WESTAF Now Newsletter | April 2023

By April 26, 2023No Comments

Thought Leadership and reach           

Logo for the 2024 FestPAC

FestPAC Returning in 2024 Arts

The 13th Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture (FestPAC, the world’s largest celebration of Indigenous Pacific Islanders) will convene in Hawaiʻi, June 6–16, 2024. The South Pacific Commission (now The Pacific Community – SPC) launched this dynamic showcase of arts and culture in 1972 to halt the erosion of traditional practices through ongoing cultural exchange. While originally scheduled to take place in 2020, FestPAC was the first major festival in Hawaiʻi to be postponed as the COVID-19 pandemic grew. This decision was made early on in order to prioritize the health and safety of Hawaiʻi residents and visiting delegations. The 2024 date maintains the four-year cycle of festivals while maximizing the opportunity for delegations to participate as their own Pacific island nations recover from the economic and social impacts of the pandemic. In March, WESTAF had the privilege of attending the 36th Meeting of the Council of Pacific Arts and Culture at the East-West Centre in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, as invited observers where we were able to learn more about the plans for the Festival.

 alliances, advocacy & policy              

WESTAF Supports NAPALI Fellowships

WESTAF is engaging states and jurisdictions in the region to field candidates for the National Pacific American Leadership Institute (NAPALI) who WESTAF will support to participate in the program. The Institute educates and trains emerging Pacific American leaders to build upon traditional cultural values in understanding, harmonizing, and applying leadership theories and skills necessary for achieving personal and professional growth, greater responsibilities, and a higher level of service to our communities and country.

Based upon the belief that Indigenous Pacific Americans have an established historical basis for their core values and norms and that they will act in accordance with them as long as these values and norms are relevant in today’s society, the course consists of a one-day multisite session prior to a 78-hour seminar conducted over a consecutive eight-day period in a setting conducive to learning, thinking, and sharing.

The curriculum focuses on empowering participants by helping them understand key cultural individual and collective Pacific American values; how these values shape attitudes and perceptions as well as fit into the dominant society; how they are expressed in leadership skills and practices; how to analyze universal leadership attributes, skills, and actions which increase the potential for success; and how to build bridges between cultural values and leadership skills for Pacific Americans and the dominant Western culture. As a partner of NAPALI, WESTAF plans to attend this year’s Institute as a guest.

Learn More About the Fellowship

WESTAF Supports Oregon Arts and Culture Caucus Launch Event

In February, the Oregon Arts and Culture Caucus held its launch event at the Elsinore Theater in Salem, Oregon, thanks to the support of WESTAF’s State Arts Agency Innovation Fund. To further their mission, WESTAF has teamed up with experienced nonprofit/association executive Claire Blaylock, who will serve as the Oregon Arts and Culture Caucus Liaison. Working together with local partners, WESTAF was instrumental in the recruitment process.

The Arts and Culture Caucus was established to acknowledge the critical role that arts and culture play in the livability and prosperity of Oregon’s communities, enhancing the lives of its residents. Caucus members are in close communication with stakeholders; the Oregon Arts Commission, the Oregon Cultural Trust (and its Statewide Partners) and the Cultural Advocacy Coalition of Oregon on the latest research and issues. They establish priorities for arts and culture legislation, including securing a sustainable and robust funding mechanism for arts and cultural initiatives.

The Oregon Arts and Culture Caucus Launch Event generated a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm, resulting in 14 more Oregon Legislators joining the Caucus. With a current membership of 23, it is now one of Oregon’s largest bipartisan caucuses. Watch a recording of the event to experience the excitement around the launch, attended by over 350 arts and culture enthusiasts.

