Frequently Asked Questions - State Arts Action Network

The State Arts Action Network (SAAN), a program of Americans for the Arts, is a network of statewide arts advocacy and service organizations. The network formed in 2004 when the State Arts Advocacy League of America (SALAA) and the National Community Arts Network (NCAN) agreed to merge with Americans for the Arts. In 2009, the members of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education (KCAEEN) joined as individual organizational members.  Individual members independently lead their state’s arts policy initiatives and gather together to share best practices and advise Americans for the Arts’ State & Local Government Affairs team on key policy initiatives.  

While SAAN membership is based upon the organization, individuals from member organizations are typically the executive directors or board chairs of statewide arts organizations. See the full membership roster.

The SAAN nominates and elects its own governing body, the SAAN Council, which is composed of 15 elected individuals from the Network. In this case, the person is elected, not the organization (although every council member’s organization must be a member of the Network). Each Council Member serves a renewable term of three years. View the SAAN Council roster.

The SAAN Council elects a Board Chair and Vice Chair to serve a one-year term. The Chair and Vice Chair appoint the standing committee chairs and this group serves as the SAAN Executive Committee.

The SAAN functions under its Operating Procedures which can be amended by a vote of the Council. The SAAN has three standing committees: the Executive Committee, the Programs Committee, and the Governance (nominating) Committee.

Network members come together in the SAAN to discuss the policy challenges and best practices that they come across in their states. Topics range from state arts agency funding and arts education to tax policy and cultural districts—any statewide issues that affect nonprofit arts organizations are on our radar.

Americans for the Arts Senior Director of State and Local Government Affairs serves as the SAAN’s primary staff contact and works with the Council to accomplish its goals. Additionally, the State and Local Government Affairs Coordinator also serves as a resource for the individual SAAN members.

Members of Americans for the Arts can sign up to receive the weekly SAANBox newsletter, which features current events in state and local policy as well as research and advocacy information for nonprofit and advocacy organizations. Sign up to receive this newsletter.