NASAA Notes: April 2018


April issue
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April 4, 2018

NASAA News and Current Information

You Count on NASAA and NASAA Counts on You

You can count on NASAA when you need reliable, customized data, fact based information or a confidential sounding board. You can also count on NASAA to make sure your interests are heard in Washington, D.C.—to protect the National Endowment for the Arts and ensure that 40% of its program funds continue to go to state arts agencies. Now’s the time to make a gift to NASAA and support the work you and other state arts agencies depend on. Personal contributions from individuals like you make NASAA’s work possible—we can’t do it without you. Thank you!

Disruptive Philanthropy in the Arts

Photo by David Rosendberry

A new report from the Memphis Music Initiative, an organization that empowers young people through music, considers how arts grant-making practices that restrict access to capital can be changed through “disruptive philanthropy.” Toward the Future of Arts Philanthropy, based on an evaluation of the group’s grant-making and educational programming, identifies the causes of “philanthropic redlining”—the effects of race and place on access to funding and resources—which include institutional criteria such as funding requirements and perceptions of specific cultural practices. The paper continues to explain how disruptive philanthropy can overcome such barriers by prioritizing principles of diversity, equity and inclusion and by questioning whether funding criteria accord with them.

Arts Engagement and Well-Being Study

The Journal of Cultural Economics has published a study, Subjective Well-being and Engagement in Arts, Culture and Sport, that demonstrates a link between arts participation and individual well-being. Using social survey data from 40,000 households in the United Kingdom, researchers found that engagement in arts, culture and athletics is associated with greater well-being, which they define as general happiness and satisfaction with various aspects of life, including work and leisure. Artists who engage often in creativity report positive effects on their well-being. Arts audiences, however, experience benefits irrespective of how frequently they engage in the arts.

New Arts Accessibility Workbook

Photo by Paul Dunn

There’s a new resource from Arts Access Victoria, an Australian nonprofit organization, offering ideas and resources for projects designed to engage people living with a disability. The workbook, Art for Everyone: Approaches to Inclusive Practice, focuses on making arts opportunities more accessible to people living with a physical disability, hearing loss or mental health issue. It not only highlights strategies for inclusive practices and examples of cultural activities employing them, but also features a planning template for designing unique projects.

Evaluation Toolkit

The Evaluation Journey, from the European Network of Cultural Centres, a membership organization for the European cultural sector, provides resources cultural organizations can use to establish or refine evaluation practices. The toolkit explains how to develop frameworks based on organizational needs and capacity. It further outlines how to use various evaluation methods, engage stakeholders, receive feedback in creative ways and effectively use results. The report links to a variety of other resources for further reading and provides schemas to structure the processes.

Leadership Change in New Jersey

Nicholas Paleologos has stepped down as executive director of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, where he served for six years. He has joined Berkshire Theatre Group as executive director. Paleologos brought to his role at the Council a unique leadership style, shaped by many years of experience as both an insightful politician and an award-winning producer, with a keen understanding of the vital role of the arts—and the state arts council—in New Jersey life. A Massachusetts native, Paleologos made it his business to travel to every corner of the state, getting to know New Jersey artists and arts organizations, tirelessly advocating on their behalf, creating strategic connections and promoting their exceptional work. Thanks to his innovative approach to grant making and relationship building, he leaves the Council in a position of strength to continue to build on his legacy.

Allison Tratner has been named interim executive director of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Before assuming her current position, Tratner served as the Council’s deputy director and director of communications. In her 13 years with the agency, Tratner has been responsible for supporting the Council’s interests in strategic communications, long-range planning and cross-sector partnerships. Prior to joining the Council, Tratner worked in the nonprofit sector as an educator and as a research and evaluation consultant with prominent firms and museums in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia. She earned her M.A. in museum education at the University of the Arts and holds degrees in arts education and fine arts from Alfred University.

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

State to State

Announcements and Resources

More Notes from NASAA

Legislative Updates

Research on Demand




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