This report outlines the history of state arts agencies (SAAs), which are major sources of government funding for the arts, since their inception in the 1960s. It sheds light on why, even though many SAAs are trying to reach beyond their traditional grantee constituencies, there is a perception—if not the fact—that SAAs primarily serve artists and arts organizations rather than the broader public. In brief, the history goes like this, according to the report:
The report was commissioned by Wallace as part of its START (State Arts Partnerships for Cultural Participation) initiative, which was designed to help SAAs develop more effective strategies for encouraging participation in the arts. The publication is the first in a series of RAND reports on SAAs.
The heart of the initiative is a shift in [state art agency] focus and funding from bolstering arts providers to serving people and communities.