Hill Visits: Walk the Halls

by Laurie Baskin

in Advocacy

Post image for Hill Visits: Walk the Halls

(Photo credit below*. Leading up to Arts Advocacy Day on March 24-25, TCG is sharing reflections from our board and National Council for the American Theatre on our February visits to Capitol Hill.  Learn more about TCG’s advocacy efforts here, and how you can get involved with Arts Advocacy Day here and here.)

Heather Randall, Actor, Producer, Theatre Activist, TCG Board
Advocating for the arts, or any cause, on Capitol Hill is a right that as an American that we should all assert at least once in our lives. It is exhilarating to walk the halls of Congress and stand in the offices of some of the most respected – and disrespected – leaders in our country and to know for a few minutes you have the ear of that elected official. I’ve done it several times with TCG now and it is always a really fun, exciting day. The most fun moment of this trip was running into the California contingent and bragging that we’d had a personal meeting with Senator Corey Booker!

Senator Corey Booker has to be the most fun leader I’ve ever met with while advocating with TCG. His energy and positivity is boundless and refreshing! He bounded into the room when we were in his office and exclaimed, “As a former mayor of an American city I know how important the arts are to the local economy and spirit of any city.” It was like we made him up!

Marshall Jones III, Producing Artistic Director; Crossroads Theatre Company, TCG Board
As a lifelong resident of NJ, I got a real since of civic pride while meeting with an aide of former Newark mayor and current NJ Senator Cory Booker, and all of a sudden the Senator burst through the door and received rock star treatment from our group.  He chatted with us and mentioned that as a mayor of a large urban city, he knows first-hand the power of the arts in education.

Tim Sanford, Artistic Director; Playwrights Horizons, TCG Board
I loved having the opportunity to accompany TCG staff and fellow board members to the Hill to lobby for causes dear to our hearts.  It was fun and inspiring.  I had great appreciation for the listening skills of the congressional staff members and their expertise.  I especially relished Alissa Moore’s “Geek Mastery” of the ins and outs of the legislation concerning Wireless technologies and FCC bandwidth licensing.  We were talking to NY and NJ legislators, so we were preaching to the converted, but everyone took notes on this one.

(*Photo, left to right: Tim Sanford, Artistic Director; Playwrights Horizons; Heather Randall, TCG Board; Corey Booker, Senator (D-NJ); Teresa Eyring, Executive Director, Theatre  Communications Group; Marshall Jones III, Producing Artistic Director; Crossroads Theatre Company; Alissa Moore, Education, Research & Collective Action Associate, Theatre Communications Group.)

laurie_baskin_2Laurie Baskindirector of research, policy & collective action, joined TCG in 1997 as executive assistant to the executive director. In 1999, she was named director of government and education programs and in 2013 was named director of the newly formed department of Research, Policy and Collective Action. Ms. Baskin serves as TCG’s liaison to the Performing Arts Alliance. Prior to joining TCG, Ms. Baskin served for 15 years as executive assistant to the Chairman of the New York State Council on the Arts, working for then-Chairman, Kitty Carlisle Hart. She attended Mount Holyoke College, earned her B.A. from Colgate University, and a degree in arts administration from Adelphi University.