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  • 2021 Member Briefings

    Contains 4 Product(s)

    Member Briefings are our monthly opportunity to talk to you about what’s happening now! These calls will take place once a quarter, so mark your calendars to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at Americans for the Arts and across the sector. These calls are for you, so let us know if there’s a topic you’d like to know more about by contacting membership at membership@artsusa.org.

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    2021 Member Briefings

    Member Briefings are our opportunity to talk to you about what’s happening now! These calls will take place once a quarter, so mark your calendars to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at Americans for the Arts and across the sector. These calls are for you, so let us know if there’s a topic you’d like to know more about by contacting membership at membership@artsusa.org.

    Topics will be announced approximately two weeks prior to the scheduled briefing.

    We firmly believe that our #AFTAmember network is one of our strongest resources, so after our update, we’ll open the floor up to your questions, comments, recommendations, and lessons learned – we hope you’ll take advantage of each other’s expertise!

    March 2021

    Topic: First Look At the 2021 National Arts Action Summit

    Date: March 30, 2021

    May 2021

    Topic: Details coming soon!

    Date: May 25, 2021

    September 2021

    Topic: Reopening in the Arts during COVID-19

    Date: September 21, 2021

    December 2021

    Topic: 2021 Looking Back and Looking Forward

    Date: December 14, 2021

  • Arts Marketing Coffee Chat Series

    Contains 6 Product(s)

    Grapeseed Media and the National Arts Marketing Project, a program of Americans for the Arts, are excited to bring you a FREE, bi-monthly series of informal discussions about arts marketing. These monthly "Coffee Chats" for Marketing Directors are your opportunity to hear from arts and culture leaders who are marketing the arts in transformative and extraordinary ways to help better inform your practice.

    *Please note: Registration for this series has reached capacity. For questions, please contact ArtsU at artsu@artsusa.org.*

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    About the Arts Marketing Coffee Chat Series

    Grapeseed Media and the National Arts Marketing Project, a program of Americans for the Arts, are excited to bring you a FREE, bi-monthly series of informal discussions about arts marketing. These bi-monthly "Coffee Chats" for Marketing Directors are your opportunity to hear from arts and culture leaders who are marketing the arts in transformative and extraordinary ways to help better inform your practice.


    Please note, this series is best suited for:

    • Marketing Directors
    • Chief Marketing Officers
    • Vice Presidents of Marketing



    Coffee Chat Schedule

    2021 Arts Marketing Trends to Watch

    January 26, 2021 at 3:00 PM EST


    Reevaluating & Redefining Success

    March 23, 2021 at 3:00 PM EST


    Embedding Equity in Your Marketing Strategy

    May 25, 2021 at 3:00 PM EST


    Maintaining & Cultivating New Audiences

    July 27, 2021 at 3:00 PM EST


    Research & Data: What Do You Need?

    September 28, 2021 at 3:00 PM EST


    Save the Date - will confirm topic at a later date

    November 23, 2021 at 3:00 PM EST

    Thank you to Grapeseed Media for their support of this series.

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  • Creating Technological Access to Public Art Collections During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Contains 2 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 05/06/2021 at 3:00 PM (EDT)

    As the COVID-19 pandemic crashed into society, many local arts agencies and municipalities looked for ways to continue to engage their audiences through public art. This movement towards access has been building over the 21st century, and the quick evolution to more technology to address access issues was pushed by social distancing and public health requirements. Local arts agencies and public art programs across the country quickly turned to their public art collections to develop socially distant activities to both provide engagement opportunities for their communities and promote public health and safety regulations. The use of technology, such as mapping tools, QR codes and web-based exhibitions came online to help give newly quarantined residents access to these collections in ways that were new and needed. This webinar will dive into ways to leverage different technologies to increase access to your public art collection for during the ongoing pandemic and beyond.

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    About this Webinar 

    May 6 at 3:00 PM ET

    As the COVID-19 pandemic crashed into society, many local arts agencies and municipalities looked for ways to continue to engage their audiences through public art. This movement towards access has been building over the 21st century, and the quick evolution to more technology to address access issues was pushed by social distancing and public health requirements. Local arts agencies and public art programs across the country quickly turned to their public art collections to develop socially distant activities to both provide engagement opportunities for their communities and promote public health and safety regulations. The use of technology, such as mapping tools, QR codes and web-based exhibitions came online to help give newly quarantined residents access to these collections in ways that were new and needed. This webinar will dive into ways to leverage different technologies to increase access to your public art collection for during the ongoing pandemic and beyond.

    During this webinar, participants will:

    • Understand different technology-based methods for connecting audiences with public art
    • Learn how to use mapping tools, QR codes, and online exhibitions to provide broader access to public art collections
    • Gain knowledge of which technology-based access tools will best suit their needs

    Elysian McNiff Koglmeier

    Head of Growth

    Artwork Archive

    Elysian McNiff Koglmeier is Head of Growth for Artwork Archive, an online art inventory management system for artists, collectors and organizations. She leads partnerships, communications and writes content for the company's blog—http://www.artworkarchive.com/blog.  

