WESTAF Now Newsletter | February 2023

WESTAF Now Newsletter February 2023

Thought Leadership and reach           

Three people seated at a panelist table beside a large screen projecting the WESTAF logo, ALAS logo, and live closed captions

2023 Arts Leadership and Advocacy Virtual and In-Person Programs Conclude

The 2023 Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar programming took place this month featuring an online pre-session on February 7th and a fly-in advocacy day to Washington D.C. February 13-15. Virtual panelists included Michelle Ramos, BIPOC-Led Arts Advocacy Coalition; Claire Rice, Creative States Coalition; Ernesto Balderas, Creative States Coalition; Heather Noonan, Cultural Advocacy Group; and Najean Lee, Cultural Advocacy Group. The fly-in to Washington D.C. welcomed 71 advocates from 13 states and Guam. Advocates spoke to over 50 Congressional offices and highlighted priority issues in their local arts and cultural communities as well as broader coalition requests led by WESTAF. Speakers in Washington D.C. included Shelly Lowe, Chair, National Endowment for the Humanities; Julie Baker and Manny Cawaling, Co-Chairs, Western Arts Advocacy Network; Pam Breaux, President and CEO, NASAA; Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs, Americans for the Arts & Executive Director, Americans for the Arts Action Fund; Ben Kessler, Director of Congressional Affairs, NEA; and Alison Share, Director of Congressional Affairs, NEH.

View the Virtual Pre-Session Recording

 alliances, advocacy & policy              

Performing Arts Discovery Program

Performing Arts Discovery Showcase Receives over 160 Applications

The Performing Arts Discovery Showcase, the Endowment-supported strand of the Performing Arts Discovery (PAD) program, has received 164 applications from artists representing all regions of the country. Fifty-six percent of applicants identified their primary discipline as music; other disciplines included dance (18%), multidisciplinary (16%), and theater (8%). A national panel of eight performing arts professionals will begin two rounds of review with selected artists to be announced in March.

WESTAF State Arts Agency Innovation Fund

WESTAF Announces the State Arts Agency Innovation Fund

WESTAF is thrilled to share the launch of WESTAF’s State Arts Agency Innovation Fund. In an ongoing effort to inspire innovative and transformative practices within the 13-member state arts agencies in the West, the Fund aims to support state arts agency efforts to enhance their service to individuals, families, and communities and the arts and cultural industries in their states in ways that were previously difficult to achieve.

social responsibility & inclusion      

People standing in front of a large canvas painted red, green, blue, yellow and purple with a white box painted over the center

WESTAF Hosts Quarterly Virtual Meeting for State Arts Agency Accessibility Coordinators

At the January meeting, Grants and Access Manager Ashanti McGee welcomed several new coordinators to the group and led discussions around the required NEA 504 self-evaluation and individual and collective plans for the year. The group has created a collective resource page for all western State Arts Agencies that highlights projects, guides, programs, and more for SAAs to utilize for their agencies.

Montana Performing Arts Consortium's 40th Annual Conference Graphic with an ironwork bridge over water

WESTAF Attends the Montana Performing Arts Consortium’s 40th Annual Conference

WESTAF recently led a workshop on its TourWest program at Montana Performing Arts Consortium’s (MPAC’s) 40th Annual Conference, held in Fort Benton, Montana. The session provided updates to potential grantees on requirements for the upcoming TourWest grant and provided one-on-one consultations to current and potential TourWest grantees. Grantees expressed appreciation for the change to operational amendments during the pandemic.

View the report

A dancer practicing on a bridge outdoors, the text reads WESTAF BIPOC Artist Fund

WESTAF BIPOC Artist Fund Closes

WESTAF’s newest opportunity, designed specifically for BIPOC artists living and working in the 16 states and jurisdictions of the WESTAF region to advance their own artistic practice and goals, recently closed with an impressive 456 applications. The program design team, made up of individuals from eight different Emerging Leaders of Color cohort years, helped to create the artist fund, with a focus on self-determination for BIPOC artists and their communities. The program aims to invest in the wellbeing and safety of BIPOC artists, cultural practitioners, and collaboratives by providing no-strings-attached funding and support. WESTAF anticipates providing the fund to at least one applicant from each state and jurisdiction represented. WESTAF will engage members of the Emerging Leaders of Color Alumni and the Leaders of Color Fellowship Program, among others, to review applications. Information about the review criteria and program guidelines can be found here.


Leaders of Color Network Logo

WESTAF Supports the Leaders of Color Network’s Participation in ALAS

In addition to the members of the Equity and Inclusion Committee, Board of Trustee members and staff that are also a part of the Leaders of Color Network and Emerging Leaders of Color alumni, the Social Responsibility and Inclusion Team invited the network in its entirety to submit interest forms to participate in ALAS as a part of the delegations from their respective states. The participants include: Tatiana Ticknor (AK), Luis “L.T.” Martinez (CA), Nawahine Lanzilotti (HI), Humberto Marquez Mendez (OR), Hakim Bellamy (NM), David Dadone (CO), Yvonne Montoya (AZ), Jennifer Kleven (NV), Dayo Ayodele (ID), Tara Gumapac (HI).

