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Arts Advocacy // Fall 2020
Thursday, October 29, 2020, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT
Category: FY21 Workshops

Arts Advocacy

Thursday, October 29, 2020
2:00pm - 3:30pm ET

Join via Zoom
Information to join the Zoom meeting will be included in the confirmation email.

The New York City cultural community is vital to the heartbeat of New York. It actively contributes to the city’s economic development, the educational and social development of our students, and the quality of life for our residents. Fortunately, our City government recognizes the importance of cultural organizations and supports them through a variety of methods. This includes capital and expense funding from City agencies, Borough Presidents, and the NYC Council, legislation to support cultural organizations, advocacy efforts to strengthen the cultural community, and more.

Now more than ever, we need to engage with elected officials and City agencies and advocate for our organizations and the cultural community as a whole. This workshop will aim to provide an overview of the political landscape and share best practices on how to best engage with different government entities and advocate for your organization. You will hear from a government relations professional as well as several theatres on strategies that have worked for them in the past, and how they may have shifted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With many different ways to interact with government, it can often be overwhelming, but this workshop will help break down concrete actions you can take.

Zak Malik is a Legislative Advisor with Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, where he represents and advocates for a wide array of nonprofit and corporate clients to city and state government, engaging in budget advocacy, legislative analysis, and community affairs. In his role, Zak helps guide clients through the City’s budget process, working closely with them to help secure government funding for programming and capital projects. He also monitors political, legislative, and regulatory activity, and lobbies for legislative changes at the city and state level in a range of policy areas.

Zak brings with him cross-sector experience and a long-standing interest in politics and policy. Prior to joining the firm, Zak worked on a congressional campaign in his home district, helping a new challenger unseat an incumbent. He is also an alum of the NYC Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs, where he gained a strong understanding of how the city operates by examining and gaining firsthand experience working in a variety of sectors and institutions. Through Coro, Zak worked at NYCHA, 32BJ, Moody’s Corporation, the Public Policy Institute of New York State, and Industry City. Before that, Zak was focused on education policy as a Policy and Advocacy Fellow with Leaders for Educational Equity. Zak is an alumnus of Teach For America, where he taught high school special education in the Bay Area, California. Through TFA, he earned an M.A. in special education at Loyola Marymount University. Zak graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in government. He is a proud Brooklyn native, where he is currently active in local politics.

Alec Duffy, Founder/Co-Director, JACK
Hollis King, Creative Director, The Billie Holiday Theatre
Jonathan McCrory, Artistic Director, National Black Theatre
Omari Soulfinger, Director of Communications & Creative Advocacy, Theatre of the Oppressed NYC


For accessibility information, special circumstances, or other accommodations please contact Kirsten Sweeney at [email protected]. Interpretation and captioning is available upon request; requests must be made at least 7 business days prior to the event.

Contact: Kirsten Sweeney - [email protected]