All Posts By

Samantha Ortega

Bi-weekly Recap: July 26, 2019

By Board of Trustees Bi-Weekly Recap

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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WESTAF Update Notes #104 | July 2019

By Staff, Updates, ZAPP

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 services in Alaska is derived from oil…

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WESTAF Update Notes #103 | May 2019

By Convenings, CVSuite, PAA, Social Responsibility & Inclusion

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 cultural organizations rooted in community to inform…

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Bi-weekly Recap: July 15, 2019

By Board of Trustees Bi-Weekly Recap

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

By Board of Trustees Bi-Weekly Recap

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

By Board of Trustees Bi-Weekly Recap

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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Bi-Weekly Recap: June 3, 2019

By Board of Trustees Bi-Weekly Recap

Dear WESTAF Board of Trustees:   It’s been an exciting few weeks! Lots of activity, but here are some of the highlights:   Strategic Plan Launch! On Wednesday 5/29 and Thursday 5/30, the WESTAF team formally launched their Ten Year Vision and Strategic Plan! This consisted of a “StratPlan Faire,” which included training around this Agenda, and focusing in on this Strategic Plan Cohort FAQ. Each individual cohort split up into their group together for the first time to self-organize and also to review a preliminary Scoping Document (in this case, the Thought Leadership & Reach/Communications Scoping Doc), and to…

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Bi-Weekly Recap: May 20, 2019

By Board of Trustees Bi-Weekly Recap

Dear Trustees: Thank you so very much for your energy, wisdom and generosity at the board meeting in Bozeman this past week! It was great to see you all and re-connect since the Salt Lake City meeting. For those who weren’t able to make it — we missed you, but managed to muddle through nonetheless! A huge thanks to Trustee and Treasurer Cyndy Andrus for hosting the group, curating such wonderful guests and for her great presentation at the board meeting. It was a treat to be in Montana, and I want to go back soon! Per some of your…

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Bi-Weekly Recap: May 9, 2019

By Board of Trustees Bi-Weekly Recap

Greetings WESTAF Trustees: This bi-weekly update is coming at you a few days late (apologies) as I’ve been on the road visiting arts organizations, WESTAF friends and constituents in Phoenix (thank you, Teniqua Broughton!) and Reno (thank you, Dana Bennett!). A more complete update on the outcomes of these visits will be forthcoming in the next bi-weekly. In the meantime, here’s a slightly abbreviated one, because we’ll be diving into lots of WESTAF goings-on at the Board of Trustees meeting in Bozeman, MT next week:   BAR CAT and STRAT PLAN We’ll be giving a complete progress report on items…

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Bi-Weekly Recap: April 22, 2019

By Board of Trustees Bi-Weekly Recap

Dear Trustees: It’s hard to believe that with all of the gorgeous weather we’ve had recently, that the last “bomb cyclone” snowpocalypse hit Denver in one last (!) gasp of snowy winter within the period of this bi-weekly update! The WESTAF office was closed April 10-11 due to horrendous driving conditions, and thanks to email, slack, etc., team members again did a great job of coordinating WFH schedules, maintaining customer support and keeping the business of WESTAF up and running in spite of the elements. Hopefully that’s the last of it and now summer is well and truly here! I…

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