Update Notes #99 | September 2018

By September 21, 2018July 1st, 2021No Comments

WESTAF Update Notes #99 | September 2018

From Anthony Radich, Executive Director

This is the 99th in a continuing series of updates about the work of WESTAF.

WESTAF Announces Inclusion and Equity Advancement Services

In 2043, the country’s population will tip toward a white minority. As nonprofit and public-sector arts organizations take on the challenge of exploring how to serve a broad constituency and effectively address community needs and concerns, WESTAF is introducing inclusion and equity advancement services to provide assistance and guidance in this area. A long-time advocate for equity across the field and a thought leader with a national reputation for creating and building solutions to strengthen the arts field, WESTAF is dedicated to facing challenges alongside clients, as partners, with a shared commitment to eliminating barriers and achieving equitable outcomes for a broad set of stakeholders.

Organizations will collaborate with lead consultant Chrissy Deal, who brings more than 20 years of nonprofit, education, and philanthropic experience. Deal serves on the Board of Trustees at the Denver Foundation, where she is a member of the Executive Committee and past chair of its Leadership & Equity committee, whose purpose is to advance racial equity by acknowledging and dismantling the historical, systemic and societal context of privilege and oppression. Deal is also a long-time community volunteer and alumna of Denver’s Circle of Latina Leadership, as well as a founding member of Denver’s first Latina women’s giving circle, LatinasGive! For more information, email Chrissy Deal. or visit

Additions to WESTAF Board of Trustees

In October 2018, WESTAF will welcome three new trustees to the board: Bassem Bejjani of Washington, Ann Hudner of Oregon, and Karmen Rossi of Wyoming.

Bassem Bejjani is the past chair of the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA). He also serves as vice president of the board of CARAVAN, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to building peace through the arts between the creeds and cultures of the East and West. Bejjani is the chief medical officer of Metis Genetics, a company dedicated to telegenetic medicine and genetic counseling.

Ann Hudner currently serves as the director of communications at Ziba Design, a global innovation and design consultancy located in Portland, Oregon. Hudner has also developed an art and design management consultancy in which she works with developers and architects as a liaison to artists and designers, which often results in the commissioning and installation of local artworks for their properties across the country.

Karmen Rossi is a deputy director for the Wyoming Congressional Award, a nonprofit service organization for youth. She was previously a field representative for U.S. Representatives Liz Cheney and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming. Rossi is currently a board member and former director of the Wyoming Arts Alliance (WyAA), a statewide nonprofit arts organization that seeks to provide a voice and effective advocacy for the arts.

October Executive Director Forum

October 1-2, WESTAF will bring the executive directors of the state arts agencies in the WESTAF region to Phoenix, Arizona for a forum centered on ways to advance those agencies. The meeting will include a session with MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on ways to more effectively advocate with elected officials on behalf of state arts agencies. The Forum will also include a presentation by Arizona Citizens for the Arts Executive Director Rusty Foley and Arizona Commission on the Arts Executive Director Jaime Dempsey regarding recent legislative and gubernatorial actions in Arizona that have impacted the state’s arts agency. The actions and responses hold lessons for advocates of state arts agencies in other states.

WESTAF to Host CEC ArtsLink Fellow

From October 11 through November 14, WESTAF will host an arts administrator from Lviv, Ukraine. Bozhena Zakaliuzhna is one of ten ArtsLink Fellows who are participating in CEC ArtsLink’s 2018 residency program. Zakaliuzhna will reside in downtown Denver during her residency and will connect with various friends of WESTAF throughout the city and region. Her residency will include meetings and short-term, hands-on learning opportunities with the Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, RedLine Contemporary Art Center, Levitt Pavilion and the ArtGym, among others. Zakaliuzhna will also accompany WESTAF Executive Director Anthony Radich and other staff at selected regional meetings and events.