Today is Arts Advocacy Day, when a cross-section of the nation’s arts and culture organizations converges on Washington, D.C., for a day of training, followed by a day of action, meeting with their congressional representatives on Capitol Hill.

Advocacy is integral to California Desert Arts Council‘s strategy to unify, empower, and promote arts and culture in the Coachella Valley region.

In the past year, CDAC has rolled out the region’s go-to website for tools, grants, and other resources for the artists and arts and culture organizations; placed its president and CEO, Christi Salamone, on the review panel for California Arts Council grants; applied for cultural district designation; wrote a letter in support of an arts management curriculum at CSU San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Campus; and met with many city officials.

“CDAC has opened previously closed doors with county and state arts decision-makers and funding sources,” Salamone says. “Over the past year, our organization has presented programs identifying opportunities in the arts and helped create a new program to align education pathways with local needs.”

CDAC invites the community to follow its blog for news about CDAC and current advocacy initiatives, including the effort to save the National Endowment for the Arts.

On this day for arts advocacy, CDAC encourages arts and culture lovers to urge their local, state, and national officials to support the arts. For a list of local city officials, visit our Initiatives page and scroll down to Advocacy.

“Communities like ours must mobilize to support the arts, which fuel our economy, attract tourism, enhance the quality of life, and shape well-rounded, open-minded individuals capable of creative problem solving,” Salamone says.

CDAC recognizes that advocacy succeeds by coalescing the community around a goal and mobilizing it into action. The Resources page on organization’s website links to the region’s elected officials, public arts and cultural commissions, arts advocacy organizations, grant-giving organizations, and legal and professional assistance.

You can find additional resources at these sites:

• Americans for the Arts serves organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain, and support the arts in America.

Arts Action Network is the only national arts advocacy organization dedicating all of its time, money, and muscle to advancing the arts in America.

• Advocacy Handbook is a hands-on guide to arts advocacy from Americans for the Arts.

• Arts Equity LA‘s Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative led to 13 recommendations to ensure everyone in Los Angeles County has equitable access to arts and culture. The Coachella Valley regions can adopt many of these recommendations.

• Californians for the Arts increases public awareness of the importance of the arts and ensures that the arts are an ongoing part of the public dialogue.

Track bills with Californians for the Arts: Here are the bills we’re tracking now.

Center for Cultural Innovation 2017 Review offers a window into the work they supported in 2017 and the impact that has been made on the arts and culture landscape. Great ideas for inspiration!

Learn more at


Above: Ben Stone of Smart Growth America addresses leaders in Coachella Valley arts, culture, tourism, and government at a workshop on cultural districts and creative peacemaking. Photo by Gregg Felsen.