Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lobbying in Des Moines

Hello all,
I was called by our lobbyist Cal Hultmann to Des Moines to meet with some of our legislators regarding the arts in Iowa.  The first meeting was with Greg Forristall who is in charge of the House Education Committee. With each meeting Cal introduced me as the Chair of the Iowa Alliance for Arts Education and I explained that we represented the Visual Arts, Speech and Drama, Dance and Music Education. Greg received a degree in Oboe from the University of Iowa and his wife (his clerk) was the only vocal person to use the Metropolitan program for 12 years while she was at Carson-Macedonia.  

Then we met with Senator Herman C. Quirmbach who played French Horn through undergraduate school. It was quickly apparent that I would be preaching to the choir and I changed to a shorter explanation about the benefits of arts education to asking for their help at the state level.  At this point Cal suggested to the Senator that perhaps introducing a Resolution regarding arts education might be a useful tool for us to present to our members for use at the local level.  Senator Quirmbach agreed that this would be something that could be done.

Cal's office is drafting such a resolution for our ok. After a casual lunch (including the Cheif of Staff for the Governor) we met with Linda Fandel - special Assistant for Education.  She was well-versed in the benefits of the arts (two string players of her own) and she suggested a Proclamation.  I have contacted the Kennedy Center for appropriate language and hope to have it this week and on her desk before Cultural Affairs Day on the 15th of Feb.  Perhaps we could have a signing there at the display that Pat Grubb is putting together.  I am contacting some of the Des Moines area teachers for possible music performances as well.

David Law

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