Kelly J. Barsdate, Interim Chief Executive Officer Kelly Barsdate joined NASAA in 1991. She is a leading spokesperson for state arts agencies and the many public benefits that derive from government support for the arts in America. As interim chief executive officer, Kelly works in collaboration with the NASAA board of directors to advance NASAA's federal policy agenda. She also oversees NASAA's services to member agencies, including research, education, communications, state advocacy support and technical assistance. In addition to managing NASAA's strategic planning and evaluation, Kelly often is engaged as a consultant and facilitator to help arts funders with planning and performance measurement. She runs NASAA's state arts agency director boot camps, directs the learning design for seminars and conferences, and conducts workshops on topics such as strategic grant making, practical evaluation methods and communicating effectively with data.
Kelly has directed NASAA's collaborations with partners including the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Center for Charitable Statistics, the National Endowment for the Arts and Altria Corporation. She has authored numerous monographs and articles on public support for the arts, and is a contributing editor of the Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society. Kelly has served on advisory task forces for Grantmakers in the Arts, Animating Democracy, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Urban Institute and Princeton University. She is a frequent session leader and keynote speaker at arts and philanthropy conferences.
Prior to joining NASAA, Kelly was a researcher at Educational Research Services Inc., where her areas of specialty included school demographics, multicultural education and program evaluation. Her arts background includes education in music, dance and ceramics. Born and raised in Alaska, she is an avid angler and an enthusiastic amateur naturalist.
Laura S. Smith, CFRE, Chief Advancement Officer Laura Smith joined the NASAA staff in 2002. As chief advancement officer, she oversees all fundraising undertaken on behalf of NASAA. She works closely with the NASAA board of directors and staff to identify opportunities for public agencies, individuals, foundations and companies to support NASAA's mission. In addition to her fundraising responsibilities, Laura is the chief staff liaison to the NASAA board; manages the development, governance, nominating and awards committees; serves as the primary contact for issues related to member dues; directs council member relations; and advises NASAA members and partners on development and governance issues. She also represents NASAA and state arts agencies in key philanthropic forums and networks.
Before joining NASAA, Laura served with the National Mentoring Partnership, the American Architectural Foundation and the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, where she helped found a site-specific theater company. She has advised the boards of several local and national nonprofit arts organizations and is currently involved with Women in Film and Video. She has served on grant award panels for state arts agencies and the National Governors Association. Laura is an avid knitter, birdwatcher and yoga enthusiast. Her arts background includes degrees in English (B.A.) and liberal studies (M.A.), training in piano and creative writing, and an abiding love of craft.
Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel Isaac Brown works with the NASAA board and membership to advance state arts agencies' federal policy interests on Capitol Hill and with the National Endowment for the Arts. He monitors federal legislation affecting state arts agencies, facilitates NASAA's work with Congress and engages NASAA members in federal advocacy efforts.
Isaac is a partner at the public-policy consulting firm 38 North Solutions. Before joining the firm, he worked in the U.S. House of Representatives in a personal office and as committee staff. On Capitol Hill, Isaac served as legislative director and floor assistant to Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). In this role, he advised the congresswoman on a range of issues including appropriations, education, energy, the environment and transportation. As her leadership aide, Isaac was instrumental in authorizing several significant pieces of legislation in the 111th Congress, including passage in the House of Representatives of the American Clean Energy and Security Act and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Prior to his work with Representative Schakowsky, Isaac served on the Democratic staff of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee under the leadership of Henry Waxman. He has researched and written legislation and has provided strategic guidance and support to businesses and nonprofit organizations seeking federal funding through appropriations and grant requests.
Henry Clapp, Research Associate
Henry Clapp joined NASAA in 2011 as research associate. He collects information on state arts agency funding levels and sources through the State Arts Agency Revenues survey, and manages NASAA's historical funding database. Henry also designs and conducts many of NASAA's on-line surveys, including the Staffing and Compensation Survey and Membership Opinion Poll. He works with the Research Department to create engaging and informative data visualizations for NASAA reports and member requests.
Prior to joining NASAA, Henry worked at La Grua Center and the Salt Marsh Opera Company in Stonington, Connecticut. He has a B.A. in music and economics from Swarthmore College. Henry has been singing actively since elementary school, with performances taking him throughout the United States and abroad. He currently sings with, serves on the board of and is managing director of the 18th Street Singers, a community choir based in Washington, D.C.
