Client: University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts

The Opportunity
The University of Minnesota needed $17 Million from the state legislature to replace its aging art studio and education building. One week before the start of the legislative session, the U learned that the Governor did not include the project in his capitol projects request.  The college brought in Davis Communications to lead a grassroots effort to restore the Art Building to the bonding bill and get it signed by the Governor.

Seizing the opportunity
Davis developed a plan to identify and mobilize University students, parents, Alumni, donors, arts educators from throughout the state, arts supporters, and business organizations to demand that the state fund the project. A rally on the University Campus energized 800 students to ask friends, relatives and acquaintances to call, write and visit their legislatore. Media coverage of the event raised visibility of the desperate need for a new art building. From that core, Ted and the team developed a list of more that 2,000 people who could be counted on to contact key legislators. Working with a dedicated group of students, the team created a constant presence at committee meetings while key legislators received a barrage of messages in support of funding for the new art building.

The Results
Thousands of contacts from students, alumni, donors and friends of the arts and effective statewide media coverage had a profound effect on the legislature. The project went from zero dollars in the Governor’s request to $17 million in the final bill signed by the governor. Today, the Regis Center for Art is one of the finest studio arts facilities in the Big 10.