What is claimyourARTS?

claimyourARTS is a Teen Council committee, open to teens interested in advocating for the arts in their communities! We host trainings and conferences, visit politicians on the local, state, and national level, and mobilize around issues affecting arts education. Email to get involved.

claimyourARTS manifesto

I am an arts advocate. The arts are vital for my education. They empower and inspire. The arts are necessary for my development as a person. They help me to be open-minded, empathetic, and creative. The arts improve my community and my world because they generate and captivate. I will speak up for the arts because every person, no matter their background, deserves to be unique, blissfully playful, and confident. This is our education. Our voice. Our arts. And this is why I am an arts advocate.

Current projects

This June, leaders of the Berkeley Rep Teen Council will travel to represent Berkeley Rep at the 2015 Theatre Communications Group in Cleveland, Ohio. Students will join teen leaders from theatres across the country to share the youth voice in the national theatre dialogue.

Changing the Landscape of Theatre Audiences, Artists & Beyond: The Youth Voice

Teen Councils support the next generation of theatre artists, audiences, and staff members. They can deepen community relationships, support audience engagement strategies, and provide vital insight into how to keep programming relevant to a broader community. In this interactive session, you’ll hear from teenagers sitting on these Councils at theatres nationwide. From leadership training to Student Nights to project-based learning, Teen Council curriculum varies by organization; learn about multiple program models and approaches.

Want to take an active role in claimyourARTS planning? We’d love to have you on board! Email

Donations to support the work of claimyourARTS teens and their initiatives can be made to their Conference Fund.

Past projects

Open all · Close all

April 2015

On April 15, Teen Council delegates attended Confluence 2015 in Sacramento hosted by Californians for the Arts. Two teen leaders joined over 150 other California arts advocates to listen to the Joint Committee on the Arts Hearing on the Creative Economy of California.

After the hearing, our teens joined Brad Erickson, former President of Californians for the Arts, and other arts advocates from Alameda County to lobby members of the State Legislature to support an increase in California’s baseline funding for the arts and bill AB 189 to allow the Arts Council to create cultural districts.

Check out our teens’ testimony. Select the “Joint Committee on the Arts” (04/15/2015) and jump to time 2:43:48.

Teens at Confluence 2015

April 2013

Teen Council delegates attended Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC for the second year in a row! Three teen members participated in a day of training with over 500 national arts advocates and lobbied on Capitol Hill. The teens took packets of signatures from the STEM to STEAM lobby campaign (see March 2013 for more info) and delivered them to staff from Senate and House offices.

During the Arts Advocacy Day preconference, then School of Theatre Director Rachel Fink made a special presentation to the State Arts Action Network about the history, philosophy and pedagogy involved with the CLAIM initiative. During her presentation, Rachel shared resources including the online toolkit and conference curriculum with the hope that other districts may start similar programs.

Check out our Storify about Arts Advocacy Day and CLAIM!

Teens at Arts Day 2013

March 2013

claimyourARTS launched a lobby campaign during Berkeley Rep’s production of Fallaci. Patrons were invited to support STEM to STEAM—an initiative to include the arts with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-based education—and the STEAM caucus through House Resolution 51. The campaign at Berkeley Rep garnered over 700 signatures in support of STEM to STEAM. Check out our fact sheet to learn more.

We formalized the curriculum for our CLAIM Arts Advocacy Showdown, the culminating event at the CLAIM Conference in November 2012. In the Showdown, students are given four Case Studies through which they need to pitch the importance of arts in education and arts advocacy. It’s a useful exercise in articulating the need for the arts in a public forum. The curriculum is available here, free of charge.

What’s the big idea? Teen Council was featured in Americans for the Arts’ Arts Link, a quarterly publication shared with professional members of Americans for the Arts.

January 2013

Teen Council teamed up with California Alliance for Arts Education for the Student Voices video campaign. In the project, teens submitted videos about why the arts matter for a chance to win Adobe software for their schools and to raise awareness about the arts. See the full campaign.

Teen Council held a conference call with Center Theatre Group’s teen arts advocacy chair and staff advisor. During the call, we shared our CLAIM best practices and offered advice in how they can shape their new initiative. We hope to continue to foster our relationship with this Los Angeles-based group and have aims to create a state-wide teen arts advocacy coalition.

Youth Radio interviewed CLAIM co-chair, Sam Shain, about his work around the Student Voices campaign and his interest in arts advocacy. Check it out.

We were featured in the program for Troublemaker, or the Freakin Kick-A Adventures of Bradley Boatright by Dan LeFranc at Berkeley Rep on pages 13 and 14.

