Updated NASAA Member Directory

Friday, February 10, 2012

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NationalAssembly of State Arts Agencies

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Thank You!

State to State

Showcasing State Arts Agency Ingenuity

Leveraging Creative Sector Assets


Arts-Based Place Making Grants
Connecticut Office of the Arts

The Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA), which became a division of the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) in 2011, has announced a new focus on arts based place making. Starting in July 2013, COA will integrate six of its current grant programs (Arts Presentation, Creative Collaboration, Artists Fellowships, Arts Project Support, General Operating Support and the Local Arts Agency Program) into a single program emphasizing arts based place making. The new program will be funded at a significantly higher level ($3.2 million) than the programs that it will replace ($1.6 million).

The new place-making grants will leverage the assets of the creative sector—artists, arts and culture organizations, arts-related business—to improve economic conditions and quality of life in Connecticut communities. Cross-sector collaborative initiatives between arts organizations and other sectors of the community will be encouraged. Criteria for the new program's funding will be developed with input from the public. DECD and COA are hosting a series of five public forums across the state to gather feedback and ideas.

The program will attempt to document success quickly. In the words of DECD Deputy Commissioner Christopher "Kip" Bergstrom in a Hartford Business Journal interview, "Great art makes great places. Great places attract great talent. Great talent creates great jobs. If we can prove this connection, we can significantly increase annual arts funding." For more information, contact  Connecticut Director of Culture and State Historic Preservation Officer David Bahlman.

Collaborating for Arts Access in Schools

West Virginia

Partnership with the VH1 Save The Music Foundation
West Virginia Division of Culture and History

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the VH1 Save The Music Foundation are collaborating to provide musical instruments for qualified K-8 schools in every county in the state. As part of its goal of restoring instrumental music education to public schools, the Foundation has provided $48 million in new musical instruments to 1,800 public schools in more than 100 cities around the country over the last five years. West Virginia, however, is the foundation's only statewide program, an initiative made possible through close collaboration with the state's Division of Culture and History.

The Division helps the Foundation to identify eligible schools. The Foundation provides half the cost of buying band and orchestra instruments, and the Division of Culture and History works with the schools to find local sponsors to provide matching funds. Purchased from local vendors, the instruments are owned by the schools with only one requirement: a full-time, endorsed music teacher must be employed at the school to keep the instrumental music program active. To date, schools in 15 counties have received instruments. Grants and sponsorships totaled $330,000 in 2011. To learn more about this collaboration, contact West Virginia Commission on the Arts Executive Director Jeff Pierson, or read a feature story about the program in the latest edition of the Division of Culture and History's Artworks magazine.

Promoting Cultural Tourism

New Mexico

New Mexico Fiber Arts Trails Website
New Mexico Arts

New Mexico Arts has launched a new website for its New Mexico Fiber Arts Trails program. The site showcases three trails (the North Central, Northwest and Southern loops), each of which offers a distinctive blend of fiber arts, New Mexico history, cultural amenities and natural attractions. The site has been enhanced with a Google Maps itinerary planning tool for visitors as well as a resources section that offers information and tips for artists and arts enterprises. The site also includes an endorsement and welcome from Governor Susana Martinez.

A collaboration between New Mexico Arts and a grass-roots network of fiber artists, the New Mexico Fiber Arts Trails celebrate diverse lifestyles and landscapes across the state. The trails attract visitors to the communities in which fiber artists live and work, promoting the state's diverse cultural traditions and demonstrating the power of creative entrepreneurs to support sustainable economic development, especially in rural areas. To find out more, contact New Mexico Arts Executive Director Loie Fecteau.