WESTAF Update Notes #83 | May 2015

From Anthony Radich, Executive Director

This is the 83rd in a continuing series of updates about the work of the Western States Arts Federation.

Visit Our Exhibitor Table at the AFTA Convention in Chicago
Several WESTAF staff will be attending the Americans for the Arts Convention June 12-14, in Chicago. We invite you to stop by our table and say hello! Program, technical, management, and sales staff will be available to answer questions about current WESTAF projects and to provide updates on some of our latest projects as well. This year’s table will feature the recently launched Creative Vitality Suite™, Public Art Archive™, GO: Grants Online™, ZAPPlication®, CallForEntry™ (CaFE™), and our Independent Music on Tour (IMTour™) project. If you or someone you know would like to schedule a time in advance to talk individually with a staff member about any WESTAF project while at the Convention, please email Leah.Horn@westaf.org.

2015 Arts Festival Conference Presented by ZAPP®
The seventh annual Arts Festival Conference, presented by ZAPP, convenes September 24-25, at the Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza. The two-day conference will take place in conjunction with the 84th Annual Plaza Art Fair. The event offers attendees a unique professional development opportunity and the ability to experience one of the nation’s longest running art festivals. This year’s keynote speaker is writer and cultural policy commentator Arlene Goldbard. For additional information about the conference, visit bit.ly/zappcon2015.

Denver Music Summit Recap
In April, WESTAF teamed up with Denver Arts & Venues’ Create Denver initiative to present the third Denver Music Summit. National in scope and local in focus, the three-day summit brought together musicians, industry professionals, civic leaders, and music enthusiasts for educational programming, live performances, and policy engagement. The weekend concluded with an NPR All Songs Considered listening party hosted by Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson, with collaborators DJ Jessi Whitten (OpenAir, Colorado Public Radio), Xavier Dphrepaulezz (Fantastic Negrito) and Thao Nguyen (Thao and the Get Down Stay Down) sitting in as guest panelists.

Barry’s Blog Turns 10
WESTAF has underwritten Barry’s Blog for 10 years now. The blog was initiated by Barry Hessenius, who, at the time of the blog’s founding, was the recent past executive director of the California Arts Council. In a very short period of time, the Barry’s Blog readership grew to include a high number of avid readers. WESTAF congratulates Barry on the 10-year anniversary of his successful blog and invites our Update Notes subscribers to read Barry’s thoughts on 10 years of blogging about the arts by visiting: http://bit.ly/barry10.

WESTAF Update Notes #82 | March 2015

From Anthony Radich, Executive Director

This is the 82nd in a continuing series of updates about the work of the Western States Arts Federation.

WESTAF-Region Arts Advocates Convene in Washington, DC
For the fourth consecutive year, WESTAF brought 50 arts advocates to Washington for an advocacy and leadership seminar. The purpose of the seminar was for participants to learn more about federal arts funding and also for them to communicate the value of federal support for the arts to their members of Congress. The meeting opened with a presentation by political strategist and former Obama campaign official Anita Dunn. Also speaking at the opening dinner was Laura Callanan, the new NEA Senior Deputy Chair. The next day, the group was briefed by Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs for Americans for the Arts. Those briefings were followed by comments by Mike Griffin, the NEA’s Chief of Staff and White House Liaison.

The seminar continued with an update facilitated by NEA Director of States and Regions Laura Scanlan regarding initiatives at the NEA. Jessamyn Sarmiento, NEA Director of Public Affairs, discussed the strategy that will be deployed to celebrate the agency’s 50th anniversary, and Bonnie Nichols, NEA Research Program Analyst, reported on the most recent research reports disseminated by the agency. Finally, Bill O’Brien, Senior Advisor for Program Innovation at the NEA, detailed the agency’s expansive work with the military community and wounded veterans. Following the seminar, participants met with members of Congress in their offices on Capitol Hill.

Creative Vitality Suite™ Launches New Blog
The Creative Vitality Suite (CVSuite) team recently launched a blog in conjunction with the new online creative economy data site. The blog is focused on the effective use of creative economy data and provides tips and best practices related to data-based conversations in the creative economy. The blog currently has two posts. The next post, going up in mid-March, focuses on methods of working with data when the numbers don’t support your case. To access the blog and sign up to receive email updates, visit blog.cvsuite.org.

