State Captain, Americans for the Arts
State Arts Action Network (SAAN)
SAAN Overview and Services
Hawai`i Arts Alliance acts as Hawai`i's State Captain for Arts Advocacy. The SAAN serves as the meeting place for statewide multidiscipline arts service or advocacy organizations to gather to discuss common issues. In order for an organization to be part of the SAAN, it must be a member of Americans for the Arts. To see the complete list of SAAN members, please see our roster. An elected council governs the network based upon the operating procedures. Two members of the Americans for the Arts staff, Director of State & Local Government Affairs Jay Dick and State & Local Government Affairs Coordinator Tim Mikulski serve as the staff members for the SAAN.
The network meets in person twice each year, once in conjunction with Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC, and once at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention. Additionally, the network hosts several professional development conference calls to discuss issues of interest and concern to its members. The network also has a special "SAAN members-only" section where this information is posted for members' exclusive use. Members of the network also receive a weekly email newsletter detailing state and local arts news and legislative tracking across the country.
The SAAN has also conducted independent research into areas of mutual interest. Under the auspices of Americans for the Arts, the SAAN has compiled a publication of the various statewide organizations and a treatise on what makes a strong and successful organization. This publication, The State of the Field: A Look at Statewide Arts Advocacy and Service Organizations, is provided to every network member and is available for purchase in the Americans for the Arts bookstore.
Americans for the Arts, at the behest of the SAAN, has recently established the Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award. This award is presented to an individual who, at the state level, has dramatically affected the political landscape through their arts advocacy efforts. The award is named for Alene Valkanas. Widely seen as the preeminent authority on state arts advocacy, Alene is an original SAAN member and served as the first co-chair of the SAAN Council.
The network was formed on March 29, 2004, when Americans for the Arts announced that two previously independent national arts organizations, the State Arts Advocacy League of America (SAALA) and the National Community Arts Network (NCAN), had ratified an agreement to become part of Americans for the Arts.
The joining together of these two organizations with Americans for the Arts is consistent with the bold five-year strategic plan recently developed by Americans for the Arts as a result of a $120 million gift from philanthropist Ruth Lilly. In that plan, created through a year-long planning process, Americans for the Arts identified the need for creating a statewide advocacy organization and a statewide service organization in every state. The State Arts Action Council and State Arts Action Network will strengthen and build arts advocacy and service infrastructure in the United States at the national, state, and local levels. Among other outcomes, it will help shape public policy, initiate effective advocacy campaigns, set research agendas, provide meaningful professional development, and provide peer-to-peer networking opportunities to emerging arts organizations.