Jessica Galvano, Executive Associate Jessica Galvano joined NASAA in 2008, coming to us from a member agency, the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she served as the executive administrative assistant. Jessica works closely with NASAA's executive team, providing administrative and logistics support for their daily activities. She also helps to coordinate the chief officers' work with partner organizations and with member agencies that have engaged NASAA for consulting services. Jessica helps NASAA identify and respond to member needs, facilitating follow-up to member requests for help. She supports NASAA's member outreach and member engagement work, including newcomer orientation activities, and manages registrations for NASAA events. Jessica supports the work of NASAA's board of directors and committees by arranging meetings, coordinating communications and addressing special requirements.
Sharon Gee, Director of Meetings and Events Sharon Gee has more than 20 years of experience in arts management, budget administration, and national meeting, exhibition and special event planning. Sharon joined NASAA in 2000 and is responsible for planning and executing NASAA's meetings and special events, including board meetings, annual conferences and leadership institutes. She also manages meetings and events for one of NASAA's key partners, the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, including the annual National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards ceremonies and the Leadership Enhancement conferences.
Prior to joining NASAA, Sharon spent 13 years at Gannett Company, Inc., where she planned the annual capital appropriations committee meetings for executives and regional division presidents and reported on monthly capital budget requests and expenditures. As a committee member of the Young Benefactors of the Smithsonian Institution, Sharon was vice chair of an annual gala and creative designer of the gala's national marketing campaign. She served for 12 years on the board of a Maryland nonprofit arts organization, where she chaired its national photography competitions and exhibitions.
Sharon received her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Maryland. She has extensive experience in the fine arts, including work with an international art exhibitor for trade expositions, a fine arts auction house and appraisal service, and a premier fine arts gallery. Sharon has found success as a professional fine art and expedition photographer, with work in the permanent collections of several U.S. embassies and corporations as well as in private collections.
Eric Giles, Learning Services Manager Eric Giles manages a diverse portfolio of learning services for NASAA members. His responsibilities include coordinating NASAA's virtual learning programs, such as its highly successful web seminars; assisting with the design and delivery of conference sessions; leading the popular Flashes of Inspiration sessions at NASAA's national assemblies; and administering other in-person learning opportunities for state arts agencies. He joined NASAA in 2008.
Prior to joining NASAA, Eric worked at The Nonprofit Roundtable, where he helped to manage a variety of projects designed to increase the visibility, strength and influence of nonprofits in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region. Eric has two master's degrees, in international policy and religious studies, as well as two bachelor's degrees, in history and fine arts. He is a trained visual artist in a wide variety of mediums and is continually working on projects from gallery shows to graphic novels. At night, Eric teaches fine arts and art history classes as an adjunct faculty member at the College of Southern Maryland.
Kelly Liu, National Standard Associate Kelly Liu has been the National Standard associate at NASAA since 1998. She collects and maintains a database of federal grant-making reports from each state and regional arts agency. She provides technical assistance to members who use the National Standard for Arts Information Exchange for their federal grants reporting. As a grants analyst, Kelly employs analytics tools for data visualization as well as GIS (geographic information system) mapping to help NASAA show the depth and breadth of state arts agencies' investments in the arts. She also assists in administering annual membership surveys.
Prior to joining NASAA, Kelly worked for the National Association of Counties, the Council on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Department of the Interior. She has a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Drake University and a master of public administration degree from Syracuse University with a certificate in information systems and telecommunications management.
Susan Oetgen, Professional Development Institute Manager
Susan Oetgen joined the NASAA staff in 2014. As manager of the Professional Development Institute, her primary responsibilities include working with NASAA's Arts Education Working Group on coordinating professional development activities of state arts agency arts education managers, leading orientations and facilitating mentorships for new state arts agency arts education managers, and maintaining the arts education managers' peer-to-peer network.
Prior to joining the NASAA staff, Susan lived in Brooklyn, New York, where she was an artist, manager, educator and facilitator with a variety of performing arts organizations, including The Field, Stamford Symphony Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra and Tribeca Performing Arts Center. As an educator and trainer with a focus on creative collaboration and conflict resolution, she has designed and implemented several professional development workshops and retreats for artist peers and arts management professionals, as well as a variety of teaching artist residencies with youth in public schools. She also has served as a teaching artist/coach with the Everyday Arts for Special Education (EASE) program, coaching New York City special education teachers and paraprofessionals on EASE's unique arts-integration curriculum for children with autism and emotional disturbance. Born and raised in the Washington, D.C., area, Susan holds a B.A. in theology from Georgetown University, an M.M. in classical vocal performance from the Catholic University of America, and a certificate in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University. She is a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution.
Paul Pietsch, Research Manager Paul Pietsch monitors programmatic trends in state arts agencies and is responsible for a variety of qualitative research projects. He crafts policy briefs and strategy samplers, writes the monthly State to State column in NASAA Notes, and prepares reports to help state arts agencies apply for NEA Partnership funding.
