WESTAF Update Notes #105 | September 2019
This is the 105th in a continuing series of updates about the work of WESTAF.
2019 Emerging Leaders of Color Program
WESTAF’s ninth Emerging Leaders of Color (ELC) program will take place October 7-9 in Denver. WESTAF will host 15 ELC alumni for this year’s convening. Alumni participants include: Christy NaMee Eriksen (Alaska), Yvonne Montoya (Arizona), Abraham Flores (California), Laili Gohartaj (California), Mariana Moscoso (California), Alexandria Jimenez (Colorado), Julz Bolinayen Ignacio (Washington/Hawai‘i), Anastacio Del Real (Nevada), Michelle Patrick (Nevada), Sandra Margarita Ward (Nevada), Gabrielle Uballez (New Mexico), Candace Kita (Oregon), Humberto Marquez Mendez (Oregon), Renato Olmedo-González (Utah), and Moana Palelei HoChing (Utah). Longtime ELC faculty members Salvador Acevedo, Tamara Alvarado, and Margie Johnson Reese will facilitate the three-day session designed to strengthen a sense of community among program alumni by developing a shared vision of leadership and action.
Update on Alaska State Council on the Arts
In July, we shared with you the 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 delighted to report that full funding for ASCA has been restored. As NASAA reported in mid-August, after Governor Dunleavy’s line-item veto of 182 items, including all funds for ASCA, the legislature reconvened to develop a supplemental budget package to reverse some of the cuts. HB2001 included $704,400 in state funding for ASCA, as well as authorization for ASCA to receive both federal and private funds. This restoration of funds is a direct result of the unrelenting efforts of arts advocates across the state who simply would not accept an Alaska that did not invest in arts and culture. The citizens of Alaska made it clear that support for the arts is non-negotiable and an integral part of the state’s cultural heritage. WESTAF looks forward to supporting the agency and its staff in its rebuilding efforts.
ZAPP Launches Mobile-Responsive Artist Side
ZAPPlication launched a redesigned, fully responsive artist site on September 12. The new design introduces a clean and modern look, works on all sized devices, and adheres to accessibility standards. With a user base that travels to art fairs and festivals across the country, having a site that is as mobile as they are is essential. The redesign also streamlines the artist checkout into one page, with increased security and options to store payment types for future use.
More Stops on WESTAF Executive Director Western Tour
In mid-July, Christian Gaines traveled to Honolulu to visit WESTAF Trustee Jonathan Johnson and his team at the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA) and gave a presentation to the SFCA board of commissioners. While in Hawai‘i, Gaines also spent time with Georja Skinner, director of the Creative Industries division of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT); arts lobbyist Jon Okudura; FestPac Executive Director Vicky Holt Takamine; Film Office Director Donne Dawson; and filmmaker Meleanna Myer. Gaines then headed to Washington State, where he visited ArtsWA and sat on a panel in Yakima about arts funding with fellow participants Tom Simplot, senior deputy Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts (Arts Endowment); WESTAF trustee Karen Hanan, executive director, Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA); Miguel Guillen, grants manager, ArtsWA; and Sharon Miracle, executive director, Yakima Community Foundation. The panel was moderated by Noel Moxley, chair of the Yakima Arts Commission. The following day, Gaines headed to Tieton for a meeting of the ArtsWA commissioners, where he presented updates on WESTAF’s products, services, and projects that are currently underway. The week of August 26, Gaines attended one of the largest and most radical arts events in the West—and the world—Burning Man. While there, Gaines participated in a one-day tour of Black Rock City for the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which was joined by National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter and Endowment Senior Deputy Chairman Tom Simplot. Gaines also traveled to Sacramento for a WESTAF Executive Committee Meeting September 11-12, visited the arts collaborative Sol Collective, and hosted a small dinner with Anne Bown-Crawford, executive director, California Arts Council; Julie Baker, executive director, Californians for the Arts (CFTA); WESTAF Multicultural Advisory Committee member Lucero Arellano; and lobbyist Jason Schmelzer.