How to use Making Change to create new advocates for Teaching Artistry
The new book Making Change: Teaching Artists and Their Role in Shaping a Better World is the first book about the professional field of teaching artistry for people who don’t know what teaching artistry is—and for those who do but could be inspired by knowing more.
It is the first book written as a tool to clarify and inspire readers to understand and actively support the field of teaching artistry.
The 5,000 New Advocates campaign invites, requests, urges teaching artists and those who appreciate them to become active in using this book to cultivate new supporters for the field. Please step up to the opportunity and get this book into the hands of as many likely supporters as you can.
Give it to people outside the arts who have no idea what teaching artists can do for them—focus on their benefits.
Give it to people inside the arts who are not aware of how powerful this distinctive workforce really is—focus on what they are missing.
Give it to people who might fund or support your organization or career.
Using this resource means more than just mailing a copy to someone and hoping something good happens. That almost never works. Become an active advocate, using this book. I’ve written a full essay about being an effective advocate—if you are interested, read it here.
For those who want to learn more about effective advocacy, we recommend an excellent resource from Creative Generation: Case-Making and Systems Change.
Here are some key ideas for fostering advocates with Making Change:
No one-shot miracles. On its own, the book has impact. But to create an advocate, it requires more personal contact—before and after is best. Set them up, and then follow up. The followup is especially valuable.
Set the frame. Introduce the book through the frame that you think will be most relevant to their interests. Not: “Here is a short book about teaching artistry.” But maybe (to a social impact funder): “Here is a short book that shows the ways teaching artists can help you achieve your goals in uniquely effective ways.”
Listen first, even if your only access is website information. Hear what they care about. Listening is the most overlooked skill of good advocacy—most people mistakenly think advocacy means telling and convincing. Rather: Listen, respond, connect and use the book to add information and muscle.
Be clever in selecting potential new advocates. You can be bold—you are offering them something free and interesting. Who might get excited by knowing about (or knowing more about) teaching artistry? Who might identify a benefit of connecting with teaching artists? Think of people inside the arts who are not thinking about teaching artists. Think of people outside the arts—people in business and health, funders, social service and social justice leaders and workers. Think of people you’ve been wanting to engage with your work.
Host a Book Club
Purchase books through one of the options above and click the button below to let us know you’re on board for a book club. We’ll send you a PDF of Eric’s discussion guide plus a couple of fun ideas for your gathering.
For ideas from Eric about how to organize and host a book club go here.
Eric will be happy to make a zoom appearance for groups of 10 or more!
More actions you can take to help the field of Teaching Artistry:
Read Making Change and write a review on Amazon (or another platform).
Post about the book on social media, about the 5,000 New Advocates campaign, and about the field. Do this more than once!
Join ITAC (International Teaching Artist Collaborative), the global network (no cost); and join TAG (Teaching Artist Guild) or other TA support groups in the U.S., and put your membership status proudly on your email.
Contact at least one colleague a month and talk to them about the book, about TAG, about ITAC’s projects.
Give the book to a potential supporter—and follow up to discuss teaching artistry.
Publicize the book yourself—in a blog, in an organizational newsletter, in a Letter to the Editor. Just a few sentences about what’s important in the book for others to attend to, and a link to buy it or join the 5,000 New Advocates campaign.
Ask a reviewer or arts-culture writer to write about it or an arts organization’s newsletter. Do you have access to a celebrity? Can you turn them on to the field with this book?
Get a local library or university library to obtain the book.
Mention that you are part of a powerful national and global workforce—the sleeping giant of social change—every time you talk about your work as a teaching artist (or with teaching artists),
Read Making Change and the resources on TAG’s and ITAC’s websites, so you can advocate effectively for the field—think of it as homework you can do to become effective. Creative Generation has excellent materials on advocacy.
Make it a habit of mind to talk about teaching artistry often, give it air in your life and in your networks.