Thursday, September 27, 2012

WAC staff members and board chair join arts agency colleagues at Assembly 2012 Oct. 4-6

Arts leaders from across the nation converge in Washington, D.C., October 4-6 for Assembly 2012, the annual meeting of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA). The event is a major gathering of public arts grant makers, convening representatives from the nation's 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies.

Wyoming will be represented by Wyoming Arts Council staff members Rita Basom, Camellia El-Antably and Annie Hatch, all from Cheyenne, and Board Chair Karen Stewart from Jackson. 

Hosted by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Assembly 2012 brings together state arts agency staff and volunteer leaders, federal agencies and cultural leaders from across the nation. Participants use the Assembly as an opportunity to exchange best practices for serving citizens and to discuss the unique role that the public sector plays in improving economic, civic and educational opportunities across America.

This year's conference explores creative placemaking, with NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman addressing participants about ways that the arts and design are revitalizing communities and enhancing quality of life. Conference sessions also address creative economic development, cultural tourism, effective use of data and new frontiers for cultural resource development.

"NASAA conferences are where all of us as state arts agencies gather to learn from each other as well as from national experts on public policy and public-sector leadership," says Arni Fishbaugh, NASAA board president and executive director of the Montana Arts Council. "Participants from across the country come away with information and ideas that they can immediately put to use in their state to enhance their agencies' services to citizens."

The meeting is seasoned with performances by local artists and excursions through downtown D.C.'s Penn Quarter. Featured artists include internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, The Washington Ballet and U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey.

"We are honored to host NASAA Assembly 2012 in the District of Columbia," says Lionell Thomas, executive director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, "We welcome the opportunity to showcase our many achievements here in the District and to share the outstanding creative talent that is such an important asset to our community."

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies is the membership organization that unites, represents and serves the nation's state and jurisdictional arts agencies. Founded in 1968, NASAA represents their individual and collective interests, empowers their work through knowledge and advances the arts as an essential public benefit. To learn more about NASAA and state arts agencies, visit

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