Bobby Kadis of North Carolina Honored with NASAA's 2014 Distinguished Public Service Award

Bobby Kadis
Photo by Eddie Arrossi

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) has named Bobby Kadis, former chair of the North Carolina Arts Council and former NASAA board member, the recipient of its 2014 Distinguished Public Service Award. The award honors an individual volunteer leader whose outstanding service, creative thinking and leadership have had a significant impact on public support for the arts in his or her state and across the country. The award was presented on November 15 during NASAA’s annual conference, Assembly 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Kadis served for 20 years on the board of the North Carolina Arts Council and was its chair from 2005 to 2013. Among his accomplishments during his tenure at the Arts Council are the SmART Initiative, which uses the arts to revitalize downtowns and spur economic development; reenergizing the A+ Schools program; and expanding cultural tourism through a network of Arts Trails in North Carolina.

Kadis wrote op ed commentaries about the public value of the arts and traveled across North Carolina speaking to arts organization boards about the work of the Arts Council and urging them to support Arts North Carolina, the statewide advocacy organization.

Before retiring, he created the North Carolina Arts Council Foundation to diversify the Arts Council’s funding base. He presently serves as the Foundation’s first president.

Kadis served on the NASAA board from 2008–2013 and was elected to the Executive Committee as treasurer in 2012. He routinely urged NCAC board members to become NASAA supporters and to attend NASAA’s annual conferences.

For more than 35 years, Kadis has attended the Penland School of Crafts as an accomplished potter. He served on the Penland School board for 16 years, including 2 years as chair. He is the founder of Centrex Properties, a real estate development and management company in North Carolina.

NASAA Interim Chief Executive Officer Kelly Barsdate said, “Bobby Kadis’s unflagging advocacy on behalf of public funding for the arts has advanced the arts in North Carolina and across the nation. His leadership is exemplary and he is an extraordinary ambassador across the sectors, broadening support for the arts in the civic, education, business and policy spheres. NASAA is pleased to acknowledge his many accomplishments with this award.”

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies is the membership organization that unites, represents and serves the nation’s state and jurisdictional arts agencies. Founded in 1968, NASAA represents their individual and collective interests, empowers their work through knowledge and advances the arts as an essential public benefit. To learn more about NASAA and state arts agencies, visit