    Growing up with a father as an art therapist and a mother who dedicated her career to art education, Elysian has always been passionate about the creative process and the importance of empowering artists and cultural institutions. She has pursued this passion both in the public and private sector. She started her career in museums (Middlebury College Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), ran New England Foundation for the Arts' public art program, served as curator for Brown University and RISD, and contributed to publications such as Art Business News and Public Art Review. A move out west brought her to Craftsy (now Bluprint) in Denver where she produced online art classes and managed partnerships for a startup that created online educational opportunities for enthusiastic makers. 

    She received her BA in History from Middlebury College and her MA in Public Humanities from Brown University. 

  • Using Creative Placemaking to Lay the Groundwork for Lasting Community Change

    Contains 2 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 04/29/2021 at 3:00 PM (EDT)

    Since 2011, the National Endowment for the Arts has supported over 600 creative placemaking projects across the country through the Our Town grant program. In these projects, local governments and cultural organizations partner to find new ways that arts, culture, and design can help drive local change, with an aim to ultimately sustain the integration of arts, culture, and design into local strategies for strengthening communities. How do project leaders think about sustaining and scaling project success at the outset? And how do they know they’re succeeding? This panel will feature the perspectives of two unique local creative placemaking projects, in a discussion about how creative placemaking work can help establish new and lasting ways of working toward community goals, with arts and culture in the mix.

    imageAbout this Webinar

    April 29th at 3:00 PM ET

    Since 2011, the National Endowment for the Arts has supported over 600 creative placemaking projects across the country through the Our Town grant program. In these projects, local governments and cultural organizations partner to find new ways that arts, culture, and design can help drive local change, with an aim to ultimately sustain the integration of arts, culture, and design into local strategies for strengthening communities. How do project leaders think about sustaining and scaling project success at the outset? And how do they know they’re succeeding? This panel will feature the perspectives of two unique local creative placemaking projects, in a discussion about how creative placemaking work can help establish new and lasting ways of working toward community goals, with arts and culture in the mix.

    In this webinar, attendees will:

    • Hear how the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town program has provided support for creative placemaking initiatives and tracked change in communities across the country;
    • Learn how two different communities utilized creative placemaking practices to establish new and lasting ways to address community goals; Understand through case studies how to leverage arts and culture in your communities to address community goals.

    Katherine Bray-Simons

    Our Town Specialist

    National Endowment for the Arts

    Katherine Bray-Simons is a grants specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts, where she manages Our Town, the agency’s creative placemaking portfolio. Katherine also helps to manage the Arts Endowment’s Creative Placemaking Technical Assistance Program, and contributed to a program evaluation of the Our Town portfolio and strategy. Katherine holds master’s degrees in Urban Planning and Public Art Curatorial Practice from the University of Southern California.

    Crystal Johnson

    City Manager

    City of Granite Falls

    I started with the City of Granite Falls in 2016. Prior to this, I was the City Manager for the City of Dawson MN for almost four years. I have a BA in Public Administration/Political Science from Southwest State University and a Master’s in Public Administration from Hamline University.  

    Jennifer Hughes

    Director, Design and Creative Placemaking

    National Endowment for the Arts

    Jen Hughes was appointed director of Design and Creative Placemaking for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in April 2018, having served as acting director since June 2017. In this position, she oversees grant portfolios that support the design and creative placemaking fields, as well as leadership initiatives that include the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design.

    Since 2011, Hughes has fulfilled multiple roles as design specialist and community solutions specialist at the NEA, playing a significant role in shaping the agency’s creative placemaking and social impact design investments. At the NEA, she has managed federal, philanthropic and local relationships to strategically integrate arts, culture, and design into comprehensive community development plans. Via collaborations with the NEA Office of Research, she has helped to drive an evaluation agenda to assess the impacts of arts and culture on American communities. She has been the arts and cultural liaison for notable federal initiatives such as White House Council for Strong Cities Strong Communities, Promise Zones, and Rebuild by Design competition. Hughes has presented on more than 40 public panels on the topics of design and creative placemaking, and was invited to represent the United States at the Edinburgh Festivals International Delegate Programme.

    Lizbeth Rivera-Estrada

    Comadre

    Parque Padrinos

    Lizbeth Rivera-Estrada is an undocumented, first-generation, low-income student at Wenatchee Valley College a fellow with the Alliance for a Just Society, and one of the founders and Madrinas of Parque Padrinos, a park stewardship group in Wenatchee, Washington. They were born in Nayarit, Mexico, and immigrated here as a child with their family. She has lived in North Central Washington since then and has been involved in her community as an advocate and organizer around issues such as immigration, education, and access to resources.