CallforEntry.org (CaFÉ™) Announces More User-Requested Enhancements
The rapidly expanding Call for Entry (CaFÉ) site has recently released several enhancements based on feedback from longtime users of the system. The site, with over 100,000 artists currently registered, now has the following new features: Favorite calls: Artists can now “favorite” a call and filter calls by their favorites. Advanced Search: Artists can now perform an advanced search of call listings to browse and find calls by call type, eligibility, city, or state. Tagging: Administrators can assign a keyword term to received applications, thus allowing applications to be sorted by tagged terms. In the spring, the CaFÉ team will introduce a new gallery scorecard layout and an improved administrative dashboard. The site has also benefited from a fresh new home page. Take a look at CallforEntry.org.

Grants Online™ Now Integrated with Guidestar®
GO, WESTAF’s online grants management system, now has access to Guidestar and OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control). The GO system’s new GuideStar® API allows administrators to verify the 501(c)(3) status of applicant organizations as well as applicant verification through the OFAC list. These features are built to allow administrators to enable or disable the tools at anytime, foregoing the need for manual checking and data entry.

WESTAF Update Notes #81 | December 2014

From Anthony Radich, Executive Director

This is the 81st in a continuing series of updates about the work of the Western States Arts Federation.

WESTAF Convenes Emerging Arts Leaders of Color
In early October, WESTAF hosted its fourth annual Emerging Leaders of Color Professional Development Seminar. The program brings together diverse cultural leaders recognized for their professional achievements and also their strong commitment to advancing the arts in the region. Coursework and activities are designed to strengthen competencies and prepare participants for leadership positions in the field. The coursework is also designed to deepen participants’  understanding of the arts in the United States and especially how public support for culture contributes to the vibrancy of the sector. Program faculty included long-time arts administrator Margie Johnson Reese; Salvador Acevedo, principal and president of the San Francisco-based consulting firm Contemporánea; and WESTAF Trustee Tamara Alvarado, executive director of the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose. This year’s participants were:

  • Brian J. Carter, Manager of Exhibit Experiences, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Seattle, Washington
  • Luis Escareño, Membership Manager, Center for New Music, San Francisco, California
  • Nurieh Glasgow, Program and Training Officer, ServeWyoming, Casper, Wyoming
  • Joshua Heim, Arts Administrator, City of Redmond, Redmond, Washington
  • Marla Lepe, Director/Founder, ArtFirst Arte Primero, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Nikiko Masumoto, Farmer, Artist, Volunteer, Fresno Regional Foundation/California State University, Fresno, Del Rey, California
  • Ashanti McGee, Assistant Program Director/Grant Writer, Metro Arts Council of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Yvonne Montoya, Director, Safos Dance Theatre, Tucson, Arizona
  • Leta Neustaedter, Owner/Instructor, Metamorphosis Performing Arts Studio, LLC, Boise, Idaho
  • Brandy Reitter, Town Administrator, Town of Buena Vista, Buena Vista, Colorado Moriah Sallaffie, Executive Vice President, Bering Straits Foundation, Nome, Alaska
  • Saniego Sanchez, Director, Dikeou Collection, Denver, Colorado
  • Lehua Simon, Assistant Theatre Manager, Leeward Community College Theatre, Pearl City, Hawai’i
  • Regina Still Smoking, Founder/President, Project Moving Talent Forward, Bozeman, Montana
  • Gabrielle Uballez, Executive Director, Working Classroom, Inc., Albuquerque, New Mexico

For additional information about the Emerging Leaders of Color Seminar or to learn more about WESTAF’s multicultural initiatives, contact Chrissy Deal at Chrissy.Deal@westaf.org.

Chair and Executive Director Forum Takes Place in Santa Fe
On December 8 and 9, WESTAF brought the chairs and executive directors of the state arts agencies in the WESTAF region to Santa Fe for a forum centered on ways to advance those agencies. The meeting included a briefing on the current condition of state budgets presented by Erica Michel from the fiscal affairs office of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Howard Lavine, the former cultural policy advisor to Oregon’s Governor Kulongoski, presented comments on ways to structure state arts agency initiatives and also ways to work effectively with governors. Matt Wilson, who heads the MASSCreative state advocacy group in Massachusetts, shared his experiences in organizing effective creative economy advocacy. Michael Bracy, Washington lobbyist and co-founder of the Future of Music Coalition, spoke about intellectual property and other subjects that are important for state arts agencies to be involved in. Dennis Mangers, Senior Advisor to Senate President Pro Tem, former lobbyist for the cable television industry, and former California state assemblyman, presented perspectives on ways to work effectively with state legislatures and governors’ offices. Marian Orr, a political strategist from Wyoming who works with large corporate interests there but who also represents the arts community in Wyoming’s legislature, discussed ways to be an effective communicator within the state system of elected officials. Also presenting to the group was Dale Erquiaga, who currently serves as Nevada’s Superintendent of Public Instruction and was formerly a chair of WESTAF. Erquiaga shared his views regarding ways to successfully work with governors and their staffs—knowledge he obtained while working as Nevada Governor Sandoval’s Senior Policy Advisor. The meeting was facilitated by former National Endowment for the Arts staffer (Literature) and now venture capitalist Alex Ooms.

