Friday, April 2, 2010

Project 365 - March 24, 2010

A Lesson in Advocacy

On Wednesday, March 24, I traveled up to Tallahassee for one day. It was an easy flight, although it was at 6:45 a.m. There were only about 50 people on the plane and I was at the State Capitol by 8:30 a.m.

My job was to visit with as many senators and representatives as possible and deliver the message of the importance of the arts to the State of Florida and how the arts benefit the economy, arts education, kids at risk and on and on. I had my elevator speech, my business cards, my comfortable shoes and of course, my camera.

I must have walked at least ten miles and I must have gotten lost at least that many times. The State Capitol is so very confusing with long, narrow hallways, confusing elevators that don't stop at all floors but filled with smiling faces willing to help you at every step of the way. So it wasn't that terrible!

At 1 p.m. we had a two hour meeting on the 22nd floor of the Capitol with Florida Cultural Alliance Chair Michael Spring (also the Director of the Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs Department). There were many speakers including Secretary of State Kurt Browning and Florida Cultural Council Chair Lois Benson and then Florida Cultural Alliance Executive Director Sherron Long presented four awards to college students from around the state for their advocacy efforts.

I just wish that there were more people up there to go in groups of threes and fours when visiting the legislators. It does make a difference.

I watched as the Nursing Practitioners showed up in four large charter buses and wore their long white lab coats and stethoscopes around their necks. They were EVERYWHERE. Including in the House of Representatives. When their legislator recognized them and they ALL stood up, THAT made quite an impact.

If there were a huge delegation from around the state in charter buses for the arts, I think our legislators would take us more seriously.

Michael Spring

Kurt Browning

Sherron Long

Check out the Romero Britto artwork on the museum's plaza!

Leon County Chalk Walk in honor of Arts Day

Love this photo of all the aides and lobbyists doing business around the rotunda as they wait for the House of Representatives doors to open up for the next meeting.

The Old State Capitol. Loved the two guys walking in front. They were loving the fact that I was taking their photo and they were grinning from ear to ear for me.

The State Capitol is REALLY tall

I am sitting in the East Gallery of the House of Representatives. I had a lovely chat with Zac Cohen who is one of Representative Evan Jenne's aides. I was recognized by Representative Hazelle Rogers. I had to stand up when she called out my name. Very nice of her. I sent her a thank you note. Still, it would have been better to have a large delegation with me.

Taken from the basement of the Rotunda. I called this one "Circle of Life"

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