All the Arts for All the People

aka Americans for the Arts   |   Washington, DC   |


Americans for the Arts' mission is to serve, advance, and lead the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain, and support the arts in America.

Ruling year info


President and CEO

Mr. Nolen V. Bivens

Main address

1275 K Street NW Suite 1200

Washington, DC 20005 USA

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NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (A01)

Arts Service Activities/Organizations (A90)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?


Americans for the Arts advocates for greater public and private support for the arts and arts education at the national level, while providing tools and training to people nationwide so that they can make the case for investment in their communities. Our aim is to trigger local, state, and federal leaders to see and understand the arts as a solution to the problems we face as a nation.

The Legislative Issue Center presents an overview of Americans for the Arts’ advocacy efforts, and provides our constituents with the tools to advocate for the arts in their own communities through the following information and services: E-advocacy through VoterVoice; issue briefs; legislative news and updates; useful research; information on advocacy events and registrations; links to State Arts Action Network members; and toolkits for individuals and organizations.

The National Arts Action Summit brings together a broad cross section of America's cultural and civic organizations, along with nearly 500 grassroots advocates representing 45 states across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts.

Population(s) Served

Americans for the Arts technical assistance and training programs serve a wide array of arts professionals based on where they are in their careers, the types of communities that they serve, targeted sectors within the field, and services that cross all three.

Six (6) networks allow Americans for the Arts to provide specialized resources addressing the needs of its constituencies and ensure peer-to-peer engagement. These affinity networks include the: Public Art Network, Private Sector Network, Arts Education Network, Emerging Leaders Network, United States Urban Arts Federation, and State Arts Action Network.

Two (2) main conferences offer training and networking opportunities to professionals in the field. Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention convenes the largest gathering of arts and community leaders in the country to explore critical issues in the arts, and the annual National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) Conference provides information, tools, and practical ideas for arts marketers and fundraisers to design high-quality, cost-effective marketing programs and strengthen arts organizations. The National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) provides nonprofit marketing training through its annual conference, monthly webinars, quarterly E-books, regional training programs, and on-site workshops that offer must-have marketing resources to local constituencies.

Americans for the Arts also offers a series of webinars, high quality online professional development tools that are held regularly to provide online training resources for professional members.

Population(s) Served

Americans for the Arts champions a research-based understanding to how the arts are being used to address social, educational, and economic development issues in communities across the country. Ongoing initiatives include: Arts and Economic Prosperity, the national economic impact study on the nation’s nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences; The National Arts Index, a highly distilled annual measure of the health and vitality of the arts in the United States using 76 equal weighted, national-level indicators of arts activity; The Local Arts Index - a companion to The National Arts Index - which is designed to give communities across the nation a much needed tool to analyze the macro and micro trends impacting the health and vitality of local cultural organizations over time and to inform the collaborative work necessary to chart a course for a more sustainable future; Creative Industries, which uses Dun & Bradstreet data to map and report the number of arts-related businesses and employees in any geographic region or political jurisdiction in the country.

Population(s) Served

Through its national network and array of public and private sector partners, Americans for the Arts works to shine a spotlight on the contributions of the arts and arts education. Signature programs include: National Arts Awards, held during National Arts and Humanities Month, hosts 400 of America's top artists and philanthropic and corporate leaders to recognize and celebrate the achievements of individuals and corporations who have exhibited outstanding leadership in the visual and performing arts, arts education, advocacy, and philanthropy; Arts and Business Partnership Awards (formerly known as THE BCA TEN: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America) is an annual gala that recognizes the corporate leaders who are dedicated to increasing partnerships between the private sector and the arts; National Arts and Humanities Month is a coast-to-coast collective celebration of culture in America. Coordinated by Americans for the Arts, it has become the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation. From arts center open houses to mayoral proclamations to banners and newspaper articles, over 10,000 communities across the United States make sure their citizens pay attention to the cultural gems surrounding them.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Best Blog Mobile Website 2015


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

At Americans for the Arts our goal is to ensure that the arts are integrated into the fabric of every American community. To ensure that every child enjoys the lifelong benefits of an education rich in the arts, we are spearheading the coalition to keep the arts as a core subject in the federal Elementary and Secondary School Act as well as part of every state's academic standards. We are working with community leaders and elected officials to show how the arts are economic engines — driving local economies, tourism, and neighborhood revitalization. Lastly, we are working with the military to investigate how the arts promote physical and psychological healing for our service members, their families, and their caregivers.