WESTAF Update Notes #80 | July 2014

From Anthony Radich, Executive Director

This is the 80th in a continuing series of updates about the work of the Western States Arts Federation.

Resolutions Project Prepares for Public Launch
To help state leaders understand how to make more and better use of their state arts agencies, WESTAF has launched the Resolutions Project. The project is designed to inform elected officials and other leaders of ways they can partner with state arts agencies around education reform, economic development, tourism development, and other key state agenda items. Currently, the project is being introduced to the governing boards of the WESTAF-region state arts agencies and will next be promoted within the regional organizations to which the elected officials belong and that they commonly tap for information to assist them in decision making on key issues.

CaFÉ™ Announces New Packages for Public Art Agencies
CallforEntry.org (CaFÉ), one of WESTAF’s three online application and adjudication systems, continues to grow. Project staff recently developed new pricing specifically for public art agencies based on an annual subscription format. The new subscription approach reduces the government purchasing and procurement burdens faced by many public art administrators and was created to ensure that CaFÉ becomes more broadly available for use by public art agencies and by public artists to compete for commissions. For more information on this new pricing, please contact Kat Stephenson at Kat.Stephenson@westaf.org.

By the way, did you know that WESTAF has been championing public art for nearly 40 years? Our 1976 publication, % for Art: New Legislation Can Integrate Arts and Architecture, served as an early advocacy tool and influential best practices text on government-backed percent-for-art programs for the public good. A PDF version of the publication will soon be available at www.westaf.org/publications_and_research/publications.

CVSuite.org™ Now in Beta
The new Creative Vitality™ Suite is very near public launch. While the development team conducts final testing of the tool, project staff is providing complimentary demonstrations of the CVSuite’s offerings and introducing the newly available data. Over the past six weeks, the team has conducted demonstrations for leaders in the arts field, arts researchers, arts consultants, and directors of arts-administration programs. To schedule a demonstration before the site officially launches to the public, please contact Ivan Frias at Ivan.Frias@westaf.org. Explore what the new tool has to offer at CVSuite.org.

Planning Under Way for Dinner-Vention #2
The second Dinner-Vention program will be held in early October in Denver. The forum, which brings together young leaders who are active in the cultural policy field, was developed by Barry’s Blog editor Barry Hessenius with the support of WESTAF and Shannon Daut, executive director of the Alaska State Council on the Arts. The names of the eight participants in the event will be released soon, and the field will be informed regarding ways to listen in on the conversation.

Congratulations to the California Arts Council
After an incredible effort, the California Arts Council has received a $5 million budget increase. The increase is for one year only; however, the Council is expected to work hard to make the new funds permanent. This increase was the result of tireless efforts by the Council, its staff, and the California Arts Advocates. WESTAF earned-income funds supported a portion of the costs associated with this advocacy effort.

WESTAF Update Notes #79 | April 2014

From Anthony Radich, Executive Director

This is the 79th in a continuing series of updates about the work of the Western States Arts Federation.

Introducing the Creative Vitality™ Suite
Building on the success of its Creative Vitality™ Index, a decade-long research project on the arts and creative economy, WESTAF is launching a new online data tool for measuring the creative economy. The new Creative Vitality™ Suite provides easy and instant access to creative jobs and industry data, cultural nonprofit financial data, workforce demographic information, and state arts agency granting data. Interactive maps and professional reporting tools in the CVSuite™ let users explore and analyze data for every ZIP Code, county, MSA, and state in the nation. For more information or to view a demonstration, please contact Ivan Frias at Ivan.Frias@westaf.org.

Video from WESTAF’s 2014 Symposium Now Available
WESTAF convened its 15th symposium, Creativity and Innovation in Public Education, March 3-4, at architect Frank Gehry’s studio in Los Angeles. The event, hosted in collaboration with the California Arts Council, was live streamed and video is now available. Please visit our homepage to link directly to the video.

2014 Arts Festival Conference to Take Place in Portland
The sixth annual Arts Festival Conference, presented by ZAPP®, will convene August 28-29 at The Benson Hotel in Portland, Oregon. The two-day conference will take place just before the award-winning Art in the Pearl Fine Arts & Crafts Festival and will offer attendees the ability to partake in dedicated professional development and also experience an artist-run fine arts show. Registration is now open at bit.ly/zappcon14. For more information, please contact Christina.Villa@westaf.org.

