All Posts By

Samantha Ortega

Bi-Weekly Recap: September 9, 2019

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Dear Trustees:   Really fun and productive few weeks, including a remarkable trip to the Black Rock playa of NW Nevada (more on this below) and great progress on a variety of important fronts! Read on . . .   WESTAF AT WAA Chrissy and Seyan attended the Western Arts Alliance’s annual conference August 27-29 in Los Angeles. As a longtime partner in WESTAF’s regional touring program, it was a rich learning opportunity for Chrissy, who is gradually assuming responsibility of WESTAF’s TourWest program and key relationships with leaders in the touring and presenting field. (TourWest is our competitive grant program…

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Bi-Weekly Recap: August 26, 2019

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Dear Trustees:   Just a brief bi-weekly follows (although still choc-a-bloc with helpful updates!):   ALASKA In case you missed it — here’s a recap of the tumultuous week: We recently shared with you the disheartening news that Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy line-item vetoed a bipartisan budget package put forth by the Alaska legislature, which eliminated all FY20 funding for the Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA). We are now delighted to report that full funding for ASCA has been restored! As NASAA recently reported, after Governor Dunleavy’s line-item veto of 182 items, including all funds for ASCA, the…

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Bi-Weekly Recap: August 9, 2019

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Dear WESTAF trustees: Usually, this bi-weekly recap finds its way to you on Mondays, but I’m getting a bit of jump on it this week, and no shortage of activity on the WESTAF front! More information coming at ya! Questions? By all means reach out! Here we go:   SNEAK PREVIEW OF OCTOBER BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING IN DENVER Plans for our October 23 – 24 trustees meeting are coming together. We should have a hotel and meeting location to announce soon! It’s going to be a jam-packed few days, with planned encounters between trustees and staff (at cocktails and…

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Bi-weekly Recap: July 26, 2019

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Dear Trustees:   It’s a really busy season at WESTAF—lots has unfolded with lots more in development! Read on…   ALASKA This situation continues to unfold in a frightful way. While there is still some hope pinned to the Capital Budget, there is not a lot of attendant optimism for a positive outcome. On Friday morning, WESTAF released an official statemen to all of social media channels and email lists to level-set its stance and commitment regarding the situation. During our State Arts Agency Professional Development Session in Denver last week, we hosted a moderated Q&A session with ASCA Chair Ben…

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Update Notes #104 | July 2019

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WESTAF Update Notes #104 | July 2019 This is the 104th in a continuing series of updates about the work of WESTAF.   Update on Alaska State Council on the Arts Many of you are aware of the situation in Alaska. For those who have not been tracking the issue, on Friday, June 28, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy cut $444 million from Alaska’s state operating budget, slashing services in addition to the cuts already made by the Alaska Legislature—an action that effectively eliminated the Alaska State Council on the Arts. Absent of state sales or income tax, funding for public…

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Update Notes #103 | May 2019

By | Convenings, CVSuite, Multiculturalism, PAA | No Comments

WESTAF Update Notes #103 | May 2019 This is the 103rd in a continuing series of updates about the work of WESTAF.   Multicultural Advisory Committee Meeting in Seattle WESTAF’s Multicultural Advisory Committee (MAC) had a productive meeting in Seattle April 16-17. The Committee was joined by Washington-based WESTAF trustees as well as cultural leaders from various Seattle-based organizations, including LANGSTON, the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, and the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. The conversation focused on the importance and impact of a sustained investment in racial and social justice work and the need for…

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Bi-weekly Recap: July 15, 2019

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ALASKA Most of you have been closely following the situation in Alaska. Absent of state sales or income tax, funding for public services in Alaska is derived from oil and gas industry revenue that is directed into the Alaska Permanent Fund—a $44 billion state savings account, some of which is returned annually to Alaska residents in the form of Permanent Fund Dividends (PFDs). These funds are around $3K per year, per Alaskan, although the exact amount is still one of many unresolved legislative issues as of Friday, July 12  the legislature ended their effort to overturn the governor’s vetoes.  …

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Bi-Weekly Recap: June 28, 2019

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Hello WESTAF Trustees:   I’ve been on the road in California during this last bi-weekly period. I want to thank and acknowledge the WESTAF Leadership Resource Team (Adam, Amy, Christina, Chrissy, Leah and Seyan) for continuing their important work budgeting, planning, running businesses, maintaining technology, interviewing DoPP candidates and managing the team during my absence. They’ve been so thoughtful, collaborative and productive, and kept me engaged and on my toes during my time out of the office. This bi-weekly is dedicated to them!   WESTAF BUDGETING We have completed a first – and rough- draft of the WESTAF FY20 budget!…

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Bi-Weekly Recap: June 17, 2019

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Dear Trustees:   This is just a brief update as I am on vacation as well as on the road this week and next in California:   WESTAF Budgeting The Leadership Resource Team (LRT) has been deep in budgeting mode these past few weeks. Because we’ve made some modifications to the team structure and areas of responsibility have been shifting to reflect this new structure, there have also been some changes to the budgeting process, which we’re working through. While challenging at times to implement, we believe these changes will enhance ownership, transparency and accountability.   State Arts Agency Performing…

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