NASAA Notes: August 2017

August 8, 2017

NASAA Is Working for You

What’s up at NASAA this summer?

As summer in D.C. sizzles one day and drenches us the next, your NASAA team is laser-focused on representing the interests of state arts agencies (SAAs). Below you’ll find a selection of activities currently keeping us busy and beating the heat.

While this month’s column by NASAA Legislative Counsel Isaac Brown provides you with a full congressional update on federal arts funding, I’d like to share some recent good news from Congress. NASAA organized a Hill visit that included a meeting with Rep. Diane Black (R-TN); she chairs the House of Representatives Budget Committee. As a direct result of that meeting (and some great follow-through by Isaac), this year’s House budget resolution no longer contains some troublesome language that it had carried forward for several years. The language had stood in opposition to federal funding of the cultural agencies. It read: “Federal subsidies for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting can no longer be justified.” This is definitely not a statement we believe Congress should make, as Americans benefit from public investments in the arts every day. I’m pleased to report that language is now gone. It’s a meaningful change as congressional appropriators move forward with their deliberations. We’re very thankful to Representative Black for this welcome deletion. We’re also thankful to the executive team from the crowdsourced funding community Kickstarter, who participated in the meeting and provided incredible good will and a strong voice from the corporate sector.

Your NASAA team is also moving forward with the National Governors Association (NGA). Research is about to begin on the new project, “Engaging the Arts to Strengthen Economic Development in Rural Communities.” NASAA Research Manager Paul Pietsch will launch this work, and we aim to include best practices from states and jurisdictions to demonstrate the power of the arts in rural development. Please stay tuned for Paul’s outreach to your SAA, and thanks in advance for your contributions to this initiative. Our goal is to assist the NGA in providing governors with best practices and guidance for working in this space. We’re confident that lifting up the transformative work happening in this field will inspire gubernatorial teams to work even more closely with SAAs to expand the benefits the arts and creative placemaking bring to rural America. We’re thankful to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for its integral involvement in this project.

We’ve also partnered with the National Governors Association to showcase how the arts create jobs, drive innovation and boost local economies across the country. Alongside our colleagues from the NEA, the Maryland State Arts Council and Creative Industries Hawai’i, we spotlighted the creative economy at last month’s Economic Policy Advisors Institute. The institute was an excellent opportunity to share successes and opportunities with state level economic advisors.

Later this month, we look forward to continuing our work with the National Governors Association as we turn the spotlight on the arts and work-force development. We’ll join forces with the NGA as well as the Oregon Arts Commission to present research and discuss opportunities to leverage the growth of the creative sector as part of broader state work-force and economic development strategies. With the new state level work-force data on the creative sector now on-line, this is an ideal time to highlight creative sector work-force development with state leaders at the National Association of State Liaisons for Workforce Development Partnerships. We’re grateful to our partners at the NGA for this opportunity.

Additional noteworthy summer activities:

  • We were pleased to present arts advocacy messaging strategies at last week’s Association of African-American Museums conference.
  • The August 11 deadline for feedback on the draft of NASAA’s new strategic plan is nearly here. We’ve already received record-setting feedback and welcome any additional comments and recommendations you may have. I offer a special shout-out to NASAA Treasurer and Strategic Planning Chairman Ken May and NASAA Chief Program and Planning Officer Kelly Barsdate for copiloting an inclusive and model process. The end product will serve SAAs well!
  • Next month, the Oklahoma Arts Council will host the Professional Development Institute for arts education managers. A robust agenda has been planned for SAA and state department of education participants, and I’m certain it will be highly beneficial for all attendees. Conference registrations continue to come in, and the host hotel registration deadline is August 29. Thanks to our hosts as well as NASAA’s Susan Oetgen for managing the institute.
  • Registrations for NASAA’s 2017 Leadership Institute also are rolling in. If SAA council members, executive directors and deputy directors haven’t already done so, please register soon, and reserve your hotel room by the August 18 cutoff date for the NASAA discounted rate. We’ve planned an agenda to support SAA leaders in navigating today’s tough environment for public-sector arts support. I hope to see many of you October 11-13 in Portland, Oregon.

As I close this month’s column, I’m sadly aware that some of your communities are suffering from devastating flooding and tornados. Please know that we at NASAA are thinking about you and your constituents; we stand ready to assist when you need us. As a reminder, ArtsReady and other organizations have assembled tools and resources that can be shared with artists and arts organizations to help manage disasters. Resources include ArtsReady, Performing Arts Readiness, and CERF+.

In this Issue

From the CEO

Announcements and Resources

Legislative Updates

State to State

Research on Demand

More Notes from NASAA

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