Updated NASAA Member Directory

Thursday, May 7, 2009

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NationalAssembly of State Arts Agencies

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State to State

Showcasing State Arts Agency Ingenuity



Conference for Creating Arts and Cultural Districts
Virginia Commission for the Arts

The Virginia Commission for the Arts, in partnership with the Virginia Alliance of Local Arts Agencies, Virginia Main Street Program, Virginia Municipal League and The Arts & Cultural Council of Rappahannock, is sponsoring a statewide leadership conference for creating arts and cultural districts in communities across Virginia. The Virginia state legislature recently amended existing legislation to provide the opportunity for every community in Virginia to create an arts and cultural district. The conference will focus on how cultural districts are created and how they can serve as catalysts for economic development and community building. Conference sessions will discuss the practices of successful cultural districts in the region, how cultural districts can attract tourism, legal issues specific to the creation of cultural districts, and the opportunities available when overlaying a cultural district with zoning programs such as local Main Street programs and historic districts. Attendees of the conference will be given a "hands-on" toolkit containing specific information about how to begin the process of starting a cultural district in their own community, and access to an on-line database for file sharing, networking and session handouts. For more information about the conference, contact the Virginia Commission for the Arts, 804-225-3132.


Washington, DC

Artistic Bike Racks
District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities

On April 27, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells joined the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) DC Creates Public Art program and the District Department of Transportation for the unveiling of 28 artistically designed bike racks by six local artists. This was the result of the DC Creates Public Art program's call to artists, inviting them to enhance the city's standard bike racks and create unique designs that could be placed in various locations citywide. Artists were encouraged to incorporate their interpretation of the "D.C. experience" into their artwork. The intent of the project is to encourage more people to use bicycles and increase the number of bike racks throughout the city that are both functional and artistic. For additional information, contact DCCAH DC Creates Public Art Coordinator Deirdre Ehlen.



Cultural Tourism Grant Program
Oregon Arts Commission

The Oregon Arts Commission's Cultural Tourism Grants support projects and partnerships that advance arts-based cultural tourism activities in Oregon. As a part of the Commission's Creative Oregon Initiative, the program fosters stronger links between the arts, culture, the tourism industry and local economic development. The initiative supports activities undertaken by arts or tourism groups with a particular focus on projects in which both collaborate. The award, available in amounts up to $10,000 for funding new initiatives or enhancing existing ones, is designed to increase tourism motivated entirely or in part by the arts-related offerings of a community or region. Grants can support target marketing for arts and cultural events and activities designed to attract visitors; the development of packages or special promotions for arts and cultural tourism activities; and the development of new uses of media and technology for arts and cultural tourism activities. By attracting Oregonians and non-residents, Commission-funded projects increase the economic benefit of cultural tourism to communities, regions and the entire state. For more information, contact Oregon Arts Commission Executive Director Christine D'Arcy or Assistant Director Shannon Planchon.



Arts Summit
Missouri Arts Council

In April, the Missouri Arts Council (MAC) sponsored the state's first Arts Summit. Held simultaneously at seven sites throughout the state, the summit provided representatives of the state's arts organizations with the opportunity to learn valuable and cost-effective ways to deal with the economic climate. The event afforded participants opportunities to network, discuss potential collaborations, share ideas, promote their organizations and strengthen their regional network. A centerpiece of the event was a webinar based on the book, Coping with Cutbacks: The Nonprofit Guide to Success When Times Are Tight. The format of the summit, which was held in conjunction with regional meetings, replaced the model of a statewide conference with a more accessible and affordable regionally focused alternative. As an incentive to increase participation and maximize board participation, the cost of the event was per organization and decreased with additional representatives from each organization. The summit was attended by more than 230 individuals representing more than 100 organizations. The consensus from attendees was that the regional meeting format provided as much value as the webinar. MAC plans to repeat this event three times in the upcoming year, in addition to another event specifically focused on arts education. To learn more, contact MAC Program Specialist Michael Donovan.

NASAA's information-sharing depends on your participation. What are your most successful current initiatives? Have you launched any great programs, policies, services or partnerships? We want to hear about them! Contact NASAA Policy and Program Associate Jesse Rye (202-347-6352 x118) and include your name, your agency, a brief description of your project and whom to contact to learn more about it.

NASAA works continuously to keep you abreast of the latest trends in the state arts agency field and let you know about innovative state arts agency programs. The State to State column provides a sampling of state programs, products and services for you to browse for information and inspiration. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to this column.