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US Regional Arts Organizations Welcome Shannon Daut as National Director

The United States Regional Arts Organization (US RAOs) today announced the appointment of Shannon Daut as the US RAO Collective’s first ever National Director.

The US RAOs are a national collective of six, place-based, nonprofit arts service organizations that strengthen America’s infrastructure by increasing access to creativity for all. The six RAOs are Arts Midwest, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Mid Atlantic Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, South Arts, and WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation), with a combined reach that spans across state, national, and international borders.

A person of light skin tone wearing dark-rimmed glasses, a decorative red necklace and a patterned top smiles as they look at the camera. They have curly light brown hair.
Shannon Daut, National Director of the United States Regional Arts Organizations.

“We are thrilled to welcome Shannon Daut as the National Director of the US RAO Collective. Her remarkable track record and visionary leadership will undoubtedly guide our efforts to create a stronger, more interconnected arts ecosystem in the United States,” says Torrie Allen, President & CEO of Arts Midwest and co-chair of the US RAO collective.

Shannon Daut brings extensive experience to her new role, having held executive leadership positions at Regional, State, and Local Arts Agencies for over twenty years. Throughout her career, Daut has been a driving force in reshaping the roles of arts agencies in policy and cultural advancement.

Daut previously led the Cultural Affairs Division for the City of Santa Monica from 2016–2023, where she integrated the arts into the community through projects that served economic recovery, racial justice, and public health efforts. She served as the Executive Director of the Alaska State Council on the Arts from 2012–2016, where she expanded the agency’s role in state policy, and spent twelve years in various roles at the Western States Arts Federation, including Deputy Director.  She has also served on the boards of prominent arts organizations, including the National Performance Network and the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

In her new role, Daut will work alongside the Executive Directors of each Regional Arts Organization to carry out the US RAO Collective’s work to activate and operate national arts initiatives; encourage and support collaboration across regions, states, and communities; and maximize the coordination of public and private resources invested in arts programs.

“With Shannon Daut on board as our National Director, we’re excited to fully realize the potential of the US RAO collective and dig further into our  four key focus areas of advocating for the arts, supporting individual artists, empowering BIPOC organizations and leaders, and modeling togetherness” says Todd Stein, President of Mid-America Arts Alliance and co-chair of the US RAO collective.

In her first year, Daut will conduct listening sessions with stakeholders, seek out future grant opportunities for the arts field, and support ongoing US RAO collective projects including, among others, the National Leaders of Color Fellowship and Jazz Road.

“As National Director, I am honored to have been selected to work alongside the talented teams at each Regional Arts Organization to expand their reach to communities across the country. I’m excited by the opportunities that this collective approach creates  to expand  support of the arts ecosystem,  helping arts, creativity, and culture thrive in every corner of America,” said Shannon Daut.

For more information, please contact:

Shannon Daut, National Director, US RAO Collective 

Email: [email protected] 

About the US Regional Arts Organizations (US RAOs)

The US Regional Arts Organizations (US RAOs) are a national collective of six place-based nonprofit arts service organizations comprising Arts Midwest, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Mid Atlantic Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, South Arts, and WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation). The RAOs were created by civic and arts leaders in the early 1970s to facilitate the exchange of and accessibility to the arts across state lines and into local communities. The RAOs have a deep connection to our regions, knowledge of our arts and culture ecosystems and organizations, and longstanding partnerships with State Arts Agencies, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and other public and private funders and service organizations. Learn more at usregionalarts.org.