Thought Leadership and reach
The 2021 Creative Vitality™ Summit Report is Here!
The inaugural Creative Vitality Summit took place in September 2021 and brought together over 40 creative economy experts, arts and culture leaders, and equity champions across the field to discuss the future of the creative sector and to formulate a more concrete vision of equitable possibilities and realities for the arts field and beyond. The recently released conference report examines opportunities and challenges for creative workers and creative entrepreneurs; the mechanics of building a creative economy that supports community leadership, social capital, and social impact; and the emerging role of cooperative economics, impact investing, and trust-based philanthropy in the creative economy. The report presents recommendations for public sector arts agencies, private philanthropy, service organizations and industry/professional networks, and policy makers to better support a more just creative economy. Access the full report by clicking the link below and be on the lookout for information about our 2022 Creative Vitality™ Summit in the coming months.
Public Art Archive Call for Remix Map Project Deadline Approaching
The call for entry for the second edition of the PAA “Have You Seen My Public Art?” remix map launched successfully earlier this month for the creation of a forthcoming anniversary map. Artist Kara Fellows will create the map showcasing a diverse range of public art across the United States and U.S. territories. The submission deadline is April 30, 2022, so be sure to get your public art imagery in soon, and please share widely with your networks!
social responsibility & inclusion
WESTAF Engaging ELC Alumni in Design of National ELC Pilot
WESTAF is currently seeking feedback from selected members of the Leaders of Color network on expanded goals, experiences, and new content as well as the input on overall experiential learning for the National Leaders of Color pilot program. As program alumni, their perspective will provide the essential nuances around practical challenges facing arts leaders today, which are critical for support of leaders of color in their regions; as esteemed arts leaders, their insights will inform how the curriculum can deepen explicit attention to individual, interpersonal, and institutional dynamics impacting both racial and cultural equity.
2022 TourWest Application Will Open in Late April
Applications for TourWest’s 2022 grant cycle will open soon! For over 25 years, TourWest has historically provided subsidies to arts and community organizations for the presentation of touring performers and literary artists within the 13-state WESTAF region. Since its inaugural year, TourWest has allocated approximately $500,000 a year in small amounts throughout the region. This year, TourWest will provide operational support instead of project based funds for regional touring programming. WESTAF will also increase the funding amount. While the grant still focuses on regional touring, this change will provide more flexibility for organizations still navigating challenges brought on by COVID-19. Supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, TourWest provides subsidies to arts and community organizations within the 13-state WESTAF region, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and Guam for the presentation of touring performers and literary artists. Grant awards are $5,000 or 50% of the overall programming expenses, whichever is less, and require a one-to-one cash match by the presenting organization. Stay tuned for more information in late April!
WESTAF Conducts Impact Analysis of TourWest
WESTAF recently launched a survey of past and present TourWest grantees in order to learn more about the impact of TourWest to date and uncover ways to make it more accessible. Open for 25 days, we received 152 responses—of which 55% of respondents have received 7 or more TourWest grant awards over all time—from all states within the 13-state WESTAF region. With a range of feedback shared, an exceptional Net Promoter Score of 71 indicates an overall exceptional experience with TourWest and high rates of word-of-mouth referrals. Detailed findings, including Creative Vitality™ Index values when comparing the ZIP codes of respondents by state to the respective state’s average, will be presented in the near future. In order to dive deeper into the impact of and critical needs within the TourWest grant program, WESTAF will also engage selected TourWest survey respondents in upcoming focus groups. Demographically diverse in terms of discipline of the TourWest funded project, communities served, state, and additional key considerations, participants will engage in guided discussion about the program. Of the grantees that responded to WESTAF’s TourWest Impact Survey, over 60% were willing to engage as a paid focus group participant. Feedback will assist in forming the future of regional touring at WESTAF.
alliances, advocacy & policy
WESTAF Hosts Bay Area Arts Policy and Leadership Seminar
The first convening of the Bay Area Arts Policy and Leadership Seminar took place on April 5. The seminar, held in San Jose at the School of Arts and Culture Mexican Heritage Plaza, brought together nearly 30 individuals and organizations, including: Akonadi Foundation, Artist As First Responder, Create CA, Creativity Explored, Creser Capital, EastSide Arts Alliance, EPACenter Arts, Galería de la Raza, MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, Mosaic America, San Benito County Arts Council, San Jose Jazz, San Jose Taiko, School of Arts and Culture at MHP, Sozo Media, Teatro Vision, The California Indian Museum, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Topics included the regional and national arts advocacy and cultural policy landscape , as well as arts advocacy strategies, and arts activism and community building.
