2018 State Arts Agency Arts Education Managers
Professional Development Institute



For more than 20 years, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) have supported the Professional Development Institute (PDI) for state arts agency arts education managers. The PDI provides meaningful leadership development and technical assistance for this diverse field. As a result, arts education managers are knowledgeable leaders in their field through a peer network that new and seasoned managers alike find invaluable.

Through a cooperative agreement with the National Endowment for the Arts, NASAA is able to offer a $500 travel stipend to each state to support its state arts agency arts education manager’s travel costs for the PDI. States are strongly encouraged to make every effort to support full participation by their arts education managers.

The purpose of this year’s PDI was to continue to explore issues related to diversity, equity, access and inclusion in arts education by focusing on the effects of individual and community trauma on arts learning, as well as opportunities for arts education to promote individual and community resilience. PDI attendees examined the job-specific leverage points available to them in their role as state arts agency arts education managers as they applied their learning to specific planning and professional development goals unique to their agencies and states.

Guiding Question & Outcomes

The 2018 PDI agenda responded to the following guiding question:

How can SAA arts education managers address trauma and individual and community resilience through arts learning?

Building on learning outcomes from previous PDIs, such as effectively using data to define and decrease equity gaps in arts education policy and practice, and positioning state arts education leaders as drivers of change, the 2018 PDI outcomes were:

  • Outcome 1: Participants explore the connection between trauma and educational equity
  • Outcome 2: Participants gain skills in trauma-informed arts learning practices
  • Outcome 3: Participants identify the unique points of leverage available within their SAA arts education manager role to address trauma and promote resilience and equity in the communities they serve