    Twitter: @Lzbtre

    Ashley Hanson

    Executive Director

    Department of Public Transformation

    Ashley is the founder of PlaceBase Productions, a theater company that creates original, site-specific musicals celebrating small town life and the founder of the Department of Public Transformation, an artist-led organization that collaborates with local leaders in rural areas to develop creative strategies for community connection and civic participation. She was recently named a 2018 Obama Foundation Fellow and a 2019 Bush Fellow for her work with rural communities. She believes deeply in the power of play and exclamation points!

  • Putting the Local Arts Agency Dashboard to Work for You

    Contains 2 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 04/21/2021 at 3:00 PM (EDT)

    As the national service organization for local arts agencies (LAAs), Americans for the Arts conducts annual surveys of the field and makes the data available via its searchable online Local Arts Agency Dashboard. Join this lively session to explore how to put the data to work for you in program development, driving advocacy, improving operations, and how to match it up with other arts data to message your arts story.

    imageAbout this Webinar

    April 21, 2021 @ 3:00 PM ET

    As the national service organization for local arts agencies (LAAs), Americans for the Arts conducts annual surveys of the field and makes the data available via its searchable online Local Arts Agency Dashboard. Join this lively free session to explore how to put the data to work for you in program development, driving advocacy, improving operations, and how to match it up with other arts data to message your arts story.  

    Learning Objectives:

    • Attendees will learn about AFTA’s Local Arts Agency Dashboard and how to use it to answer questions, drive advocacy, and find information-driven solutions to problems.

    This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

    National Endowment for the Arts Logo

    Randy Cohen

    Vice President of Research

    Americans for the Arts

    Randy Cohen is Vice President of Research at Americans for the Arts—the national advocacy organization for the arts—where he has been empowering arts advocates since 1991. Randy stands out as a noted expert in the field of arts funding, research, and using the arts to address community development issues. He publishes Americans Speak Out About the Arts, the nation’s largest public opinion study about the arts, and produces the two premier economic studies of the arts—Arts & Economic Prosperity, the national economic impact study of nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences; and Creative Industries, a mapping study of the nation’s 675,000 arts businesses and their employees. His 10 Reasons to Support the Arts blog received the Gold Award from the Association of Media & Publishing—their top honor for best blog post of the year. Randy led the development of The National Arts Index, the annual measure of the health and vitality of arts in the U.S. and the National Arts Policy Roundtable, an annual convening of leaders who focus on the advancement of American culture—launched in partnership with Robert Redford and the Sundance Institute. In the late 1990’s, Randy collaborated with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities to create Coming Up Taller, the White House report on arts programs for youth-at-risk; and the U.S. Department of Justice to produce the YouthARTS Project, the first national study to statistically document the impact of arts programs on at-risk youth. A sought-after speaker, Randy has given speeches in all 50 states, and regularly appears in the news media—including the Wall Street JournalThe New York Times, and on C-SPAN, CNN, CNBC, and NPR.
     
    Randy has been a policy specialist for the National Endowment for the Arts, founded the San Diego Theatre for Young Audiences, and worked in medical research for Stanford University and Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation. His board work includes the League of Historic American Theaters. Randy is a past Chairman of the Takoma Park Arts & Humanities Commission, during which time the Commission completed a cultural plan, established the city’s Poet Laureate and public art programs, and led the development of a million-dollar conversion of the city council chambers into a performing arts space.

    Twitter: @artsinfoguy

    Ruby Lopez Harper

    Vice President, Equity and Local Arts Engagement

    Americans for the Arts

    Mexican, Mother, Wife, Dancer, Photographer, Poet and Social Justice Warrior.

    Ruby is the Vice President, Equity and Local Arts Engagement for Americans for the Arts. Her portfolio includes external equity strategies and field education, leadership development, local arts advancement, and cohort building for the local arts agency field, arts and culture administrators, and arts marketers. She is the chief architect of the National Arts Marketing Project Conference. She was selected as a 2019 Arizona State University Practices for Change Fellow. She was recognized as an 2019 Inspirational Woman (Arts Advocate) by “And I Thought” Women in Literature. She is a steering committee member for the National Coalition on Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response, serves as Chair of the Gard Foundation, serves on the board for the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (Grants Committee/Advocacy Committee) and serves on the WETA Community Advisory Council.

    Ruby’s work has focused on equitable access, grantmaking, supporting individual artists, community development, economic development, cultural tourism, marketing and public art. She draws on a varied background that includes corporate affairs, community relations, volunteerism, employee engagement, marketing and communications, and business administration. She served on the Emerging Leaders Council for Americans for the Arts, was the primary contact for the Arts and Economic Impact Study for Central Ohio and recently served as a mentor with Arts Administrators of Color DMV. She is a 2017 National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Advocacy Leadership Institute Fellow, Class of 2017 American Express Leadership Academy Alum and Class of 2010 Next Generation of Leaders Fellowship program. 

