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Advocacy Day 2023

Advocacy Day

Washington, D.C.

We spoke up for the value of theatre education.

On July 18-19, 2023, EdTA’s delegation of teachers and students participated in a day of training workshops followed by visits with federal legislators. We advocated for policies and funding that strengthen theatre education and drove home the point to Washington decisionmakers why every child deserves access to theatre taught by qualified educators as part of a well-rounded education. 

How to Participate

  1. Gather your school or community delegation if you have one (individuals welcome, too!). 
  2. Register and book your hotel reservations.
  3. Review the training materials, fact sheets, and video provided after registration, and participate in a training webinar July 7. 
  4. Schedule your meetings with your legislators’ offices. 
  5. Come to Washington, D.C. Attend pre-meeting workshops, then go advocate! 
  6. Join an informal sharing session to report learnings and wins. 

Registration and Fees

  • Students and EdTA adult members: $100 
  • Adult non-members: $130 

Registration includes refreshments during the workshop day and networking reception, as well as transportation to and from Capitol Hill for your legislator visits. 

Your registration also grants you membership in EdTA’s Advocacy Leadership Network, a grassroots group that promotes and advocates for K-12 theatre education to school board members, administrators, legislators, and other critical decision makers. Learn more about the ALN.

Note: For troupe directors to register students who aren’t inducted Thespians, log into your account and choose Import Roster from the left-side menu, then fill out the form and submit. These students will then appear in the system for you to register.

Contact if you need assistance with registration.  

Hotel Information


Hilton McLean Tysons Corner 
7920 Jones Branch Drive 
McLean, VA 22102 

EdTA has secured a participant rate of $179/night. Attendees must stay on-site at the hotel. If attending with students, EdTA requires at least one adult chaperone per eight youth participants. 

Event Schedule

Tuesday, July 18

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Registrant check-in and materials pickup

1 – 1:30 p.m. | Welcome and kickoff

  • State of Theatre Education with Dr. Jennifer Katona, EdTA Executive Director
  • Advocacy program overview with Jim Palmarini, Advocacy Day Director

1:45 – 2:45 p.m. | Training workshop

  • Deep Dive: 2024 Federal Policy and Legislation — Tooshar Swain, Director of Public Policy, Americans for the Arts; and Amanda Karhuse, Assistant Executive Director, Advocacy and Public Policy, National Association for Music Education

3 – 4 p.m. | Training workshop

  • Making Your Case with Data — Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research, Americans for the Arts

4:15 – 5:15 p.m. | Veteran Capitol Hill advocates panel

  • Led by Advocacy Leadership Network representatives Zach Bates, Helen Duranleau-Brennan,  Zach Schneider, and Lindsay Shields

5:30 – 6:30 p.m. | Plan and practice sessions

  • Review your leave-behind and informational folder documents with Jim Palmarini (optional)
  • Chapter groups/delegate teams plan and practice
  • Student advocates meet-and-greet training

7 – 8 p.m. Networking Reception

  • Reception will include light hors d’oeuvres. Dinner is on your own at the hotel or nearby restaurants within a 5-15-minute walk. The hotel shuttle stops at the Galleria Mall, with 20 dining options.

Wednesday, July 19

8 a.m. | Charter buses leave Hilton, drop off at Capitol Hill Visitors Center at 8:30 a.m. 

9 a.m – 4:15 p.m. | Capitol Hill visits 

5 p.m. | Charter buses depart from Capitol Hill Visitors Center, return to Hilton around 5:45 p.m. 

6 – 7 p.m. | Sharing session 

Get Ready for Advocacy Day

Prep Work

Leave-Behind Documents

You’ll receive a physical leave-behind folder with copies of these three documents when you check in at the event. 

You may also want to print and add these optional support pages. 

Please bring and add any state, district, or school support you wish to share with legislators.

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Navigating Capitol Hill and D.C.

us capitol map

It’s helpful to get oriented to the layout of Capitol Hill so you can plan your routes between appointments. Download this printable map.

EdTA will provide charter bus transportation to and from the Capitol Hill Visitor Center as part of your Advocacy Day registration. In case you need alternate transportation, consult the metro map. The Hilton is just under 1 mile from the McLean and Tysons Corner metro stations; the Metro also goes to both Dulles and Reagan airports.


Advocacy Day director Jim Palmarini is here to help! 

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