This is just a brief update as I am on vacation as well as on the road this week and next in California:
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 Arts Directors (SAAPAD) Pro Dev – June 3-4
The SAAPAD meeting included a tour and conversation with the leadership and staff of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, an internationally esteemed organization that operates beyond the traditional performing arts model—home to the CRPD Ensemble, Academy, Theatre, and Education programs. The group learned about how the National Performance Network (NPN) is operationalizing equity through their artist and peer networks, convenings and conferences. This professional development program continues to strengthen the connections between performing arts directors and presenters consortia throughout the West. Staff is looking to build on this year’s model of exchange between attendees and site visits for 2020.
SAA Professional Development session – July 25-26, Denver
As of today, there are 24 confirmed SAA Professional Development session attendees who will take a deeper dive into: the legal implications for nonprofits who receive support from the cannabis industry; the arts in rural communities; the intersection of the arts, politics and community organizing and a collaborative grant-making program that fosters cross-sector work through the arts; peer-led roundtable discussions on relevant, group-identified topics.
State Arts Agency Executive Director Briefing Call
On 6/10, Erin and Christian hosted a briefing call with the SAA EDs to give them a brief report on the last BOT meeting. Thank you to Karen (who chaired the last meeting) for giving this report. I also reported out on the status of the search for a new Director of Public Policy (below), and we discussed the timing of the next proposed ED Forum.
Director of Public Policy Interviews Update
On 6/10 and 6/11, we conducted a preliminary screen of a pool of nine candidates for this position. I’m pleased to say that there are some strong and qualified candidates for the position. From this initial pool, we have selected four candidates and an alternate. Two are from out of state. Three are POC. The next round of in-person interviews is happening in late June.
Notable Meetings/Touch Bases
I had a lovely lunch meeting with Deborah Jordy, Executive Director of the SCFD (Colorado’s Scientific and Cultural Facilities District). Later in the week, we attended the opening of Colorado artist Clark Richert at MCA Denver. We’ve resolved to figure out a way we can work more closely together. Deborah is also an AFTA board member. Had coffee with Lisa Gedgaudas and Matt Kowal of Create Denver/Denver Arts and Venues. They are doing some interesting work in performing arts emergency preparedness and music industry vitality in the city of Denver. I had a good meet ‘n’ greet telephone call with Leonardo Vasquez, Executive Director of the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking (NCCP). In addition to their growing network of national convenings (including the upcoming CPL Summit/Pacific taking place in Los Angeles this week, which I will be attending), they also have been busy building a curriculum and certification around creative placemaking. Given WESTAF’s leadership around creative economy, there is potentially a partnership/tie-in here. Last but not least, I finally met Tim Wilson, Executive Director of our “sister organization,” the Western Arts Alliance (WAA). We also had an informal meet ‘n’ greet call to get better acquainted. Tim also attended and reported out on their numerous touring and presenting activities at the SAAPAD meeting.
Anthony Radich Party
On 6/6, Anthony and Sonja hosted a lovely party for current and former WESTAF staff and friends in the garden of their beautiful Denver home on a gorgeous Thursday afternoon. It was fun and relaxed, and it was great for me personally to meet a few former WESTAF staffers. Everyone seemed to have a great time!
As previously mentioned, I celebrated my dad’s 90th this weekend in the Anderson Valley of Mendocino County, CA. Later this week, I head to Los Angeles for the CPL Summit/Pacific. After that, I will be heading north, but first dropping in on trustee Nikiko Masumoto in Del Rey, CA (thanks, Nikiko), then on to San Andreas for a CAC meeting with Vice Chair Tamara Alvarado, then Sacramento for a day of meetings.
While OOTO, I am always available to you for any questions or comments—just drop me a line!
With gratitude for your good work as WESTAF Trustees,