National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies

Americans for the Arts

Americans for the Arts is a nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in the United States. They describe themselves as being dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts.

Americans for the Arts was founded in 1996 as a result of the merger between the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies (NALAA) and the American Council for the Arts (ACA). In 2005, they further merged with Arts & Business Council Inc. The President and CEO is Robert L. Lynch.


According to the organization , its primary goals are to:

  • Foster an environment in which the arts can thrive and contribute to the creation of more livable communities.
  • Generate more public- and private-sector resources for the arts and arts education.
  • Build individual appreciation of the value of the arts.


The organization maintains an Online Arts Field Directory of local, state, regional, and national arts service organizations throughout the country.

Annually, the organization presents the National Arts Awards to honor artists and supporters of the arts who exemplify high achievement in the arts and national leadership.

Americans for the Arts hosts an annual convention for about 1400 attendees. Major topic areas include arts education, public art, community and economic development, public advocacy, and private sector affairs, which includes topics related to philanthropy and business. In 2009, the Convention will be hosted in Seattle, WA on the topic of The Arts in Sustainable Communities

In 2008, Americans for the Arts launched a webinar series to offer professional development opportunities to arts and arts education professionals nationally. Topics include program evaluation for arts education, leadership succession, models of rural development, and "leadership in tough times."

Also in 2008, the organization launched Knowledge Exchanges, 2 day in-depth trainings and dialogues about specific topics within the organization's areas of expertise.

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