WESTAF Impacts Policy

Through involving and inspiring regional and national legislators and business leaders, collaborating with advocates and aligning public perception, WESTAF promotes the stability and growth of resources for the arts.

The Alliances, Advocacy, and Policy (AAP) division connects, coordinates, and mobilizes a western and national network of artists, administrators, public officials, and influencers within and outside the arts field to build awareness of arts-related issues to drive legislation and policy. In this capacity, the team leads a variety of efforts, including conducting arts policy research, delivering professional development programs for state arts agencies, advancing and supporting the work of arts advocates, and convening thought leaders in the field. The team also develops mutually beneficial relationships with organizations and individuals across the sector and manages WESTAF’s external relations, including our engagement with public sector agencies and philanthropy.

Latest AAP News and Resources

This page is updated monthly, so be sure to check back often to stay up-to-date on the latest alliances, advocacy and policy news!

Support FY24 Funding for the NEA and NEH

As Congress heads back into session after August recess, now is the time for advocates for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to demonstrate their support for the arts and cultural endowments.

The federal budget process for FY24 is underway and members of the House Freedom Caucus have proposed deep budget cuts and inserted conservative social amendments to various appropriations bills. These amendments threaten free expression, choice, identity, and efforts to promote diversity and equity. This trend indicates that advocates must be prepared for similar amendments to NEA and NEH funding when the Interior appropriations bill heads to the floor when Congress reconvenes in September.

Prior to August recess, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended funding the NEA and NEH at $207 million (level funding from FY23), while the House Appropriations Committee recommended $185 million (10% decrease from FY23).

To get involved, contact your member of congress to support at least $211 million for NEA and NEH funding and to oppose any restrictive grantmaking amendments.

Updates to WESTAF’s Regional Partner Handbook

WESTAF’s Regional Partner Handbook, created by the policy cohort in collaboration with the Alliances, Advocacy and Policy (AAP) division, has been updated! This handbook is packed with helpful resources and information for state and jurisdictional arts agencies, state art advocacy groups, and other constituents in the West. We hope this handbook serves as a valuable resource to all who lead the charge for arts and culture in our communities.

FestPAC Returning in 2024

The 13th Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture (FestPAC, the world’s largest celebration of Indigenous Pacific Islanders) will convene in Hawaiʻi, June 6–16, 2024. The South Pacific Commission (now The Pacific Community – SPC) launched this dynamic showcase of arts and culture in 1972 to halt the erosion of traditional practices through ongoing cultural exchange. While originally scheduled to take place in 2020, FestPAC was the first major festival in Hawaiʻi to be postponed as the COVID-19 pandemic grew. This decision was made early on in order to prioritize the health and safety of Hawaiʻi residents and visiting delegations. The 2024 date maintains the four-year cycle of festivals while maximizing the opportunity for delegations to participate as their own Pacific island nations recover from the economic and social impacts of the pandemic. In March, WESTAF had the privilege of attending the 36th Meeting of the Council of Pacific Arts and Culture at the East-West Centre in Honolulu, Hawai’i, as invited observers where we were able to learn more about the plans for the Festival.