Happy Holidays from WESTAF
As 2022 draws to a close, we are reflecting on the past year with gratitude and want to thank you for your part in making it a rich and memorable one.
To give our staff time to recharge and connect with families and friends during the holidays, our office will be closed December 24, 2022 through January 1, 2023. We will resume regular business hours and operations and respond to emails and calls starting January 2, 2023. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we take this much-deserved break.
From our WESTAF family to you and yours, we wish you all a joyful holiday season and a happy new year!
Thought Leadership and reach
2022 Creative Vitality™ Summit Concludes
WESTAF’s second Creative Vitality™ Summit concluded on December 2, 2022, after rich and lively discussions across five community-led panels. The Summit brought together speakers from various backgrounds to discuss intersections between the creative economy and technological and social change. Thank you to all of our panelists, facilitators, speakers, as well as the 400 attendees who joined us virtually this year. To learn more about this year’s Summit, visit the event website.
alliances, advocacy & policy
WESTAF State Advocacy Funds Program Opens for Seventeenth Year
For 17 years, WESTAF has disbursed funds to each state in the West to support advocacy on behalf of the state arts agency and the wider creative sector. In that time, we have disbursed over $2 million in support of these efforts, with an average award of $13,733 to 15 applicants in 2022. Investment has increased by 168% in nominal terms and 91% in real terms since 2006. Since 2020, WESTAF has increased investment in state level advocacy in the region by 30% in response to constituent-defined needs and aspirations. Aggregate state arts agency revenues in the West have increased by 147% from 2019-2022 and by 229% from 2016-2022 based on National Assembly of State Arts Agencies data. Advocacy funding has grown to not only support public affairs contracts in the 13 WESTAF states but also public affairs technology, advocacy capacity building training, arts advocacy days and summits, field visioning meetings, travel to Washington D.C. to engage legislators, economic studies, and other activities. The 2023 cycle opened November 18, 2022 and is accepting applications until January 9, 2023.
Washington Creative Economy Strategic Plan Update
The Creative Economy Strategic Plan work group took place on December 12, 2022 and featured state Senator Lisa Wellman and other legislators who were instrumental in the state’s embarking on the strategic planning process. The team is also working on the development of a report on initial consultation findings and policy research. The project directors are also conducting interviews with Seattle/King County arts and culture leaders and economic development leaders and recently hosted a focus group with indigenous creative entrepreneurs. In collaboration with work group members, a series of focus groups are being planned with corporate leaders from the creative technology sector, BIPOC-owned creative businesses, and other stakeholders in the Puget Sound region of Washington to take place in January 2023. The team has engaged over 45 individuals (independent of the work group) through interviews and focus groups to date, in addition to forming the 34-person statewide work group. The consultation process aims to engage up to 100 individuals across the 9 regions of the state.
WESTAF’s Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar Returns
Save the date! WESTAF’s Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar (ALAS) brings together arts leaders from the West and Pacific jurisdictions to advocate for federal government investment in arts, culture, and the creative economy to members of Congress. After a brief pause on advocating in-person and moving the Seminar to a virtual format in 2021 and 2022, we are so excited that the event will be returning again to Washington D.C. February 13-16, 2023! WESTAF will hold a virtual pre-session for those who would like to learn more about the current landscape of federal arts advocacy and will share registration information soon. ALAS seeks to bring together a group of arts leaders from the West to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress and their staffs, engage in briefings regarding the status and future prospects for federal arts support, and to discuss with the WESTAF trustees ways to generate more state government support for the work of state arts agencies. We are excited to be organizing an in-person fly-in once again, with expanded partnerships and new collaborations.
social responsibility & inclusion
Announcing the 2022 Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) American Rescue Plan (ARP) Grantees
We are delighted to announce that WESTAF will be awarding grant funding to 32 individual artists and culture organizations across the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), with grants awarded averaging $3,875 each. The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands American Rescue Plan Fund for Organizations (CNMI ARP) is a relief grant program, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, that provides general operating support to eligible arts and culture organizations and individual artists impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Northern Mariana Islands. The program is delivered in partnership with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Arts Council.
Director of Social Responsibility and Inclusion Represents WESTAF on Rasmuson Foundation Workshop on Grant Applications for Individual Artists
As a former Rasmuson Individual Artist Awards (IAA) panelist, SIR Director Anika Tené was invited back to participate as a workshop panelist in a general session open to the public, including artists considering applying for 2023 awards, to hear from former IAA panelists about the application process. Anika and three other panelists reflected on what makes a strong application and discussed strategies for presenting work for panel review for IAA and similar opportunities such as funding, residences, and fellowships. While designed for those who might be applying for the 2023 awards, this session also provided supportive strategies for composing portfolios and statements for external reviewers.
