Legislative Visits

Legislative visits are a good way to educate and build relationships with your legislators. Remember, not all visits with your legislator are considered lobbying. It is beneficial to meet with legislators periodically — do not only request meetings when you have a request for the legislator.

Meeting Request

Often work with the legislator’s aide or scheduler to set a time and date.  

    • You’ve indicated you are a constituent 
    • Purpose of the meeting is clear (e.g. introductory, follow-up, topic, etc.) 
    • Meeting is confirmed 
    • Meeting length is verified (typically half-hour to an hour max) 


State Legislators are typically in Columbus on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Friday through Monday they are typically in their districts. Congressional legislators are typically in their district during recesses and in D.C. during session. County Council/County Executive/County Commissioners have offices in their county. 

    • Convenient for legislator (i.e. their office) 
    • or Illustrative (i.e. showcases your art, impact, or an issue you’d like addressed) 

Know who you are meeting with

Building relationships with legislative aides is often just as important as the relationship with a legislator themselves. 

    • Clarify that the meeting is with legislator vs. an Aide or staff 
    • Find any public history of support arts and culture 
    • Review bio/online content 

Bring a Friend

Three to four people should be the maximum. Consider bringing a board member, a (fellow) artist, or someone who has benefited from the arts. Be sure that: 

    • Everyone is clear on messaging and desired outcome 
    • Each person knows which points they are to make or role they are representing 
    • Agree on talking points  
    • Plan 

Focus your Messaging

3 key points about why you are meeting with them. Consider: 

    • Memorable story about your impact 
    • Data that support that impact 
    • Call to action, how can they help you 
    • Explain how arts/your work ties to other community issues and concerns  
    • Introductory meetings should be more focused on the legislator and gaining a deeper understanding about their pressing issues 

Prep for questions  

    • If you are unsure, offer to follow up with the answer. 

Offer yourself or your organization as a resource

    • Affirmatively offer you and your organization as a future resource for the legislator.  
    • Even if arts and culture is not a legislator’s priority now, it could become one in the future 

Leave behinds

    • Keep it short; no more than 2 pages.  
    • Makes the same 3 points you made in the meeting.  
    • Include your contact information  


    • Send a thank you letter.  
    • If the legislator had questions that you could not answer during the meeting, remember to find the answers or provide another resource to answer the questions promptly. 

Post Legislative Meeting Eval 

  1. With whom did you meet? (first and last) / position of the staff with whom you met.
  • Legislator
  • Staff Name
  • Staff Member’s Position
  1. What was the topic of discussion? Was there a specific ask? If so, what was the response?
  2. Were there any questions you need to follow-up? 
  3. What is your plan for follow-up?
  4. Did the legislator or his/her staff mention a personal connection to the creative industries?