NASAA Notes: May 2019

April 29, 2019

NASAA Builds Collaborations on Your Behalf

NASAA’s strategic plan calls on us to collaborate beyond the state arts agency (SAA) world in thoughtful ways. Our ability to foster cross-sector support and strategic partnerships on behalf of SAAs broadens our field’s impact. In this work we also heighten NASAA’s profile and the profile of SAAs. This in turn helps us build new opportunities to support the work. This month I’d like to share with you a few examples of relationships we’re building on your behalf.

The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) promotes regional strategies, partnerships and solutions to strengthen economic competitiveness and quality of life across America’s local communities. NADO members work to improve communities by promoting economic and community development through place based strategies in work-force development, social services, transportation, disaster resilience and other areas. NASAA’s Kelly Barsdate was a plenary speaker at NADO’s March conference, and she presented strategies for rural prosperity through the arts and creative sector.

We’re also collaborating with the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA). NACEDA is an alliance of 40 state and regional community development associations in 25 states and the District of Columbia. They’re thought leaders for community development at the state and local levels and they connect with almost 4,000 community development nonprofit organizations throughout the United States. We’re coauthoring an article with NACEDA on the policy environment around the practice of creative placemaking. Kelly and Ryan Stubbs are managing this project for NASAA, and we expect the article to appear this fall in the Community Development Innovation Review, a publication of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Ryan recently co-coordinated a panel discussion about arts education research opportunities and methods at the American Educational Research Association (AERA). AERA promotes research and evaluation to improve education. This appearance followed a presentation he designed for Grantmakers in the Arts. Joined by NASAA Treasurer and South Carolina Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May, Ryan presented NASAA’s work on visualizing grant equity and demographics. The presentation received an important boost from the work of NASAA’s Patricia Mullaney-Loss and Kelly Liu.

NASAA’s Paul Pietsch is also out and about representing NASAA well within the fields of health, creative placemaking and the rural creative economy. He recently presented the National Governors Association’s Rural Prosperity through the Arts & Creative Sector publication at the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit, hosted by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking. Later this month he and I will represent NASAA at the 2019 ArtPlace Summit. I’m particularly excited about Paul’s work in the health arena. On the heels of our new publications on arts and health care, Paul will be facilitating a workshop at the Creating Healthy Communities: Arts + Public Health in America conference, presented by the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine, alongside arts partners that include the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.

A few of the relationships I’m personally working to advance include the Federation of State Humanities Councils (where I spoke about NASAA’s diversity, equity and inclusion portfolio), the Rural Generation Working Group (where I’m collaborating on this summer’s Rural Generation Summit, designed to address rural quality of life), the National Association of Counties (where we’re exploring opportunities for synergy and collaboration), ArtPlace America (where we’re developing a partnership) and the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (where I discussed NASAA’s advocacy strategies). Also, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences recently developed a new Commission on the Arts, where I serve as a member; this new multiyear commission is committed to exploring the arts in American life as it develops a strategy to benefit the arts.

No representative list of NASAA collaborations would be complete without mention of our recent work with the National Governors Association and the National Endowment for the Arts. Rural Prosperity through the Arts & Creative Sector: A Rural Action Guide for Governors and States is now being circulated across the country, and it’s generating great buzz. The publication is extending our reach and setting the table for conversations with potential new partners. Every member of the NASAA team participated in this work in some way. It was the definition of a team effort! Staff members who managed the largest components of this project include Paul Pietsch, Kelly Barsdate, Ryan Stubbs, Feby Varghese and Sue Struve.

As these and other partnerships develop into opportunities for SAAs, we’ll keep you informed. Representing SAAs and NASAA in cross-sector collaborations is rewarding and important work. Yet, our direct services to SAAs are even more exciting for our team. When you call our offices, we’re jazzed. At the half-way mark of the current fiscal year, Team NASAA responded to 249 distinct information requests. In addition to those, we continue to work on a healthy number of special services requests from members, including speaking at statewide conferences, facilitating council meeting discussions and conducting custom research. Keep those requests coming! It’s our pleasure to be of service to you…on the phone, through e-mail, or in person in your states.

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

Announcements and Resources

Legislative Update

Research on Demand

More Notes from NASAA

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