Jonathan Katz, Ph.D. Chief Executive Officer
Jonathan Katz is one of the primary spokespersons on behalf of funding and support for the arts and cultural activities in the United States. For more than 20 years, he has guided the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, the association through which the nation's 56 state arts agencies share knowledge and strategic thinking, develop leadership and professionalism, and advocate the value of the arts and culture.
A frequent speaker and workshop leader at forums on cultural issues and trends, Katz has consulted extensively on strategic planning, cultural policy development, advocacy, leadership development and financial planning for nonprofits. He is a cofounder of the Arts Education Partnership, established by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Arts as the nation's forum for the advancement of arts education. A former member of the U.S. Commission on UNESCO, Katz recently returned from Vancouver, Canada, where he advised the International Federation of Arts Councils and Cultural Agencies on its strategic planning process; from Seoul, Korea, where he advised the national arts council on its grant programs; and from Johannesburg, South Africa, where he led the CEO Seminar for heads of national arts and cultural agencies at the IFACCA World Summit.
Katz directed the graduate arts administration program at the University of Illinois at Springfield, The Children's Museum of Denver, and the Kansas Arts Commission. For NASAA, Katz coauthored Advancing America's Creativity: An Agenda for Leadership in Support of the Arts and Cultural Activities, the State Arts Agency Strategic Planning Toolkit, and Facing Controversy: Arts Issues and Crisis Communications, and wrote the Report of the Task Force on Cultural Pluralism.
Kelly J. Barsdate, Chief Program and Planning Officer
Kelly Barsdate joined NASAA in 1991. She oversees NASAA's services to members, including all research activities, education programs and special initiatives. She runs NASAA's State Arts Agency Boot Camps, designs the association's web seminars and conferences, and conducts numerous workshops on topics such as cultural policy and funding trends, arts participation, public value and practical evaluation methods. Barsdate developed NASAA's New Directions in State Arts Agency Grantmaking curriculum, a series of workshops to help state arts agencies enhance the results of their grant investments.
In addition to managing NASAA's internal strategic planning, Barsdate often is engaged as a consultant to assist arts funders (both public and private) with strategic planning, program design, grant guidelines development and program evaluation. She has managed collaborations with partners including the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Center for Charitable Statistics, Grantmakers in the Arts, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Princeton University, Altria and the National Endowment for the Arts. Barsdate has authored numerous monographs and articles on arts funding and arts research. She is a frequent presenter at national arts and philanthropy conferences and is a contributing editor of the Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society.
Prior to joining NASAA, Barsdate 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, Barsdate is an avid amateur naturalist.
Laura S. Smith, CFRE, Chief Advancement Officer
Laura Smith joined the NASAA staff in 2002. With 15 years experience fundraising in the not-for-profit sector, she has developed special interests in nonprofit board development, individual giving, corporate relations, and establishing development programs. At NASAA, she plans, coordinates and implements strategies to develop donors and contributions to support NASAA; leads staff and volunteers to institutionalize philanthropy and fund development within NASAA; and develops systems that support fund development. She works with public agencies, individuals, companies and foundations to develop resources and relationships that build NASAA's capacity to serve its members and achieve its strategic goals.
In addition to managing NASAA's resource development activities, Smith works closely with the NASAA board, various committees, and other state arts agency leaders on development and governance issues. She advises NASAA members and partners on effective fund development strategies that can generate support for the arts at the local and state levels. She also represents NASAA and state arts agencies in key philanthropic forums and networks.
Prior to joining NASAA, Smith served as director of foundations for the National Mentoring Partnership and as development manager for the American Architectural Foundation. She began her arts fundraising career at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, where she also helped found a site-specific theater performance company called Skewed Visions. She has advised the boards of several local and national nonprofit arts organizations, and has served on grant award panels for state arts agencies and the National Governors Association. Smith has a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota and a M.A. in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University.
