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Data and Information for Case Making

A persuasive advocate or lobbyist has the right data to back up their position.

One legislator may care about the economic impact while another will be more interested in the connection between arts and education. It is always best to align your talking points with the interests of the policymaker, whenever possible. And, research and handouts are useful to inform coalitions, board members, audiences, and more. The following resources will arm you with persuasive facts, talking points, and handouts.


Arts & Economy

Bureau of Economic Activity (BEA) & the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
The BEA and NEA created the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA), which tracks the annual economic impact of arts and cultural production from 35 industries, both commercial and nonprofit. The BEA website includes data sheets for the arts at the national and state level, including an interactive map and more.

Visit the Arts & Culture section of the Bureau of Economic Activity.


Arts & Health
  • NEA Report “Arts Strategies for Addressing the Opioid Crisis: Examining the Evidence” finds that incorporating music into treatments for opioid use disorder can contribute significant, positive effects for patients.
  • Launched in 2021, the Sound Health Network is a partnership of the NEA with the University of California, San Francisco, in collaboration with NIH, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Renée Fleming. It builds on the Sound Health Partnership, which brings together scientists, music therapists, artists, and the public to explore music’s impact on the brain, health, and wellness.
  • According to a recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO), engaging with the arts can benefit mental and physical health. As the most comprehensive review of evidence on arts and health to date, the 2019 study analyzed evidence from over 3,700 studies from 900 global publications. It identified a significant role for the arts in preventing ill health, promoting health and management, and treating illness across the lifespan.
  • COVID-19 and Social Distancing: Impact of Arts and Other Activities on Mental Health, an ongoing study by University College London and extended to the U.S. in partnership with the University of Florida and Americans for the Arts, is tracking 80,000 adults in the United Kingdom and United States to gauge the pandemic’s impact on mental health. Preliminary findings show that just 30 minutes of active arts activities daily may lower anxiety and depression and increase life satisfaction, combating the ill effects of isolation and loneliness associated with COVID-19.
Your State and the Arts

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) provides extensive research and tools to support arts advocacy at the state level.

Arts Policy Issue Briefs

A set of Arts Policy Issue Briefs are written by the Cultural Advocacy Group, a collaboration of arts and culture stakeholders working collectively to advance federal policy. These briefs are printable, can be distributed to elected officials, and provide talking points and data that may be useful when speaking to elected officials at all levels of government.

Read and download the briefs at Latest Updates & Issues.

OPERA America's advocacy guides were developed in 2024 by Amy Fitterer, consultant, with support from The Music Man Foundation. Download this advocacy guide as a PDF and view the full Advocacy Toolkit.