National Governors Association Center for Best Practices Arts Policy Publications

The National Governors Association’s (NGA) Center for Best Practices, with research assistance from NASAA and support from the National Endowment for the Arts, has produced a series of reports and issue briefs that document the value of the arts in public policy:

Rural Prosperity through the Arts & Creative Sector: A Rural Action Guide for Governors and States

  • This action guide offers research insights and lessons learned from states that are harnessing the power of the arts to drive rural prosperity. It contains creative policy solutions that draw on home-grown arts and cultural assets to address the urgent problems facing rural America. Action guide

New Engines of Growth: Five Roles for Arts, Culture and Design

  • This report focuses on the roles that arts, culture and design can play as states seek to create jobs, boost their economies and transition to an innovation-based economy. Abundant examples from states illustrate how arts, culture and design can assist states with economic growth by: (1) providing a fast-growth, dynamic industry cluster; (2) helping mature industries become more competitive; (3) providing critical ingredients for innovative places; (4) catalyzing community revitalization; and (5) delivering a better-prepared work force. Report

Arts & the Economy: Using Arts and Culture to Stimulate State Economic Development

  • In this 40-page report, governors and other state leaders will find models from states throughout the country that demonstrate the value of incorporating the arts and culture into their continuing economic development strategies. The report describes how the creative industries contribute direct economic benefits, such as generating employment and fostering tourism, and outlines ways the arts give businesses a creative edge. Report

Promoting Film and Media to Enhance State Economic Development

  • The latest issue brief from the NGA Center for Best Practices shows how states can foster thriving film, television and media arts industries. This brief summarizes the economic benefits of film production and includes examples of policies, incentives and special initiatives that states have used to attract film activity and cultivate local film and media arts assets. Issue brief

State Efforts to Promote Reading and Literary Activities

  • The fifth issue brief from the NGA Center for Best Practices showcases many strategies states use to engage communities in reading programs and literary activities. By promoting literary reading among adults, states encourage life-long learning, enhance work force development and boost citizen involvement in civic life. Issue brief

The Arts Strengthen Rural Economies

  • The fourth issue brief from the NGA Center for Best Practices shows how states are turning to arts-based economic development strategies to revive rural economies. By tapping their distinctive cultural assets, numerous states are creating new jobs, stimulating business development, improving quality of life and attracting visitors to rural areas. Issue brief

Arts Help Governors Achieve Global Trade and Tourism Goals

  • The third briefing from the NGA Center for Best Practices illustrates how states are expanding international trade opportunities through culture. Case studies demonstrate ways that the arts encourage tourism, strengthen business networks, build “brand identity” and position states for success in a global marketplace. Issue brief

Arts Education Improves Work Force Development and Student Success

  • Second in the series, this Issue Brief shows how the arts shape the skills that 21st century employees need to succeed. “The Impact of Arts Education on Workforce Preparation” documents the positive outcomes of integrating the arts into K-12 education and youth intervention programs. Issue brief

The Role of the Arts in Economic Development

  • First in the series, this Issue Brief reveals how the arts revitalize communities, contribute to a region’s innovation habitat, and help states remain competitive in today’s economy. Issue brief

These publications are among the most popular items on the NGA Center for Best Practices website. Each includes case studies and examples of successful programs as well as research citations and useful quotes. Supported with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, this collaboration aims to increase understanding of the public benefits of the arts among top state officials. The arts field is using these tools to document the impact of its work and to show how the arts help states address their most pressing goals. For more information, contact Kelly Barsdate at NASAA.

NASAA and state arts agencies are supported and strengthened in many ways through partnerships with the National Endowment for the Arts.