New campaign school trains artists to run for elected office

Artists and members of the cultural community across Michigan can learn how to successfully run for elected office through the first-ever "artist campaign school" in late October in Detroit.

The inaugural event kicks off a series of all-expenses-paid trainings that will be held semi-annually across the United States. Applications for the Artist Campaign School Detroit are being accepted through September 15. Up to 100 applicants will be accepted.

The Detroit and Lansing-based Creative Many Michigan is among a consortium of nine community impact organizations involved in the effort. Fractured Atlas—one of the nation's largest arts service organizations—will lead the group.

Creative Many Michigan's Sarah Gonzales Triplett says that the Artist Campaign School enables artists to inspire deeper political engagement by seeking elected office. The school will teach practical skills needed to run successful political campaigns and will be facilitated by top-tier campaign veterans from across the political spectrum. Topics include voter targeting, message and policy development, media training, fundraising and social media strategies.

"Artists are naturally skilled at taking the complicated and distilling it to a powerful image, sound, feeling or idea and then moving others to take action,” says Triplett, the director of public policy and advocacy for Creative Many Michigan. “We are excited to partner on this effort to insert more diverse voices at the policy decision-making table.”

Triplett says the 2018 election cycle is an ideal time for the school to recruit and train political candidates, particularly those that understand the role that the arts can play in community development, education, place making and more. She says that Greater Lansing is replete with potential candidates, given the slate of current and successful revitalization efforts influenced by the arts.

"The Greater Lansing region is only growing in their unique artistic offerings," says Triplett. "The City of East Lansing is the only city in the state to have a Percent for the Arts ordinance. We are seeing the arts as a direct link to the revitalization of Old Town and REO Town in Lansing."

Organizations involved in the effort include Fractured Atlas, Alternate Roots (Atlanta), Art Up (Memphis), Creative Capital (New York), Creative Many Michigan (Detroit), For Freedoms (D.C.), The Laundromat Project (New York) and National Performance Network (New Orleans). Additional partners are expected to join.

To learn more or to apply, click here.

Source: Sarah Gonzales Triplett, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, Creative Many Michigan.
Writer/Editor: Ann Kammerer, News Editor

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