Folklore Professionals to Convene in Logan, Utah
The Association of Western States Folklorists (AWSF) will hold its annual meeting in Logan, Utah, April 10-12. Sponsored by WESTAF and the National Endowment for the Arts, this year’s conference will run concurrently with the Western States Folklore Society’s annual meeting. The conference will incorporate visits to the site of the Bear River Massacre, an historic barn in the Bear River Heritage Area, and two local artists. Attendees will also enjoy an evening performance featuring folk songs of northern Utah and southeastern Idaho. Professional development workshops will include a review of and in-depth action planning around the “Moving Toward a Sustainable Future” report completed after the 2013 conference as well as discussions related to new models for public folklore, career positioning for independent folklorists, contemporary perspectives on the future of folklore, and regional and intergenerational collaborations. For more information about the AWSF annual meeting, please contact Chrissy Deal at Chrissy.Deal@westaf.org.

Visit Our Exhibitor Table at AFTA’s Annual Convention in Nashville
Several WESTAF staff will be attending this summer’s AFTA convention and will be available to answer questions about current WESTAF projects and provide information about new projects. This year’s exhibitor table will feature the new Creative Vitality™ Suite, Public Art Archive™, Grants Online™, CallForEntry.org™, and the IMTour™ project. If you or someone you know would like to schedule a time in advance to talk individually with a staff member about any WESTAF project while at the convention, please email Leah Horn at Leah.Horn@westaf.org.

WESTAF Update Notes #78 | January 2014

From Anthony Radich, Executive Director

This is the 78th in a continuing series of updates about the work of the Western States Arts Federation.

Initial Participants in WESTAF’s 15th Cultural Policy Symposium Announced
In collaboration with the California Arts Council, WESTAF will sponsor its 2014 symposium, Creativity and Innovation in Public Education. This 15th gathering of arts and policy experts will convene March 3-5 at architect Frank Gehry’s studio in Santa Monica. Gehry will also present the opening symposium address. Confirmed symposium participants include: James S. Catterall, Director, Centers for Research on Creativity, Professor Emeritus, University of California Los Angeles; Robert Bilder, Director, Tennenbaum Center for the Biology of Creativity, University of California Los Angeles; Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein, authors of Sparks of Genius, Michigan State University; Edward P. Clapp, Research Specialist, Project Zero, Harvard; Harvey Seifter, Founder and Director, Art of Science Learning; Margaret Brommelsiek, Director, Interprofessional Education Health Sciences Schools, University of Missouri–Kansas City; Gerald Richards, CEO, 826 International; Mark A. Runco, E. Paul Torrance Professor of Creativity Studies, University of Georgia; James Haywood Rolling, Jr., Dual Associate Professor, Art Education and Teaching and Leadership, Syracuse University; and Joel Slayton, Executive Director, Zero1 Art and Technology Network.

The symposium will conclude a special convening of CREATE CA. CREATE CA is a collaborative project of the California Alliance for Arts Education, the California Arts Council, the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, and the the California Department of Education. CREATE CA teams innovative thinkers from multiple sectors of California’s creative economy–public and private. The purpose of this teaming is to create an educational environment for all California students that features arts education as a central element in K-12 education.

WESTAF’s Third Arts Leadership and Advocacy Meeting Announced
WESTAF will bring 50 arts leaders from the West to Washington, DC February 3-5 for an Advocacy and Leadership Seminar. The group will receive briefings regarding the status and future of federal arts funding, hear reports on programmatic developments at the NEA, and meet with non-arts experts who work with federal-level issues. The meeting will open with a presentation by Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein and conclude with arranged visits to the offices of members of Congress from the WESTAF-region.

WESTAF Convenes Young Arts Leaders of Color from Across the Region
WESTAF hosted its third annual Young Leaders of Color Professional Development Seminar November 14-15, in Denver. The two-day session brought together 12 diverse cultural leaders recognized by state arts agencies and other senior state arts leaders for their professional achievements and strong commitment to advancing the arts in the region. The session was led by long-time arts administrator Margie Reese. She was assisted by Salvador Acevedo, President of the San Francisco-based consulting firm Contemporánea, and WESTAF Trustee Tamara Alvarado, Director of Community Access and Engagement for the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose.

