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50 Stories | Working Together

By Margaret A. Keough

Mid-America Arts Alliance is celebrating its fiftieth year of ensuring more art for more people—strengthening and supporting artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout our region and beyond. Founded in 1972, M-AAA has awarded grants to artists and arts organizations, helped to bring cultural programs to communities urban and rural, and empowered creatives throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas; across the nation; and internationally. As part of its 50th-anniversary celebration, M-AAA is pleased to share a weekly series of stories and statements submitted by colleagues, program participants, and others that speak to M-AAA’s profound impact on their lives, creativity, communities, and the region.

This first video was narrated by Kansas Poet Laureate Huascar Medina. A poet, writer, and performer, Medina is a facilitator for M-AAA’s program Artist INC in Topeka. In 2021, President Biden appointed Medina to the National Council on the Arts.

M-AAA Impact Fact

Mid-America Arts Alliance is the nation’s first Regional Arts Organization. There are now six Regional Arts Organizations (RAOs)—Arts Midwest, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Mid Atlantic Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, South Arts, and WESTAF—that work in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the arts agencies of each state and jurisdiction.