Frequently Asked Questions

Publicly and privately, we were called on to elevate racial equity, diversity, transparency, and accountability. The Strategic Realignment Process (SRP) was undertaken to identify the specific and unique role of Americans for the Arts within the arts and culture community; to create a transformational and actionable path toward healing and rebuilding trust; and to advance our mission to support constituent members, staff, the board, and stakeholders.

Next, we will continue using an equitable advocacy approach to design goals and priorities for the next five years that reflect what we've learned during the SRP.

Equitable advocacy is our way of intentionally and continuously learning and cultivating more inclusive, diverse, and accessible advocacy practices, interactions, relationships, and programming in both approach and outcomes.

We advocate equitably by:

  • Conducting comprehensive research—providing data to support the advocacy agendas of communities that look to Americans for the Arts to provide such data. We may or may not advocate for certain communities (some want to advocate for themselves), but our research is an asset to many stakeholders that don’t have the resources to conduct the level of research we provide.    
  • Supporting and encouraging self-determined change, particularly change brought about by local arts agencies. We have adopted a collective leadership approach which will drive how we work with local arts agencies as well as other entities within (and outside) the arts and culture sector. This means we will serve and promote others when appropriate and only lead projects when we are best positioned to do so.
  • Ensuring representation of all communities. We strive to change policies and forge legislative action that eliminates funding disparities and any resource disparity among communities left behind. As to funding, when possible, we want to connect funders to service organizations whose missions align with the impact desired by such funders.   
  • Finding integrated legislative, programmatic, and partnership policy solutions to economic, educational, social, and cultural challenges and inequities at the local arts community level.
  • Regularly measuring and evaluating the outcomes of our efforts to uplift the arts in general, and the artistic and creative voices of the underserved. We are not afraid to adapt to the changing needs of the arts and culture community and we are prepared to be accountable to ourselves and those whom we are currently serving, as well as those we should be serving. 

We define collective leadership as a group of people working together toward a shared goal. When collective leadership is happening, people are motivated and responsibly working together toward a common goal within a group, and using their unique talents and skills to contribute to the overall success of the organization.

Americans for the Arts remains fully committed to actionable change, both internally and externally. Internally, we are committed to a more inclusive and transparent way of working, through collective leadership, and will invest in the organization’s capacity to maintain this improved workplace culture in the future. Input from myriad settings across the field was received and considered.

More visible to you over time will be the external transformation in what we do. The work starts now on a new strategic plan with a refreshed ethos, vision, and mission that will help Americans for the Arts best support and meet the needs of the arts and culture community. 

We anticipate strategic planning to take 3-6 months, through a transparent process. We look forward to your continued feedback.

This new, refreshed image is the reflection of the natural progression of the evolution of Americans for the Arts, through the spirit of our staff and leadership.

As it is a natural process of evolution and growth, an organization’s image needs to reflect its mission and values. Through the transformation ignited through the SRP, we felt that our new focus and spirit was not visually represented by the current Americans for the Arts logo. Hence, we needed to also evolve our visual identity to become an extension of our organization’s brand promise to serve and advocate equitably for the power of the arts in all communities in the U.S.

This image delivers a free-flowing line which is strongly associated with the idea of infinity, as a continuous state of movement, creation, and evolution. This image is flexible, adaptable, agile, and transformative. It represents unity, connectivity, diversity, inclusion, with a touch of vulnerability that comes from self-expression, honesty, and transparency, which are some of the emotions and values strongly expressed by staff during our SRP meetings that needed to guide Americans for the Arts.

With the appropriate methodical process in place, Americans for the Arts expects to be adopting a refreshed image in early 2023. 

A key component in our Strategic Realignment Process was the execution of weekly SRP working groups: cross-section meetings of consultants with board members, staff, and subject matter contributors from the arts and culture community. Throughout the process, the board chair and one third of the board engaged in weekly conversations with our consultant team.

The board of directors played an important role in the SRP; without their steadfast support, Americans for the Arts would have not been able to undergo an in-depth SRP, and they remain committed to strategic goals of the organization.

We will determine this as we begin work on a strategic plan to map our goals and priorities for the next five years, with equitable advocacy as our guide. We look forward to sharing this with you.

Americans for the Arts does not have plans to become a grant-making organization. However, when possible, we want to connect funders to service organizations whose missions align with the impact desired by such funders.

Americans for the Arts needed a clearly defined path forward that refocuses its mission as an outward-facing service organization with a commitment to the advancement of arts and culture across our nation. We are working on a new strategic plan with a refreshed ethos, vision, and mission that will help Americans for the Arts best support, be better partners, and meet the needs of the arts and culture community. We look forward to your continued feedback.

We look forward to your continued support and ideas, which can be submitted via our website or directly to a staff member.