Watch the Video

WESTAF Sponsors California Arts and Culture Summit

This year’s Summit was held from April 17-18 in the bustling city of Sacramento. The California Arts Council, Californians for the Arts, and CreateCA, the statewide arts education advocacy organization, joined forces to bring forth this event. WESTAF Deputy Director David Holland moderated the opening session, “Lessons Learned: Reimagining the Creative Ecosystem 2.0.” In this panel discussion, distinguished leaders from state and regional agencies, policy makers, and funders delved into the critical question of what we have learned in the past three years that transforms our approach to our work. Together, they explored how public investment and policy can affect transformative change and how to best support and center artists, creative workers, culture bearers, and creative entrepreneurs. The panel also discussed what’s needed to continue to build equitable investment in the arts. Panelists included California Native Consultant & Mewuk Basket Weaver Jennifer Bates, Kristin Sakoda (LA County Dept. of Arts & Culture), Tara Lynn Gray (California Office of the Small Business Advocate), Chelo Montoya (California Arts Council), and Mark Slavkin (Create CA).

Learn More About the Summit

social responsibility & inclusion      

2023-24 TourWest Accepting Applications

Exciting news – TourWest recently kicked off its 2023-24 application cycle! Applications are due by May 28, 2023 and will be reviewed by a panel of industry leaders on artistic and cultural merit, presentation of programs to underserved and/or culturally diverse audiences, quality of outreach activities, and engagement and collaboration. Visit the application portal for details about the program, guidelines, important dates, and more.

Learn More and Apply

If you’re interested in learning more about the grant, you can check out a recording of our recent informational webinar on our YouTube channel.

Tune In to the Webinar

Coming Soon: BIPOC Artist Fund Awardees

The Social Responsibility and Inclusion (SRI) team has completed a review of the results and is thrilled to share that the BIPOC Artist Fund awardees have been identified! Earlier this month, a team of 36 application reviewers read over 450 applications received for the fund and have identified 18 awardees, with one awardee per state and jurisdiction receiving an average award of $10,000 per artist. Made possible through WESTAF’s MacKenzie Scott gift, the fund will include four virtual group coaching sessions to build on the plans shared in the applications of the awardees.

Thank you to our application reviewers for their dedication throughout this process and for helping us to recognize and celebrate the talent of these exceptional artists!

We can’t wait to share our amazing awardees soon — stay tuned!


Leaders of Color Network Logo

Just Launched: Leaders of Color Network Professional Development Fund

Aimed at providing continuing opportunities to the network of alumni of the WESTAF Emerging Leaders of Color Program, the Social Responsibility and Inclusion (SRI) team recently launched the Leaders of Color Network Professional Development Fund. The fund will reimburse WESTAF’s Leaders of Color Network members for activities and materials that they feel contribute to their professional growth. WESTAF has allocated $50,000 for the fund for this fiscal year and anticipates that awards will be funded at an average of $750 or the amount requested, if less. Having already approved two awards, the SRI team will accept applications on a rolling basis through September 1.

WESTAF WEB SERVICES                                 

ZAPP Releases Guide to Equitable Jurying

In its latest blog, ZAPP is diving into all of the ways to supply visual artists with the most equitable application and jurying experience possible. As WESTAF and ZAPP continue to seek opportunities to learn about and promote equitable best practices, we hope this guide serves as a valuable resource for event organizers.

Read the Guide

CaFÉ March Spotlight: Trolley Barn Gallery

We are thrilled to highlight The Art Effect at the Trolley Barn Gallery, an educational and youth development agency based in New York’s Hudson Valley. Learn more about the Trolley Barn — constructed in 1873 — and the ways they serve the youth of the area in CaFÉ’s latest blog.

Read About the Art Effect

Now Open: CaFÉ All Over the Place

CaFÉ invites all artists to submit artwork to their open call for entry, CaFÉ All Over the Place, which explores the relationship to a particular place, community, or its impact on your identity. Selected artwork will be featured on CallforEntry.org, social media pages, and other spaces to highlight the thousands of artists who use the platform! This is an open call for artwork — all mediums are allowed.

Entries are due by 11:59 p.m. MDT on April 30, 2023.

Submit Your Artwork

A Robust Film Industry Waiting to Be Unlocked

In 2019, Colorado Creative Industries and Denver Arts & Venues commissioned a four-year study on Colorado’s film industry. Using CVSuite data to better understand the challenges artists in the film industry face, they created a report that dives into strategies and recommendations for closing the gap for artists impacted by these issues. Read CVSuite’s latest blog post to view the full report.

