March 30, 2017




2017 Annual Convention
June 16 - 18, 2017

Hilton San Francisco Union Square
San Francisco, California

National Arts Marketing Project Conference
November 10-13, 2017

The Peabody Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee

2018 Annual Convention
June 8 - 10, 2018

Hyatt Regency Denver
Denver, Colorado

National Arts Marketing Project Conference
November 9-12, 2018

The Westin Seattle
Seattle, Washington


SAAN Summer Meeting
June 15, 2017
Hilton San Francisco Union Square
San Francisco, CA


Oklahoma Arts Day
April 12, 2017
Oklahoma City, OK

Pennsylvania Arts Day 
April 25, 2017
Harrisburg, PA

Ohio Arts Day
May 17, 2017

Columbus, OH

If you have any events to be posted, please contact Lizzie Dorman at[email protected].




Federal and Local News


§  The Trump Administration released their budget for FY 2018 on March 16, which was two business days prior the 30th annual Arts Advocacy Day: the National Arts Summit. The president's proposal called for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and other cultural programs. This is the first American President in history to propose zeroing out all funding for the nation's federal cultural agencies. In response, Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert Lynch released his statement saying, "I am deeply troubled by the Trump Administration's proposed FY2018 budget calling for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts. President Trump is the first American president who has made such a recommendation. Our nation's parents, teachers, community leaders, arts advocates, government officials, and even economists will not accept this proposal."

Since the FY18 budget proposal's release, over 700 advocates attended Arts Advocacy Day on March 20-21, and over 100,000 messages from advocates nationwide have been sent to Capitol Hill to oppose these cuts.

On March 28, the Trump Administration released a detailed proposal calling for $18 billion in cuts for the current FY 2017 budget year. The cuts include a $15 million reduction to both the NEA and NEH. This proposal, if approved, would reduce their respective budgets from $148 million to $133 million for FY 2017. 

Already some Republican members of Congress are commenting that they think it is too late for these kinds of cuts to take place—since President Trump is proposing significant cuts to agencies nearly half-way through the fiscal year, which started on October 1.

For more information, check out the Arts Mobilization Center. The SAANBox will also post future updates.

§  On March 21, 2017, U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and U.S. Senator Tom Udall (NM) introduced the Comprehensive Resources for Entrepreneurs in the Arts to Transform the Economy (CREATE) Act - a bill to boost the creative economy and support the development of jobs and arts businesses across the nation. The legislation is divided into three sections; the first would provide support to artists and entrepreneurs to create and sustain arts-related businesses, the second would support museums and arts institutions, and the third would support arts in communities.

Sarah Triplett, director of public policy for Creative Many Michigan and incoming State Arts Action Network Council Chair commented: "The arts, culture, and creative industries are an increasingly important driver of economic growth and prosperity. In 2014 alone, the creative industries put nearly 89,000 people to work in 10,706 businesses in Michigan – generating nearly $5 billion in wages in leading core industries such as advertising, architecture, design, film/media and broadcasting, and the publishing and printing industry. The CREATE Act will help solidify and accelerate the development of this sector in Michigan and across the country, "Creative Many appreciates the vision and leadership of Congresswoman Dingell and Senator Udall as they introduce this important legislation and we look forward to working alongside these leaders to advance this bill in Congress."


In a SAANBox update, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed proposed a one-tenth of a penny sales tax for the arts in his State of the City address last month. The sales tax would provide a dedicated funding stream for music, theater, dance and other artistic opportunities in the city. However, in Georgia, passage of a new sales tax requires approval first from the state legislature, then an ordinance from the Atlanta City Council, and finally voter approval on the November ballot. With the legislative session ending today. March 30, state legislators have not authorized Atlanta to hold a referendum for the tax proposal. Stay tuned for future SAANBox updates.




§  Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) announced on March 15 that Theresa Colvin will be its next executive director. Colvin will succeed Alan W. Cooper who is retiring after 23 years as the Foundation's Director. She will take the helm at MAAF on May 1, 2017. 

Colvin comes to MAAF from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) where she has been the Executive Director for the past 16 years. She first joined the Council as the Program Director for Community Arts Development and Music in 1997 before being appointed as the Executive Director in 2001. 

Prior to her tenure at MSAC, Ms. Colvin was the Deputy Director and Acting Executive Director of the Howard County Arts Council in Ellicott City, MD.

§  Vermont Arts Council (VAC) announced on March 22 that executive director Alex Aldrich will be stepping down from his post on April 14, after more than 20 years of service. Aldrich joined VAC in January 1997, by way of his role as business manager for the Rialto Center for the Performing Arts at Georgia State University in Atlanta. 

"[My departure] clears the deck for new innovative thinking," Aldrich told Seven Days by phone. "I think it will be really good for the council, and it'll be good for me ... It's been a really good run." Aldrich intends to stay at his home in central Vermont to focus on his family's real estate business.

Teri Bordenave will serve as interim director while the VAC board of trustees conducts a nationwide search for Aldrich's replacement.


Bulletin Board

§  Thank you to all SAAN members who attended the Spring 2017 SAAN meeting on March 19, 2017! 
If you attended the meeting, please fill out this brief meeting survey.
- Also, the meeting materials will be available soon to view on the SAAN Members-Only webpage. Please note that you will need your Americans for the Arts username and password to log on.
- If you have any questions or have any issues logging on, please email Lizzie Dorman ([email protected]).

