NASAA Notes: October 2021


October issue
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October 4, 2021

Member News and NASAA Resources

Rosenbaum to Retire as Rhode Island Director

After 27 years of service as the leader of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA), Executive Director Randall Rosenbaum has announced that he will retire at the end of this year. Rosenbaum led the arts council under five governors and is credited with building support for an arts sector that now contributes more than $2 billion annually to the Rhode Island economy. During Rosenbaum’s tenure, RISCA’s funding increased by more than 800%. He expanded programs for individual artists, nonprofit arts organizations, schools and teaching artists; created the Cultural Facilities Grant program; and forged strong partnerships with federal, state and private entities. Nearly 70 works of public art were commissioned for state facilities during Rosenbaum’s time at RISCA, and he established public galleries in the state’s main administration building and at two airports. In 2004, Rosenbaum brought the Rhode Island Film and Television Office into the arts council. The Film Office has attracted many world-class feature films and television productions to the Ocean State, contributing jobs and resources to its communities. In addition to creating programs honoring the cultural diversity of the state, RISCA under Rosenbaum’s leadership established values based programming following the passage of its most recent strategic plan. The plan ensures equity and inclusion for the arts and culture community through its funding and professional development programs. Prior to coming to Rhode Island in 1995, Rosenbaum served for 10 years as deputy director of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Before that he managed orchestras in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Cleveland, Ohio. The arts council board will begin the search for a new executive director soon.

New NASAA Research Manager: Mohja Rhoads

NASAA welcomed Mohja Rhoads to the staff last month as research manager. In this position, she plays an important role in building evidence supporting the arts and state arts agencies through the collection, analysis and communication of data. Mohja has extensive experience in planning research and policy. Prior to joining NASAA, she worked as a researcher studying telework and big data applications for transportation in partnership with California State Dominguez Hills, the University of Southern California (UCLA) and the University of Southern California (USC). As the senior research associate for The South Bay Cities Council of Governments, Mohja developed a South Bay greenhouse gas emissions tool and climate action plan for the South Bay using 10 years of data from several large-scale electric vehicle programs and local surveys. She has an M.A. in urban planning from UCLA and a Ph.D. in planning, policy and development from USC. Mohja loves everything about the arts. She plays the ukulele, sings and writes.

NASAA Fellow Nakyung Rhee to Become Research Associate

Nakyung Rhee joined NASAA in 2020 as a part-time research fellow, and is being promoted to a full-time NASAA research associate, effective October 18. She works as part of the research team to create compelling data visualizations, conduct surveys, manage and analyze data, and communicate findings relevant to state arts agency budgets, staffing, grants, and NASAA internal evaluations. Nakyung is a researcher and arts administrator, specializing in arts management and cultural policy analysis. Her core research interest is in the arts and health, aiming at improving communication in multidisciplinary collaborations in the arts and/for/in other areas. Within the broad domain, her theoretical work focuses on creative aging for lifelong arts engagement and learning across all ages, with an emphasis on the instrumental and instructional values of the arts. Nakyung has worked as an independent researcher assisting nonprofit arts organizations in research and data management. She previously served as a program associate/research specialist for Snow City Arts, a nonprofit organization that provides arts and educational programs to children in hospitals in Chicago. Nakyung majored in business administration and minored in art history at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea. She holds her M.A. and Ph.D. in arts administration, education and policy from the Ohio State University, with specialization in cultural policy and arts management, museum education and administration, and aging studies.

This Is BIG! Tell Your Friends

Guess what? There’s something big coming your way! An opportunity to make a great impact on your agency and all state arts agencies. Later this month, NASAA will launch our year-end fundraising campaign, and this year we have $50,000 in matching funds up for grabs! If we meet our goal we’ll raise over $100,000 to support the advocacy, resources, training and networking state arts agencies rely on. Your support is critical to our success. And because we’re so excited about this opportunity, all gifts made after October 1 will be matched dollar for dollar, so there’s no need to wait. Make your gift now or become a monthly donor today. Thank you!

Anti-Bias Training for State Arts Agencies

Bias, defined simply as “an inclination of temperament or outlook,” can not only help us to sort through the scads of information all around us, but can affect how we make decisions and may even keep us from serving our goals. It is especially important for state arts agency staff and council members to recognize and reduce bias as we pursue our public service missions. At NASAA’s new Anti-Bias Training for State Arts Agencies sessions, learn how to raise awareness of our own biases and practice more inclusive behaviors. In conjunction with our trainers from Team Dynamics, NASAA is offering three two- or three-session tracks—for executive staff, general staff, and chairs and council/board members—to home in on issues most important to your cohort. (Note that this professional development program is offered exclusively for state arts agencies and regional arts organizations and is not open to the general public.) Learn more and register for your track today!

DEI Consultant Sourcebook Update

As part of our continued effort to advance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) alongside state arts agencies, NASAA is pleased to share an updated roster of DEI consultants, facilitators and trainers: the National DEI Consultant Sourcebook. NASAA offers this informal list as a community referral resource for state arts agencies that are planning DEI training, seeking facilitators for DEI work or formulating new DEI initiatives. Consultants included in the sourcebook have come to NASAA’s attention through our state arts agency network and colleague arts organizations. All have experience in working with arts organizations and/or government agencies. Explore the roster—along with many other DEI tools—on NASAA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion resources page.

Creativity Sparks Economic Renewal

NASAA’s recently commissioned research on the contribution of the arts to economic recovery has been cited in a National League of Cities blog entry, Creativity Sparks Economic Renewal. Authored by Montana Arts Council Chair, WESTAF Trustee and Bozeman Mayor Cyndy Andrus, the piece offers the example of Bozeman to highlight how the creative sector can enliven communities and bolster local economies. We hope our Arts and Economic Recovery Research influences the municipal leaders and policymakers in the National League of Cities audience as they develop strategies to stimulate community resilience.

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

State to State

Legislative Update

The Research Digest

Announcements and Resources

More Notes from NASAA




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