Creative Vitality™ Summit “Looking Forward” Session with Partners, Speakers and Panelists from Inaugural Event
Creative Vitality Summit co-creators Moana Palelei HoChing, Randy Engstrom, and David Holland invited the 45 speakers, panelists, and partners that participated in the inaugural event to discuss feedback and findings from the first Summit and to generate themes for the second convening coming up on September 6-7, 2022. More than 30 attended the gathering, where they connected in small groups, and shared promising new practices to transform the creative economy. Keep an eye out for news about the 2022 CV Summit!
Save the Date for WESTAF’s 2022 Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar
Mark your calendar for the 2022 Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar (ALAS)! The virtual convening aims to activate western states in discussion around cultural policy at the regional and national levels. This year’s event will take place virtually on Monday, May 24 and Tuesday, May 24, 2022. Registration will be opening soon. We hope you can join us!
WESTAF WEB SERVICES
ZAPP Launches New Booth Map Tool
The ZAPP team recently shared the launch of its new booth map tool. These customizable maps offer administrators a new way to assign and organize booths through the ZAPP platform. Once administrators have completed their booth map, they can display it publicly for artists and event patrons! Learn more about this exciting new tool by checking out ZAPP’s latest blog post.
CaFÉ Blog on Best Practices for Collecting Applicant Information
CaFÉ recently shared a blog post on a few helpful ways administrators can utilize its custom application builder to glean the most useful information from their applicants. To learn more about the levels of customization available, collecting demographic information and how to build out your application in a meaningful way, check out the blog post!
CVSuite™ Releases Second DataEd Video
CVSuite has released the second installment of the DataEducation Video: Understanding Data Sources and Classifications. The DataEd series dives into questions, methodologies, and best practices for understanding and analyzing creative economy data. The latest video in the installment explores the various data sources that serve as the foundation for the creative economy. Sign up for the CVS newsletter to be notified when part three becomes available.
GO Smart Spotlights South Arts in Latest Blog
GO Smart’s newest blog highlights South Arts’ own Joy Young. The blog post delves into the collaboration between WESTAF and South Arts on their Emerging Leaders of Color (ELC) program, the role GO Smart plays in their initiatives, and Young’s vision for future ELC programming and field building.
WESTAF Community NEWS
WESTAF Deputy Director to Serve on Oregon Arts Commission Creative/Cultural Districts Steering Group
Deputy Director David Holland has been invited by the Oregon Arts Commission to serve on a Creative/Cultural Districts Steering Group that will help the Arts Commission, Cultural Trust and Business Oregon create a statewide program that will serve the needs of communities across Oregon.
ELC Alumnus Frank Estrada Featured in Invitation Oxford Magazine
Frank Estrada sat down with Invitation Oxford Magazine to talk about his artistic background and all of the new opportunities that he has undertaken since his selection to WESTAF’s Emerging Leaders of Color (ELC) program this year. Available in print and online, his feature in “Cutting Edge Art” explores his practice and the importance of community arts festivals.
National Endowment for the Arts Celebrates Jazz Masters in Tribute Concert
On Thursday, March 31, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) honored the 2022 NEA Jazz Masters and kicked off a year-long celebration of the program’s 40th anniversary with a concert. Held in collaboration with SFJAZZ at the SFJAZZ Center’s Robert N. Miner Auditorium, the concert was free to attend. The 2022 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert is now available to watch on demand. In addition, check out tribute videos for Stanley Clarke, Billy Hart, Donald Harrison, Jr., and Cassandra Wilson, and a conversation among the four honorees. Follow the NEA’s Twitter feed for more jazz content throughout the year.
NEA Supports New Pilot Research Studies in Art and Music Therapy
On March 16, Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network National Resource Center presented Built to Scale: Creative Forces’ Clinical Research Expansion. NEA Director of Research & Analysis Sunil Iyengar and Creative Forces Clinical Research Director Donna Betts led a discussion with investigators of new art therapy and music therapy studies being supported by the Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network. Visit the Creative Forces National Resource Center to learn more about these research initiatives.
NEA Announces Poetry Out Loud National Semifinals and Finals
Celebrate the Poetry Out Loud Top 9 at the Poetry Out Loud Finals, and find out who will be named the 2022 National Champion and winner of the $20,000 grand prize! Tune in for the stream, hosted by Kwame Alexander on June 5, 2022.
CONNECT WITH US
The Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) is a nonprofit arts service organization dedicated to strengthening the financial, organizational, and policy infrastructure of the arts in the West (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai’i, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming). WESTAF assists state arts agencies, arts organizations, and artists in their quest to serve diverse audiences, enrich the lives of local communities, and provide access to the arts for all. Through innovative programming, advocacy, research, technology, and grantmaking, WESTAF encourages the creative advancement and preservation of the arts regionally and through a national network of customers and alliances.