    Isaac Fitzsimmons

    Research & Evaluation Manager

    Americans for the Arts

    Eager to lend his skills to advance the arts, Isaac has held multiple positions since arriving at Americans for the Arts in 2016, including Research Associate, Membership Data Associate, Data Analytics & Insights Coordinator, and most recently, Research & Evaluation Manager.
    A lifetime dabbler in multiple art forms, Isaac majored in psychology by day and wrote and performed sketch comedy by night at the College of Wooster in Ohio. While completing his M.Ed. in Educational Psychology at the University of Washington he helped administer a grant from NIH centered on training teachers to use neuroscience principles in their classrooms.


    For fun he enjoys supporting his soccer team, Manchester City, and butchering songs on the banjo, piano, and ukulele. He’s also a writer of young adult fiction. His debut novel comes out summer 2021.

    Suzan Jenkins

    Chief Executive Officer

    Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County

    Suzan E. Jenkins is a leader in the non-profit arts and culture sector having served in executive positions at the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution and the Recording Industry Association of America.

    A Peabody Award winning producer of the radio series Let the Good Times Roll for Public Radio International, Jenkins has been recognized for her leadership and entrepreneurial endeavors, including by the Gazette of Politics and Business, Women Business Leaders of Maryland, Jazz Alliance International, the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival and Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture. As co-founder of the Nonprofit Energy Alliance, Jenkins is the recipient of Washingtonian Magazine’s Green Giant Award. 

    Jenkins serves on the Boards of Maryland Citizens for the Arts and Nonprofit Montgomery; as a mentor for Women of Color in the Arts; on the Montgomery County MD Remembrance and Reconciliation Commission; on the Community Advisory Council of WETA and on the American University Arts Management Advisory Council. Jenkins has been a fellow of National Arts Strategies: Chief Executive Program and a former Board member of DataArts, previously known as the Cultural Data Project. Jenkins is an Executive Coach and holds an Honorary Degree in Public Service from Montgomery College, MD; a BS in Psychology and Management, and an MBA from the University of Maryland.

  • Exploring Inclusive Creative Economy Definitions & Concepts Part 2

    Contains 2 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 04/20/2021 at 2:30 PM (EDT)

    This session is the second of a two-part webinar to explore foundational concepts and definitions related to what an ‘inclusive creative economy’ means when it comes to talking about economy systems. This program will primarily focus on the term “Solidarity Economy,” and its linkages to other movements towards a more just and inclusive economy, such as “New Economy,” “Just Transition,” “Restorative Economics,” and “Regenerative Economy.” We’ll discuss why these terms and systems are relevant to local arts leaders, offer examples of how they come to life in the work of developing inclusive creative economies, and provide space for discussion and questions.

    imageAbout this Webinar

    April 20 at 2:30 PM ET

    This session is the second of a two-part webinar to explore foundational concepts and definitions related to what an ‘inclusive creative economy’ means when it comes to talking about economy systems. This program will primarily focus on the term “Solidarity Economy,” and its linkages to other movements towards a more just and inclusive economy, such as “New Economy,” “Just Transition,” “Restorative Economics,” and “Regenerative Economy.” We’ll discuss why these terms and systems are relevant to local arts leaders, offer examples of how they come to life in the work of developing inclusive creative economies, and provide space for discussion and questions.

    In this session, attendees will:

    • Explore concepts and terms related to an inclusive creative economy and what those terms mean in different contexts.
    • Hear some examples of projects that have brought the terms to life.
    • Discuss ideas for incorporating or building on the terms in their own communities, and what barriers might exist. 

    To read more about the full scope of this initiative read a recent blog Introducing Americans for the Arts’ Inclusive Creative Economy Plan 


    ABOUT THIS TWO-PART WEBINAR

    Understanding and creating shared language is critical if we are to do our work thoughtfully and with intention. Talking about the “creative economy” can mean many things to people. As Americans for the Arts launches a multi-year effort to support the continued development of local creative economies, we begin with the basics of exploring the language we use and how it can translate across communities. These two-part webinars will delve into foundational concepts and definitions related to what an ‘inclusive creative economy’ means when it comes to talking about individuals, institutions, and economic systems. These programs will focus on a few terms, offer examples of how they can be applied, how other organizations and practitioners may use different language in different contexts, and provide space for discussion and questions. In this two-part webinar, practitioners will gain knowledge of equity-based terms and concepts for the purpose of working as informed community partners in the development of their local inclusive creative economy. 

    Register for Part 1 Here

    Natalia Linares

    Communications Organizer

    New Economy Coalition

    Nati grew up on the island of Shaolin, also known as Staten Island, New York City — close to both the world’s largest garbage dump and the oldest continuously inhabited free Black community in the United States. She’s the child of Cuban and Colombian immigrants who landed in Queens in the late 1960s, benefited from low-cost public college and raised her with a love of learning, exploration and music. As a mami, she strives to raise a son who can resist the patriarchy to become a full human being and embrace life’s contradictions. She comes to the solidarity economy movement after a decade witnessing inequities in the music and media industry while working with diasporadical and misrepresented artists. Nati tells the stories of people resisting Capitalism and building new systems, especially those creating a culture of revolution.