Prior to joining NASAA in 2012, Paul led the research efforts of the Association for Demand Response and Smart Grid as well as those of the Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition. He has worked as a writer and fundraiser at Harvard University, Dartmouth College and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Paul is an artist with an M.F.A. and a graduate certificate in arts management from American University in Washington, D.C. When not busy in his own studio, he contributes to Washington's artist community by running life-drawing groups at Hillyer Art Space and the Washington Drawing Center, moderating the reading group at doris-mae gallery, and serving on the Artists' Advisory Council of the Washington Project for the Arts. He previously led the board of directors of Art Enables.
Sylvia Prickett, Director of Administration Sylvia Prickett oversees NASAA's operations and business functions. Her responsibilities include managing NASAA's technology systems, supervising human resources, leading compliance and accountability efforts, and managing NASAA's budget.
Before joining NASAA in 2013, Sylvia led operations and production in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors for more than 25 years. Most recently, she served as an independent consultant, providing management, marketing and editorial services to clients ranging from the American College of Cardiology and U.S. Chamber of Commerce to National Geographic, Time Life and Stone Soup Films. Prior to that, Sylvia was senior director of operations and production for PBS's Brand Management & Promotion department, where for nearly 10 years she oversaw the development and production of Primetime, PBS KIDS, and corporate and educational material to increase the visibility and usage of PBS content. Her experience with professional associations has included the management of chapter relations, communications and fundraising for The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and Accountants for the Public Interest. Sylvia graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a degree in cultural anthropology. She enjoys traveling, a good book and nearly any outdoor activity.
Dora Shick, Development and Membership Manager Dora Shick joined NASAA in 2007. As development and membership manager, she manages efforts to identify, engage, solicit and retain individuals who contribute to NASAA, generally via the Annual Fund program. She also manages corporate and foundation fundraising for annual conferences; tracks and secures in-kind contributions; and supports NASAA's communications by maintaining reliable and comprehensive information about members, donors and prospects. In addition, she manages NASAA's awards program.
Prior to joining NASAA, Dora worked for the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, housed at the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington, D.C. She holds has a B.A. in government from Smith College. Dora is a member of DancEthos, a modern dance company based in D.C.
Traci Slater-Rigaud, Director, National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards Traci Slater-Rigaud directs the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards with the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities through a cooperative agreement with NASAA. The awards are the nation's highest honors for after-school and out-of-school programs that use the arts and humanities to enrich the lives of at-risk children.
Traci is the former program coordinator for arts in education with the National PTA, where she managed the Reflections Program. Prior to the National PTA, she was curator of education at Miami Art Museum. Her work there included developing and managing a broad range of educational programming for school, family and adult audiences. Traci's background also includes work as the public programs manager at the Baltimore Museum of Art, where she created and managed large-scale programs for the permanent collection and special exhibitions. She has several years of experience in community-based arts education and has a sincere passion for making the arts accessible to all communities. She holds a B.S. in social science and an M.A. in art education, both from the University of Cincinnati.
Sue Struve, Communications Manager Sue Struve oversees NASAA's communications to members, partners, colleague organizations, the public and the press. She is responsible for the content and production of NASAA's broadcast e-mails, website, reports and printed materials and works to build community among state arts agencies. She joined NASAA in 2008.
Sue was previously director of web operations at the U.S. Naval Institute in Annapolis, Maryland, where she advanced the organization's mission using web and e-mail communications, managed hundreds of web projects, and oversaw three website redesigns. Her editorial career includes terms as web content editor, e-mail newsletter editor, magazine and book editor, and public relations coordinator. Sue has held positions at The Aspen Institute, Cornell Maritime Press, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and Arbitron Ratings Company. She holds a B.A. in communication arts from Salisbury State College and is a professional actor in the Washington-Baltimore area.
Ryan Stubbs, Research Director Ryan Stubbs oversees NASAA's data collection and research services. In this role, Ryan directs NASAA's tracking of public funding for the arts and its work as the national repository of state arts agency grant-making data. He assists NASAA members with customized research, including creative economy programs, place-making initiatives and assessment of cultural district programs. Ryan represents state arts agencies and NASAA at state, regional and NASAA research forums and is NASAA's primary research liaison to federal agencies, foundations, consultants and scholars conducting research on public support for the arts.
In his prior position, Ryan served as director of research for the Western States Arts Federation, where he conducted analysis of arts-related economic data and implemented web-based research tools. He has analyzed capital construction projects for the Colorado Department of Higher Education and has managed economic development programs in Adams County, Colorado. He holds master's degrees in public administration and urban and regional planning from the University of Colorado, Denver. In his free time, Ryan enjoys creating and supporting music and visual art in Washington, D.C.