NASAA Notes: June 2022


June issue
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June 6, 2022

Member News and NASAA Resources

New NASAA Strategic Plan: Your Comments Are Welcome!

NASAA’s planning is evergreen—it is continually renewed and never stands still. To stay future-focused and responsive to member needs, NASAA is revising our strategic plan to attune it to our changing environment and provide a strong rudder for our work on behalf of state arts agencies. Check out the latest draft of NASAA’s revised strategic plan. We welcome feedback from all state arts agency staff and council members as well as arts advocates, regional arts organizations, and arts, culture or humanities allies working at the national, state or local levels. Comments are requested by July 15.

Jeff Bell Is New ED in North Carolina

Jeff Bell has been named executive director of the North Carolina Arts Council. Bell has been serving as executive director of the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park and Museum in Wilson and Arts Innovation coordinator for the city of Wilson. He brings more than two decades of arts experience to the role, including leadership positions at 21c Museum Hotel in Durham, CAM Raleigh and Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Bell is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with degrees in art history and studio art, and earned a master’s degree in fine art from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is a sculptor and has exhibited his works across the state. Bell starts his new position on June 13.

Virginia’s Janet Starke to Depart

Virginia Commission for the Arts Executive Director Janet Starke will be leaving the agency effective June 30. In her nearly four years leading the Commission, Starke has worked toward the goal of increasing access to high-quality arts experiences and learning for all the citizens of the commonwealth. During her tenure, the agency made gains relative to inclusion, diversity, equity and access; grant making; and professional development. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Starke oversaw the agency’s support of and partnership with the state’s arts and culture industry, disbursing more than $1.3 million through seven distinct relief funding programs. In addition, the agency produced the Commission’s Virtual Artist Showcase to highlight artists and ensembles of the agency’s Performing Arts Tour Directory. Finally, Starke helped to attain the agency’s largest budget since 2008, with the agency having just been appropriated a $1.3 million increase for fiscal year 2023.

Aloha to Jonathan Johnson in Hawaiʻi

Jonathan Johnson, executive director of the Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA), will retire from state service on July 1. (Or, as he would prefer to put it, he will “rewire”!) Johnson began working for the agency in 1988 and has served as executive director since 2014. Over the past eight years, he has overseen the growth of the state’s arts agency through an outward facing strategic plan and an internal leadership style of accountability. In addition to executive director, Johnson has served in many positions within the agency, including program manager of the Art in Public Places Program and director of the Hawaiʻi State Art Museum. Highlights of his career include creation of the State Art Museum education program, curation of the sculpture garden at the State Art Museum, project management of dozens of commissioned works of art on neighbor islands, chairing the Hawaiʻi Commemorative Quarter Advisory Commission representing Hawaiʻi in the 50 States Quarter Program, modernization of the grants program and agency administration, and working with the SFCA board to build stronger relationships with the state legislature. The agency remained highly productive during the COVID-19 pandemic and efficiently administered state and federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and American Rescue Plan funding through a streamlined process to support Hawaiʻi arts and culture. Johnson plans to continue supporting the community through the Friends of the Hawaiʻi State Art Museum nonprofit volunteer organization and in the private arts and culture sector.

NASAA Assembly 2022: Live and In-Person!

State arts agency and regional arts organization staff and council members: Join your colleagues in person for NASAA Assembly 2022! We’ll be gathering in dynamic and charming Kansas City, Missouri, this year, September 22-24. Highlights include NASAA’s roll call tradition, a plenary with the National Endowment for the Arts and a reception at the American Jazz Museum. Assembly sessions address timely topics such as arts advocacy, accessibility, equity, the changing needs of rural communities and more. Please register, reserve your room and join us!

Next Up in NASAA’s 2022 Learning Series

Cornerstone Theater Company. Photo by Noé Montes

The NASAA 2022 Learning Series explores subjects relevant to equity, recovery, arts and health, and more to inform and energize the work of state arts agency and regional arts organization staff and council members. The next of these virtual sessions, The American Communities Project, explains political, socioeconomic and cultural differences between various types of counties across the country, to better understand their struggles and successes. Join your colleagues on June 28, 3:00-4:00 p.m. Eastern, to hear from the experts at the American Communities Project. NASAA Learning Series sessions are offered free to NASAA members.

Miss our first Learning Series session? Watch a recording of Diversifying and Empowering the Pipeline.

Make a Difference for NASAA, for Your Agency, for Your State

Help us spread the love with your gift to NASAA’s Ripple Effect campaign. NASAA works hard for you—advocating for arts funding at the federal level, helping you make the case for support in your state and so much more. Your gift supports our work, which supports your agency and all the incredible ways you make a difference for artists, arts organizations and communities in your state.

We’re so close to reaching our goal of raising $10,000 by June 15. Every dollar counts! That’s the power of the ripple effect—it starts small and grows to something so much bigger. Make a one-time gift or become a monthly donor today. Thank you!

Support for Stress and Burnout

According to the American Psychological Association, stress and burnout remain at all-time highs across nearly all professions. If this is the case for you, how about exploring mindfulness practices? Research proves that mindfulness and meditation help reduce stress, anxiety and emotional exhaustion, while boosting well-being, mental agility and compassion. To support state arts agencies, NASAA offers meditation via phone three times a week, and all staff and council members are welcome to join. These 15-minute sessions are led by Chief Advancement Officer Laura Smith, a certified meditation teacher who has experience helping creative professionals develop a practice that supports their goals and well-being. Reach out to Laura via e-mail or phone at 202-347-7066 for more information or to be added to the e-mail list.

Kudos to 2022 Poetry Out Loud Winners

NASAA congratulates the winners of the national Poetry Out Loud competition, held June 5. California high school junior Mia Ronn is the 2022 Poetry Out Loud National Champion, garnering a $20,000 award for taking the top prize. Second and third place went to Colorado’s Aidyn Lorin Jai Reid and Arizona’s Oscar Manuel Landa Samano, respectively. This is the 17th year that the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with state arts agencies to support Poetry Out Loud, a contest that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry—both classic and contemporary—through memorization and recitation. The program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. Approximately 250,000 student-competitors nationwide have participated in the program each year. Learn more about this year’s contest.

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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