Arts advocacy

Arts advocacy is the process of establishing and demonstrating public support for the arts. It’s important at all levels of our communities and can result in increased financial investment in the arts, support for existing arts organisations and be used as a tool to shape and bolster community development at the local level.

Advocacy doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply talking about the value of the arts in NSW is the first step. When people understand the contribution of the arts on our economic and social well-being they are more likely to support the arts in all its forms.

Many voices are louder than one. Using a collective approach and a viable strategy for your advocacy campaign can influence decision-makers and result in significant gains for your community. There are many ways to advocate for your organisation, the services you provide and the programs you offer. Use the resources listed below to help you design and target your campaign.


  • Tell local businesses, Chambers’ of Commerce and private funders that sponsoring arts activity is good for business.
  • Tell your MPs and local government councillors that the arts benefit their communities.
  • Tell local media about the economic and social benefits gained from the arts.
  • Make submissions to parliamentary select committees and your local council’s development plans.
  • Promote the benefit of the arts in your own marketing material including your website and your social media channels.
  • Start a petition and present it at a local council meeting to document support for arts initiatives.
  • Gather evidence on the value of the arts by recording and communicating the economic, cultural and social impacts of local arts programs and activities.

M&G NSW undertakes arts participation, audience reach and economic benefit research and publishes findings on our website.

In 2014 the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) published Good Practice Guide on Arts Advocacy. This best-practice toolkit presents strategies, case studies and a how-to approach to advocating for arts investment and support.


This Arts Council England resource provides tips on talking to the public, the government and the media.

Kultour is a national organisation committed to advancing cultural diversity in the arts in Australia.

The Kennedy Centre Arts Education Advocacy Toolkit is targeted to an American audience to promote the cause for arts education in schools. This resource offers detailed approaches to building coalitions and networks and directions to clarify the goals of advocacy campaigns.

Arts Access Australia offer Roadblock as an advocacy tool and exhibition. It’s a resource for raising awareness on a range of community initiatives which matter to you.


Useful quotes about the benefits of the arts:

10 things children learn from the arts: