In just the past 50 years, the number of local arts agencies (LAAs) has blossomed from 400 to approximately 5,000. Once primarily nonprofit, volunteer-driven organizations that solely presented programming, they are now are a mix of both public and private agencies that leverage billions of dollars to advance the arts, ensuring broad access to the arts and improving the quality of their communities. Local arts agencies range in size, scope, population demographics, and services offered. They are customized to the communities they serve—uniquely designed to meet the needs and enrich the lives of its constituency.
Within the estimated 5,000 LAAs in the United States, roughly 75 percent are private nonprofit organizations, whereas 25 percent are public agencies of a city or county government.
(from our Monograph, Local Arts Agencies 2010)