Arts Advocacy Day 2016 – Registration is now open!

Arts Advocacy Day Agenda 2016


Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016


7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


First Baptist Church

1373 Grant Street

Denver, CO 80203

(14th Avenue and Grant Street)


Parking for a fee is located at:

1277 Logan Street

Denver, CO 80203


1416 Grant Street

Denver, CO 80203

Schedule of Activities:


7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

Miller Hall, First Baptist Church

Breakfast and introductions with Majority Leader Crisanta Duran

8:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.

The day will kick off with a continental breakfast and introductions from Majority Leader Crisanta Duran. She will talk about her focus on personal connections to the arts and why it is important for arts advocates to build relationships with their elected officials.

Advocacy Training

Jennifer Mello, Brandeberry-McKenna Public Affairs

8:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

The session will be conducted by AFC lobbyist Jennifer Mello of Brandeberry-McKenna Public Affairs. Mello has played a leading role in securing public funding for the arts in Colorado. She has also worked on numerous bills designed to create a more advantageous environment for the development of the arts in Colorado.  

Advocacy Exercise

8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

During this session, Jay Seller will work with students to illustrate ways arts advocates attending this meeting can advocate effectively with state legislators.

Break before heading to the Capitol

8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Legislative Meetings

9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.

Arts for Colorado will work to schedule meetings with you and your legislators. Prior sessions in the day will provide you with talking points to discuss with your legislators.  

Colorado Creative Industries Update

Margaret Hunt, Director, Colorado Creative Industries

10:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Margaret Hunt  will update participants on the many initiatives of the agency. Colorado is unique among arts agencies with its focus on creative industries and the focus has yielded many exciting opportunities for people working in Colorado’s creative sector.

The Importance of Art as Currency – Human Currency

Jeremy Goldson, Theatre Director, Stage Flight Theatre

10:15 am to 10:30 am

This presentation will look at how Arts Education fits into current educational paradigms and explore the idea that an investment in Art is truly an investment that pays back through the millennia.  

Arts Education from a Student’s Perspective

Scotty Romano, Student, Chatfield Senior High School

10:30 a.m. to 10:40 a.m.

Arts education has been an invaluable part of Scotty Romano’s High School education. Speaking first-hand, he will share with attendees how beneficial and meaningful the arts have been throughout his education, and how it can serve the same purpose for others.

Performance by Hamilton Middle School Choir

10:40 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.

Arts for Colorado board member John Epp’s is the choir director at Hamilton Middle School. He and his students will give Arts Advocacy Day attendees a short performance.  

Short Break

10:50 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Economic Impact, Entrepreneurship, and the Arts

Jeffrey Nytch, DMA

Director, Entrepreneurship Center for Music, University of Colorado-Boulder

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

In advocating for the importance of the arts in our communities, the broader economic contribution of artists and the arts is often overlooked. While the immediate “multiplier effect” of arts venues is now widely accepted, broader impacts such as how the arts stimulate entrepreneurial activity and attract certain types of industries may, in the long run, be much more significant. In this talk, Dr. Nytch will examine these issues and how they can inform our advocacy for the arts and arts funding. This presentation will also include a Q&A.

Best of the Web: Show & Tell

Rachel Cain, Public Art Archive™ Program Manager

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Rachel Cain will take attendees through an interactive presentation of a few online projects that leaders in the arts should know about. Attendees will also have the opportunity to quickly share their own favorite online project or website with the group and tell us why it’s worth knowing about in 3 sentences.

Break, Pick Up Lunch, and Find a Table

12:00 Noon to 12:45  

How to Think like an Artist

Jay Seller, PhD, Executive Director, Think 360 Arts for Learning

12:45 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Art education today has been impacted by the standards of testing culture, like so many other disciplines. In a lot of ways, we have been focusing on things that are concrete. Things like “Elements of Art,” “Art History,” “Introduction to Theatre,” and foundational skills. In essence we are teaching things that we can test and assess. Seller believes art education has to focus on things that develop learners that think like artists. Creativity itself does not have to be taught, but learning how to work like an artist can open up pathways of opportunities for everyone to create.

The Magic of Trinidad, Part II

Marilyn Leuszler, Chair, Corazon de Trinidad Creative District

1:00 – 1:15

A presentation on how Trinidad has accomplished great things through the strength of its unique blend of history, arts and culture. From certification as a Colorado Creative District and as a Main Street candidate, to selection as the demonstration project for the state’s new Space to Create Colorado initiative, Trinidad has seen much to celebrate within the past five years. The power and impact of local leadership through the arts can bring about dramatic change, drawing business owners, local government, non-profits, educators, and individuals together, with the common goal of increased economic development, tourism, and a strong sense of place.

The Importance of Engaging Young People and Approaching them as Participants in the Community as the Arts become Focused on Building Communities

Amir Jackson, Found/Director, Nurture the Creative Mind

1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Amir Jackson is a leader, engaged community member, and Founder of the Nurture the Creative Mind Foundation where he empowers local youth with the tools of creativity, education & character development. In this session, Amir will discuss how engaging youth and building communities are symbiotic in mission and objective. As an attendee you will leave with a fresh perspective, examples and tools to implement in your own artistic practices.


2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Attendees are invited to sit with speakers and experts who made presentations in the morning and use them as resources for the issues they are dealing with.

Concluding Comments

2:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The leaders of Arts for Colorado thank those who participated in the program and talk to the group about how they can be involved in the organization on a year-round basis.

Register Today:

Space for this event is limited. Register online here by February 28th, 2016. The participation fee is $30 for general admission, $15 for students, and free for legislators.* The participation fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch, study materials, and all activities. Vegetarian and gluten-free meal options will be available.  

*If you are a legislator and would like to attend, please RSVP to Janae De La Virgen at by February 28th, 2016.  The value of the event is $30 and receipts will be provided for Amendment 41 purposes.  

Additional Information:

Please contact Janae De La Virgen at if you have questions or would like additional information about this event.  

Arts for Colorado (AFC) is a nonpartisan, statewide nonprofit 501(c) 4 organization dedicated to improving the climate for creative industries throughout the state, facilitating advocacy for Colorado’s arts and culture, and preserving and expanding state-level public-and private-sector support for the arts.