Anika Tené
Director of Grants Awards
& Programs

WESTAF Embraces Identity

Through programs, partnerships and its own equity, inclusion and anti-racism practices, WESTAF applies the belief that the arts are an expression of the unique identities of all people.

WESTAF began its equity journey in 2000 and has since become an advocate for cultural equity, focusing heavily on leadership development. With the recognition that the organization still has much work to do internally and externally, WESTAF’s 10-year vision and strategic plan articulates goals and metrics related to increasing opportunities, benefits, and resources for communities that the organization prioritizes, in a manner that results in quantifiable and systemic change. To this end, WESTAF has three internal structures to help the organization meet its strategic equity objectives:

The Social Responsibility & Inclusion Division (SRI) provides equity-centered learning experiences and funding opportunities that connect and inspire artists, leaders and communities to build a more inclusive arts and culture sector, strengthen the arts field, and catalyze change.

The Equity Cohort (EqCo) is an internal working group that creates safe and brave spaces for staff to connect, learn and contribute and it supports the efforts of EIC and SRI in meeting the organization’s critical equity objectives by holding every area of the organization accountable for implementing equitable practices. EqCo also provides relevant resources and supports professional development activities to ensure that staff have practical tools to integrate equity.

The Equity & Inclusion Committee (EIC) provides oversight of WESTAF’s operations in the areas of programming, governance, staff structure, technology, and fundraising through the lens of diverse leadership, equity, and inclusion. The Committee seeks to infuse the values and best practices of diversity, inclusiveness, and equity into all of WESTAF’s work.