The Southern Arts Federation, in partnership with nine state arts agencies, builds on the South's unique artistic heritage by: promoting and supporting the arts in the South, enhancing the artistic excellence and professionalism of Southern arts organizations and artists, and serving the diverse population of the South.
Since 1975, SAF has been making a positive impact on the arts scene in the southern United States. The organization facilitates partnerships and collaborations among artists and arts groups; provides professional development opportunities; presents, promotes, and produces Southern arts and cultural programming; and advocates for the arts and arts education in the region. SAF works in partnership with the state arts agencies of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
SAF operates several programs designed to help artists and other professionals in the field succeed. It provides technical assistance grants to strengthen arts organizations, and its National Arts Leadership Institute offers professional development resources and business training to both individuals and organizations. SAF also helps artists and arts administrators learn from each other through the annual Performing Arts Exchange program, a networking event featuring performances and professional development seminars. Along the same lines, the annual Folklorists in the South Retreat brings together the region's folklorists for a weekend of discussions, panels, and field trips, in addition to great food and music.
To bring art to Southern audiences, SAF's Regional Touring Program provides grants to performing artists who tour the region, and its Southern Visions traveling exhibition programs showcase traditional folk arts from the Mississippi Delta to the low country of South Carolina. The organization also promotes music in the region by bringing composers to Southern communities through Meet the Composer/South. And its JazzSouth Radio program features not only music from the best jazz musicians in the South but also interviews with those artists.
The newest program at SAF is , a free online classifieds bank for the nation's arts community. The Web site, a partnership between SAF and the at Carnegie Mellon University, connects arts-related organizations with artists, interns, volunteers, and potential employees.
The SAF Web site outlines the organization's , , and for artists and arts organizations. In addition, the site also provides a link to , which features original works from outstanding performers who have appeared on JazzSouth Radio.
SAF is funded by the , state arts agencies, private foundations, corporations, and individuals.