July 8, 2015
View from the Launchpad
Today, July 9, marks my fourth day on the job at NASAA—I couldn’t be more joyful about our association and its future, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to serve the NASAA family in this new role. Already my days have been filled with moments that bring me to the heart of NASAA, its members.
The view from NASAA’s office is grand. Just below my office is a small triangle park that features a statue of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Aside from providing occasional poetic inspiration, the Longfellow statue, dedicated in 1909, was the first monument in Washington, D.C., to honor an American literary figure. Book in hand, Longfellow reminds me of our collective work to enhance the role of the arts in American life. Well beyond monuments, the work of state arts agencies to bring the benefits of the arts to all is a worthy daily reflection for us.
Getting to know the NASAA team better fills me with pride and inspiration. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard staff use the term members during the last three days, I could make a healthy donation to the Annual Fund (and perhaps I’ll do that). I’m incredibly proud to report that your NASAA team keeps members front and center throughout each day. Our weekly staff meetings even include “Member Moments” as a standing agenda item, ensuring an ongoing focus on what’s up with our members and how we can best serve you.
And speaking of moments, please pay special attention to Isaac Brown’s Legislative Update column in this month’s issue. Having returned to legislating, the congressional logjam is no more. An important moment in time for Congress, appropriations and education legislation are being debated. Take to heart Isaac’s appeal to be an arts resource to your legislators.
I look forward to connecting to state arts agency leaders in October in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the NASAA 2015 Leadership Institute. Hosted by the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, the institute is inspired by the Change Leader curriculum founded in Utah that’s now being implemented in Idaho and Colorado. The gathering is designed to provide knowledge and skills to help participants lead transformation efforts at state arts agencies.
From the NASAA lens, the Leadership Institute is well timed to provide a foundation for our association to begin moving to its future—our future. I’m exceedingly happy to already be hearing from members about how NASAA’s future might look. Please keep the ideas coming! Whether by phone, e-mail or in person, our discussions are critical to charting the course forward for NASAA. I’m especially eager to hear from state arts agency leaders while we’re in Utah. Please register and join the conversation.
I am humbled to be at NASAA at this moment in our association’s evolution, and by the opportunity to be a part of our next chapter. My predecessor, Jonathan Katz, is legendary, and for good reason. He led and molded NASAA to become one of the most effective national associations around. I offer Jonathan my deepest thanks for his profound impact on state arts agencies.
Thanks also to Gary Gibbs and the entire NASAA board of directors for its leadership at this historic time. Steady and sharply focused, our board stands ready to move the association into its future, and I am eager to support them and facilitate the work. Thanks as well to the NASAA staff for making my transition to the team so amazingly productive. And finally, thanks most of all to our members: thank you for your faith in and commitment to NASAA. As it should be, YOU will inspire NASAA’s future. Oh, the places we’ll go!
In this Issue
State to State
- South Carolina: Annual Art Sale
- Indiana: Capacity Building Partnership
- Kentucky: Arts Entrepreneurship Training
More Notes from NASAA
From the CEO
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