Henry Clapp, Research Associate
Henry Clapp joined NASAA in 2011 as research associate. As a member of NASAA's research team, he gathers information for and about state arts agencies. His primary responsibilities include conducting member surveys and answering information requests regarding state arts agency budgets, staffing and compensation, and other areas of member interest. Prior to joining NASAA, Clapp 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. Clapp has been singing actively since elementary school, with performances taking him throughout the United States and abroad.
Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel
Isaac Brown works with the NASAA board and membership to advance state arts agencies' federal policy interests on Capitol Hill. He monitors federal legislation affecting state arts agencies, facilitates NASAA's work with Congress and engages NASAA members in federal advocacy efforts.
At Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, Brown focuses on public policy and government relations. Before joining the firm, he worked in the U.S. House of Representatives both in a personal office and as committee staff. His areas of expertise include appropriations, environment and energy issues. On Capitol Hill, Brown served as legislative director and floor assistant to Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). In this role, he advised the congresswoman on a range of issues including appropriations, education, energy, environment and transportation. As her leadership aide, Brown 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 Rep. Schakowsky, Brown 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.
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. Gee 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, Gee 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. Gee also gained valuable committee management experience as a member of the Young Benefactors of the Smithsonian Institution, where she served as vice chair of an annual gala. She also served for 12 years on the board of a Maryland nonprofit arts organization, where she chaired its national photography competitions and exhibitions.
Gee received her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Maryland. She has extensive experience in the fine arts, including working with an international exhibitor that specialized in traditional and modern Japanese woodblock prints; working in a fine arts auction house and appraisal service; and with a premier fine arts gallery that specialized in 18th and 19th century English and French antiques. In addition, Gee has found success as a professional fine art and expedition photographer and her work is in the permanent collections of several U.S. embassies, corporations and private collections. She has also served as an expedition photographer on a number of projects, including a research study on killer whales, an archaeological excavation at Caesarea Maritima, and an international yacht race.
Eric Giles, Learning Services Manager
Eric Giles joined NASAA in 2008. As learning services manager, he helps to manage a diverse portfolio of learning services for NASAA members. His responsibilities include coordinating NASAA's virtual learning programs, such as web seminars, as well as assisting with the design and delivery of conference sessions and other in-person learning opportunities for state arts agencies.
Prior to joining NASAA, Giles 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. Giles 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 techniques, from sculpture to painting to printmaking and beyond, and has been showing his work publicly off and on for 15 years. At night Giles teaches basic drawing and composition 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 analyzes the annual federal statistical reports of state and regional grant making and maintains a database of these grants reports stretching back to 1983. These grants statistics enable Liu to help NASAA make the case for public funding of the arts. She provides technical assistance to members who use the National Standard for Arts Information Exchange for their federal grants reporting. Liu assists NASAA staff by collecting membership survey data and creating reports of survey results.
Prior to joining NASAA, Liu 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, a master of public administration degree from Syracuse University and a certificate in information systems and telecommunications management from Syracuse University.
Paul Pietsch, Research Manager
Paul Pietsch monitors programmatic trends in state arts agencies and documents the diverse strategies used to foster the arts at the state level. Prior to joining NASAA in 2012, Pietsch led the research efforts of two nonprofit organizations, the Association for Demand Response and Smart Grid and the Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition, promoting technologies and energy-consumption strategies to reduce demand on the electric grid. He has worked as a writer and fund raiser at Harvard University, Dartmouth College and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.
Pietsch is an artist with an M.F.A. and a graduate certificate in arts management from American University in Washington, D.C. He has served on the board of directors of Art Enables, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides studio space, resources and assistance to artists with developmental disabilities. Pietsch is a member of the Artists' Advisory Council of the Washington Project for the Arts and helps run a life-drawing group at Hillyer Art Space.
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, Prickett led operations and production in both 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, Prickett 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 fund raising for The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and Accountants for the Public Interest. Prickett 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.
Prior to joining NASAA, Shick 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. She is a member of DancEthos, a modern dance company based in D.C.