At Americans for the Arts, we combine national leadership with local tools, connecting the right people with the right information at the right time. When the U.S. Conference for Mayors released its 10-point plan to improve America's communities, thanks to our 20-year partnership, the arts were number 9. We educate and empower individuals to be effective advocates. When public broadcasting was facing a $100 million cut, we mobilized 10,000 people, and Congress removed the threat within 24 hours. We forge strong, lasting partnerships with national organizations and key members of Congress. Our research-based tools for arts and community leaders provide hard numbers that make a powerful case for the arts and arts education. When we speak, decision makers listen.

As an organization, Americans for the Arts is uniquely positioned to influence policy by leveraging research to produce action. Through our strategic partnerships, we build influence across the political spectrum. We employ a cooperative, bipartisan approach ensuring access to the arts for all and garnering public support for the arts. We cultivate peer-to-peer dialogue and exchange of ideas, identifying best practice models, breaking them down, and teaching others how to adapt them in their own communities. We champion a research-based understanding of the benefit of the arts and pair it with anecdotal evidence to make a compelling case for why the arts matter.

Americans for the Arts played a pivotal role in the creation of the National Endowment for the Arts and continues to champion its support, ensuring the arts are available in communities across America regardless of size. Through our grassroots advocacy efforts, we helped secure $50 million for people who work in the arts as part of the Jobs Recovery Act — 85,000 voices made the case that an investment in arts jobs is an investment in our economy. Our Arts & Economic Prosperity study is the national research model for tracking the economic impact of the arts and we brought national visibility to the benefits of the arts and arts education through 2 award-winning PSA Campaigns in partnership with the Ad Council.

Everything that we do at Americans for the Arts is to increase the availability of the arts and arts education for every American. Increased resources would enable us to expand our reach even further. We could bring Voter Voice, our technology platform that links E-Advocacy Centers at the federal, state, and local levels, to every community in the country. We would expand our work to train the next generation of arts leaders through programs like Arts U, a 21st century training academy that mixes virtual and in-person opportunities and leverages technology to train current and future arts leaders. We would bring back our popular “The Arts. Ask for More." PSA Campaign, deepening its reach while also working to create and enhance public/private partnership models to support the arts in our country.



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Julie Muraco

Managing Partner, Praeditis Group LLC

Term: 2018 - 2021

Steven D. Spiess

Chair, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation

Abel Lopez

Associate Producing Director, GALA Hispanic Theatre

Michael Spring

Director, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs

Timothy J. McClimon

President, American Express Foundation

John Haworth

Director, George Gustav Heye Center, National Museum of the American Indian

Glen S. Howard

Board Chair, Cultural Data Project

Susan S. Goode

Arts Patron

Julie C. Muraco

Managing Partner, Praeditis Group LLC

Dorothy Pierce McSweeny

Chair Emeritus, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

Robert L. Lynch

President and CEO, Americans for the Arts

Deborah Jordy

Executive Director, Colorado Business Committee for the Arts

Nancy Stephens

Actor and Activist

Ann Stock

Former Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs

Alessandra DiGiusto

Chief Administrative Officer, Deutsche Bank

Edgar L Smith

Chairman and CEO, World Pac Paper, LLC

Sarah Arison

President, Arison Arts Foundation

Michelle T. Boone

Chief Program and Civic Engagement Officer, Navy Pier Inc.

Floyd Green

Vice President & Head of Community Activation & Local Marketing, Aetna

Vijay Gupta

Founder/Artistic Director Street Symphony

Danielle Brazell

General Manager, City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department

Debra Garcia y Griego

Executive Director, City of Santa Fe Arts Commission

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Chairman of the Board, The Actors Fund

Mark Golden

CEO Golden Artist Colors, Inc.

Robert Newman

Assistant Vice President Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity Program Manager Neuberger Berman

Ira Sallen

Executive Advisor BMG

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes