Because public support for the arts is vital to the arts community, WESTAF continues to invest in and build capacity for state-level and federal advocacy to support public-sector involvement in the arts in the West and nationally.
- State Advocacy Funds
For over a decade, WESTAF has disbursed funds (generated from its earned income) to each state in the West to support advocacy on behalf of the state’s arts agency. This advocacy support includes helping to fund professional-level advocacy work, advocacy training, arts advocacy days and summits, public affairs technology, and essential capacity-building support for state arts advocacy organizations.
- Western Arts Advocacy Network
In 2020, WESTAF launched a Western Arts Advocacy Network (WAAN) that brings together leaders from state arts advocacy organizations and other key advocates from across the West to network, share best practices, and inform WESTAF’s support of arts advocacy.
WAAN has collectively, in partnership with advocates across the region, secured over $900 million in critical relief, recovery, and new program investments from state governments in the West during the pandemic. WAAN convenes year round to consider sustainability of arts advocacy in the region, advocacy strategies, messaging and tactics, and systems and infrastructure to support statewide advocacy. The group and its individual members, in partnership with WESTAF, engage members of Congress and state legislators to provide policy recommendations and advocate in support of legislation that resources and advances arts, culture, and the creative economy.
|Alaska State Council On the Arts
|Arizona Citizens for the Arts
Chief Executive Officer
|Californians for the Arts/California Arts Advocates
Chief Executive Officer
|Colorado Business Committee for the Arts
Christin Crampton Day
|Idaho Commission on the Arts
|Hawai’i Arts Alliance
|Montana Cultural Advocacy
|Cultural Alliance Nevada
|Creative New Mexic0
|Cultural Advocacy Coalition
|Utah Cultural Alliance
|Wyoming Arts Alliance
Director of Operations
- Federal Advocacy Funds
In 2020, WESTAF began piloting a new program that offers funding (generated from its earned income) to state arts agencies in the region to organize delegations to Washington, D.C. to participate in national advocacy activities and to organize other forms of engagement with members of Congress. Through this program, WESTAF also provides advocates in the West with tools and information to effectively communicate the value of federal funding for the arts. In 2022, the Federal Advocacy Funds program merged with the State Advocacy Funds program into an integrated offering.
- Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar
Between 2011 and 2017, WESTAF’s annual Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar (ALAS) brought a group of arts leaders from the West to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress and their staffs, engage in briefings regarding the status and future prospects for federal arts support, and to discuss with the WESTAF trustees ways to generate more state government support for the work of state arts agencies. As these conversations have continued to evolve, we continue to adapt ALAS to ensure relevancy and accessibility, including hosting the first virtual ALAS in 2021.