US RAOs Receive Historic Gift

July 15, 2021: The United States Regional Arts Organizations (US RAOs) are grateful to MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett for their transformational gift to our collective. This gift was part of a recent $2.73 billion contribution to 286 organizations working on the frontlines to enact social progress in critical community sectors including arts and culture.

As a network of six organizations, the US RAOs work both individually and in partnership to broaden access to arts and creativity across the United States by:  

  • Administering regional and national arts initiatives 
  • Supporting collaboration across regions, states, jurisdictions, and communities 
  • Increasing the effectiveness of the nation’s arts infrastructure 
  • Broadening access to the arts 
  • Maximizing public and private investment in the arts 

The US RAOs will center our values and our commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and access as each organization decides how to best use this unprecedented gift to positively impact the communities they serve.

“We are so thankful for this investment in our national arts and culture landscape,” said Susie Surkamer, President & CEO of South Arts and chair of the US RAO cohort. “Working in tandem with each other as well as individually across our respective regions, the collective impact of this gift will be so much greater than any of us could accomplish on our own.”

For updates on how each US RAO will use these new resources, visit the respective organization’s website and follow them on social media. Additional details will be posted on

Two older light-skinned adults with short hair sit at a table together. One of the people is wearing a light purple shirt with curly short white hair and is holding a paper cut out of a hand up to their own hand and smiling.
Mini art lesson at Silver Threads Assisted Living in Gregory, South Dakota. Photo by Prairie Feather Photography. Courtesy of Gregory Horizons and Arts Midwest.