November 2012

The CLAIM Conference served as a kick-off for the claimyourARTS initiative in the 2012–13 school year. The event was an opportunity to bring teens from many disciplines of the arts together for an afternoon of games, prizes, and rallying around the importance of arts in education and arts accessibility. Participants were divided into teams and competed in games modeled after charades, Taboo, Jeopardy, Pictionary, and the television programs The Voice and American Idol. Through the games, participants were eased into building a vocabulary for talking about why the arts are important through facts, key terms, and the incorporation of their personal experiences. At the end of the day, each participant made a mock speech urging for the support of arts in education whether it be financially, legislatively, or through advocating. TILT, the Youth Program of the Ninth Street Independent Film Center, created a documentary of our CLAIM Conference in November 2012. Check out the video.

The Conference was featured in an article with San Jose Mercury News.

September 2012

CLAIM co-chair Emily Radler spoke at Educating for Democracy, an education forum sponsored by the Alameda County Office of Education to educate the community about the upcoming statewide ballot initiatives. The event was hosted at the Oakland School of the Arts and was open to the public.

Teen delegates attended the Arts Education Resource Fair and Celebration hosted at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum. Honored speakers included California Arts Council Chair Malissa Ferruzzi Shriver, CAC Director Craig Watson, San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, San Francisco Board of Education Commissioner and San Francisco Mayor’s Education Advisor Hydra Mendoza, San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Richard Carranza, and California State PTA President Carol Kocivar. Performers included internationally known musician Martin Luther McCoy, students from SFUSD elementary schools, and more!

June 2012

claimyourARTS sent four teens to the Theatre Communications Group National Conference in Boston. To learn more about their experience, you can read our Storify account of the live-tweeting that happened throughout the conference! As part of a larger fundraising campaign, claimyourARTS bracelets were available as a gift for those who donated to help get these delegates to the conference.

The teen-generated claimyourARTS PSA that was created at the inaugural CLAIM Conference was shown at the annual Theatre Bay Area Conference.

Check out this article about Teen Council, written by Brad Erickson, the Executive Director of Theatre Bay Area.

April 2012

We trained and sent a delegation of six teens to Americans for the Arts’ National Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC. They documented their trip on our Tumblr!

Teens at Arts Day 2012

March 2012

We produced an arts advocacy PSA based on the winning design from February’s conference. Click here to watch!

We celebrated Art is Education Month and Theatre in Our Schools Month by spreading important arts advocacy facts through school announcements and social media.

February 2012

We hosted a teen arts advocacy conference and kicked off the claimyourARTS initiative. 60 teens attended and began their work as advocates for arts education through training games, debates, and the design of an arts advocacy PSA. Through advocacy Mad Libs, attendees also put together the claimyourARTS manifesto. To learn more about the event, you can read our program article from In Paris or our Storify account of the live-tweeting that happened throughout the day!



Want to advocate for the arts in your community? Here are some resources to get you started!

We will continue to update these resources so if you have anything to contribute, please email

Advocacy toolkits

Want to know what’s going on in the world of arts advocacy?

Arts education and arts advocacy organizations

STEM to STEAM resources

Organizations and people to follow on Twitter

@AATENow, @aep_arts, @Americans4Arts, @ArtisEd, @ArtsActionFund, @ArtsEd411, @ArtsInfoGuy, @BerkRepSchool, @CalArtEdAssoc, @CalArtsCouncil, @JayAFTA, @LAFund, @LAStageAlliance, @NEAarts, @NEAToday, @NarricAFTA, @NPAConvention, @PCAH_gov, @stemtosteam, @TCG, @teen_council, @theatrebayarea, @youvecottmail

Important arts advocacy dates








Peet’s Theatre
2025 Addison St, Berkeley CA 94704

Roda Theatre
2015 Addison St, Berkeley CA 94704

Box office
510 647–2949
2025 Addison St, Berkeley CA 94704
Open Tuesday–Sunday, noon–7pm

Administrative offices
510 647–2900
999 Harrison St, Berkeley CA 94710
Open Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm
Direct all mail to our administrative offices.

School of Theatre
510 647–2972
2071 Addison St, Berkeley CA 94704
Please direct mail to 2025 Addison St.

510 647–2917
2025 Addison St, Berkeley CA 94704
Visit our online press room.

Program advertising
For local advertising inquiries, please contact Pamela Webster.
510 590–7091
Our programs are published by Encore Arts Programs.

Berkeley Repertory Theatre is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization · Tax ID 94-1679756
Privacy policy · Site map · Webmaster