Arts Advocacy – 

Arts Advocacy 

Are you ready to vote? Primary election day in Orange County, Tues., August 23, 2022: Read the survey responses from your candidates for mayor and commissioners in Districts 2, 4 and 6.

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 Arts and Culture, 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 – For state funding and advocacy

–  Governor DeSantis signed the state budget approving arts and culture funding! Please write a thank you message to the Governor and all our legislators for all their work this budget session and the unprecedented funding for arts and culture! Download the list of budget conference committee and local legislators here. 

On May 4, 2022, United Arts hosted a “Tips and Tricks” workshop for State of Florida DAC grants, where experienced grant writers shared advice on how to write a strong application. A link to a recording of the workshop can be found here:

Your role in arts advocacy: 

Exercise your access to your legislators.

  • Write or call this week (they need to hear “THANK YOU” from us) for their final funding recommendations in the state budget, which includes the highest level of support for arts and culture — 100% in Cultural and Museum Grants, and Culture Builds Florida Grants, and $10 million for Cultural Facilities (top 23 on the list), to bring home $5.7M to the Central Florida area.
    • 100% of the Cultural & Museum Grants (General Program Support) – 556 grants, $46,010,129 (Locally: 57 grants, $4,520,438)
    • 100% of the Culture Builds Florida Grants (Specific Cultural Projects) – 131 grants, $3,077,996 (Locally: 131 grants, $3,077,996)
    • $10M of the Cultural Facilities line item, (63% of requests – covers through ranked application # 23 of 47 grants) (Locally: 2 grants, $1,000,000)
    • In total, $59M arts and culture funding, 710 grants, statewide. That’s 221% of last year’s total funding ($26.7M) and 85% of this year’s total requests! A C&M grant that received $75,000 last year, would be $150,000 this year!
    • And locally: $5,796,488 to 71 of Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties’ arts & culture,  science and history organizations!
  • Sample letter to say Thank you to our legislators on the conference committee, Appropriations Subcommittees’ Chair and Vice-Chair, and local legislators; list linked here.

Next Statewide Advocacy Call/Meeting:

  • Florida Cultural Alliance: Jennifer Jones, executive director;, and the Alliance board lead the statewide advocacy efforts. In partnership with Capitol Consulting Group lobbyists and arts and cultural leaders from around the state, we seek to gain our legislators’ and governor’s support for state arts funding.
    The Florida Cultural Alliance statewide call is monthly on the 4th Monday at 10 a.m.
    – Next call is Mon, May 23, 2022, at 10 a.m. (Zoom). Must register for each call; Zoom link to register.  More information at



Thank you to all who participated in Arts & Culture Advocacy Day in Tallahassee: January 25-26, 2022; SAVE THE DATE: March 22, 2023 for the next year’s legislative visits.

Central Florida arts and cultural leaders traveled to Tallahassee to advocate for state arts and culture funding. If you want to be included in advocacy alert emails, or are interested in joining the Tallahassee group next year, please fill out the sign-up form on our contact page and indicate “Advocacy” as your area of interest, or email:

  • Thank you to GoPegasus for the beautiful Art on Wheels coach to travel to Tallahassee!
     Tues, Jan 25,  afternoon (bus group meets at 11:30 a.m. for 12:30 p.m. departure – group travel by GoPegasus bus $25 each/roundtrip; evening networking event (5p-8p, at Mickee Faust, Railroad Square Art District);
  • Arts & Culture Advocacy Day – Rally and Legislative Appointments, Wed, Jan 26, 2022, Florida State Capitol (400 S Monroe St, Tallahassee, FL 32399)
    – Morning rally, 10:00 a.m. 22nd floor, with Florida Cultural Alliance and statewide advocates – AGENDA
    – Afternoon, noon to 4 p.m. – Appointments for meetings with legislators (appointments to be schedule by United Arts, for meetings in small groups)
    – Evening, 6 p.m. – return to Orlando
    – Hotel room blocks for Tues, Jan 25 – participants to book individually. 3 room blocks may still have availability; email for options
  • 2022-23 Statewide Platform – Toolkit – legislative contacts for Appropriations committees/subcommittees on pg 80
  • Platform – Review and prepare talking points for 752 grant requests statewide, reasons why legislators should support the arts and culture sector, requests by county as vetted, ranked and recommended by the Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. key committees and contacts on pg 80

For more information, email

Advocacy Toolkit for 2022-23 budget/legislative session)


REQUEST (2022-23 budget): Statewide, 752 matching grants among all four grant categories, for a total of $69.2 million, is the recommendation for the Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture. (state platform)

  • Cultural and Museum Grants – (C&M) 556 requests, $46,010,129
  • Culture Builds Florida Grants – (CBF) 131 requests, $3,077,996
  • Cultural Facilities Grants – (CF) 47 requests, $15,845,698
  • Cultural Endowment Grants – (CE)  18 requests, $4,320,000

LOCAL AREA requests for the United Arts/local/ 4-county area: $6,926,488 for 75 grants.

Last year (2021-22 budget) the total ask was: $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)

 LOCAL AREA requests for the United Arts/local/ 4-county area: $6,337,600 for 69 grants


  1. It’s always a good time to say THANK YOU! Send an email or tweet; invite your legislators to visit; send a photo or success story due to your state funding.
    FY22 Contacts for State of FL Government – House-Senate – key committees and subcommittees – Local leadership
  2. Need more info about Central Florida’s arts advocacy, or wish to join our efforts, please send contact and areas of interest to:
  3. If you’d like to learn more about local (and state arts advocacy); contact the Orange County calendar for the next Advocacy Committee meeting of Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs.


Last grant cycle: 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!

Go to Grants …

Other Information