Every state arts agency is led by a supervisory body known as a council, commission or board. These governing bodies provide citizen oversight of the work of state arts agencies and fulfill a variety of planning, leadership and representation functions. To learn more about state arts agency councils, see NASAA's State Arts Agency Council Terms, Powers and DutiesNASAA member-only content summary.


NASAA surveys state arts agencies every several years for updated staffing, compensation and structure information. Many members use this information to inform restructuring efforts, recruiting plans, budget justifications and agency performance audits. NASAA offers a variety of additional data relating to staffing, including information on administrative and programmatic staff sizes.

  • Fiscal Year 2016 Staffing and Compensation Data Executive directors can request customized fiscal year 2016 salary comparison tables for 13 key agency positions. Contact Patricia Mullaney-Loss for more information.
  • 2016 Staffing Trends ReportNASAA member-only content These highlights from the Fiscal Year 2016 Staffing and Compensation Survey include information about staffing trends over time, variations among agencies, and agency responses to staffing cuts.


Contact NASAA for access to the databanks described below.

  • Organizational Chart Databank This repository contains sample state arts agency staffing diagrams. Use these as models when creating an organizational chart or considering restructuring strategies.
  • Job Description Databank Refer to these detailed job descriptions and announcements for common state arts agency positions while drafting job postings, redistributing responsibilities among staff or writing performance review standards.

For sample organizational charts or job descriptions, contact Ryan Stubbs.


    Chart: State arts agency placement within state government, showing 26 SAAs as a division of a multiple-agency department, 23 SAAs as individual or independent state agencies or an agency within the governor's office, and 1 SAA as a nonprofit.

State arts agencies occupy a variety of structural positions within state government. Some are independent agencies reporting directly to the governor. Others are divisions of larger departments such as cultural affairs, economic development or tourism. NASAA members can access the following resources on state arts agency placement:

For more information on state arts agency structure, contact Kelly Barsdate.

Have more questions about something else? Ask NASAA.


NASAA's mission is to strengthen state arts agencies.
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