Updated NASAA Member Directory

Friday, August 7, 2009

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NationalAssembly of State Arts Agencies

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State to State

Showcasing State Arts Agency Ingenuity



State Library Partnership
Summer Reading Program

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Alaska native masks appear on art trading cards at local libraries. Left to right: Loon Mask, Edward Kiokun, Yup'ik; Twin Mask, Bert Ryan, Tsimshian; Untitled, Kathleen Carlo, Athabaskan. Courtesy Alaska Contemporary Art Bank

The Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) has partnered with the Alaska State Library System to create a distinct Alaskan component to the library's annual summer reading program. Summer reading programs are important to help students maintain and improve reading skills over vacation, which is vital to their educational and literacy development. ASCA sponsored a call this spring for artists to design a poster for the summer program that embraced traditional Alaskan art forms or other forms of creative expression. Sitka artist Nicholas Galanin, a Tlingit artist, was chosen for his book mask. The library and ASCA then created native art cards for young people to collect at their local libraries as a treasure hunt. Each of the art cards has an image of an Alaska Native mask that is part of ASCA's Alaska Contemporary Art Bank. The actual masks will be on display throughout the summer at selected libraries. For more information please contact ASCA Executive Director Charlotte Fox.



Making the Most of Poet Laureates
Writing Across Kansas & Ad Astra Poetry Project

The Kansas Arts Commission coordinates the selection of its state's poet laureate. Once selected, the poet laureate is expected to create and implement a statewide educational or outreach poetry program; serve as an advisor and judge at the annual Poetry Out Loud competition; and make appearances, read at and potentially write poetry for official state functions such as the Governor's Arts Awards and the opening of the legislative session. The poet laureate serves a term of two fiscal years and receives a $2,500 honorarium per year and up to $2,500 of expenses for her or his annual project. Recent educational outreach projects include Writing Across Kansas and the Ad Astra Poetry Project. Contact Kansas Arts Commission Program Manager of Community and Artist Partnerships Christine Dotterweich Bial to find out more.



Promoting Arts Education
Art Billboards


The Tennessee Arts Commission (TAC) recently partnered with Tennesseans for the Arts and the Outdoor Advertising Association of Tennessee to strategically place 25 billboards throughout the state that promote arts education. Located in high traffic areas in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville, Memphis, Jackson and the tri-cities area, the advertisements urge Tennesseans to become involved in supporting the arts in schools. The billboards will be up for at least a year and are made of vinyl so they can be relocated easily to other areas as necessary. Given the economic downturn, prime advertising locations were available and were donated for this effort. The value of the advertising exposure of the billboards is estimated at close to half a million dollars. The billboards are part of TAC's public awareness campaign, launched in 2008, that seeks to emphasize the value of the arts to all Tennesseans. For more information, contact Tennessee Arts Commission Communications Director Dennis Adkins.


New Mexico

Arts Access
Arts in Social Service Grant Program

The Arts in Social Service Grant offered by New Mexico Arts provides funding for New Mexico based arts organizations or social service organizations for arts-based projects that focus on addressing social issues. The grants encourage civic dialogue on important social issues, such as the environment or crime, and reach specific populations, such as people who are incarcerated, homeless, abused, or ill. Recent grants in this category have funded an orchestra of performers with developmental disabilities; poetry sessions in English and Spanish for people with Alzheimer's disease; music for patients and hospital staff; musical and visual arts training for youth in correctional facilities; and quilting workshops, using recycled materials, for immigrants and people with disabilities. The maximum grant request for this program is $15,000 and must be met by a 50% match by the applicant organization. More on this program is available from New Mexico Arts Program Coordinator Jenice Gharib.

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.