2020 NASAA Leadership Awards Winners

October 15, 2020

NASAA is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2020 NASAA Leadership Awards!

The NASAA Leadership Awards showcase best practices of state arts agencies and regional arts organizations, recognize exemplary leadership, and demonstrate how government creatively, effectively and efficiently serves the public through the arts.

This year we launched two new awards centered around diversity, equity and inclusion to recognize and lift up state arts agencies that embrace and advance these principles in their state.

The awards were presented at our virtual Business Bash on October 22, where we celebrated the inspiring accomplishments and contributions of these winners.




Distinguished Public Service Award

Nola Ruth
Council Member and Former Chair, Missouri Arts Council

Nola’s arts leadership started 40 years ago in her community of Columbia, Missouri, where she founded and led a local arts agency… More

Gary Young Award

Gary Gibbs
Executive Director, Texas Commission on the Arts

A native Texan, Gary sang professionally in Europe and taught at all levels, kindergarten through college, before becoming a world-class arts administrator… More

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Individual Award

Carla Du Pree
Former Vice Chair, Maryland State Arts Council

Carla is a fiction writer, a state arts ambassador and the executive director of CityLit Project, a nonprofit that creates enthusiasm for literature… More

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Individual Award

Deonté Griffin-Quick
New Jersey State Council on the Arts

Deonté, an actor and arts administrator from Linden, New Jersey, is committed to advancing professional American theatre while advocating for diversity and equity in the arts… More

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Agency Award

Colorado Creative Industries

Over the past 10 years, CCI has prioritized economic development in some of the most rural and lowest-income counties across the state… More