    Caroline Woolard

    Artist

    Caroline Woolard is an artist who, in making her art, becomes an economic critic, social justice facilitator, media maker, and sculptor. Since the financial crisis of 2007-8, Woolard has catalyzed barter communities, minted local currencies, founded an arts-policy think tank, and created sculptural interventions in office spaces. Woolard has inspired a generation of artists who wish to create self-organized, collaborative, online platforms alongside sculptural objects and installations. Her work has been commissioned by and exhibited in major national and international museums including MoMA, the Whitney Museum, and Creative Time. Woolard’s work has been featured twice on New York Close Up (2014, 2016), a digital film series produced by Art21 and broadcast on PBS. 

    She was the 2018–20 inaugural Walentas Fellow at Moore College of Art and Design and the inaugural 2019–20 Artist in Residence for INDEX at the Rose Museum, and a 2020-2021 Fellow at the Center for Cultural Innovation. Caroline Woolard is Assistant Professor at the University of Hartford, teaching in BFA and in the Nomad/9 Interdisciplinary MFA program. Woolard is the co-author of three books: Making and Being (Pioneer Works, 2019), a book for educators about interdisciplinary collaboration, co-authored with Susan Jahoda; Art, Engagement, Economy (onomatopee, 2020) a book about managing socially-engaged and public art projects; and TRADE SCHOOL: 2009-2019, a book about peer learning that Woolard catalyzed in thirty cities internationally over a decade.

  • Exploring Local and State Creative Workforce Recovery Programs

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    As communities begin the process of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic fallout, the creative economies in those communities must be part of the plan—both because there can be no recovery without a strong creative engine, and because millions of creative workers are out of work and ready to do their part. In this webinar, learn about creative workforce initiatives from across the country, including doing deep-dives into three city-based initiatives in Seattle, Santa Monica and Sacramento. Dig into the “how” of funding, structure, timing, and more, and come away with good ideas about how you can encourage your own city or state to utilize relief and recovery funding to put creative workers to work as part of the national, state, and local recovery process.

    imageAbout this Webinar

    As communities begin the process of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic fallout, the creative economies in those communities must be part of the plan—both because there can be no recovery without a strong creative engine, and because millions of creative workers are out of work and ready to do their part. In this webinar, learn about creative workforce initiatives from across the country, including doing deep-dives into two city-based initiatives in Seattle and Sacramento. Dig into the “how” of funding, structure, timing, and more, and come away with good ideas about how you can encourage your own city or state to utilize relief and recovery funding to put creative workers to work as part of the national, state, and local recovery process.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Learn about creative workforce initiatives of various types, sizes, and funding models from across the country.
    • Hear first-hand accounts of three initiatives—one that has been completed, ongoing and just getting started—to understand the nuances of advocacy, partnership, program implementation, and leadership that go into them. 
    • Get a brief update on likely timelines for federal funds that might flow to states or localities for these types of programs.

    Calandra Childers

    Acting Director

    Seattle Office of Arts & Culture

    Calandra Childers is the Acting Director of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, where she oversees the Office’s cultural investments in artists, cultural organizations and the Seattle community through public art commissions, grantmaking, and partnerships with a focus on community development and the equitable allocation of resources. Most recently she oversaw the launch of ARTS at King Street Station, a new 8,000-square-foot free cultural hub, programmed by and for the community.
    Calandra has two decades of public engagement, communications, and policy experience working with non-profit and government agencies including the cities of Seattle and Renton, Seattle Art Museum, and the Renton Chamber of Commerce. A graduate of Whitman College, she volunteers with the King-Snohomish County
    YWCA and the Rainier Valley Food Bank and enjoys outdoor adventures with her husband and dogs.

    Marie Acosta

    Executive and Artistic Director

    Latino Center of Art and Culture

    Marie Acosta has worked as an actor, writer, director, producer and project manager in the arts in a variety of capacities for over 30 years. 

    Since 2008 Ms. Acosta has led Sacramento’s Latino Center of Art and Culture as the Artistic/Executive Director. She conceptualized, curated and managed new programs including a two-day, outdoor celebration of Día de los Muertos, and a week-long theater production, La Pastorela de Sacramento which she also co-authored.

    Ms. Acosta has authored art catalog content, program notes and educational materials for the arts. In 2017, her short story “Raya Sol del Mundo” was included in The Race, Tales of Flight in the anthology by New Mexico artist, Patrick Allen Nagatani. 

    Ms. Acosta is a registered member of the Southern California Tongva (San Gabrieleño) tribe of Indians recognized by the State of California and is fluent in written and spoken Spanish/English. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from California State University, Northridge.

