Mike Latvis and Brad Erickson Named Chair and Vice Chair of Council

Monday, July 9, 2012


Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, today announced the election of Mike Latvis, director of public policy for ArtsServe Michigan and  Brad Erickson, president of the California Arts Advocates, as chair and vice chair, respectively, of the States Arts Advocacy Network (SAAN) Council. Each will serve a one-year term from July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013.

“I’m delighted to see these talented and hardworking professionals elected to the leadership of our State Arts Action Network,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “Their support for the arts throughout the states they serve is a testament and an inspiration to others as they work to ensure that the arts thrive in America.”

Mike Latvis is the Director of Public Policy at ArtServe Michigan. In this role, he provides leadership, strategic direction and implementation of the organization’s arts, culture and arts education advocacy efforts. He develops advocacy campaigns and public policy initiatives to build support for the arts, artists, arts education and cultural activities within the Michigan Legislature, State Executive Office and U.S. Congress. He is currently leading ArtServe’s grassroots campaign to restore arts and cultural program funding for the state arts, and is also working to build support for long-term sustainable funding strategies for arts, culture and arts education in Michigan, and efforts to establish new leadership for the Arts and Culture Caucus. Mike regularly contributes to discussions, forums and texts that promote the importance of high quality diverse arts and cultural activities in Michigan communities. He also serves as Americans for the Arts state arts advocacy captain in Michigan in addition to being a member of the SAAN Council. Before becoming the SAAN Council chair, Mike previously served as the vice chair and programs committee chair of the SAAN Council.

As the president of the board of directors of California Arts Advocates (CAA), California’s statewide arts advocacy organization, Brad Erickson leads the organization’s efforts to develop and promote arts-positive public policies at the state and local levels. In addition, Brad has served for eight years as the executive director of Theatre Bay Area, one of the nation’s largest regional performing arts service organizations. In this role, he leads the organization’s efforts to support, promote and advocate for the region’s vibrant theater and dance community. In addition, he is the co-founder and co-director of Arts Forum SF, advocating for the arts in San Francisco, and is the chair of the Mid-Market Project Area Committee of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency. Before coming to Theatre Bay Area in 2003, Brad served as executive director of the Northern California Supplier Development Council, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting and strengthening ethnic minority-owned businesses. In addition to his new role as vice chair of the SAAN network, Brad also serves Americans for the Arts’ state arts advocacy captain for California.

The State Arts Action Network is a program of Americans for the Arts that was established in 2004 to access the considerable, untapped potential of state arts advocacy and service groups across America. The network seeks to enable state arts advocacy and service groups to work closely together and directly with Americans for the Arts to shape public policy recommendations, initiate effective advocacy campaigns, set research agendas and provide professional development and networking opportunities to emerging arts organizations. SAAN is led by the SAAN Council, a group of up to 20 members, which oversees and guides the Network’s activities as well as establishes the Network’s policy guidelines, activities, and goals.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.

Catherine Brandt Vacovsky