OhioDance inclusively supports the diverse and vibrant practice of dance of all cultures and for all capabilities.


The National Dance Association defines advocacy as “communication for the purpose of influencing others about an issue, idea or concern that is meaningful to you. It is a means to make your views or the views of others you represent to count in the decision making process. Your role as an advocate depends upon your interests and skills. You may be good at gathering information, writing a press release, speaking to a group or talking one on one with a legislator, or you may prefer to plan activities and work behind the scenes. There is a role for everyone in advocacy especially when you passionately care about and believe in the cause or idea.”

Dance/art education advocacy is organized at the national, state and local levels.

OhioDance Advocacy Statement

OhioDance is the statewide service organization for dance and movement arts. Its mission is to support the diverse and vibrant field of dance in Ohio. For 30 years, OhioDance has been an inclusive not-for-profit umbrella and advocate for information-sharing, education, partnership-building, and increased visibility for dance in Ohio, trying to serve all counties and realms of dance.

OhioDance addresses the spirit of coming together in the name of art, community, and education. Dance, as an art form, is defined by the people who engage in it. The meaning and contributions of dance are not realized unless those representatives are given venues for full action and embodiment. OhioDance allows dancers to share and benefit from their pursuits. OhioDance provides the potential to inspire and support those diverse “moving” voices by providing a system to better share their expertise and talents, and thereby better serve our community.

OhioDance draws strength from partnerships formed with other statewide arts service organizations (Ohio Citizens for the Arts, Ohio Alliance for Arts Education and Ohio Arts Presenters Network, public school systems, universities and dance companies as well as dancers.

OhioDance works closely with the Ohio Citizens for the Arts and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education. Together our statewide service organizations provide a unique opportunity for arts education. We are united in a strong voice to support all of the arts which further promotes the educational value, artistic excellence, and joy of dance for the citizens of Ohio. The OAAE and OCA have long supported dance as an equal partner in the pursuit of quality arts education for Ohioans.

As we move into a new era for arts education as part of recently adopted legislation (SB 311) we have the opportunity to further our partnership work as we strategically develop a plan to assist schools and districts with strategies and tools to increase the capacity of educators to provide high quality instruction in arts education to all of Ohio’s students.


The American Arts Alliance (AAA)
The American Arts Alliance (AAA) “is a national network of more than 4,100 members comprising the professional, nonprofit performing arts and presenting fields. For 30 years, the American Arts Alliance has been the premiere advocate for America’s professional nonprofit arts organizations, artists and their publics before the US Congress and key policy makers. Through legislative and grassroots action, the American Arts Alliance advocates for national policies that recognize, enhance and foster the contributions the performing arts make to America.” Dance/USA, “the national service organization for not-for-profit professional dance”, is a member organization of the American Arts Alliance.
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American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD)
American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) “is an alliance of five national associations, six district associations, and a research consortium which support healthy lifestyles through high quality programs.” Its member dance organization is the National Dance Association (NDA).

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Arts Education Partnership (AEP)
Arts Education Partnership (AEP) “is a national coalition of arts, education, business, philanthropic and government organizations that demonstrate and promote the essential role of the arts in the learning and development of every child and in the improvement of America’s schools.” AEP “provides information and guidance to assist arts education organizations and partnerships advocate for the arts at national, state and local levels and learn about government funding at the federal and state levels. The Partnership provides information on the grant programs of two federal agencies: the U.S. Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Arts.” This site provides a valuable and searchable State Arts Education Policy database containing summaries of state policy on the following topics:

