NASAA Notes: February 2023


February issue
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February 1, 2023

Member News and NASAA Resources

Theresa Colvin of Mid Atlantic Arts to Retire

Photo by James Kegley

Mid Atlantic Arts Executive Director Theresa M. Colvin will retire effective April 30. With more than three decades of service to the field, Colvin has led the regional arts organization since 2017. During her tenure, she helped sustain and stabilize the field through the deployment of American Rescue Plan Act Funding; Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act Arts Organization Relief Grants; and the Mid Atlantic Arts Regional Resilience Fund in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Her work to build capacity around Mid Atlantic’s program priorities in international exchange, jazz and the folk and traditional arts has resulted in a robust portfolio of programs designed to support both organizations and performing artists. In December 2022, Colvin successfully completed a memorandum of understanding with the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, making it Mid Atlantic’s 10th partner agency. This will strengthen both the regional and national arts infrastructure while providing opportunities to artists, organizations and communities from the Commonwealth. Additionally, Colvin worked to strengthen Mid Atlantic’s partnership with the U.S. regional arts organizations, resulting in increased funding to the field and across the consortium with new programs that serve the nation. In spring 2019, Colvin launched a multitiered strategic planning process that included board, staff and the arts community. The new strategic plan, adopted in February 2020, centers equity, diversity, inclusion and access and has created a lens through which Mid Atlantic Arts views all its work. As a champion of the folk and traditional arts, Colvin has overseen the development of the Central Appalachian Folk and Traditional Arts Survey and Planning Project, Central Appalachia Living Traditions, and Folk and Traditional Arts Community Projects Grants. She has worked to secure dedicated increases to public and private resources to support expanded staffing and network building, resulting in significant impact for the field and for Mid Atlantic Arts. Prior to joining Mid Atlantic Arts, Colvin served as executive director of the Maryland State Arts Council. The Mid Atlantic Arts board will select a firm to conduct a national search for the next executive director.

Making a Strong Case for the Arts

Have you found it challenging to inspire support for public funding of the arts? How can we best educate the public? What messages resonate across the political spectrum? Join NASAA for Making a Strong Case for the Arts, February 8 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern, to hear how three state arts agencies have used NASAA’s advocacy messaging guide, Arts and Creativity Strengthen Our Nation, to communicate about the value of the arts in their states. Using evidence based approaches, the advocacy messaging guide was developed to reach a broad range of policymakers and be used in a variety of circumstances. The session includes an overview of the guide and time for participants to share your own challenges and experiences. Part of the NASAA 2023 Learning Series, Making a Strong Case for the Arts is open to all state arts agency and regional arts organization staff and council members, as well as cultural advocates. Register today!

Peer Group Sessions and More in NASAA Events Calendar

NASAA peer groups are job-alike groups where members can share challenges, experiences and successes with their colleagues. They include groups for many state arts agency staff positions, as well as a group for chairs and council members. Several peer groups meet virtually during the year to connect and discuss topics of interest. To check out the latest peer group meetings—as well as other NASAA learning sessions—visit our Upcoming NASAA Events Calendar. Find a link to the calendar at the top of the Events & Seminars page, and use this handy reference to see what’s coming up next!

Keep Public Support for the Arts Strong

It’s legislative season and NASAA’s advocacy work is kicking into high gear! We’re getting to know new elected officials and showing them the amazing benefits of the arts and the federal-state partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and state arts agencies. We’re offering a new session in our 2023 Learning Series that shows you how you can use NASAA’s advocacy messaging guide to make a strong case for the arts in your state. And we’re also shining a spotlight on innovative, cross-sector state arts agency programs to help educate legislators and the public about the powerful impact of arts and creativity.

All of this is made possible with the support of individual contributions. We don’t use membership dues or federal funding for our advocacy work, which is why your support is so important. Please give to NASAA today so that state arts agencies have the advocacy they need. Thank you!

Workplace Mental Health and Well-being Report

Last October, the U.S. Surgeon General released a new report that outlines—for the first time ever—mental health and well-being standards for the workplace. Centering the worker’s voice and equity, the report was developed in response to ways the COVID-19 pandemic changed the nature of work for so many people (including the Great Resignation and “quiet quitting”). It offers a roadmap of five essential practices that illuminates why it’s a good idea for employers to invest in mental health and well-being and how that investment strengthens organizations. Forbes calls this report “required reading for CEOs,” given the extent of mental health challenges we face now: 76% of U.S. workers reported at least one symptom of a mental health condition, up 17 percentage points in just two years, and 84% said at least one workplace factor had a negative impact on their mental health. In addition, 81% of workers said they’ll be looking for workplaces that support mental health in the future. More than 160 million people are part of the U.S. workforce, with the average full-time employee spending about half of their awake time at work—which means workplaces have a huge role to play in shaping and supporting mental and physical well-being. The full Surgeon General’s Framework for Workplace Mental Health and Well-being is full of actionable recommendations. If you review and implement any of these suggestions, NASAA would love to hear about it!

Mindfulness skills can help leaders reimagine workplaces as engines of well-being. To support you, NASAA offers short meditations via Zoom (camera-free) three times a week. Laura Smith, chief advancement officer and certified meditation teacher, leads these 15-minute sessions, and all state arts agency staff and council members are welcome to join. 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.

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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