Invited participants for the 2013 seminar included: Claudia Borjas, Arts Representative, Utah Division of Arts and Museums, Salt Lake City, Utah; Danielle Brooks, Poet, Owner, RhapsoDee Entertainment Group, Aurora, Colorado; SuJ’n Chon, Arts Consultant, Novum Lux, Seattle, Washington; Anastacio Del Real, Cultural Specialist/Co-Founder and CEO, City of Las Vegas Office of Cultural Affairs/Fiesta Las Vegas Latino Parade and Festival, Las Vegas, Nevada; Abe Flores, Field Education and Leadership Programs Manager, Americans for the Arts, Washington, DC; Jadira Gurule, Graduate Student, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Myrlin Hepworth, Poet, Teacher and Co-Founder, Phonetic Spit, Phoenix, Arizona; Cindy Im, Development Manager and Actor, Theatre Bay Area, San Francisco, California; Estria Miyashiro, Artist/Creative Director, Estria Foundation, Honolulu, Hawai’i; Robin Mullins, Managing Director, Portland Taiko, Portland, Oregon; Madalena Salazar, Latino Cultural Programs Coordinator, Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado; and Rico Worl, Arts Director and Jinéit Store Manager, Sealaska Heritage Institute, Juneau, Alaska.

For more information about WESTAF’s Young Leaders of Color Seminar or other multicultural initiatives, please contact Chrissy.Deal@WESTAF.org.

WESTAF Update Notes #77 | October 2013

From Anthony Radich, Executive Director

This is the 77th in a continuing series of updates about the work of the Western States Arts Federation.

WESTAF and Barry’s Blog host Dinner-Vention
On September 6, 2013, WESTAF’s Dinner-Vention project brought 12 young, influential, and diverse arts leaders together for dinner and a discussion of critical issues facing the arts sector. The dinner took place at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program facilities in Woodside, California. Margot Knight, a former WESTAF Trustee and current director of the Djerassi organization, made the Djerassi location and co-sponsorship possible. The Dinner-Vention was created and organized by Barry Hessenius (of Barry’s Blog), Shannon Daut, Executive Director of the Alaska State Council on the Arts, and WESTAF. The organizers used a small national advisory committee to select the participants.

Participants in the meeting included: Salvador Acevedo, President, Contemporánea, San Francisco; Tamara Alvarado, Director of Community Access and Engagement, School of Arts and Culture, San Jose; Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Director of Performing Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Kimberly Howard, Trust Manager, Oregon Cultural Trust, Salem; Lex Leifheit, Executive Director, SOMArts, San Francisco; Clayton Lord, Vice President for Local Advancement, Americans for the Arts, Washington, DC;  Nina Simon, Director, Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz; Devon Smith, Director of Social Media and Analytics, Threespot, Washington, DC; Kristin Thomson, Consultant, Future of Music Coalition, Washington, DC; Margy Waller, Senior Fellow, Topos Partnership, Cincinnati; Meiyin Wang, Associate Artistic Producer, Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival, New York; and Laura Zabel, Executive Director, Springboard for the Arts, St. Paul. The gathering was captured via video and will be made available online. Additional information about this project is available at Barry’s Blog: blog.westaf.org.

Updates to ZAPP® Onsite
The ZAPP® Onsite tool, launched last winter, freed art festival judges from toting around cumbersome binders and clipboards when walking booth-to-booth to determine award winners. Now, thanks to a recent upgrade, ZAPP Onsite has made it even easier for art fairs to use the latest technology for the onsite adjudication of art fair artists. The new feature addresses the need for some art fairs to work with intermittent network connectivity. Because many of these fairs are in outdoor settings, maintaining continuous connectivity is often a problem. Adjudicators using the ZAPP Onsite system are now able to load data for a festival and then score the entire festival without connecting to the Internet again until the final scores are submitted. Those interested in learning more about the Onsite module should contact ZAPP Program Manager Leah Charney at Leah.charney@westaf.org.

WESTAF Joins Rasmuson Funders Tour
For 17 years, Alaska’s Rasmuson Foundation has brought out-of-state funders to the state to introduce them to Alaska’s leaders and important projects and organizations. This year, WESTAF Executive Director Anthony Radich joined the group, which included leaders from the ExxonMobil Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Paul G. Allen Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Sites visited included projects in Barrow, Bethel, Prudhoe Bay, Sitka, Anchorage, and Napaskiak, an Alaska Native village. The group also met with the state’s Governor, United States Senators, and other political, business, and philanthropic leaders.

WESTAF Update Notes #76 | June 2013

From Anthony Radich, Executive Director

This is the 76th in a continuing series of updates about the work of the Western States Arts Federation.