WESTAF WEB SERVICES                                 

New on ZAPP: More Ways to Filter Applications

In ZAPP’s latest blog, learn all about the new ways to filter artist applications! With more ways than ever to categorize and view applications, organizing your art fair or festival has never been so easy!

Check it out

Mobile capture of the new Public Art Archive website

New on ZAPP: More Ways to Filter Applications

Wherever your festival tour takes you this year, immerse yourself in the public artworks of the communities you’re visiting! In this blog post, ZAPP shows you how to utilize a new ‘Near Me’ feature on Public Art Archive™! With the option to browse public art collections by region, there’s no telling where your explorations will take you.

Read the blog

CaFE: 2022 Year in Review

2022: A CaFÉ Year in Review

Join the CaFÉ team as they look back on another year of opportunities from public art projects, sculpture walks, art exhibitions, and more! Visit the blog to see what changed on CaFÉ over the last year and learn more about what’s next.

Revisit 2022 with CaFÉ

Launch of Public Art Archive's New SitePublic Art Archive Launches New Website

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our reimagined and expanded Public Art Archive™ website! With this new immersive experience, the PAA is positioned to become the go-to digital destination and ultimate public art resource for everyone — from art curators, historians, researchers, and urban planners to casual users like public art enthusiasts and cultural tourists. Originally created in 2010 with the mission to make public art more public, the redesign of the PAA website focused on increased accessibility and user-friendliness, making the discovery of the history, context, and meaning behind each artwork easier and more engaging than ever. Check out this write-up in Forbes about the new site!

See the new Public Art Archive!

WESTAF Community NEWS                          

Arizona Commission on the Arts logo

Thirty-four Arizona Artists Awarded Research & Development Grants

On Friday, January 26, 2023, the Arizona Commission on the Arts announced the 34 recipients of Research & Development (R&D) Grants for 2023. Awarded through a competitive application and review process, these $5,000 grants support Arizona artists as they work to advance their artistic practice, expand their creative horizons, and deepen the impact of their work.

Learn about the artists

Western Arts ALliance 2022 Official Showcase Program

Western Arts Alliance Official Showcase Accepting Applications

Western Arts Alliance (WAA) — the West’s membership association for touring and performing arts professionals — is accepting applications for their 2023 Official Showcase in Seattle. Eight artists/ensembles will be selected to perform at the showcase — part of the 2023 WAA Annual Conference — for an audience of presenters, agents, and other performing arts professionals from the West and beyond. The showcase will highlight artists from across dance, theater, and music disciplines, and will be held at Seattle’s Broadway Performance Hall on September 6 and 7, the second and third days of the four-day convening. Performing artists from all traditional, classical, contemporary, and culturally specific art forms are eligible to apply. Applications will be reviewed by a peer jury of arts practitioners representing a broad range of disciplines, aesthetics, and identities. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. PT on March 8.

Learn more and apply



USRAOs Search for New National Director

Reporting directly to the collective’s two co-chairs while focusing on a set of priorities established in close collaboration with the whole USRAO leadership, the full-time National Director will play a critical role in developing and coordinating the shared national programmatic and fundraising vision of the USRAOs as a united national collective. Serving as the lead coordinator and fundraiser for the collective, the National Director organizes and participates in the design and development of shared plans and programs; provides guidance to the executive leaders of each USRAO and supervises the day-to-day operations of the shared service hub including budgeting, internal and external communications and managing contracted support. Collaborating with the collective executive leadership of the USRAOs, the National Director will ground the foundational development of the USRAOs shared service hub in an action-focused, measurable, and reportable commitment to equity, inclusion, and access.

View the job description

South Arts 2023 Jazz Road Artists Announced

South Arts Announces Winter 2023 Jazz Road Artists

South Arts is pleased to announce the Winter 2023 Jazz Road Artists — 12 artists and ensembles receiving funding from the Jazz Road Tours initiative to promote and tour their artistry around the nation. The program was relaunched 2022 by South Arts with funding from Doris Duke Foundation and the Mellon Foundation. Jazz Road Tours annually supports approximately 50 jazz artists with grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 to cover a portion of tour expenses and tighten the pay gap between artists and presenters.

Meet the 2023 Artists

Chair Maria Rosario Jackson

Chair Maria Rosario Jackson Featured on Latest Art Works Podcast

On the Art Works podcast National Endowment for the Arts Chair Maria Rosario Jackson reflects on the successes and challenges of her first year at the agency, the state of the national arts ecosystem, and the Arts Endowment’s role as a national resource.

Tune in to the podcast

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