Creative Messaging to Pursue Arts-based Ballot Initiatives

Friday, June 16, 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

How do you convince your community to allot more funding for the arts? Learn about messaging, creative partnership, and more from campaign leaders.

This session addresses issues of advocacy, community development, engagement, grantmaking, leadership, and public value.

This session is part of the Building Skills sessions.


Jonathan Moscone
Director of Civic Engagement
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
San Francisco, California
Karen Gahl-Mills
Executive Director
Cuyahoga Arts and Culture
Cleveland, Ohio
Sheila Smith
Executive Director
Minnesota Citizens for the Arts
St. Paul, Minnesota

Sheila M. Smith is the Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA) which strengthens our cultural community by achieving arts friendly policy in Minnesota. As Chair of the Creative Minnesota Project, she produces important research about the arts and cultural community for education, policy making, and advocacy. She led the arts community into the successful 2008 statewide “Legacy” ballot campaign which created 25 years of dedicated funding for the arts through a constitutional amendment. An national expert in arts advocacy, Smith is a frequent speaker at conferences around the country including Grantmakers in the Arts and the Rural Arts Summit and has won several national awards for her work. She is the former Chair of AFTA’s State Arts Action League, and is the current Vice-Chair of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. She also teaches at the University of Minnesota.