CaFÉ™ Launches More User-Requested Enhancements
WESTAF’s CaFÉ system recently released a new “Letters of Reference” feature, which allows organizations to accept formal letters of reference and letters of recommendation as part of their application requirements. With this new capability, CaFÉ can now be used for graduate school portfolio admissions, grant, fellowship, and scholarship awards–as well as any other application process in which formal letters of reference may be required. For more information about this new feature, contact Raquel.Vasquez@westaf.org.

ZAPP® Announces 2013 Arts Festival Conference DetailsThe fifth annual Arts Festival Conference, presented by ZAPP, will feature sessions focused on small business and nonprofit marketing, branding, sales, portfolio reviews, and art fair and festival best practices. In addition, a panel of experts will lead the well-regarded annual art fair symposium, a thought-provoking discussion that has become a staple of the annual conference. This year’s symposium will be centered on issues of fair use, imitation vs. inspiration, and copyright law. The conference takes place October 7-8, 2013, in Louisville, Kentucky. For additional information, contact Leah.Charney@westaf.org.

Introducing YouJudgeIt™In response to requests for a very low cost online adjudication system, WESTAF Technology Associate Osvaldo Gama has built such a system, which is now ready for use. This latest WESTAF offering is designed for community groups that wish to organize art competitions on a low budget, art fairs just getting started that do not need the marketing power of the ZAPPlication system, and galleries collecting works from artists for consideration for future use. YouJudgeIt has significant potential for non-arts use and can accommodate any adjudication process using images and text to select. The site will soon be marketed for use in non-arts jurying applications such as car shows, dog shows, antique shows, and fashion shows. For more information, contact Daniel.Aid@westaf.org.

Public Art Archive™ Collection Management Working Group Convenes in PittsburghThe Archive team gathered 18 public art administrators and consultants from across the country in Pittsburgh, at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention. The group advised Archive staff on features and services for the public art field that are to be built into the public-art-oriented collections management system now in development. For more information, contact Rachel.Cain@westaf.org.

WESTAF Executive Directors Convene in AlbuquerqueWESTAF held its twice-annual meeting of the region’s state arts agency executive directors June 10-11 in Albuquerque. The meeting began with a private tour of the National Hispanic Cultural Center conducted by WESTAF Trustee Tey Marianna Nunn, director of the center’s art museum. The museum featured the exhibition “Stitching Resistance: The History of Chilean Arpilleras and Mundos de Mestizaje,” which centered on work related to the period of “the disappeared “ in Chile. Nunn organized the exhibition, a stunning addition to the body of art about this difficult time that remains not fully resolved. In the main session, Diane Grams, professor of sociology at Tulane University, presented a summary of her research on diversity and change in nonprofit arts and the meaning of Mardi Gras Indian parades and participatory parade art in New Orleans. Afterwards, Kris Swedin of Creative Santa Fe and John Grassham of Creative Albuquerque spoke about their work and the challenges they face providing leadership for arts and culture based community and economic development. The directors also discussed ways to use the WESTAF Resolutions Project to best encourage change in their states and heard a report about the results of the Wallace Foundation leadership project managed by Kris Tucker, executive director of Washington’s state arts agency.

WESTAF Update Notes #75 | April 2013

From Anthony Radich, Executive Director

This is the 75th in a continuing series of updates about the work of the Western States Arts Federation.

ZAPP Announces New Enhancements and 2013 Arts Festival Conference Location
The ZAPP® system launched a series of significant enhancements for both artists and festival administrators this spring. The improved artist interface employs a sleeker, modern look and convenient ways to interact with the art festival community. Artists also enjoy smarter ways to locate and more easily apply to shows, including a searchable calendar, improved keyword search, and the ability to mark shows as favorites for years to come. Administrator features include enhanced editing and customization options, as well as tools to make communicating with artists even easier and more efficient. In other ZAPP® news, the 2013 ZAPP-sponsored Arts Festival Conference location and dates have been announced. The fifth annual ZAPP® festival industry convening will take place October 7-8, in Louisville, KY. The conference is organized for the more than 600 arts festival users of the ZAPP® system but is open to any art fair administrator or artist.

WESTAF and the NEA to Host Accessibility Institute in Denver
The National Endowment for the Arts is partnering with WESTAF to co-host an accessibility conference June 6-7, 2013, in Denver, CO. The event will bring together approximately 40 arts professionals, including state arts agency accessibility coordinators and a variety of arts administrators interested in accessibility issues. Participants will engage in a day and a half of accessibility training and will also have an opportunity to work directly with Beth Bienvenu, the Director of Accessibility for the NEA. Session topics will include online technology and accessibility, arts and aging, current trends in ways organizations are addressing accessibility, and an introduction to new accessibility resources. For more information on this training, contact Leah Horn at Leah.Horn@WESTAF.org.

