Stories Are A Resource

By Jean Cook, Director of Programs for Future of Music Coalition
The issue of funding and resources has come up quite a few times already as potential barriers to participation in policy work.  I have three buckets of thoughts - here's the first.  It responds to Chris.

perhaps we should stop talking about creative rights as lawmaking or political activism altogether, and instead talk more in-depth about changing the constraint(s) at which the arts have a comparative advantage?

First, I disagree that the arts don't have an advantage in the policy space.  Chris, you asked in your first post, what can we leverage?  It's been suggested throughout and I agree with others that the arts community has compelling stories to tell

Maybe that sounds silly outside the beltway.  But the rights stories have power in Washington.  They can capture the imagination and gracefully express the intent of good policymaking.  Pick any speech that a policymaker will give when they try and drum up support for an initiative.  Each of those examples comes from stories told to that policymakers staff.  Sometimes they are our stories

I don't know if you've ever heard a big money lobbyist speak, but you'd be shocked at how uninteresting they can be.  Staffers have to meet with thirty of those guys.  Every day.  Day after day.  The arts have an incredible, charismatic advantage here.  That's something others have to pay big money for.  Lets not take that lightly.
July 22, 2010 3:57 AM | | Comments (1) |


So true!

If I might add:

Number one rule when dealing with decisionmakers: give them the opportunity to be a hero, by describing in positive, non-hectoring, picturesque terms what that might look like.

Number two rule is don't be disappointed if they don't take you up on it; somebody will. Try to make sure that the ones who do can stay your champions as they grow in stature and influence.

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This Blog Arts and culture are a cornerstone of American society. But arts and culture workers are often left out of important policy conversations concerning technology and creative rights even though the outcomes will have a profound impact on our world. Is it benign neglect? Or did we... more

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