Show-Me Arts

MAAE - (SMarts)

Show-Me Arts:

Empowering the Student Voice in Advocacy

Geared for middle school and up we welcome both novice and experienced arts advocates as we work together to help the next generation find their voice in support of the arts and arts education.

We Need YOU !

You make a difference!

Your voice matters!

For additional info access the 2022 Registration Form or email

$45 per person

Includes overnight hotel accommodations (double occupancy) and Tuesday evening dinner, Wednesday breakfast and lunch

SMarts Student Advocacy 2022 Virtual Training Opportunities
are FREE!

Plan to attend


3/22/22 -
Sign-up HERE to receive more information

Registration From Coming Soon

Anyone who attended any of the previous training sessions for SMarts be sure to attend the

MAAE Arts Advocacy SUMMIT

March 22, 2022

Enter contests, win prizes, have fun and more!

SHow-Me Arts (SMarts) Student Advocacy Summit

Geared for students middle school and up, this project trains the next generation of arts advocates. The SHOW-ME Arts program (SMarts) provides information, training and role-playing activities for students - who then apply those skills by meeting with their legislators. and participants arranged their own meetings with their legislator to coincide with the other Fine Arts celebrations at the capitol.

What to expect: At the SMarts Summit on Tuesday evening, you’ll work with other teens, enjoy fun and fellowship as you learn about the issues from legislator trainers and other volunteers, rehearse your advocacy pitch and “elevator speech” to present to legislators on Wednesday’s Fine Arts Educators Day.

Show-Me Arts students often:

  • write letters, cards and notes

  • meet with department of education (DESE) officials and journalists

  • prepare statements, deliver testimony at legislative hearings

  • personally advocate for the arts at the Missouri State Capitol

  • gain a unique perspective of state government and grow as arts advocates and citizens

  • share the products of their arts education through exhibits or performances

Purpose of the Show-Me Arts Summit

Students see fine arts programs and budgets in danger of being cut or limited in local school districts and they want to do something about it. They also know the power of the arts in their own lives and can see the benefit of promoting arts-friendly policies.

Educating the public and the policymakers about the importance of fine arts in our schools is one way to make the arts flourish as a vital part of every student’s education. Cornerstones of activity for student arts advocates include the development of a focused advocacy message to promote arts education, and training to share that message not only with state legislators, but also to use in their home communities around the state.


The Way We Were...

Prior to 2020, these training sessions were held the evening that preceded Fine Arts Education Day. Thanks to the generosity of our friends at the Francis Family Foundation we were previously able to offer this Summit as an all inclusive package for the low cost of $35 per person. (2019 prices)

This experience included:

  • Tuesday evening registration

  • dinner

  • three hours of advocacy training

  • advocacy training materials

  • overnight lodging (shared occupancy) at the Doubletree Hotel

  • Wednesday morning breakfast

  • Join students and teachers from all over the state at Fine Arts Education Day at the Missouri's Capitol to put your training to work

  • meetings with legislators

(Students arrange the meeting with legislators in advance. Many of the students bring artwork, photographs, playbills, DVDs and CDs to present to their legislators during the visits.)
  • lunch (advance reservations needed)


With social distancing guidelines in place as we approached the planning process in the summer/autumn of 2020, the 2021 SMart Summit went virtual. Shared overnight accommodations and shared restroom space, as well as buffet-style food service and other considerations of the "way we have always done it" simply did not allow for utilization of social distancing protocols. Student safety is of greatest importance, so changes are in the planning stages.

With ever shifting circumstances we acknowledge that the best laid plans may change. Current plans include a statewide call for teachers/sponsors and students to gather in-person with a companion 75-minute training session and a culminating webinar for both in-person and virtual participants on March 22, 2021.

Students can also work to schedule video-conferences with legislators in lieu of "in-person" visits.

Stay tuned as our plans continue to evolve.

Students: Join a network of fine arts student leaders to let your voice be heard. Our message is simple.

Every School. Every Child. Every Day.

Seeking feedback and suggestions.

This website was launched in August, 2020. We are seeking feedback from site visitors about their experience. Please share your thoughts on this survey.

How did Show-Me Arts begin?

Show-Me Arts is a student-led arts advocacy initiative that began with one small group of juniors and seniors from Logan-Rogersville High School in Southwest Missouri in 2008. This small, dedicated group, worked with their state representative, Bob Dixon, and the Missouri Alliance for Arts Education to develop House Bill 870, legislation to promote fine arts professional development for teachers. In 2010 Representative Dixon introduced the bill in the House and Senator David Pearce introduced the bill in the Senate. Show-Me Arts committee members provided testimony at Committee hearings for the bill, met with state department of education (DESE) officials, prepared statements, personally advocated for the arts at the Missouri State Capitol and gained a unique perspective of state government. The students and their supporters were rewarded when the 2011 legislature passed their idea into law.

Over the years students from high schools across the state have met at the annual Summit to learn and practice advocacy skills. Members of Show-Me Arts have taken an active role in working with the Board of the Missouri Alliance for Arts Education in planning advocacy activities. This year we want to involve even more students from schools across the state. More students, speaking in a coordinated effort, means the case for the arts in education is being stated more forcefully than ever.

The MAAE greatly appreciates the financial support provided by the Francis Family Foundation and the MAAE member organizations for
Fine Arts Education Day.

Missouri Alliance for Arts Education -