Updates from NEA State & Regional Partnerships

Andi Mathis, State & Regional Specialist | Partnership, National Endowment for the Arts –

I am happy to share the latest exciting news from the National Endowment for Arts:

Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge  The National Endowment for the Arts is supporting the next generation of American songwriters. For the second year and in collaboration with the American Theatre Wing, the Arts Endowment is calling for applications from high school students to the agency’s Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge. This national program is for students with a passion for writing songs that could be part of a musical theater production and the wide range of musical styles represented in contemporary musical theater including hip-hop, rock, R&B, country, jazz, and more.  The application is simple and can be completed online with a deadline of April 30, 2019, at midnight ET.
Follow the conversation on Twitter at #IWriteMusicals.

Collaborative Artistic Fellowships for 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games  The Japan- U.S. Friendship Committee and NEA invite leading contemporary and traditional artists from the United States to apply for a unique collaborative artistic fellowship designed to highlight U.S.-Japan artistic partnerships during the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The completed collaborative artistic projects will be showcased in Tokyo during the Olympic Games July 24-August 9, 2020, and/or Paralympic Games August 25- September 6, 2020.  It’s a fantastic opportunity for collaboration between U.S. and Japanese artists of all artistic disciplines. Fellowship Program Guidelines   March 1 application deadline

Fellowships for Community-engaged Artists and Architects  The Enterprise Rose Fellowship has 8 opportunities open for the 2019-2021 fellowship class, with an April 14 application deadline.
The Enterprise Rose Fellowship partners community-engaged artists and architects with local community development organizations to facilitate an inclusive approach to development that results in equitable, healthy, resilient communities. As a full-time staff member of their host organization, fellows integrate design processes, artistic practices, community engagement principles, and creativity into development projects and the organization overall. Fellows learn first-hand the dynamics, challenges, and potential of mission-driven community development while joining a growing network of passionate and talented creative practitioners who are continuously changing what is possible in the field.

NEA/NGA/NASAA Rural Action Guide for Governors and States to be released March 12
We are delighted that this highly anticipated National Governors Association report, Rural Prosperity Through the Arts & Creative Sector: A Rural Action Guide for Governors and States, will be released by the NGA on March 12.  You may recall that we previewed it at the NASAA Assembly in Baltimore.  For the release, a special microsite has been created that includes the report PDF; video remarks from Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert and Colorado’s SAA ED, Margaret Hunt; links to rural research and NEA’s state-by-state BEA data; and examples of the arts in action in rural areas.   Everything will go live on March 12 at
We are mailing hard copies of the Guide to each SAA and RAO.

New Director of NEA State, Regional, and Local Partnerships
I am thrilled to share the news that Michael Orlove has been named as NEA’s Director of State, Regional, and Local Partnerships!

This is a new position that combines the State & Regional portfolio and the Locals/Challenge America portfolio. In addition, Michael will continue to manage NEA’s International work with Guiomar Ochoa.

For the past six years, Michael has provided essential leadership within the National Endowment for the Arts and to the presenting field as NEA’s Director of Artist Communities and Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works.  And, he has become a valued colleague to many of you reading this note.  We in the Partnership Division are so pleased that Michael is going to be leading our team. We’ll be welcoming Michael and Guiomar in early April.

And now, Michael would like to greet you himself:

“I am beyond excited to have the honor to take on this new expanded role at the National Endowment for the Arts. My career in this field actually started at the local arts agency in Chicago and in my six-year tenure here at the Endowment I have learned a great deal about the fundamental role the Regional and State Arts Agencies play in serving and sustaining the vitality of the arts across the country. I had the great privilege to work and learn alongside the previous director, Laura Scanlan, and from the stellar (current) staff led by Andi Mathis. I enter this role with plenty of ideas, enthusiasm and curiosity but also knowing I have a great deal to learn. I welcome the opportunity to absorb as much as I can from our colleagues at the Locals, States and Regions as well as our friends at Americans for the Arts and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. I can’t wait to get started…”