The International Award for Public Art in Shanghai
At the invitation of Jack Becker, editor of Public Art Review, Anthony Radich attended the conference and awards ceremony for the International Award for Public Art, which took place April 11-15, in Shanghai. The first-time event was a most impressive collaboration between Becker’s organization, Forecast Public Art, and Shanghai University. The contacts from that world conference will influence the development of WESTAF’s Public Art Archive. Following the conference, Radich accompanied his wife, Sonja Foss, on her multi-city China lecture tour. During the tour, she presented her theoretical work on invitational rhetoric to faculty students at major universities in China.

More on the Arts Education Tax in PortlandBecause of the intense interest in the new Portland, Oregon, income tax to support arts education, WESTAF commissioned arts writer Dinah Zeiger to produce a monograph on the subject. This detailing of how the initiative was conceptualized, campaigned for, and ultimately passed is available on the WESTAF website: www.westaf.org/assets/pdf/Portland_Arts_Tax.pdf.

Folk Arts Professionals Meet at the Vee Bar RanchFor more than 20 years, WESTAF has supported the annual meeting of the Association of Western States Folklorists. The recently concluded meeting at the Vee Bar Ranch April 25-27, in Wyoming featured a focus on younger people entering the field. Recognizing the need to include more young professionals in the meeting of a field that has not experienced much transition in leadership, WESTAF supported the attendance of 11 young professionals at the meeting. The new professionals were featured in a session in which they made presentations on the challenges they face in succeeding in their profession. For more information about this meeting, contact Jen Toews at Jen.Toews@WESTAF.org.

WESTAF Update Notes #74 | February 2013

From Anthony Radich, Executive Director

This is the 74th in a continuing series of updates about the work of the Western States Arts Federation.

WESTAF Introduces YouJudgeIt.org™
The WESTAF technology team and project administrators have been working to rebuild and expand some key WESTAF technology offerings. Major improvements are underway to the heavily used arts sites ZAPPlication.org®, CallForEntry.org™, and GO:GrantsOnline.org™. While working on improvements to these projects, the technology staff has also been developing a new site called YouJudgeIt.org™. YouJudgeIt is designed especially for the smallest arts organization, the thriftiest church group, and the most under-resourced community fair. The site was built to be much simpler than WESTAF’s more advanced sites and is affordably priced to introduce a whole new group of users to online-adjudication technology developed and administered by WESTAF for the benefit of the arts. The site is currently in testing and is expected to be available in April.

Public Art Archive™ Senior Advisory Committee Convenes in Denver
The members of WESTAF’s Senior Advisory Committee for the Public Art Archive project met January 10-11, 2013, in Denver. Agenda items included: a) a presentation and discussion of the capabilities and limitations of Wikipedia and other crowdsourcing sites to accommodate public art; b) a presentation of the latest developments in cataloging and classification systems for public art and the future development of the Archive to serve the specific needs of the field in this area; c) a discussion of the criteria to be used to evaluate strategic partnerships proposed by social media entrepreneurs; d) a discussion about ways to work with governmental bodies to collect information about public art; and e) a discussion of ways to invite the public to help document public art processes in a sophisticated and comprehensive way.

WESTAF Leadership and Advocacy Meeting
WESTAF trustees and a small group of state arts leaders will convene February 27-March 1, 2013, in Washington, D.C.. The purposes of the meeting are to engage in briefings regarding the status and future prospects for federal arts support, to meet with members of Congress and their staffs, and to join the WESTAF trustees in a discussion of ways to generate more state-government support for the work of state arts agencies. This meeting follows up on a December 2011 WESTAF meeting in Washington to which WESTAF brought 55 arts advocates from across the West for a similar purpose. The 2013 meeting will be slightly condensed and include a different mix of participants. The condensing was undertaken to avoid duplication of the efforts of NASAA, which hosted a major meeting for state arts agency chairs and executive directors in Washington, D.C. last October.

Portland’s New Arts Education Access Fund
The attachment to this edition of Update Notes contains a description of a new voter-approved fund to support arts education in the schools. WESTAF presents a summary of the effort because it represents a major advance for arts education advocates, and we want to spread the word that, even in these days of limited expectations about what the public sector can and should do for the arts, the public continues to have an interest in supporting the arts!

