NASAA Notes: May 2017

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May 6, 2017

Your Board at Work

Your Board at Work Featured Img

The NASAA Board of Directors is busy year-round on behalf of state arts agencies. We guide NASAA’s policy work, we keep tabs on the “state of the state arts agencies” and we help NASAA to stay responsive to the needs of the entire membership. I’d like to share a few highlights from our spring meeting, held recently in Washington, D.C. In addition to enjoying Poetry Out Loud (congratulations, Georgia!), the board addressed a variety of issues with timely relevance to the work of state arts agencies.

Securing Congressional Support

We were all heartened by the good news regarding the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) budget for the remainder of fiscal year 2017, but we cannot rest in our work to secure funding for FY2018 and beyond. On April 26, the NASAA Executive Committee met with Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. Senator Murkowski (center in photo, with Executive Committee members and CEO Pam Breaux, second from right) is an articulate and highly informed champion for the arts. She affirmed the importance of the NEA and state arts agencies and offered us wise counsel. Her advice in a nutshell: combine hard evidence with compelling stories, make sure constituents reach out respectfully to their delegations, and remember that support for the arts exists on both sides of the aisle. Sustaining support for the arts will take the combined efforts of NASAA and all the states given today’s challenging budget environment, so I thank you in advance for your engagement. See Isaac Brown’s latest Legislative Update for guidance on how you can help.

National Endowment for the Arts

The NASAA board routinely meets key NEA leaders to determine how state arts agencies, NASAA and the NEA can best assist one another toward our shared goals. This meeting offered a special occasion for us to meet new NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Mary Anne Carter. Mary Anne is a White House appointee who has seen firsthand the power of the arts to transform lives, especially for young people and individuals with disabilities. Mary Anne underscored the value of the NEA’s work and thanked state arts agencies for their key partnership role.

NASAA has recently collaborated with the NEA to produce the Creative Work Force State Profiles, an interactive dashboard that states can use to explore new employment and compensation data from the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account, in partnership with the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Mary Anne encouraged all state arts agencies to promote this information, which proves the economic power of the creative industries in every state.

Charting a Course for the Future

At this meeting, the board ratified NASAA’s new Statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Our thanks to the many state arts agencies who contributed to its development. As you know, NASAA is undertaking a comprehensive strategic planning process that will position NASAA to help state arts agencies succeed in the years to come. The board is developing a new plan that will be shared with the membership in draft form this summer, along with an invitation for feedback. It’s exciting work, and I hope you’ll weigh in.

Meanwhile, the board is considering some revisions to NASAA’s bylaws that we hope will help us to expand and diversify the expertise and influence of the NASAA board through at-large members. These proposed changes will be shared with you over the summer, and we’ll call for a vote on them during NASAA’s annual business meeting in October. Please keep an eye out for these materials and let us know what you think.

Nominations for Board Service

In June and July, NASAA’s Nominating Committee will reach out to every state arts agency executive director and chair to invite feedback about NASAA and seek your suggestions for nominees to the board. This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with every member state and we eagerly look forward to hearing your ideas each year.

These are uncertain times for our field—times that remind us how crucial NASAA is in making the case for our value and our resources. I want to thank the board for its steadfast work on behalf of all of the 56 states and jurisdictions. It’s an honor to serve with such a wise and witty team of volunteer leaders. On behalf of the board, I also want to thank the entire membership for its continued engagement and participation in the work of our association. Together, we can achieve great things!

In this Issue

From the CEO

State to State

Legislative Update

Research on Demand

More Notes from NASAA

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