Student Advocates in the Spotlight
University of Central Arkansas Students Lead the Way for a New Generation of Arts Advocacy in Arkansas
By The Officers of the UCA Chapter of Students for the Arts
Arkansans for the Arts piloted the Students for the Arts (SFA) program in 2019 with the University of Central Arkansas (UCA). The UCA chapter is the first of its kind in the nation. Through the program, students gain hands-on training and real-life experiences advocating for the arts and the creative economy and, the program gives them several opportunities to showcase their artistic talents in unique ways.
UCA Students benefit from the SFA program by learning how they can become more involved on campus, in the arts community, and how to communicate with government officials about why the creative economy is important to them. Read on to find out more about the UCA chapter from the officers themselves!
UCA Students for the Arts' Mission
The Students for the Arts is the University of Central Arkansas campus arm of the Arkansans for the Arts organization, which aims to provide leadership focused on the promotion and advancement of the creative economy, on transforming policy in arts education, and uniting the state into one voice with a call to action by policy makers to increase investment in the arts. The major objectives of the organization are to provide students with the ability and training to advance the arts, arts education, and the creative economy in Arkansas.
STUDENTS FOR THE ARTS FOCUS:
- Activities for UCA students that promote the arts.
- Educating UCA students and the community about the arts.
- Growing future leaders in Arkansas arts.
- Contributing to the UCA and Arkansas creative economy.
- Lending voice to Arkansas arts policy and legislative process.
- Advancing the arts in Arkansas.
- To assist other universities/colleges in beginning Students for the Arts Chapters.
UCA Students for the Arts Activities
SFA students can apply for paid internships, meet with and learn from local, state and national legislators, policy makers and Arkansans for the Arts Board members. Arkansans for the Arts provides arts and creative economy advocacy training and materials and speakers for SFA meetings. Students participate in Arts Advocacy Day, round-table discussions, assist with arts and creative economy research and presentations and other Arkansans for the Arts programs and events.
Each semester, Students for the Arts (SFA-UCA) hosts a series of speakers that come from different educational and professional backgrounds, all of which play a role or integrate the arts in some way. For Fall ‘21, we will be hosting speakers online and in-person depending on their availability and preference. SFA will also be participating in ArtsFest, Conway Daze, and Fall Fest this year.
During the spring semester 2021, SftA members hosted ARftA board members as guests for our Zoom meetings in March and April:
- Mar. 2, Past President Garbo Hearne presented on vision of ARftA, the Creative Economy, and formation of the Legislative Arts Caucus.
- Mar. 16, Garbo Hearne and Dr. Lenore Shoults talked about the Art and Technology Bootcamp.
- Apr. 6, President Sandy Martin and board members MaryRoss Taylor and Talicia Richardson talked about how to communicate with legislators.
- Apr. 20, Members discussed plans for fall. Officers created thank you goodie bags and distributed them to members.
On March 11, 2021, UCA Students for the Arts advocated with Arkansans for the Arts on the Arts and Technology Bootcamp Bill.
Avery Rudolph, UCA Students for the Arts Vice President, hosts an Instagram Live Q&A at least once a week with artists from different Arkansas colleges and universities. The goal of these live sessions is to promote the arts and to introduce viewers to varying art backgrounds and experiences, careers, and give attendees to ask questions about national and global issues as they relate to the arts.
UCA Students for the Arts Officers & Faculty Advisors
To learn more about the UCA Chapter of Students for the Arts, you can contact any of the Officers or Faculty Advisors:
- Olivia Fleming: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Avery Rudolph: email@example.com
- Dr. Gayle Seymour: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr. Trina Harlow: email@example.com
Arkansas for the Arts seeks to bring opportunities for advocacy to students around the state. If you'd like to learn more about opening a Students for the Arts chapter at your high school, college, university, or other organization, please contact us!