Creative Advocacy Network Achieves Breakthrough Victory with Income Tax Measure

Arts Education and Access Fund becomes first dedicated public fund for the arts

On November 6, 2012, voters in Portland, Oregon, passed a landmark $35 per-taxpayer income tax to restore arts teachers to every local elementary school and fund the arts citywide. The measure will raise a total of $12.2 million in annual net revenue with approximately 69% funding arts teachers and arts education coordination and the remaining 31% funding nonprofit arts organizations and grants to increase arts access for Portland residents. The Arts Education and Access Fund was years in the making and is the first local public fund to make targeted investments in both K-12 arts education and community-based arts organizations through a voter-approved income tax. Here’s how they did it.

For decades, arts leaders and elected officials worked to improve Portland’s creative capacity with the understanding that arts, culture, and creativity shape neighborhoods, improve the education system, boost economic development, and enhance livability. In 2008, Portland mayor-elect Sam Adams invited elected officials from each of the three counties that make up the Portland Metropolitan Region to join him in convening more than 1,500 community members for a region-wide discussion on the future of the arts. Together, they developed a Creative Action Plan for Portland called Act for Art, and central to that plan was the establishment of a new dedicated funding stream for arts and arts education. The Creative Advocacy Network (CAN) was established as an independent 501(c)3 organization to develop and advocate for this proposed new public fund for the arts. In 2009, CAN’s work began.

With an annual budget of under $300,000; a staff of 2-3; and funding from the city of Portland, arts patrons and member organizations, CAN’s sole mission was to establish a dedicated public fund for the arts to increase access to arts and culture for every resident, make free arts and music experiences available to every school-age child in classrooms and communities, and strengthen the highest quality arts organizations to allow Portland to reach its true creative and cultural potential. To achieve this goal, it had to build an investment plan that met the needs of the region’s diverse arts, education, civic and business interests, identify a funding source that would raise enough money annually, inspire voter support during the worst recession of our generation, navigate a path to the ballot through signature gathering or the right local government partnership, and build a movement of support strong enough to carry it to victory.

What began as an effort rooted firmly in the nonprofit arts community, shaped by a focus on strategic grantmaking, evolved dramatically when CAN began to look more closely at the steep decline of arts and music teachers in area schools. Shocked that 11,596 Portland children attend schools that do not have any art, dance, drama, or music instruction, CAN went public with Portland’s arts education crisis and began a conversation with Portland’s six school superintendents brokered by Mayor Sam Adams. Together, they developed a plan to restore arts education to every Portland elementary school by funding teachers and community-based arts education programs. This promise became the core of Portland’s groundbreaking Arts Education and Access Fund.

Public interest and outrage heightened when on April 2, 2012, the U.S. Department of
 released its
first study of
arts education
in more than
10 years and clearly showcased how far behind Portland had fallen. Only 18% of Portland elementary schools provide art instruction compared to 83% nationally, and just 58% of Portland elementary schools provide music instruction compared to 94% nationally. While twenty-eight percent of all Portland schools provide no arts instruction of any kind–no music, drama, dance, or visual arts. This is compared to just 3% of schools nationally.

By June 27, 2012, when Mayor Sam Adams led Portland City Council in referring CAN’s proposed new public fund for the arts to the November, 2012, ballot, it had successfully forged an innovative new three-way partnership between the city, Portland’s six school districts, and the nonprofit arts community–with 10,000 supporters signed on, 68 member organizations on board, 5,000 volunteer hours logged, and 76% support for the ballot measure in early polling.

When campaign time came, CAN formed a 501(c)4 sister organization to lobby for the ballot measure and launched the Schools & Arts Together campaign to get out the yes vote for what had become Ballot Measure 26-146. After a heated campaign, during which nearly every notable news source opposed the so-called “arts tax” and two other proposed money measures for school construction and permanent library funding divided the vote, the Arts Education and Access Fund passed with a triumphant 62% of the vote.

Portland’s new $35 income tax for income-earning adult residents of Portland (and exempting any taxpayer under the federal poverty limit) will be due annually beginning in April, 2013. When the school year begins next fall, nearly 70 elementary school arts teachers will be sustainably funded, every elementary school student in Portland’s six school districts will be guaranteed an arts education and arts supplies, and programs and field trips will be made available for all school-age children through grant funding to Portland’s schools and nonprofits. In addition, Portland’s nonprofit arts organizations will have the public support they need to bring the arts to life for every Portland resident, providing free arts experiences, reaching underserved communities, and developing imaginative community-based arts experiences for children all while continuing to shape its neighborhoods, fuel its economy, educate its children and bring the region together. In Portland, $35 goes a long way.

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