Today, the United States Regional Arts Organizations (USRAOs) announced that new co-chairs Todd Stein of Mid-America Arts Alliance and Torrie Allen of Arts Midwest will lead the USRAO Collective. This collective of six non-profit organizations works to strengthen and support arts, culture, and creativity across America. On the heels of this news, the updated USRAOs website is now live.
The first Regional Arts Organization, Mid-America Arts Alliance, was founded in 1972, fifty years ago. Ever since, this group of six organizations has worked to serve all the states and jurisdictions of the United States. The USRAOs (Arts Midwest, Mid Atlantic Arts, Mid-America Arts Alliance, New England Foundation for the Arts, South Arts, and WESTAF) have a deep connection to their regions, knowledge of their arts and culture ecosystems and organizations, and longstanding partnerships with state arts agencies, the National Endowment for the Arts, and other public and private funders, service organizations, and agencies. In fiscal year 2021, the USRAOs collectively invested over $28.3 million dollars across the United States and Jurisdictions through over 3,000 grants that reached over 1,600 communities.
Throughout their histories, each USRAO has developed areas of expertise to complement one another, and in the past five years, have dove into creative conversations about how to collaborate and work together in even deeper ways. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the collective worked with the Mellon Foundation to distribute $10 million across the nation to assist historically underserved organizations with stability, relief, and recovery through the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund. Shortly after this collective effort, Mackenzie Scott and Dan Jewett gave generous donations to each USRAO so that work supporting arts, creativity, and community could be amplified across the nation.
To lead future collaborations between the USRAOs, the six organizations have selected Torrie Allen, President and CEO of Arts Midwest, and Todd Stein, President and CEO of Mid-America Arts Alliance, to co-chair the collective. In leading the United States Regional Arts Organizations together, Allen and Stein will work toward the collective’s shared goals of:
- Supporting BIPOC Organizations and Leaders
- Supporting Individual Artists
- Modeling Togetherness
“As the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations have discussed the ways in which we could benefit the nation, we’ve considered the missions of each organization and how our work is strategically aligned. It is my honor to Co-Chair with Torrie as we represent the USRAOs across the country and focus our collective efforts on the four shared goals in the upcoming years,” said Todd Stein, President and CEO of Mid-America Arts Alliance.
“The U.S. Regional Arts Organizations are an essential and impactful part of our nation’s creative ecosystem. I’m thrilled to explore new opportunities for alignment, collaboration, and togetherness as we continue to support art, creativity, and community across America,” said Torrie Allen, President and CEO of Arts Midwest.
Allen and Stein’s tenure as co-chairs kicks off with the launch of a refreshed website for the collective, featuring an interactive map of each organization’s geography, a database of select national grant opportunities offered by each U.S. Regional Arts Organization, and evocative imagery that captures the passion, depth, and diversity of art and creativity across America. View the updated website.
About The United States Regional Arts Organizations
The U.S. Regional Arts Organizations are a national collective of six place-based nonprofit arts service organizations committed to strengthening America’s infrastructure by increasing access to creativity for all Americans. Together, they work across the United States 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. For more information, visit the USRAOs website.
About Arts Midwest
Arts Midwest supports, informs, and celebrates Midwestern creativity. We build community and opportunity across Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, the Native Nations that share this geography, and beyond. As one of six nonprofit United States Regional Arts Organizations, Arts Midwest works to strengthen local arts and culture efforts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, state agencies, private funders, and many others. Learn more at the Arts Midwest website.
About Mid-America Arts Alliance
Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) strengthens and supports artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout our region and beyond. Additional information can be found at the Mid-America Arts Alliance website.