Sue Struve, Communications Manager
Sue Struve ensures NASAA's mission and value are conveyed to members, constituents, the public and the press. She is responsible for NASAA's website and e-mail newsletter content as well as printed materials, and works to build community among state arts agencies to enhance their capabilities and strengthen the connection between the arts and the public. She enthusiastically joined NASAA in 2008.
Struve most recently was 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 and producer, magazine and book editor, and public relations coordinator. She has held positions at The Aspen Institute, Cornell Maritime Press, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and Arbitron Ratings Company.
A love of the performing arts has involved Struve in theatre since middle school, including serving as president of Colonial Players, Inc., and cofounding Dignity Players and serving as its marketing director. She is a professional actor in the Washington, D.C., area.
Ryan Stubbs, Research Director
Ryan Stubbs oversees NASAA's data collection and research services and serves as the point person for information requests from members and the public. He most recently served as director of research for the Western States Arts Federation, where he managed the Creative Vitality Index, implemented in 9 states and 16 localities across the country, and coordinated the State Arts Education Assessment, a survey of arts education prevalence in K-12 schools in four states. Stubbs previously worked for the Colorado Department of Higher Education, planning capital construction for state colleges, and administered the Colorado Enterprise Zone Program for Adams County. He holds a B.A. in economics and master's degrees in public administration and urban and regional planning.
Kim Willey, Arts Education Program Manager
Kim Willey joined the NASAA staff in 2012. As arts education program manager, Willey implements projects and programs that advance NASAA's goals pertaining to arts education and lifelong learning in the arts. Her primary responsibilities include working with the Arts Education Advisory Group on coordinating professional development activities of state arts agency arts education managers. Prior to joining the NASAA staff, Willey worked at the Arizona Commission on the Arts as the arts learning coordinator and at VSA as the evaluation and outcomes coordinator. She holds a B.F.A. and an M.A. in arts education from Arizona State University.
Jessica Galvano, Executive Assistant
Jessica Galvano joined NASAA in 2008 as the Executive Assistant. She works closely with the executive team by providing them daily administrative support as well as assisting with general office management coordination.
Jessica comes to us from a member site, the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she was the Executive Administrative Assistant. She has worked with a variety of non-profit organizations in the mental health and substance abuse fields, as well as provided administrative support in the fields of law, real estate and engineering.
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 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards are the nation's highest honor for after-school and out-of-school programs that use the arts and humanities to enrich the lives of at-risk children.
Slater-Rigaud 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. Slater-Rigaud'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.
Dennis Dewey, Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer
A graduate of James Madison University, Dennis Dewey has spent more than 30 years working in the arts, or arts-related fields as an educator, performer, producer and administrator. At NASAA, he is responsible for operations, financial management and special project oversight, with particular emphasis on building partnerships that promote the public benefit of the arts. He has guided and/or directly supervised collaborations with the U.S. Department of Justice, The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Council of Chief State School Officers, The Coca-Cola Company, MetLife, The General Electric Fund, The Getty Center for Education in the Arts, the U.S. Department of Education, The David and Lucille Packard Foundation, The National Governors' Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Dewey advises the NASAA board and CEO on policy-governance issues and oversees the organization's communications activities. He has guided NASAA's events planning and budgeting activities and managed more than 60 separate grants, contracts and cooperative agreements for the organization during his tenure.
Prior to joining NASAA, Dewey supervised ticket operations for Arena Stage in Washington, DC. He advised the administrative director and business manager in the formulation of policy, assisted in the determination of pricing and extension feasibility, and supervised more than $3 million in yearly single ticket and subscription sales.
After receiving a BA Degree in Communications from James Madison University, Dewey was hired to coordinate a Title III program for the arts in rural south central Virginia. In this capacity he advised in the design and directed the utilization of the county's new Humanities Center, and created a countywide program to stimulate the arts and humanities in a rural environment. He has an extensive background in the arts--notably in theatre--where he has worked as an actor, stage manager, public relations associate, development assistant, and-most rewardingly--secondary school teacher.