Arts Advocacy – 

Arts Advocacy

United Arts’ role in arts advocacy: 

United Arts and Orange Arts & Cultural Affairs Advocacy Committee work in concert with the Florida Cultural Alliance statewide advocacy agency, primarily for increased state arts funding through the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs. 

State and Local Partners: Division of Cultural Affairs, Council on Arts & Culture | State Legislators & local Orange County delegation | local cultural partners, boards, leaders and arts advocates | Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs Advisory Council – Advocacy Committee | Florida Cultural Alliance & contracted lobbyists |

National Partners: Americans for the Arts and Arts Action Fund – on advocacy for NEA funding, federal relief support, and other initiatives.


  • Each year, a group of Central Florida arts leaders makes a trip to Tallahassee to meet with our legislators. United Arts coordinates the travel and accommodations, sets up the legislative appointments, prepares talking points, and conducts a debrief with area participants for the separate teams’ legislative meetings.
  • Local delegation meetings at Orange County – annual opportunity to present a case for the arts; let me know if you can and would like to make a compelling 2-3-minute testimony (
  • We will notify you of advocacy alerts when we need your help to contact legislators to request support for increasing statewide arts funding.
  •  Resources – research and promote funding opportunities for arts and culture nonprofits, such as:
    –   COVID-19 & Other resources page; United Arts’ study – COVID-related impact/losses to the arts community, 4/24/2020–  Orange County  –  City of Orlando 


  • If you want to be included in advocacy alert emails, or are interested in joining the Tallahassee group, please fill out the sign-up form on our contact page and indicate “Advocacy” as your area of interest, or email:

State of Florida Arts Funding 2021-22 (arts budget doubled!/grants awarded):

Updated 6/2/21:

The State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs’ funding in the state’s 2021-22 budget was approved by Governor Ron DeSantis. Some highlights:

  • The state arts funding for 2021-22 is almost double what it was last year, at $26.7M for the two grant line items of Cultural & Museum Grants, and Culture Builds Florida Grants.
  • This funds all of the Cultural & Museum Grants at approximately 50%, and 100% of the Culture Builds Florida grants.
  • A maximum request of $150,000 in the Cultural & Museum Grant could receive $75K (based on score & ranking), and the Culture Builds Florida grants would be at the full $25K (or your maximum ask).

In total, this brings approximately $2M home in DCA grant funding for Orange County arts and cultural nonprofits, and $229K to Seminole County.

Let’s say THANK YOU now and continue to engage our legislators year-round: 

  1. Thank them for their work to support arts and culture through the devastating year(s) of COVID-19. State arts funding for 2021-22 is almost double what it was last year, at $26.7M! (Last year funding was $13.6M, statewide.} Let them know what it means to your organization, your community, and overall to the County (how many grants in their county or district), for education from students to seniors, for economic benefit – jobs, incentives for companies to move here & retain employees, for the sheer joy/wellness and quality of life in Central Florida.
  2. Send/post & share – send a brief video or quote that captures your impact, post a photo and tag your senators and representatives (and include the Florida Cultural Alliance, or
  3. Invite legislators to your events – for either a tour, a performance, or a brief speaking opportunity or a meet & greet with your chair and/or key donors. Or, as a walk-on role in your production!


Advocacy Toolkit for 2021-22 budget/legislative session, now closed:

Florida Cultural Alliance – Legislative Handbook linked here

March 2, 2021: Legislative Session begins This is week #1. Committees are gathering and bills are being introduced

Arts Advocacy Day: March 10, 2021 – Virtual Rally  – Wed, March 20, 2021, 10 a.m. on Zoom presentation (webinar-style)
Register here:


730 vetted and recommended grants through Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs:

$67,894,343 would fully fund 730 matching grants among all four grant categories. 

  • Cultural and Museum Grants – (C&M) 515 requests, $45,762,853 (50% funded of all requests)
  • Culture Builds Florida Grants – (CBF) 153 requests, $3,524,096 (100% funded)
  • Cultural Facilities Grants – (CF) 47 requests, $15,007,394 ($0 funded)
  • Cultural Endowment Grants – (CE)  15 requests, $3,600,000 ($0 funded)


Of the state’s totals, local area requests are:

  • Orange $4,618,080 ($4.6M) for 47 grants comprised of C&M 40/$3,825,247; CBF 4/$93,500; CF 3/$699,333.
  • Lake $611,120 for 8 grants
    – (C&M 4/$284,120; CBF 2/$42,000; CF 2/$285,000)
  • Osceola $695,500 for 5 grants
    – (C&M 4/$195,500; CF, 1/$500,000)
  • Seminole $412,900 for 9 grants
    – (C&M 4/$257,500; CBF 4/$100,000; 1/$55,400)
    TOTAL United Arts/local/ 4-county area: $6,337,600 for 69 grants 

Everything you need to know about arts advocacy

Thank you to our host and executive director of the Florida Cultural Alliance, Jennifer Jones, for gathering so much information for our advocacy efforts to seek our legislators and governor’s support for state arts funding.:

  • the statewide advocacy platform, for information about the recommended grants from the Division of Cultural Affairs
    – for FY21-22 General Program Support, Specific Cultural Project, Cultural Facilities and Cultural Endowments
  • the statewide Social Media Toolkit(by Hillary Crawford, Florida Division of Cultural Affairs)
  • the contact lists for the House and Senate members, key committees and subcommittees who will be in charge of hearing arts-related budget
  • see below for more information Jennifer has gathered: data, deadlines, documents about state arts funding.


  1. Florida Cultural Alliance: Jennifer Jones, executive director;
    The Florida Cultural Alliance statewide call is monthly on the 4th Monday at 10am. Next call is Mon, July 26 at 10a. (Must register for each Zoom call)
  2. FY22 Contacts for State of FL Government – House-Senate – key committees and subcommittees – Local leadership
  3. Need more info about Central Florida’s arts advocacy, or Orange County’s Arts & Cultural Affairs Advocacy Committee, contact


State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs (DCA) arts funding for 2019-20 is:

Go to Grants …