WESTAF Update Notes #82 | March 2015
From Anthony Radich, Executive Director
This is the 82nd in a continuing series of updates about the work of WESTAF
WESTAF-Region Arts Advocates Convene in Washington, DC
For the fourth consecutive year, WESTAF brought 50 arts advocates to Washington for an advocacy and leadership seminar. The purpose of the seminar was for participants to learn more about federal arts funding and also for them to communicate the value of federal support for the arts to their members of Congress. The meeting opened with a presentation by political strategist and former Obama campaign official Anita Dunn. Also speaking at the opening dinner was Laura Callanan, the new NEA Senior Deputy Chair. The next day, the group was briefed by Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs for Americans for the Arts. Those briefings were followed by comments by Mike Griffin, the NEA’s Chief of Staff and White House Liaison.
The seminar continued with an update facilitated by NEA Director of States and Regions Laura Scanlan regarding initiatives at the NEA. Jessamyn Sarmiento, NEA Director of Public Affairs, discussed the strategy that will be deployed to celebrate the agency’s 50th anniversary, and Bonnie Nichols, NEA Research Program Analyst, reported on the most recent research reports disseminated by the agency. Finally, Bill O’Brien, Senior Advisor for Program Innovation at the NEA, detailed the agency’s expansive work with the military community and wounded veterans. Following the seminar, participants met with members of Congress in their offices on Capitol Hill.
Creative Vitality Suite™ Launches New Blog
The Creative Vitality Suite (CVSuite) team recently launched a blog in conjunction with the new online creative economy data site. The blog is focused on the effective use of creative economy data and provides tips and best practices related to data-based conversations in the creative economy. The blog currently has two posts. The next post, going up in mid-March, focuses on methods of working with data when the numbers don’t support your case. To access the blog and sign up to receive email updates, visit cvsuite.org/blog.
CallforEntry.org (CaFÉ™) Announces More User-Requested Enhancements
The rapidly expanding Call for Entry (CaFÉ) site has recently released several enhancements based on feedback from longtime users of the system. The site, with over 100,000 artists currently registered, now has the following new features: Favorite calls: Artists can now “favorite” a call and filter calls by their favorites. Advanced Search: Artists can now perform an advanced search of call listings to browse and find calls by call type, eligibility, city, or state. Tagging: Administrators can assign a keyword term to received applications, thus allowing applications to be sorted by tagged terms. In the spring, the CaFÉ team will introduce a new gallery scorecard layout and an improved administrative dashboard. The site has also benefited from a fresh new home page. Take a look at CaFE.
Grants Online™ Now Integrated with Guidestar®
GO, WESTAF’s online grants management system, now has access to Guidestar and OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control). The GO system’s new GuideStar® API allows administrators to verify the 501(c)(3) status of applicant organizations as well as applicant verification through the OFAC list. These features are built to allow administrators to enable or disable the tools at anytime, foregoing the need for manual checking and data entry.