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Election day is fast approaching, and everyone is waiting in anticipation to find out who the next President of the United States will be. Whether you will vote for Obama or Romney, Tuesday, November 6, 2012 is an important day. The right to vote is one many Americans have fought hard to earn, and it is now our turn to do our part and cast our vote. Despite the importance of voting we all know politics can be frustrating. I for one am tired of seeing the same campaign adds over and over again!

As artists and emerging arts leaders, we have used art to respond to current events, and this election is no different. In Washington, DC artists and arts organizations are taking part in the election their way. Two very cool election events are the Election Night Jam presented by the Kennedy Center and POTUS Among Us presented by the Washington Improv Theater. Both of these events explore the relationship between the arts and politics in a fun and exciting way.

Leading up to the election people have been going in flocks to check out the Washington Improv Theater’s POTUS Among Us. POTUS Among Us is an improvised show in which audience members interact with the actors in a “number of familiar scenarios — debates, primaries, attack ads and stump speeches…Theater-goers will decide which issues are most important to the five candidates and which contenders make it past the primaries. But in the fantasy world of WIT’s election cycle, the candidates’ lack of prepared talking points isn’t the only departure from reality.”

In addition to interacting with politics via theater, people of the metro DC area can explore how music relates to the election through the Kennedy Center’s Election Night Jam. Artistic Advisor Jason Moran introduced the idea of holding an election night jam session at the Kennedy Center on election day, and this year will be the first time this event will take place. At the election night jam Jason Moran wants to answer the question “What does America sounds like?” To achieve the answer his group “Jason Moran and the Band Wagon” will play as well as opera singers from the Domingo-Cafritz Young artists program, a guitar and fiddle duo, and possibly a fife and drum group! They will play campaign songs, Americana songs, and much more!

As emerging arts leaders it is our job to connect great art with the people in our community. As members of our communities it is also our job to stay relevant and connected. Both the Kennedy Center and the Washington Improv Theater are doing their part by participating in the election their way! So I pose this question to you: How else can we as emerging arts leaders be active members in our communities?

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