Are you updating your agency's strategic plan or embarking on a new planning process? If so, be sure to mine these resources for good planning ideas, how-to advice and examples of successful tactics used by other states.

A planning event in Rhode

A planning event in Rhode Island. Photo courtesy of Randall Rosenbaum, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts

Showcase of State Arts Agency Strategic Plans

NASAA maintains a listing of all current state arts agency strategic plans. Visit the showcase to see plans from each state and learn more about their particular planning methods.

NEA Partnership Agreement Panel Observations NASAA member-only content

Each year, NASAA observes the proceedings of the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Partnership Agreement panels, which include a thorough assessment of state arts agencies' planning practices. NASAA observes these proceedings to highlight issues and trends in the field.

Strategic Planning Surveys

NASAA collects examples of strategic planning surveys that state arts agencies have used to solicit feedback from constituents.  Visit NASAA's Strategic Planning Surveys page to see a variety of examples. 

State Arts Agency Strategic Planning Toolkit

This Strategic Planning Toolkit is a hands-on guide that can help state arts agencies and other cultural organizations get the most from the planning process. It outlines some hallmarks of excellence in planning and offers practical advice on how to achieve that excellence. The toolkit also offers a good orientation to the fundamentals of planning for staff, volunteers or appointed leaders who may be new to planning in the state arts agency realm.

Performance Measurement Models

NASAA collects examples of state arts agency performance measurement tools. Browse the collection for examples of the many approaches to applying and presenting performance metrics, including internal state arts agency documents as well as external evaluations by state budget offices and legislatures.

Planning Help

In addition to the above tools, NASAA provides customized assistance to help state arts agencies make the most of planning. As part of its NASAA membership, any state arts agency can receive these benefits:

  • "Planning to plan" consultation: Before embarking on your next plan, call NASAA to ask about the latest planning trends, discuss planning options and get information on creative planning tactics from other states.

  • Constructive feedback: NASAA can review your planning materials, helping you evaluate your old plan or put the finishing strokes on a new document. NASAA can also review drafts of planning surveys to provide guidance on effective question design.

  • Quick advice: If you are weighing different planning strategies—or wondering how to address an unexpected planning snag—you can use NASAA as a sounding board and get some quick, objective advice over the phone.

Planning services available on a fee basis (members receive a discount) include:

  • Strategic overviews: NASAA can provide an overview of the latest state arts agency trends and major strategic questions affecting all state arts agencies. An interactive presentation from NASAA is a powerful way to kick off your planning process with your staff and council and to generate excitement and future-oriented thinking.

  • Facilitation: NASAA can facilitate planning discussions—including visioning sessions and self assessment exercises—that help your staff and council reflect on your agency's strategic strengths and weaknesses.

  • Process design: What kind of plan do I need? What is a feasible timeline? How should my council be engaged? Do I need a consultant? How can my public outreach "get beyond the usual suspects?" What are the most productive times to employ town meetings, surveys, interviews or technology? NASAA can work with you throughout your planning process, acting as a planning coach to help you answer questions like this and map out a planning process that is inclusive, empowering and appropriate to your circumstances.

For more information on planning assistance from NASAA, contact Kelly Barsdate.

NASAA's mission is to strengthen state arts agencies.
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