October is a beautiful month. The swelter of summer has faded to make way for Autumn to bloom and nature to boast colors and hues that make us appreciate the beauty that’s all around us. If there weren’t already enough reasons to love October, it’s also National Arts & Humanities Month: a-coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of art and culture in America.
The celebration began in 1987 when President Reagan commemorated the National Endowment of the Arts’ twentieth anniversary by establishing National Arts Week. In 1993, Americans for the Arts and its partner organization reestablished the week as a month-long celebration dedicated to four simple goals:
- Focusing attention on the arts at local, state and national levels;
- Encouraging individuals and organizations to increase their participation in the arts;
- Allowing governments and businesses to show their support for the arts; and
- Raising awareness of the positive and impactful role arts and humanities play in our communities and lives.
Here are a number of ways you can participate:
- View an art exhibit, visit a museum, attend a play, go to a festival, or listen to an outdoor concert. Have kids? Make it a family outing!
- Participate in the social media campaign, “Show Your Art,” where people across the country showcase the art they love by linking the hashtags #ShowYourArt2017 and #NAHM to a photo or video. Americans for the Arts will feature select photos on their website throughout the campaign.
- Host an event in your community, like a Creative Conversation, an open house, a Community Vision Forum or a special performance at a local arts venue.
- Write an op-ed, letter to the editor, or editorial for your local newspaper.
- Participate in The National Creative Conversation, a public Facebook forum where arts advocates and community leaders discuss the challenges and issues facing the arts in their communities.
- Write your member of Congress letting them know how important arts and arts education funding is to you, your family and your community.
You can use the National Arts Meet Calendar to promote a national art month event and to find others happening near you. More ideas, tools and resources can be found on the resources page of the National Arts & Humanities Month website.
You still have time to participate this year! At the very least get the word out about this fantastic reason to love October even more.