NASAA offers keynote presentations and workshops for local arts constituents as well as sessions designed for state arts agency council members and staff. All services capitalize on NASAA's unique national perspective and our expertise in designing engaging learning experiences for adult professionals.

For Your Constituents

Consider NASAA when you are planning your next statewide conference, leadership institute or advocacy event.

Keynote Presentations

NASAA provides thought-provoking keynote presentations to inspire your local artists, arts organizations, community leaders, educators and advocates. Mouse over the presentation titles for more details.

The Arts in America: A National Outlook

A national overview of the economic, cultural, educational and social forces that are reshaping America's cultural landscape. In addition to highlighting key trends, this presentation will challenge you to consider provocative questions about arts participation, arts institutions and the role of the arts in contemporary American life. Speaker: Jonathan Katz

Capitalizing on Your Creative Economy

This presentation offers a concise summary of the economic benefits of the arts and also confronts the pitfalls of regarding the arts in purely economic terms. It includes practical advice for local communities launching their own creative economy efforts. Speaker: Kelly Barsdate

The Transformative Power of a Cultural Economy

Drawing on examples from America and abroad, this keynote explores the power of the arts to unify and transform local economies and community life. Speaker: Jonathan Katz

Arts Education: A Call to Action

This address conveys the essential value of arts education and demonstrates why every educator, parent, state legislator, mayor and business leader should be an arts education advocate. Speaker: Jonathan Katz


NASAA's workshop approach is distinctive, combining incisive information with superior presentation and facilitation tactics to ensure that your constituents benefit from relevant, well-designed and engaging sessions. Each workshop involves a mixture of presentation and facilitated discussion or hands-on exercises. Mouse over the session titles for more details.

Ten Trends Shaping Arts Participation in America

In today's turbulent environment, near-term demands of operations and fundraising necessarily dominate our thoughts. But what about the long term? What forces are shaping American arts audiences and consumers? How are those trends affecting the work of arts organizations and artists? Drawing on an eclectic assortment of demographic, economic, scientific and cultural perspectives, this lively session will help you reflect on opportunities and uncertainties about arts participation in the years ahead. Presenter: Kelly Barsdate

Measuring What Matters: An Introduction to Arts Evaluation

Evaluation is part of "the new normal" for nonprofits. Funders, government agencies and boards all seem to be requiring more documentation. How can arts programs respond to this trend? What are some ways to measure what matters in the arts? Join this workshop to debunk some common evaluation myths and gain some practical - and even fun - tips for collecting and using data to improve your programs and promote the impact of your work. Presenter: Kelly Barsdate

Public Funding for the Arts: A National Overview

This session offers an overview of public funding for the arts, including local, state and federal dollars. Attend this session to find out how public funding is faring in the current economy, how past recessions have affected the arts, and how public dollars are part of the larger arts funding ecosystem in America. Presenter: Kelly Barsdate

Putting Arts Education Research to Work for You

Numerous studies about arts education have been released recently. Which ones are most important? What do they mean? How can you use that research in your own work? Attend this session to get up to speed on the latest research about arts learning and to use that information in your own community. Presenter: Kelly Barsdate

The Art of Leadership

What makes a successful leader? What are the hallmarks of strategic decision making? How can you inspire others to follow you? This session - designed for both emerging and veteran arts leaders - will help you capitalize on your own strengths and help you mine both leadership theory and practical experience to become a stronger arts leader. Presenter: Jonathan Katz

Creative Problem Solving for Arts Leaders

This workshop offers a problem-solving paradigm helpful for tackling thorny challenges. Participants will learn how to diagnose problems, assess solutions and lead colleagues and constituents through a successful change process. Presenter: Jonathan Katz

Empowering Your Case for Arts Support

Convincing elected officials, foundations, corporations and donors to invest in the arts is more difficult than ever, given today's economic climate. This session will help you build a repertoire of fact-based arguments to use to advocate for the arts in your community. However, this workshop will also address the limitations of numbers and explore what else - beyond data - is needed to build a truly compelling case for your work. Don't miss this session if your responsibilities include fundraising, advocacy, governance or communications. Presenter: Kelly Barsdate

For State Arts Agencies

Specifically designed for a state arts agency audience, NASAA learning services help your volunteer leaders and staff deepen their knowledge of state arts agencies and understand your state in a national context. Incorporate one of these sessions into your next council meeting, planning session or staff retreat. Mouse over the session titles for more details.

The State of the State Arts Agencies

This presentation provides an overview of state arts agency funding as well as key program and policy trends across the nation and information on how state arts agencies are adapting to budget reductions. It is followed by a facilitated discussion of current issues and trends in your own state. Presenters: Kelly Barsdate or Jonathan Katz

How Does Our State Compare?

Building on a "State of the State Arts Agencies" overview, this presentation incorporates customized benchmarking of budget and grant-making data, allowing your staff and council to see how your agency compares to others. Presenter: Kelly Barsdate

Best Practices in State Arts Advocacy

This session profiles effective statewide advocacy practices and explores the essential roles of council members as arts advocacy leaders. Presenter: Jonathan Katz

Why Should Government Support the Arts?

Many people can eloquently describe the benefits of the arts to society. But, as one legislator bluntly observed, "Everything that's good doesn't necessarily deserve government support." This highly interactive session will help you articulate a clear case for your agency in today's competitive environment by examining the unique and essential roles played by government dollars and state arts agencies. Presenter: Kelly Barsdate

Introduction to Public Value

This session explores public value fundamentals and how they apply to the state arts agency field. Learn how tools such as "the strategic triangle" and a "value chain" can empower your work with constituents and elected officials. Presenters: Jonathan Katz or Kelly Barsdate

What Makes a State Arts Agency Strong?

What are some common denominators seen among states that establish solid political support, increase their funding and get recognized for excellence? This overview of success factors will help you reflect on your own agency's strengths and areas for improvement. Presenters: Jonathan Katz or Kelly Barsdate

Strategic Planning

NASAA's customized strategic planning services include facilitated sessions and presentations designed to empower your planning.

More Information

All sessions are available to state arts agencies and other clients on a fee basis. State arts agency members receive a discount. See NASAA's supplemental services page for more information. To learn more about these sessions or other customized training options, contact Chief Program and Planning Officer Kelly Barsdate (202-347-6352 x107).

Selected workshops and keynotes can also be delivered "virtually" using NASAA's Web seminar platform.

NASAA's mission is to strengthen state arts agencies.
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