NASAA Assembly 2020 Update

June 11, 2020

Dear state and regional colleagues:

As the ripple effects of COVID-19 continue to disrupt our nation, NASAA has been faced with a difficult dilemma regarding our Assembly 2020 conference, originally slated to take place in October in Puerto Rico. I regret to inform you today that NASAA must cancel the Assembly.

In part, this decision is about public health. NASAA cannot, in good conscience, ask everyone to travel and expose yourself and others to potential harm. State budget reductions are another factor forcing this change in plans. When NASAA asked for your input, an overwhelming majority of you cited budget cuts that now make it impossible for you to attend an in-person conference. NASAA is committed to the responsible stewardship of resources—yours and our own. We support your need to devote every available dollar to relief efforts in your states at this crucial time.

We are sad to miss the opportunity to join the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP) in San Juan. Through hurricanes, earthquakes, recessions and a pandemic, ICP has not missed a beat. In Puerto Rico, resiliency is not an aspirational goal—it is a way of life fueled by a proud and vibrant culture that is nourished by ICP. NASAA offers heartfelt thanks to ICP’s leadership and staff for their partnership, their understanding and the wisdom they demonstrate daily.

Even though we won’t gather in person this year, we know states and jurisdictions still need timely information and support from your professional community. So NASAA is ramping up new virtual services in two ways:

  • We’re facilitating online peer group meetings to keep you connected to your colleagues.
  • We’ll offer a special series of video learning events highlighting how state arts agencies can address the most urgent needs of this time. These sessions will start in the late summer—to serve you sooner than an Assembly could have—and they’ll be free to state and jurisdictional arts agencies and regional arts organizations.

You’ll be hearing more details about both of these offerings soon.

Please also note that pre-Assembly meetings that were slated for three peer groups (arts education, community development, and folk and traditional arts) will pivot to virtual formats. If you have any questions about our upcoming professional development programs or the changes to NASAA’s convening plans, please contact NASAA Learning Services Director Eric Giles.

Thank you as always for the important work you are doing to sustain the arts across America. I look forward to seeing you online!

Best regards,

Signature of Pam Breaux CEO NASAA



Pam Breaux
President and CEO