NASAA Notes: February 2024


February issue
Back to all issues
February 6, 2024

Member News and NASAA Resources

California Leadership Transition

Danielle Brazell has been appointed executive director of the California Arts Council (CAC). Brazell’s career spans over 30 years as an artist, teaching artist, presenter, arts administrator and public official. From 2014 to 2021, she served as the general manager of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; she was the founding executive director of Arts for LA, transforming the ad hoc group of executive arts leaders into a new model for local arts and arts education advocacy. In addition, Brazell served as the artistic director of Highways Performance Space and the director of special projects for the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. In her new role, Brazell uses her knowledge of the arts and cultural sector to advance the support systems needed for creativity to thrive. In addition to learning how to throw pottery, she serves on the World Cities Culture Forum board of advisors and the DataArts advisory board.

Former CAC Executive Director Jonathan Moscone departed the agency in December. During his nearly two years in the position, he and his team launched the California Creative Corps, a grant program designed to increase public awareness around conservation, climate mitigation, election participation, social justice and public health. In addition, the Arts Council furthered relationships with artists, organizations, community members and government agencies. While leading CAC, Moscone was a member of the state’s San Quentin Transformation Advisory Council, which presented recommendations to the legislature and governor on how to transform the prison into a rehabilitation center.

Erika Mallin Is New ED in New York

Erika Mallin has been appointed executive director of the New York State Council on the Arts. Mallin most recently served as executive director of The Aspen Institute Arts Program, where she convened artists and cultural leaders to honor their work and their role as thought leaders on how to approach major social and civic issues. She also led the arts programming for the renowned Aspen Ideas Festival and the prestigious Harman/Eisner annual Artist in Residence Award. Prior to the Institute, Mallin was executive director of New York’s Tony Award®-winning Signature Theatre Company, where she produced over 100 shows, led a $70 million expansion, and developed and expanded a subsidized ticket program that became a national model. Mallin has held positions at Manhattan Theatre Club, Atlantic Theatre Company and New York City’s Mayor’s Office, where she worked on initiatives to streamline government services and developed the Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Program, which received an Innovations in American Government Award from the Harvard Kennedy School. Mallin has moderated panels, presented, and lectured at Columbia, Yale, NYU, The Kennedy Center and the Aspen Ideas Festival. She has sat on various grant award committees and consulted on arts management for cultural institutions. Mallin received her M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and her B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Feb. 15: Data Collection Best Practices

On February 15, NASAA Senior Director of Research Ryan Stubbs facilitates a free workshop on data collection best practices for the Arkansas Arts Council. The workshop is open to all. Participants will learn the art of collecting data, managing research projects, and integrating analytics into grant writing and nonprofit work. Stubbs will share examples from state agencies and nonprofit organizations and will help attendees integrate research to provide context and amplification for their messages. Register for Research and Data Collection Best Practices.

How Creative Caucuses Build Support

Arts caucuses can be a powerful tool for stimulating support for the arts. By uniting arts constituents and legislators, these caucuses help to advance cultural policy. A new release from NASAA’s The Practical Advocate series, Creative Caucuses in State Legislatures, offers insights into:

  • how creative caucuses are formed
  • tips for engaging participants
  • potential challenges and how to overcome them

Examples explore how states have employed creative caucuses to build coalitions on behalf of the arts.

 56 Years, 56 Strong

This year NASAA is celebrating our 56th birthday—that’s 56 years of dedicated service to our nation’s 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies! State and jurisdictional arts agencies are why NASAA exists, then and now—and their work is what makes our community so special and strong. We’re really excited about celebrating our impact, our field and our community, so stay tuned! We’ve got some fun things planned on how we can celebrate together.

Strength through Partnerships

Cross-sector collaborations offer powerful opportunities to help state arts agencies reach more people and bring the arts to more places. NASAA is committed to helping state arts agencies maximize their impact. That’s why we promote new partnerships and programs through cross-sector collaborations and spotlight ways local, state and federal government are facilitating community well-being through the arts. Please give to NASAA today or set up monthly donations to help us keep shinning a light on innovative partnerships that strengthen not only state arts agencies, but our communities and country. Thank you!

Active Listening

Being heard is one of the most important experiences we have as human beings. It helps us feel validated; it builds trust and empathy; it strengthens clarity and understanding; and it helps us solve problems and work together more effectively. This article from Harvard Business Review—What Is Active Listening?—explains what active listening is and the many skills it involves, including reading body language and tone of voice (a capacity known as attunement), maintaining attention, and being mindful of our emotional response. Active listening is an essential communication skill that helps us develop and maintain healthy relationships, both personally and professionally.

Mindfulness meditation can be a great way to explore and strengthen active listening skills. If you’re interested, NASAA offers short meditations three times a week to support state arts agency staff and council members’ well-being. Chief Advancement Officer Laura Smith, a certified meditation teacher, leads these 15-minute Zoom sessions (camera-free), and all are welcome to attend. Reach out to Laura via email or phone at 202-347-7066 for more info or to be added to the email list.

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

State to State

Legislative Update

The Research Digest

Announcements and Resources

More Notes from NASAA




To receive information regarding updates to our newslettter. Please fill out the form below.