NASAA Notes: January 2023


January issue
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January 3, 2023

Member News and NASAA Resources

Mike Markey Serving as Interim ED in Nebraska

Nebraska Arts Council Deputy Director Mike Markey is serving as interim executive director. Before joining the Arts Council, Markey was the managing director of the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival for 18 years. Prior to that position, he helped found Omaha’s Circle Theatre. Markey is an actor and director with professional credits in film and on stage. He received his master of fine arts degree in arts management from Florida State University and a master’s degree in people’s theatre from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Following the retirement of Suzanne Wise in December, a search is underway for her successor.

Arizona Hires Jacky Alling as Interim Executive Director

Jacky Alling joins the Arizona Commission on the Arts as interim executive director on January 9. Alling comes to the agency from Arizona State University’s Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation, where she served as the first-ever senior fellow for philanthropy. Prior to that, she spent two decades with the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF), initially as a consultant to design and implement a statewide “Arts in the Schools, Arts in the Community” strategic initiative. Following that she served as the vice president of programs and then the chief philanthropy officer for the foundation, collaborating with many to lead, design, orchestrate and implement some of ACF’s most innovative programs. Previously, Alling worked for a variety of arts organizations. She served as the executive director of the Arizona Alliance for Arts Education, a statewide advocacy organization affiliated with the Kennedy Center’s national arts education network. Before that, she worked at ASU [Arizona State University] Cultural Affairs and then at the Phoenix Boys Choir, focusing on building cultural participation, education and outreach programs. The agency will conduct a nationwide search for a permanent executive director.

David Lewis Is New Executive Director in Mississippi

Photo: Midstory Photography

David Lewis joins the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) as executive director on January 18. Lewis comes to MAC from the Department of Human and Cultural Services (DHCS) for the City of Jackson, where he served as deputy director. In his time with DHCS, Lewis worked with the Arts Center of Mississippi, the Russell C. Davis Planetarium, the Smith Robertson Museum and the Municipal Art Gallery. He also served as manager of Thalia Mara Hall, where he helped to increase revenue by 35% during the 2018-2019 fiscal year. With allies of the planetarium, Lewis shepherded the launch of a campaign to fully renovate and add onto the existing structure. He was also the creator and lead for the City of Jackson’s bicentennial campaign and the holiday Capital City Lights event. Lewis currently serves on the Advisory Council for Downtown Jackson Partners, and has served for three years as vice chairman of the board for Team JXN. Lewis received the AIA Friend of Architecture award in 2018 and Visit Jackson’s SUMMIT Friend of Tourism award in 2020. A graduate of Mississippi State University, Lewis earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture in 2015. From 2016-2018, he pursued a master’s degree in urban and regional planning at Jackson State University while working as a project specialist for the Greater Jackson Arts Council (GJAC). In his role at GJAC, Lewis facilitated many creative initiatives, including the Welcome to Jackson mural, the Mississippi Light Festival, the Obama Elementary School mural and the Community Paint Wall. Lewis succeeds Sarah Story, former executive director for the agency.

Welcome, Newcomers!

If you are a new state arts agency staff or council/board member, are starting work for a regional arts organization, or are an arts advocate, arts practitioner, student or researcher, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) can help orient you about our field. See our Welcome, Newcomers page for “Quick-start menus” about government funding for the arts, best practices and more, along with handy links to helpful information. Complete the brief Connect with NASAA form to be sure you don’t miss important NASAA communications. Welcome!

Thank You x2!

We’re doubly pumped and doubly grateful because we met our match … and then some! Thanks to the many generous donors who gave to NASAA during The Ripple Effect x2 matching gift campaign, we exceeded our goal of $50,000—which means we raised an additional $50,000, for a total of more than $100,000!

We’re so grateful to everyone who contributed to NASAA during the campaign and over the past year. Your support helps us do more to strengthen state arts agencies and grow public support for the arts in 2023. Because of you we’re ringing in the new year with full hearts, rejuvenated spirits and huge smiles. Thank you!

Well-being Resources for State Arts Agencies

NASAA’s Fiscal Year 2023 Action Plan includes sharing resources with arts leaders to help support your well-being. These last few years have been tough, and we’ll continue to face challenges (and opportunities, too!) as our field evolves. Throughout the year, NASAA will share articles, videos, practices and ideas to help mitigate burnout; to keep you current on trends in mental, physical and emotional health; and to explore body-mind connections that can support your resilience and leadership. Well-being is a process, not an event, and it can take time to figure out what works for you. Stay tuned for more information and, in the meantime, check out these articles:

In addition, NASAA offers short meditations via Zoom three times per week. Chief Advancement Officer Laura Smith, a certified meditation teacher, guides these 15-minute sessions, and all state arts agency staff and council members are welcome to join. Reach out to Laura via email or phone at 202-347-7066 for more information or to be added to the email list—as well as to share any suggestions or thoughts about well-being topics you’d like to address.

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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