Today is Cultural Advocacy Day in Iowa, as activists hope to celebrate and raise awareness about the importance of culture, history and the arts. Tom Smull is president of the Iowa Culture Coalition , which is organizing the day’s events.
Smull says: "We’re trying to promote to Iowans that not only can arts and culture improve our quality of life, it’s also a form of economic development that often gets overlooked. We think it’s really the economic development of the future for a lot of small towns and larger communities." He admits it’s rather hard to define just what "culture" is — as it’s different for everyone.
Smull says culture is "anything that makes our life interesting and more enjoyable." He says it can include all sorts of things, including: historic preservation, history, art and performance. Events during the day will include workshops and socializing with cultural advocates from across the state. Smull says there will also be a march from the State Historical Building in Des Moines to the state capitol so the culture supporters can lobby lawmakers.
Smull says there will be a training session to teach people how to find their legislators and what to say to them, and encouraging them to get the legislators to join everyone in creating a public work of art. The events will continue Tuesday with a free workshop at the Historical Building that’s designed to help management, staff, board members, volunteers and professional association employees learn how to improve their nonprofit organizations.