§  Americans for the Arts is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Public Leadership in the Arts awards for Lieutenant Governor, State Legislator and County Official.

Please state in bullet point format the reasons for your nomination of the individual named. Clearly identify his or her community arts contributions, measurable impact on the arts and arts education, facts and figures of accomplishments, innovative style and leadership, and your work with the nominee.

Please limit your nominating statement to under 5000 characters. Our database willreject any statement that exceeds this amount.

All nominations must be submitted by May 23, 2017.

To review the list of previous honorees and statements about their contributions, click here.

§  Americans for the Arts just launched a new Arts Mobilization Center—a hub for the information you need to advocate for the arts today. It contains messages that we have distributed, policy response statements Americans for the Arts has issued on key and timely topics, news articles that are useful, and important action steps for you to take now and in the weeks and months to come. 

Please visit the Arts Mobilization Center often—it will continue to grow each week with new tools and resources.

§  Diverse Community Development Networks Host People & Places 2017

What's working to advance prosperity in low-income places and communities of color? What strategies are effective in the new political landscape? Five national community development networks are convening People & Places 2017 on May 31 - June 2, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia (minutes from DC) to share solutions and chart a path forward—the National Urban League, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations, and the Network for Developing Conscious Communities.

View the agenda for this peer-learning event. Topics include: ballot wins across the country and the organizing tactics behind them; local solutions to blight remediation, equitable development and asset growth; and strategies to address federal policies that threaten our communities. Participants will go to Capitol Hill to raise their voices on behalf of the communities they serve. 

Register now


Tech Talk

Arts U Learning Opportunities

§  Member Briefing: Americans for the Arts Strategy for Defending the NEA
The efforts to defend federal funding for the arts are going to happen over months—and we need to have a strategy that keeps both federal and grassroots momentum going over that time. In this member-exclusive call, hear more about AFTA's plans and how you can take part. Join the call with Americans for the Arts Vice President of Government Affairs Narric Rome in conversation with membership coordinator Bridget Woodbury.

§  Introduction to Digital Storytelling as a Community Arts Practice for Social Change
Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 3:00 PM Eastern

 Since 1993, StoryCenter has collaborated with community arts practitioners and grassroots groups throughout the United States to situate first-person stories as central to progressive change efforts. As a preview of the more in-depth session on digital storytelling that the organization will offer at the Annual Americans for the Arts Convention in June, StoryCenter's Amy Hill is leading a one-hour introductory webinar. Hill will highlight the theoretical basis for working with personal stories as tools for change; provide an overview of StoryCenter's internationally-recognized Digital Storytelling Workshop methodology; and share case study examples of effective community arts and justice projects from the past several years.

As a result of attending the webinar, participants will understand the basic skills and requirements for leading successful community-based digital storytelling efforts and be able to identify best-practices for sharing digital stories in local settings, online, and through social media, to build understanding and compassion among viewers and mobilize them to action. 

Note: this is a beginning level webinar, appropriate for organizations considering the use of digital storytelling as a community arts and advocacy tool.

Presenter: Amy Hill, Silence Speaks Director, StoryCenter

Upcoming Free Webinars

§  One Brand...Many Audiences: An Integrated Approach to Communications
Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at 1:00 pm Eastern

All too often, nonprofit communications are planned and executed in a silo. The membership team has one approach, the fundraising team another, and various program directors market their services independently as well. The result? A muddled brand presence and lots of wasted resources. Brand strategy consultant Michele Levy shares a variety of case studies to demonstrate her pragmatic approach to integrating your messaging and marketing efforts for greater impact and efficiency.

§  Fuel Yourself to Fulfill your Mission: Self-Care Tips for Social Impact Leaders
Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 1:00 pm Eastern

You can't serve others unless you take care of yourself. That's why the airlines advise you to put on your oxygen mask first before helping others. With so much at stake for your clients, for your organization, for your cause—?it can be easy to overlook your needs! Yet, the constant state of stress and overwhelm is sapping your energy. If you're not practicing self-care, it not only affects your health but jeopardizes your ability to fulfill your core mission. You have a mission that needs to be nurtured; so you need to nurture yourself.

In this session, Stress & Resiliency Coach Colette Ellis will guide you to uncover new ways to quiet your mind, rejuvenate, and find respite. With your new approach to self-care, you will make more consistent healthy lifestyle choices, and feel more energized to bring your vision into reality. If you feel inspired to take action, make change?—?it's critical that you embody nourishing habits to fuel your whole self: body, mind, and spirit.

Did you know that up to 60% of all major health conditions have stress as an underlying cause? When you're working on the front-lines how do you give yourself time and permission for self-care? Why is practicing self-care important? What does it mean when you don't do it? Join Stress & Resiliency Coach Colette Ellis to find out answers to these questions and more.


Call for Spotlight Submissions

The SAANBox invites its readers to submit recommendations for future SAANBox Spotlight profiles!

We invite you to recommend an individual or program that does noteworthy work in arts and/or arts education advocacy at the state or local level to be highlighted in the SAANBox.

Please send all submissions to Lizzie Dorman at [email protected] With your recommendations, please include a contact name and email address of the nominated individual and/or program for follow-up.






Washington, DC Office
1000 Vermont Avenue NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
202.371.2830 | F 202.371.0424

New York City Office
One East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022
212.223.2787 | F 212.980.4857

Visit Us Online:
[email protected]