    Shannon Daut

    Manager of Cultural Affairs

    City of Santa Monica

    Shannon leads the Cultural Affairs Division for the City of Santa Monica, where she works to integrate the arts into all aspects of life in the community. In that role she recently conceptualized and led the implementation of two significant projects: Belmar History + Art, a Civic Commemoration Project, and Art of Recovery, which supports artistic efforts that address recovery needs in the areas of economic recovery, community connectedness & restorative justice, and public health & safety. She was previously the Executive Director of the Alaska State Council on the Arts. While there, she re-imagined and re-invigorated the leadership role of the agency in state policy, from tourism and economic development to education and Alaska Native cultural advancement. Prior to moving to Alaska, Daut was Deputy Director of the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), where she oversaw the organization's work in the areas of cultural policy and technology.

    Daut has served on the boards of the National Performance Network/Visual Arts Network, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and WESTAF. Daut received her bachelor's degree in Communication Arts/Film from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her graduate degree in Communication/Rhetoric from the University of Colorado-Denver.

    Clayton W. Lord

    Vice President of Strategic Impact

    Americans for the Arts

    Clayton Lord is Americans for the Arts’ Vice President of Strategic Impact. In that role, he and the Strategic Impact team collaborate closely with research, communications, and program staff to connect the dots between the various components of work done at Americans for the Arts and encourage the creation of solid, complex initiatives that progress the core mission and goals of the organization and drive systemic change. Prior to shifting into this role, Lord was the Vice President of Local Arts Advancement for the organization for seven years. Lord is a prolific writer, thinker, and speaker about the public value of the arts and has edited and contributed to three books: Counting New Beans: Intrinsic Impact and the Value of the ArtsArts & America: Arts, Culture and the Future of America’s Communities; and To Change the Face & Heart of America: Selected Writings on the Arts and Communities, 1949-1992. He led Americans for the Arts’ New Community Visions Initiative, a multi-year effort to better understand and support the changing role of the arts and LAAs in American communities, and now oversees initiatives focused on the social impact of the arts, the equitable treatment of creative workers, and the proliferation of pro-arts policy. This has included the Arts + Social Impact Explorer (AmericansForTheArts.org/SocialImpact). He is the chief architect of the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention. He holds a B.A. in English and Psychology from Georgetown University, and lives with his husband and daughter in Maryland.

  • 10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2021

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 03/24/2021

    With the arts advocacy season fully upon us, join Randy Cohen, our VP of Research, to discuss the latest updates to the top “10 Reasons to Support the Arts” and get 10 case-making arrows to include in your arts advocacy quiver to convince anyone to support the arts.

    imageAbout this Webinar

    With the arts advocacy season fully upon us, join Randy Cohen, our VP of Research, to discuss the latest updates to the top “10 Reasons to Support the Arts” and get 10 case-making arrows to include in your arts advocacy quiver to convince anyone to support the arts.

    10 Reasons to Support the Arts

    Randy Cohen

    Vice President of Research

    Americans for the Arts

    Randy Cohen is Vice President of Research at Americans for the Arts—the national advocacy organization for the arts—where he has been empowering arts advocates since 1991. Randy stands out as a noted expert in the field of arts funding, research, and using the arts to address community development issues. He publishes Americans Speak Out About the Arts, the nation’s largest public opinion study about the arts, and produces the two premier economic studies of the arts—Arts & Economic Prosperity, the national economic impact study of nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences; and Creative Industries, a mapping study of the nation’s 675,000 arts businesses and their employees. His 10 Reasons to Support the Arts blog received the Gold Award from the Association of Media & Publishing—their top honor for best blog post of the year. Randy led the development of The National Arts Index, the annual measure of the health and vitality of arts in the U.S. and the National Arts Policy Roundtable, an annual convening of leaders who focus on the advancement of American culture—launched in partnership with Robert Redford and the Sundance Institute. In the late 1990’s, Randy collaborated with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities to create Coming Up Taller, the White House report on arts programs for youth-at-risk; and the U.S. Department of Justice to produce the YouthARTS Project, the first national study to statistically document the impact of arts programs on at-risk youth. A sought-after speaker, Randy has given speeches in all 50 states, and regularly appears in the news media—including the Wall Street JournalThe New York Times, and on C-SPAN, CNN, CNBC, and NPR.
     
    Randy has been a policy specialist for the National Endowment for the Arts, founded the San Diego Theatre for Young Audiences, and worked in medical research for Stanford University and Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation. His board work includes the League of Historic American Theaters. Randy is a past Chairman of the Takoma Park Arts & Humanities Commission, during which time the Commission completed a cultural plan, established the city’s Poet Laureate and public art programs, and led the development of a million-dollar conversion of the city council chambers into a performing arts space.

    Twitter: @artsinfoguy

  • Exploring Inclusive Creative Economy Definitions & Concepts Part 1

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 03/19/2021

    This session is the first of a two-part webinar to explore foundational concepts and definitions related to what an ‘inclusive creative economy’ means when it comes to talking about individuals. This program will focus terms such as “arts worker,” “creative workers,” and “artist,” and explore how using different language in different contexts and communities evokes different responses. The session will offer examples of how they come to life in the real world, and provide space for discussion and questions.

    imageAbout this Webinar

    This session is the first of a two-part webinar to explore foundational concepts and definitions related to what an ‘inclusive creative economy’ means when it comes to talking about individuals. This program will focus terms such as “arts worker,” “creative workers,” and “artist,” and explore how using different language in different contexts and communities evokes different responses. The session will offer examples of how they come to life in the real world, and provide space for discussion and questions.