LEADERS OF COLOR NETWORK UPDATES
WESTAF and Regional Arts Organizations (RAOs) Hosted Virtual Information and Mentoring Session for LoCF Applicants
The inaugural National Leaders of Color Fellowship (LoCF) Program, launched in August 2022, received over 400 applications from across the country. After discussion among the U.S. regional arts organizations (RAOs), WESTAF planned a virtual session for the applicants who did not make it into this year’s fellowship to share about opportunities and resources available in each region. Approximately 100 applicants met in breakout rooms by region to get to know each other and consider ways they can continue to connect. Some ideas included newsletter sign-ups, job opportunities, and grant review panelist positions. Following the breakout session, applicants spent time with members of the LoCF faculty to receive mentoring and advice. WESTAF plans to continue connecting with applicants from our region and providing information and resources with a listening ear in support of their work.
WESTAF WEB SERVICES
ZAPP’s New Event CHecklist Makes Going Live Easier
ZAPP recently shared a new resource for administrators: event checklist! With this new feature, publishing your event has never been easier! With step-by-step instructions on everything from event information to checking application settings for your event, this checklist will make sure your event is ready to go.
CaFÉ Spotlight on Texas Vignette
The CaFÉ team is happy to spotlight October’s featured organization, Texas Vignette! Since 2017, this nonprofit organization has hosted the annual Vignette Art Fair, exclusively featuring artwork by women artists, in Dallas, Texas. CaFÉ chatted with Danielle Naylor, Texas Vignette’s Art Fair Director, about the organization’s mission, its experience using CaFÉ, and the art fair that just took place this past October.
The Public Art in Private Development Database Now Hosted by the Public Art Archive™
The Public Art in Private Development Database Now Hosted by the Public Art Archive™
The Public Art Archive (PAA) is the new host of the Public Art in Private Development (PAPD) Database, originally built and maintained by art lawyer and subject expert Sarah Conley Odenkirk. An invaluable resource for municipalities, developers, transportation hubs, art consultants, and any others involved with the implementation of public art for private development programs for their communities, the PAPD Database is a dynamic collection of official ordinance documentation and other supporting materials created by communities across the United States pertaining to public art in private development programs. Since 2013, Odenkirk and her team have added more than 90 communities, and the numbers will continue to grow as the PAA team begins its stewardship of the database.
Parsons Design Project Partnership Update
Last month, the CVSuite team met with Edward Cardimona and his class from the Parsons School of Design, School of Design Strategies to continue conversations around a joint project initiated in August that aims to add as much value as possible to the emergent and rapidly growing field of the creative economy and further embed CVSuite’s position as a thought leader in the space. Four groups of students presented and proposed several insightful design strategies for future CVSuite initiatives. We’re excited to dig into these strategies and incorporate them into our work in the coming years to make CVSuite even better.
WESTAF Community NEWS
First Peoples Fund Launches Artist-in-Residence Program
The First Peoples Fund has launched the inaugural Oglala Lakota Artspace (OLA) Artist-in-Residence Program — designed to support Oglala Lakota culture bearers and artists working in the continuum of Lakota art, historically, traditionally, and contemporarily; to develop their practice, explore connections, and build collaborations with local artists and community. The residency is open to visual artists, writers, composers, choreographers, interdisciplinary artists, performance artists, and collaborative teams. Applicants must exhibit professional standing in their field and established or emerging artists are encouraged to apply. Deadline to apply is January 9, 2023.
Creative Forces Community Engagement Grants Accepting Applications
Applications are now open for Creative Forces Community Engagement Grants, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (The Endowment) in partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA). These grants support community nonclinical arts programs taking place in healthcare, community, or virtual settings that aim to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life for military service members and veterans exposed to trauma as well as their families and caregivers through experiences of art or art making. From hands-on creative workshops to dance, theater, and music performances by and for veterans, these projects seek to engage military-related populations in communities across the country through experiences of art or art making. Matching grants awarded to emerging and advanced projects range from $10,000 to $50,000 each. Visit Mid-America Arts Alliance (maaa.org/creativeforces) for complete grant guidelines. Applications are due January 19, 2023.
Bring the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read to your community! Applications are now open for grants to support The Endowment’s Big Read projects between September 2023 and June 2024. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the Big Read supports community reading programs each designed around a single book selection with the goal of inspiring meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in each community. Matching grants range from $5,000 to $20,000 each. The Intent to Apply deadline is Wednesday, January 18, 2023. Visit Arts Midwest’s website for complete grant guidelines and to apply.
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, 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.