The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies is the membership organization of the nation's state and jurisdictional arts agencies that works to advance and promote a meaningful role for the arts in the lives of individuals, families, and communities throughout the United States. NASAA empowers state arts agencies through strategic assistance that fosters leadership, enhances planning and decision-making, and increases resources.
All fifty state governments, as well as six jurisdictional governments, have created arts agencies to help support excellence in the arts and extend its benefits to more citizens. For more than thirty years, these state arts agencies have invested in the nation's cultural life by nurturing artistic endeavors nationwide and affording millions of people a greater opportunity to participate. State arts agencies not only support established and emerging artists and arts organizations but also develop, promote, and sustain programs for rural and underserved populations; provide alternatives for at-risk youth; act as catalysts for economic development; and offer innovative approaches to arts education.
NASAA provides a wealth of resources to artists, arts groups, and citizens through its publications and reports. The ArtWorks section of the organization's Web site provides a comprehensive look at trends, issues, and activities influencing decision makers in the arts and government. It currently features the topics of Cultural Tourism and Global Arts. The news section offers up-to-date information concerning arts in relation to the public sector. Also, the site provides summaries and ordering information for all of NASAA's publications and reports, including its Strategic Planning Toolkit.
With a grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, NASAA has joined its national and state partners to develop the Arts Education Leadership Network Initiative, which aims to improve the environment for arts education. The initiative focuses on assisting arts education managers at state arts councils, creating and strengthening state arts education teams and partnerships, and facilitating communication and information sharing within the arts education field.
NASAA is also preparing for its annual meeting to be held October 17-20 in Detroit, Michigan. The meeting, whose theme is Driving New Agendas, will focus on strategies to help state arts agencies change and thrive in the face of a rapidly changing society. Attendees will explore innovative approaches and some new twists on old approaches to partnerships, infrastructure, change management, and design. In addition, they will take advantage of the location to reflect on the reinvention of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.
To help state and local arts and education leaders learn more about the new No Child Left Behind legislation, NASAA has teamed with several other organizations to publish No Subject Left Behind: A Guide to Arts Education Opportunities in the 2001 Education Act (17 pages, PDF). The manual provides a brief overview of the legislation and specific programs as well as links to additional information. The publication is also designed to assist advocates as they speak with state and local policymakers about their plans to implement the legislation.
In addition to the many publications and reports available on the NASAA site, it also features a complete directory of state arts agencies with addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses for key staff members, and Web site links. The Arts Over America section includes several directories of arts organizations and arts-related sites, and the State Spotlight feature highlights interesting arts projects and efforts nationwide.