    In this session, attendees will:

    • Explore concepts and terms related to an inclusive creative economy and what those terms mean in different contexts.
    • Hear some examples of projects that have brought the terms to life. Discuss ideas for incorporating or building on the terms in their own communities, and what barriers might exist. 

    ABOUT THIS TWO-PART WEBINAR

    Understanding and creating shared language is critical if we are to do our work thoughtfully and with intention. Talking about the “creative economy” can mean many things to people. As Americans for the Arts launches a multi-year effort to support the continued development of local creative economies, we begin with the basics of exploring the language we use and how it can translate across communities. These two-part webinars will delve into foundational concepts and definitions related to what an ‘inclusive creative economy’ means when it comes to talking about individuals, institutions, and economic systems. These programs will focus on a few terms, offer examples of how they can be applied, how other organizations and practitioners may use different language in different contexts, and provide space for discussion and questions. In this two-part webinar, practitioners will gain knowledge of equity-based terms and concepts for the purpose of working as informed community partners in the development of their local inclusive creative economy. 

    Register for Part 2 Here

    abdiel j. lopez

    Program Officer

    Center for Cultural Innovation

    abdiel j. lópez (they/them) is the program officer at the Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI), a California-based knowledge and financial services incubator for individual artists. As program officer, they manage the AmbitioUS portfolio, which invests in alternative economic paradigms of and federated infrastructure by those most dispossessed—primarily BIPOC communities—who are seeking financial self-determination in order to preserve and support their cultural identity and artistic expressions on their own terms. They also help facilitate the CAL-Now Network and administer the CALI Accelerator Grant program. abdiel joined CCI in 2019 as the program assistant and later became the program associate.

    Previously, abdiel was a gallery manager at Galería Estéreo in Mexico City. abdiel jump-started a career in the arts and culture sector after co-curating En Voyage: Hybridity and Vodou in Haitian Art at the Grinnell College Museum of Art and subsequently joining 18th Street Arts Center as the 2018 Getty Marrow Undergraduate Curatorial Programs Intern. Outside of CCI, abdiel works as a research assistant for a book project on the political activism of the adolescent and young adult children of immigrants. abdiel earned a B.A. in sociology and studied art history at Grinnell College. Born and raised in Los Angeles, abdiel currently lives in Koreatown with their Pomeranian dog Horchata.

    Website: https://www.cciarts.org/

  • American Rescue Plan and the Arts Webinar

    Contains 3 Component(s) Recorded On: 03/18/2021

    Learn details of arts funding opportunities in the newly enacted American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The webinar will be hosted by Americans for the Arts Chief Counsel and Arts Action Fund Executive Director Nina Ozlu Tunceli with several guest speakers. We will be reserving 45 minutes for Q&A.

    imageAbout this Webinar

    Learn details of arts funding opportunities in the newly enacted American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The webinar will be hosted by Americans for the Arts Chief Counsel and Arts Action Fund Executive Director Nina Ozlu Tunceli with several guest speakers. We will be reserving 45 minutes for Q&A. 

    Registration for this live event is free and can also be viewed on the Arts Action Fund Facebook Page


    Americans for the Arts is providing the arts and culture field with this and other COVID-19 webinars and resources at no charge to you. Please consider supporting our ability to deliver this important work with a donation by clicking HERE 

    We also encourage you to become a member with us for access to even more webinars and other resources, please visit www.americansforthearts.org/membership for more information.

    Nina Ozlu Tunceli (Moderator)

    Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs, Americans for the Arts

    Executive Director, Americans for the Arts Action Fund

    Nina Ozlu Tunceli is both Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs at Americans for the Arts as well as the Executive Director of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund. Since 1993, Nina has served as the chief policy strategist for Americans for the Arts’ federal, state, and local public affairs work, grassroots advocacy campaigns, policy development, and national coalition-building efforts with cultural and civic organizations to advance the arts in America. In 2004, she also became the executive director of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund, a separate 501(c)(4) organization with a connected Political Action Committee—the only dedicated arts PAC in the country. Nina now mobilizes the political and legislative efforts of more than 420,000+ citizen activists in advancing arts policy issues to legislators and candidates seeking federal public office. She is a graduate of George Washington University and the University of Richmond School of Law.

    Jay Dick

    Senior Director of State and Local Government Affairs

    Americans for the Arts

    Jay Dick is the Senior Director of State and Local Government Affairs at Americans for the Arts where he works to educate and inform elected officials about the value of the arts and culture.  As a twenty-five-year veteran of K Street, Capitol Hill, the private sector, and federal, state, and local campaigns, Jay has a broad body of knowledge in the field of arts policy, government, the legislative process, and grassroots advocacy.  

