Trying to explain to some family and friends about what I do in the arts is a challenge. In my last role at the Arizona Commission on the Arts I had friends say, “Oh, I have driven past your building. What do you do in there, paint?” I finally had to create a statement and definition about my work that would help convey what I did at the state arts agency. When I accepted my current position at Americans for the Arts the question shifted to “what is a local arts agency?” Surprisingly, I have even been asked by both artists and other arts managers.
So, what is a local arts agency?
Technically, a local arts agency (LAA) is a private community organization or local government agency that supports cultural organizations, provides services to artists or arts organizations, and/or presents arts programming to the public. LAAs endeavor to make the arts part of the daily fabric of community living. Each LAA is unique to the community that it serves and each change as fast as its community changes. However, all seek to serve the diverse art forms in their community and make them accessible to every community member. Read the rest of this entry »