NASAA Notes: March 2023


March issue
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March 7, 2023

Member News and NASAA Resources

NASAA 2023 Learning Series: Remediating Learning Loss; Making a Strong Case

NASAA’s 2023 Learning Series is designed to offer state arts agencies brass-tacks examples of solutions to the challenges facing you in your work. Next up in our virtual lineup is Remediating Pandemic Learning Loss and the Arts, taking place March 21, from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern. Register for this session to explore the current state of pandemic related learning loss, state policies to combat it and the role of arts education in remediating it. Most recently in the Learning Series, three state arts agencies shared their experiences using our advocacy messaging guide, Arts and Creativity Strengthen Our Nation, to make a strong case for the arts with legislators across the political spectrum—catch the video!

Professional Development for You!

Bringing state arts agencies together is one of the most important services NASAA provides. NASAA is a place where state arts agency staff can come together to learn from one another, share ideas and get energized about the essential work that state arts agencies do. Here’s a recap of our portfolio of learning services:

  • On a year-round basis, NASAA offers online learning opportunities through our Learning Series and regular peer group sessions.
  • In odd-numbered years (starting in 2023), NASAA is switching to an Executive Forum model. Executive Forums gather executive and deputy/assistant directors of state and jurisdictional arts agencies for in-depth, professionally facilitated dialogue about the most pressing issues facing state arts agency leadership.
  • In even-numbered years, our Assembly conferences gather all state arts agency staff and council members, state arts advocates, and other allies for professional development and networking. Our next Assembly will be in 2024 in San Juan, Puerto Rico!

Take advantage of this wonderful lineup! Contact NASAA Learning Services Director Eric Giles for more information.

2023 Chair and Council Member Peer Group Gatherings

Great news! NASAA is planning four short virtual gatherings this year for state and jurisdictional arts agency chairs and council/board members to help you advance your leadership and connect you with your peers around the country. Over the course of these get-togethers, we’ll discuss the unique role you play in the public arts funding ecosystem, state legislative trends related to the arts, the importance of council leadership in times of change, and how you can make the most of your time at your state arts agency.

The first peer group session meets on Thursday, March 16, from 4:00 – 4:45 p.m. Eastern, and focuses on the partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the states and regions. Register now to attend.

Be on the lookout for communications with more details and future meeting dates and times. We hope you can attend one or all of the gatherings!

NASAA = Your Voice on Capitol Hill

We need all three levels of government—federal, state and local—to ensure that everyone and every community benefits from the arts. That’s why NASAA’s advocacy in Congress is crucial to you and your state arts agency! We work year-round to advance your priorities with federal lawmakers, increase funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and protect the federal-state partnership between the states and the NEA. In fact, we’re the only organization in the country that advocates specifically for the 40% of the NEA’s grants budget that goes to states. The bigger the NEA’s budget, the more funding goes to your state, which means more support for your artists and communities.

We depend on individual contributions to do this work because we don’t use member dues or federal funding for advocacy. Help keep public support for the arts strong by supporting NASAA today, or become a NASAA Champion and donate monthly. Thank you!

Well-being and Burnout

The World Health Organization defines burnout as “a high degree of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, and a low sense of personal accomplishment at work.” For state arts agencies—which are still coping with the lasting fallout on the creative sector wrought by the pandemic, along with myriad other stressors—burnout is a real concern. A growing body of science tells us how sleep, nutrition, regular exercise and time in nature support our health and well-being. In addition, research shows that there are skills we can develop—like compassion, gratitude, focus and listening—that can be strengthened with practice to mitigate stress. In May, NASAA is offering a session in our Learning Series to help state arts agencies address burnout. Until then, here are some resources to explore:

  • Burnout is a four-part podcast series hosted by Connor Franta that explores systemic burnout and mental health.
  • Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski have a helpful Ted Talk called The Cure for Burnout (Hint: It Isn’t Self-care). Their best-selling book Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle and this podcast interview with Brené Brown offer further insights.
  • Lauren DeVera did a workshop with NASAA’s People of Color Affinity Group. She hosts the Thrive + Thread podcast, which features short episodes on topics such as “The Upside to Your Breakdown” and “How to Slow Down in a Fast-Paced World.”
  • To get conversation started among your colleagues, check out Talking about Burnout Is Still Taboo At Work, which offers 18 questions around the six causes of burnout to help encourage candid conversations.

To support state arts agencies, 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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