    With the mandate to positively affect the policies that promote state and local funding and expansion of the arts, Jay works closely with the Americans for the Arts’ members, local arts agencies, state arts advocacy organizations, state arts agencies and other key stakeholders to accomplish this goal.  Further, he oversees Americans for the Arts’ Public Partnerships and works closely with the members and staffs of the Western Governors Association, National Governors Association, National Lt. Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislators, National Association of Counties, the National League of Cities and ICMA (city/county managers).

    Jay is a past Commissioner for the Virginia Commission for the Arts and he also served on the Board of ARTSFAIRFAX where he chaired their advocacy committee. 

    Advocacy for the arts is his job but also his passion. 

    Mitch Menchaca

    Executive Director

    City of Phoenix Office of Arts + Culture

    Mitch Menchaca was appointed as the executive director of the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture in 2018. An Arizona native, he relocated from Phoenix to Washington, DC. in 2009 to join Americans for the Arts, where he guided a team of professionals serving and advancing the nation’s 4,500 local arts agencies. Before 2009, he served as the senior director of programs at the Arizona Commission on the Arts, where he administered an extensive portfolio of grants from all artistic disciplines, budget sizes, and regions of the state. Mitch garnered executive leadership by serving as the executive director for the Association of California Symphony Orchestras based in Los Angeles, CA, and served as the first chief operating officer for Chorus America, a national arts service organization in DC. He is the past chairman of The Association of American Cultures, served on the board of directors for DataArts (formerly the Cultural Data Project), and is the arts and culture committee chair for the Arizona Mexico Commission. Mitch earned a Bachelor of Liberal Studies and a Masters of Nonprofit Leadership and Management at Arizona State University.

    Peter Gordon

    Director of Federal Affairs

    Americans for the Arts

    Peter joined Americans for the Arts in January 2019. Prior to joining Americans for the Arts, Peter served as the Associate Director of Government Relations for the Council on Foundations, where he focused on tax policy and advocated on behalf of foundations on Capitol Hill. Before joining the Council, he was a Government Relations Specialist for the National Association of College Stores in Washington, DC. Previously, Peter worked on Capitol Hill in both the Senate, as a Staff Assistant for former Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL), and the House, as a Legislative Assistant for Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA).

    Peter grew up in Massachusetts and holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University and a BA in History and Political Science from Williams College. During college, he worked at the ’62 Center for Theater and Dance, where he developed a deep appreciation for the arts. Peter loves to visit museums and attend theater performances. He lives in DC with his wife, Corey, their daughter, Alex, and their son, Taylor.

    Nate McGaha

    Executive Director

    Arts North Carolina

    Nate McGaha has served as the Executive Director of Arts North Carolina, the statewide advocacy organization for the arts, since 2017 where he works for public funding and policy for the arts and arts education. He helped to create the Joint Caucus on Arts and Arts Education at the NC General Assembly, shepherded the NC Arts High School Graduation Requirement into law, and has led several statewide initiatives for relief, reopening, and recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to his work in advocacy, Nate was the Executive Director of Carolina Ballet in Raleigh for five years with Artistic Director Robert Weiss. Before coming to the Raleigh area he was the Director of Operations at Charlotte Ballet under the Artistic Direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride for seven years after serving as that company’s Resident Lighting Designer since 1996. Nate was also the Production Manager and Lighting Designer for the Chautauqua Ballet Company in the summer months from 1997 through 2009 and toured internationally with Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson’s Complexions Dance Company. He is a graduate of UNC School of the Arts where he received a BFA in Design and Production with concentration in Lighting Design. 

    Ra Joy

    Chief of Staff

    National Endowment for the Arts

    Ra brings more than 25 years of senior leadership experience inthe arts, public policy, and nonprofit management to the National Endowment forthe Arts. Previously, Ra served as executive director for CHANGE Illinois, anonpartisan coalition leading systemic political and government reform. From2007 to 2015, Ra served as executive director of Arts Alliance Illinois, one ofthe nation’s most prominent statewide arts advocacy and service organizations.In this role, Ra championed the arts as a public policy asset and civic priorityat all levels of government.  

    From 2001 to 2007, he served as a senior staffer for U.S.Representative Jan Schakowsky, specializing in appropriations, communitydevelopment, education, youth development, and the arts. Ra is a frequentwriter and speaker on issues of social justice, creative expression, andparticipatory democracy.

    Jenn Chang

    White House Liaison and Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff

    National Endowment for the Arts

    Jenn joins the Arts Endowment after working on the appointments team with the Biden-Harris transition. She recently worked as an associated consultant with WolfBrown, with a portfolio of performing arts and education clients. Prior to that, Jenn spent over a decade at Google, where she built resilient teams and innovative programs. 

    While at Google, Jenn received her master's degree in viola performance from The Juilliard School. In 2016, she took a six-month sabbatical to serve as the expansion states operations director at Hillary for America. Since graduating from Harvard College with a degree in social studies, Jenn has found herself playing at the edge between the arts and civic engagement.