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!

WESTAF's Regional Partner Handbook Cover - blue watercolor background with the WESTAF logo and a dancer in a white dress. Text reads Regional Partner Handbook, Revision 2022

The WESTAF Policy Cohort Announces the Regional Partner Handbook

With support from the Alliances, Advocacy, and Policy (AAP) division, the WESTAF Policy Cohort created the Regional Partner Handbook to provide ample resources for leaders in state and jurisdictional arts agencies, state art advocacy groups, and other constituencies in the West. The handbook will serve as a guide to national and regional resources and offer advice from the field about how to navigate these roles. WESTAF seeks to foster a sense of community throughout our region, and it is with this handbook that we hope to cultivate a strong support system.

Creative Vitality Summit Logo

The Creative Vitality™ Summit Returns!

We invite you to register to join us virtually on November 30 and December 1, 2022, for a series of discussions from today’s creative economy experts, arts and culture leaders, and equity champions. Check out the Summit site to view session information, learn what to expect from the event, see the schedule, and get to know the Summit speakers.

This year’s Creative Vitality™ Summit will feature four panels with community-led discussions around how the creative economy intersects with technology, digital placekeeping, and more. These discussions will also delve into creative economy development through liberatory investment models, as well as belonging and civic imagination.

People sitting around a U-shaped table in a well-lit room with paintings hanging from the ceiling beam in the foreground

Washington Creative Economy Strategic Plan Consultation Process Continues with First Statewide Work Group Meeting and Regional Discussion Groups

In September, WESTAF, Cultural Planning Group (CPG), and Third Way Creative facilitated the first meeting of a statewide Creative Economy Strategic Plan work group and organized a series of consultation sessions in a number of communities throughout the state of Washington. The team attended town halls organized by Western Arts Advocacy Network (WAAN) partner Inspire Washington and hosted discussion groups in Wenatchee, Winthrop, Twisp, Olympia, and Yakima from September 6-16 to gain insights about local opportunities and needs, potential policy interventions, and the composition of the creative economy in different regions of the state. The creative economy strategic plan workgroup met September 12 and 13 at the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at Evergreen State College. During the two-day gathering, participants engaged in rich discussions around the WESTAF and CPG initial economic analysis and policy research and plans for consulting with stakeholders across the state. The group discussed methodological approaches, definitional challenges, deep inequities in Washington’s creative industries, and the wide ranging regional economies and cultural contexts of the state.

A group of people gathered for a photo at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center

Bay Area Arts Policy and Leadership Seminar continues in Oakland

The Bay Area Arts Policy and Leadership cohort met at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center on August 23, 2022. This fourth meeting (second in-person gathering) focused on beginning to envision the future of this emerging coalition and better defining its goals. During the session, the group discussed local issues and aspects of their draft policy framework with local arts agencies and private philanthropy leaders. Participants included: Roberto Bedoya, cultural affairs manager, City of Oakland; Kerry Adams Hapner, director, Cultural Affairs, City of San Jose; Jennifer Lovvron, chief cultural affairs officer, City of Berkeley; Ted Russell, director arts strategy and ventures, Kenneth Rainin Foundation; and Adam Fong, program officer, Performing Arts, Hewlett Foundation.