Educating Yourself on MN Arts Politics

Educating Yourself on MN Arts Politics

Author’s Note: The political bias of this blog post is: supporting the arts and being an informed & active arts advocate is one of the important job roles of being an artist. However, this blog post is a non-partisan informative post outlining how Minnesotan artists can learn how to self-educate themselves on art & politics.

Both Republicans and Democrats can support (and not support) the arts so understanding where politicians and candidates stand on supporting the arts is important. There will be no recommendation on candidates or political parties in this blog post.

Below you will find information on: where to find critical arts data, how to become an arts advocate, important constitutional amendments to be aware of, where you can find non-partisan information on candidates running for office, how to locate your polling place, and how to register to vote. 

The arts in Minnesota play a large role in the economy of our state; a role that equals the economic impact of over 2 billion dollars (Creative MN). With this sort of impact, it’s clear that the arts are important to many residents of Minnesota. Your political engagement, the role of activism, and your votes determine the future landscape of this creative community.

It’s important to continually educate yourself on how to stay informed and active in the local and statewide creative politics. This will also help you make decisions around voting time. This is especially key with the upcoming midterm elections happening this fall.

Know Your Arts Data through – Creative MN is a collaborative effort between a number of organizations that participate in art data collection in Minnesota. If you need some hard data, this is the pace to go. You can find lots of data, interactive maps, and events that can shed light on the impact and scope of the arts in our state. 

If there is an opportunity to collect creative census material for the Creative MN report or Minneapolis Creative Index, participate in these data collection opportunities. There is also a “take action” page on the Creative MN website where you can download infographics that share the data about the large economic impact of artists. You can use these to freely distribute and share. 

Know Your Advocacy Organizations: MN Citizens for the Arts is a key organization that is fighting for a vibrant arts economy in the state of Minnesota. They also plan and coordinate the annual Arts Advocacy Day. If you are interested in getting more involved in advocacy and understanding the political art scene, becoming a member of this organization or attending Arts Advocacy Day is a great way to get started. 

Know the Legacy Amendment:  The Legacy Amendment is a really important constitutional amendment to the arts.  The Legacy Amendment increased the state sales tax by three-eighths of one percent beginning on July 1, 2009. This means every time you make a purchase, a portion of the sales tax goes to supporting the arts. 

There are 4 different funds within this amendment: 33 percent to the clean water fund; 33 percent to the outdoor heritage fund; 19.75 percent to the arts and cultural heritage fund (which equals about 442 million dollars); and 14.25 percent to the parks and trails fund.

It’s important to understand how this amendment impacts and funds many arts and cultural heritage projects in Minnesota including individual artists and organizations.  This funding for the Amendment will continue until 2034. It’s crucial to arts funding to learn and understand how this amendment impacts our arts sector. This funding is not a given, so be prepared to advocate for its continuation when it comes up again on the ballot.

Know Your Candidates: It’s important to know which candidates are going to be showing up on your ballot. You can find a list of candidates, view a sample ballot, and link to candidate websites where you can read more about their platform and views  This website will list all candidates regardless of the party so you can learn who you plan to vote for. 

You can see who is on your ballot and learn about candidates here

MN Citizens for the Arts also sends out surveys to candidates about their views on the arts. You can access that survey information here. What is also important about this data is it’s also non-partisan. 

Know Your Polling Place: It’s important to be registered to vote and to know where your polling place is. You can look up where you go to vote on election day on the poll finder here.

Last but not least, if you are not already registered, you can register to vote in Minnesota here.

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