Fifteen Southeast Missouri State University students recently attended the 2019 Citizens for the Arts Day at the Legislature hosted by Missouri Citizens for the Arts (MCA) and held Feb. 6 at the Missouri state capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Citizens Day is MCA’s signature event in its year-round efforts to advocate for continued public funding for Missouri’s arts industry. The day includes advocacy training, legislative visits, performances and the Missouri Arts Council’s annual Arts Awards ceremony.
The students met with southeast Missouri area legislators to advocate on behalf of the Missouri Arts Council. They presented the legislators with a list of MAC grants distributed in their districts and flyers on how the arts benefit the Missouri economy as a whole.
“Arts advocacy is something I am very passionate about,” said Kaetlin Lamberson, a senior dance major from Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and president of Southeast’s University Dance United student organization that helped organize the student trip. “As vice president for the Missouri Citizens for the Arts Southeast Region and recently serving as an intern with their lobbyist last session, I have found so much growth from the arts and want others to have the same opportunity. From this experience, we were able to take away the importance of using our voice and advocating on behalf of what we believe in.”
Southeast undergraduate theatre and dance majors participating in Citizens for the Arts Day were Lamberson; Alex Davis from Mt. Zion, Illinois; Ashley Stephan from High Ridge, Missouri; Alice Anders from Fort Smith, Arizona; Bailey Bremer from Branson, Missouri; Abby Jeschke from Kirkwood, Missouri; Nike Farmer from Memphis, Tennessee; Olivia Tate from Jackson, Tennessee; Rachel Christophe from Belleville, Illinois; Parker Jaques from Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Margaret Schauwecker from Columbia, Missouri; Asia Glenn from Lincoln, Illinois; J’nae Howard from Nashville, Tennessee; Joshua Taylor from Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Cody Croxford from Medora, Illinois.
“Because Southeast and students receive support from the Missouri Arts Council, it was very important for us to see how that money is advocated for,” Lamberson said. “From this visit, we hoped to educate our legislators why the arts matter and urge them to support the Missouri Arts Council’s budget.”