Read the Blog

Guam Council of the Arts and Humanities Agency Partners with GO Smart

The Guam Council of the Arts and Humanities Agency (CAHA) and GO Smart Manager, Jessica Gronich, have been digitally translating the agency’s annual artist grant into GO Smart to launch the 2023 grant cycle in Guam. As one of WESTAF’s newest members of the online software, Guam CAHA joined other State Arts Agencies from across the region to use GO Smart to streamline, curate, and disseminate the agency’s major grant cycle with the online system. This digital conversion projects to save the agency major expenses of staff hours, streamline NEA grant data collection, and expedite the panel review process with the Guam CAHA board to get grant dollars to artists more quickly. The majority of the conversion and translation is thanks to Guam CAHA’s Program Coordinators, executive director Sandra Flores, lead program coordinator of the project

 Joey A. Manibusan, and WESTAF consultant Moana Palelei HoChing.

Visit Guam CAHA’s Website

Share Your Images with GO Smart

Are you a past or current client of GO Smart? Do you have images to share that showcase your organization’s funding stories and experiences? GO Smart would love to highlight the great work you do and the projects you have funded on the website and in future marketing collateral. Submit your images through the form below.

Submit Your Images

Public Art Archive Presents on Diligent Data

The Public Art Archive (PAA) will be presenting at both the Midwest Archives Conference and American Association of Museums Annual Meeting in the coming weeks on diligent data, including how to harness the power of mapping in public art in ways that highlight the public art creative ecosystem, allow for community collaboration, and preserve access to removed artworks. The presentation, Diligent Data: Promoting Equity and Accountability in Digital Collections, centers on addressing two guiding questions: How can we use our digital collections to activate the stories surrounding public art and public space? Additionally, how can our digital collections become dynamic tools to act as accountability measures, stewardship opportunities, and portals for engagement — rather than showing collections as static objects? PAA will showcase how it collaborates with artists and public art administrators to evolve cataloging practices and offer innovative ways to capture and depict data that can lead to impactful analysis and positive change in the public art field.

WESTAF Community NEWS                          

Call for Entry: New Mexico Arts Prospectus #271

New Mexico Arts is seeking to commission one to four artists or artist teams to create and install artwork in specified areas of the McKinley County Courthouse rotunda in Gallup, New Mexico. Applications were accepted through April 14 and five finalists will be selected to create formal proposals.

Learn About the Project


NEFA Announces Next Executive Director

After an extensive search, the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) has announced that Harold Steward (they/he) will join the organization as the next executive director. Steward, a philosopher, strategist, and educator, is currently the executive director & cultural strategist at The Theatre Offensive (TTO). This Boston-based nonprofit organization presents liberating art by, for, and about queer and trans people of color that transcends artistic boundaries, celebrates cultural abundance, and dismantles oppression. They previously served as manager of the South Dallas Cultural Center, which provides instruction and enrichment in the arts, emphasizing the African contribution to world culture. Officially joining NEFA in July, Steward’s appointment follows an extensive nationwide search led by a search committee working with Arts Consulting Group. Steward will succeed Cathy Edwards, who held the role from January 2015 until she stepped down in May 2022. Since then, NEFA has been led by interim executive director/COO Jug Chokshi in partnership with deputy director, programs Jane Preston and other senior staff.

Learn More About Harold Steward

South Arts Announces Winter 2023 Jazz Road Artists

The 2023 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert is now available to view on demand! Check out the YouTube playlist to view the concert, as well as video tributes to the honorees, illuminating their lives and careers. Experience their stories, music, and knowledge at the event marking the culmination of the 40th anniversary of the NEA Jazz Masters, which has awarded more than 160 fellowships since 1982.

Tune In and Meet the Fellows

CONNECT WITH US                                           

WESTAF LogoThe 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, Wyoming, American Samoa, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and Guam). 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.

WESTAF | www.westaf.org