Show-Me Arts

MAAE - (SMarts)

Show-Me Arts:

Empowering the Student Voice in Advocacy

SHow-Me Arts (SMarts) Student Advocacy Summit

Training 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.

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.

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 approach the planning process in the summer/autumn of 2020, we suspect that it will not be possible to host the Summit as it has been in years past. 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 does not allow for utilization of social distancing protocols. Student safety is of greatest importance, so changes are in the planning stages.

One idea being explored is to host a series of regional training sessions - either in-person or via ZOOM. Another option may include scheduling video-conferences with legislators instead 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.

register HERE

You can register for 2020 SHOW-ME SUMMIT online!

Alternative registration email the name of the school and the students/teachers/parents who will be attending to

Questions about the program are welcome. Contact Teri Turner, Show-Me Arts Coordinator of the Missouri Alliance for Arts Education

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 -