  • Arts coursework requirements for non-arts teachers
  • Arts requirements for college entrance
  • Arts requirements for high school graduation
  • Chief State School Officer statement supportive of arts education
  • Current or recent state-appointed task forces or commissions relevant to arts education
  • Licensure/certification requirements for arts teachers
  • Licensure/certification requirements for general (elementary) classroom teachers
  • Professional development requirements for arts teachers
  • State arts education mandate
  • State assessment measures in the arts
  • State standards for the arts
  • State Department of Education Contact Person
  • State Department of Education’s website
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Americans for the Arts
Americans for the Arts is a national nonprofit organization that seeks to promote and support the viability of the arts across the national landscape so that the arts may serve as a resource for the community. Americans for the Arts partners with government agencies, business leaders, educators and other patrons and generates research and professional development programs in support of its arts advocacy position and goals. Membership is available for individuals and organizations.
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National Art Education Association (NAEA)
National Art Education Association (NAEA) “promotes art education through professional development, service, advancement of knowledge, and leadership” for the visual arts. It provides a series of advocacy links for arts education through its Advocacy/Research page.
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National Arts and Education Network (ArtsEdge)
National Arts and Education Network (ArtsEdge) has a Connect: Advocacy Essentials page that offers access to “ideas, tools” and contact information “that support the role of arts in education.”
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National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA)
National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) “is the membership organization that unites, represents and serves the nation’s state and jurisdictional arts agencies.” Each of the 50 states and six special jurisdictions has an arts agency committed to a meaningful role for the arts and culture in the lives of individuals, families and communities. NASAA empowers the “state arts agencies through strategic assistance that fosters leadership, enhances planning and decision making, and increases resources.” The 56 State Arts Agencies receive funding from the National Endowment of the Arts. NASAA publications include Advocacy and Lobbying: Speaking up for the Arts, Arts Advocacy Checklist for Arts Organizations, Arts Advocacy Checklist for State Arts Agencies, and The NASAA Advocate: Strategies for Building Arts Support found on their Advocacy Publications page.
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National Dance Education Organization (NDEO)
The National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) is a nonprofit advocate organization that promotes the “importance of dance in the human experience,” supporting “dance education at the local, state, and national levels.”
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Project Zero
Project Zero’s Art Survive! research study examines arts education partnerships to determine “why some partnerships survive and others do not.”
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Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE)
Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE) “OAAE speaks on behalf of arts education before policy-makers and provides strategic input to the Ohio Department of Education, Ohio Arts Council, local arts organizations, school boards, parents, and educators. OAAE advocacy work, which includes weekly e-mail updates to our members has helped increase public awareness on such issues as operating and academic standards, the education budget, and work undertaken by the State Board of Education, Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding, and the legislature. OAAE is a member of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network.” The latest “Arts on Line” Education update is available and there are links to past “Arts on Line” updates. The Advocacy page is underdevelopment
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Ohio Arts Council (OAC)
The Ohio Arts Council (OAC)“is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically.”

  • OAC Resources page links to regional, state and national organizations and information.
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Ohio Citizens for the Arts (OCA)
Ohio Citizens for the Arts (OCA)is a “statewide non-profit grass-roots” arts advocacy organization working to increase public support for the arts in Ohio. OCA “monitors and speaks out on public policy issues affecting the arts and arts education in Ohio and maintains a year-round presence at the state-house through a professional lobbyist and a network of volunteer arts advocates.”

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OhioDance “is the statewide service organization for dance and movement arts. Its mission is to support the diverse and vibrant field of dance in Ohio. For 30 years, OhioDance has been an inclusive not-for-profit umbrella and advocate for information-sharing, education, partnership-building, and increased visibility for dance in Ohio, trying to serve all counties and realms of dance.”
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VSA Arts of Ohio (VSAO)
VSA Arts of Ohio “provides an inclusive environment in which children and adults with disabilities are given the opportunity to celebrate life through the arts, education and creative expression. VSA arts of Ohio programs are implemented through a statewide network of local arts, community and educational organizations. Programming includes festivals for inclusive audiences, special outreach programs to children, training to educators, artists and volunteers, arts residencies and workshops, performances, audio-description services and visual arts competitions and exhibitions. VSAO also serves as an advocate for artists with disabilities, people with disabilities, and accessibility issues. VASO is an affiliate of VSA Arts.”
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Resource content and links for local advocacy are based on individual/community submissions to OhioDance.

Ohio Arts Council (OAC)
Ohio Arts Council (OAC): Statewide Listing of Local Arts Councils.
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Northeast Ohio

Akron Area Arts Alliance
The Akron Area Arts Alliance “is a non-profit 501(c)3 advocacy organization promoting arts and cultural activities in the Summit, Portage and Medina Counties. The Education Programming Guide lists youth programming offered by AAAA members to schools and youth organizations throughout Summit, Medina and Portage Counties.”
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Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio (YANEO)
Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio (YANEO) “is an affiliated professional chapter of Young Audiences, Inc., the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit arts-in-education organization dedicated to making the arts essential to the education of all school-aged children. YANEO is the only multi-arts resource for Northeast Ohio schools–pre-school through high school–committed to making learning through the arts a fundamental component of young people’s development. The Initiative for Cultural Arts in Education (ICARE) is a program that supports long-term arts-focused educational partnerships between the Cleveland Municipal School District (CMSD) and the Northeast Ohio cultural community. ICARE seeks to improve student achievement in both the arts and academic subjects. Art is Education is a K-12 initiative in collaboration with the Cleveland Municipal School District that employs the arts to teach literacy.”
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