No matter how you get your news, you have to admit that there is a lot of it. The delivery of news is rapidly changing the way and rate that we respond to it. As a result, too often there is little time to really think about the news and the content we receive before resorting to social media with an immediate emotional response. We end up with a cluttered email inbox and social media news feed that is difficult to sort through to prioritize for response, read carefully or file for future reference. Often social channels are just filled with emotional responses that exponentially precipitate even more “chatter.” As Facebook algorithms dictate what you see and target marketing tailors the news you read to your psychographic profile, it is more important than ever to be mindful of your values and personal priorities. This mindfulness assures that your attention is not diverted to chatter and that, in addition to responding, you take action on issues that are important to your life. And here’s where the arts part fits in: Art matters. You’ve heard ArtPride NJ use that byline repeatedly, particularly through the work of the co-sponsored project with the NJ State Council on the Arts, but it REALLY DOES matter. And if you truly believe that, it requires you to not only “like” that two-word sentence, but do something about it. Since it is Discover Jersey Arts Month and National Arts & Humanities Month, besides sharing social media posts and promoting awareness of our state’s awesome arts (which we also want you to do), here are three easy action items that make a difference and will give you that great feeling of accomplishment.
- Support your local arts organization financially. Whether it is a large institution or a small community group that uses the arts to bring your community together, make a donation. This may require you to 1) find them on the internet, or 2) respond to the direct mail piece you will receive between now and the end of the calendar year requesting your donation. And, hey, here is the link to donate to ArtPride NJ. Remember that buying a ticket is definitely support, but a donation is the extra step that makes a difference. No donation is too small (or too large!).
- Volunteer at an arts organization. ArtPride learned through the Arts & Economic Activity 5 study that more than 14,000 people volunteered at a New Jersey cultural event last year – and the value of 17,000+ hours of volunteering is $16.7 million! Volunteers help make art happen all over the state, from being an usher to using professional expertise in social media, advertising and graphic design and event planning.
- Know how candidates feel about local, state, and federal support for the arts and arts education and vote on November 7. Consult ArtPride NJ’s candidate survey and learn what those running for office are interested in and if they are involved in the arts through family and social ties. Also, Arts Ed NJ will soon feature a school board candidate survey that provides similar info on candidates for local school boards all over the state. It is your privilege and obligation as a U.S. citizen and your vote really does count!
These are three action items that are not terribly difficult to remember or do, but they can cut through the daily noise of news and views and make a real difference. Accomplishing even one task is guaranteed to give you that warm fuzzy feeling of completing a meaningful task—one that ties to your personal values and priorities. Email us and let us know how the arts factor into your daily life, how you support them to make sure they survive and thrive, and what actions you are taking that provide you with personal satisfaction knowing that art matters to you!