NASAA Notes: December 2015


Pam Breaux Headshot

Pam Breaux

December issue
Back to all issues
December 4, 2015

2015 Triumphs, 2016 Aspirations

What a year 2015 has been for NASAA. We’ve seen epic transition, and that moment has given birth to renewed member energy and ideas that will inform NASAA’s path forward; we’ll chart the course through our new strategic planning cycle, which begins in 2016.

Team NASAA also accomplished a great deal in 2015. I’ve been privileged to share leadership with our outstanding President Gary Gibbs and the brilliant light that is Kelly Barsdate. Our association achieved much while navigating great change. Highlights from new NASAA activities in 2015 include:

  • providing new knowledge sources: the debut of Creative Place Making Research and Resources; new interactive data tools for per capita ranking estimations; launching grant-making explorers, interactive tools designed to illuminate trends and types of state arts agency (SAA) grant making; and helping states comply with new federal reporting requirements.
  • providing new representation and advocacy services: coordinating testimony from NASAA and selected SAAs to the House Interior Appropriations Committee; representing states during recent changes to federal reporting requirements, and documenting the need for funding to mitigate the costs of those changes; and instituting a new state legislative tracking system to monitor and report on arts related bills affecting SAAs, their resources and their constituents (2015 State Legislative Roundup).

These activities complemented and supplemented NASAA’s regular book of business as well as growing benefits to members.

State arts agencies themselves navigated tough terrain this year, while also carving out space for innovation and enhanced services to constituents. This was highlighted beautifully as SAA executive directors shared recent victories and creative approaches during NASAA’s 2015 Leadership Institute in Utah. Maine and Kentucky shared new strategies for creative economic development. New York is focused on new ways of improving access to the arts, while Vermont is seeing success in increasing access to arts information. Connecticut is enjoying a new $10 million bond issuance to benefit arts organizations, and Rhode Island has forged an important new partnership with its Division of Taxation to better tell its story about the impact of art sales on the state. In California, a new Cultural Pathways program provides support to small and emerging organizations of color, tribes, and recent immigrant and refugee groups; and Arizona has launched a new Latino artists program. These are just a few SAA “ideas worth stealing.” They highlight the creativity, resilience and innovation well in place across the nation at state arts agencies.

As we close out the calendar year here at the NASAA offices, we’re getting excited about what’s on tap next. To this end, I’m pleased to share some of that excitement with you, directly from our team:

Kelly Barsdate, Chief Program and Planning Officer
I am looking forward to:

  • seeing—and sharing!—the creative programs and partnerships that state arts agencies develop next year. I’ve gotten sneak peeks at a few that are on the drawing board, and I know there’s always a healthy flow of new ideas in the SAA pipeline. Learning about members’ new efforts and facilitating their transfer across state lines is an incredibly rewarding part of NASAA’s work.
  • being in touch with state arts agencies and getting the inside scoop on their joys, their agonies and their aspirations for the future.
  • gathering our newly appointed member executive directors for NASAA’s biennial “boot camp.” (Calisthenics, anyone?)
  • seeing the entire SAA family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for Assembly 2016! (Tho if Philip doesn’t wear his bunny pajamas I’m not going.)

Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel
I am excited to continue to working with our members to build upon the momentum throughout the country for integrating the arts into STEM education in the year ahead. The education bill makes it clear that there is bipartisan support for STEM-to-STEAM!

Henry Clapp, Research Associate
I’m looking forward to discovering new ways to get all of our data into the hands of our members. I think we’ve really hit our stride with the interactive visualizations we’ve been making in Tableau, and getting on social media is another huge step forward. We have so much knowledge here, and we are always thinking of how to share it with our members (and other stakeholders) as quickly and conveniently as possible.

Eric Giles, Learning Services Manager
I am really looking forward to our Assembly in Grand Rapids this coming September. Getting to interact face-to-face with our members is rare in my role, so the brief period of time when we all gather together lets me catch up with colleagues and friends as well as see firsthand some of the outcomes of my work at NASAA.

Susan Oetgen, Professional Development Institute Manager
I’m looking forward to working with our Arts Education Managers 2016 Professional Development Institute (PDI) host Chad Swan-Badgero (MI) and Arts Education Working Group team members Chuck Winkler (chair, TX), Danny Belanger (LA), Laura Forbes (AK), Tatiana Gant (IL), Bonnie Koba (CT), Christine Stewart (MD) and Deb Vaughn (OR) to plan an excellent PDI in Grand Rapids.

Paul M. Pietsch, Research Manager
I’m looking forward to learning more about how SAAs leverage the arts in support of veterans, active-duty military personnel and their families—and I’m excited to share what I learn with all the SAAs.

Sylvia Prickett, Director of Administration
I’m excited about NASAA’s upcoming strategic planning, and am looking forward to supporting those efforts. And I can’t wait to go back to Grand Rapids—Assembly 2016 is going to rock!!

Dora Shick, Development and Membership Manager
There’s a unique excitement and energy that’s generated when so many state arts agency folks converge during Assemblies. I’m looking forward to experiencing this in Grand Rapids next September!

Laura Smith, Chief Advancement Officer
I’m looking forward to:

  • helping state arts agencies deepen their connections with NASAA and with each other. We’re a professional community bursting with new voices, ideas, energy, perspectives, vision and hopes. There’s nothing like it when we come together to learn, reflect and play. See you in Grand Rapids!
  • introducing NASAA and state arts agencies to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, because the arts have everything in the world to do with “advancing human potential and promoting equality for all children.”
  • remembering with greater consistency and frequency to breathe in love and breathe out crazy.

Sue Struve, Communications Manager
I am excited about NASAA’s plans to take our digital assets (website, communications, social media) to the next level—to meet people where they are, to enhance our service to members, and to more widely promote the value of public support for the arts and culture.

Ryan Stubbs, Research Director
I’m eager to begin a new era at NASAA that will help take the work of state arts agencies to even greater heights. I’m also excited to deepen our analysis of state arts agency grants data within updated Final Descriptive Reports.

Pam Breaux, Chief Executive Officer
As nerdy as it sounds, I’m incredibly excited about moving into NASAA’s next strategic planning cycle. We’ll get the ball rolling with our “planning to plan” activities, and provide a solid foundation for a new plan that will respond to what members need most moving into a new era. I’m imagining the beauty of our next plan! On a less nerdy note, I’m excited about getting to know more members and being of service, from D.C. and in your states.

Happy holidays from your team at NASAA!

In this Issue

State to State

Legislative Update

More Notes from NASAA

From the CEO

Research on Demand




To receive information regarding updates to our newslettter. Please fill out the form below.