-offs turned into real meetings with lawmakers in many cases. The State Capitol and Stratton Office Building were full of positive energy from the teams.

ILMEA could not have asked for a better first-experience for this event. With continued work, yesterday’s conversations with lawmakers will blossom into strong relationships that can only benefit music education for the future.

Future dates for the Illinois Music Education Conference:

January 28-31, 2015
January 27-30, 2016
January 25-28, 2017
January 24-27, 2018
January 23-26, 2019
January 29-February 1, 2020 


Please see the Professional Development Page for the listing of many professional development events across the state. 


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