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About State Arts Agencies

State arts agencies ensure that every community in America receives the
cultural, civic, economic and educational benefits of the arts.

Connect with your state arts agency


Discover what state arts agencies do

State to State Article Archive

Find hundreds of innovative state arts agency programs—searchable by state, by select topics and by keywords.

Article Archive


State arts agencies were created by legislatures and governors to promote the arts and reduce barriers to cultural participation. Every state and U.S. jurisdiction has a designated arts agency because:

  • America’s communities need the arts. The arts foster vibrant communities and create productive places for people to live, work, play and raise their families.

  • America’s economy needs the arts. The arts put people to work, produce tax revenue, stimulate business and retain a talented work force.

  • America’s children need the arts. The arts ignite young imaginations and boost achievement in academic fundamentals.

  • America’s democracy needs the arts. The arts support a strong democracy, engaging us in civic discourse and bridging divides among us.

  • America’s spirit needs the arts. Intrinsic to the arts is the power to connect us, uplift us and help us perceive things in new ways.

  • America’s well-being needs the arts. The arts foster physical, mental and emotional health.

  • America’s heritage is embodied in the arts. The arts preserve our legacies and our roots, passing along our nation’s unique character and traditions to future generations.


State arts agencies exemplify government by, for and of the people. Each state arts agency is governed by a council of citizen leaders that oversees its work. Broad public engagement is central to state arts agency planning, grant decisions and programs that respond to local needs.

State arts agencies are funded through appropriations from state legislatures. By law, state arts agencies also receive 40% of the federal grant dollars Congress provides to the National Endowment for the Arts.

Get in touch with your state arts agency today, and learn how you can voice your support for its work.