By supporting the state arts agencies (SAAs) through Partnership Agreements, the National Endowment for the Arts makes the arts available in more communities than it could through direct grants. The SAAs greatly extend the federal reach and impact, translating national leadership into local benefit.
Regional arts organizations (RAOs) were created by state arts leaders, in partnership with the Arts Endowment and the private sector, in order to transcend state boundaries and give the public access to a greater and richer variety of arts experiences. RAOs encourage the development of the arts and support arts programs at the regional level. They respond to the special needs of each region and assist the Arts Endowment and other funders in distributing programs nationally.