WESTAF Now Newsletter | June 2022

June WESTAF Now Newsletter Header

Thought Leadership and reach           

New WESTAF Website Announcement

WESTAF Launches New Website

We are so excited to share a refreshed, more dynamic and accessible WESTAF website! We initiated work on this project before beginning our rebrand process but just couldn’t wait to show you all the improvements we have made. Thanks to photo submissions from current and past TourWest grantees, our Leaders of Color network and state arts agencies and arts organizations in the West, the new site better represents and highlights the great work happening across the region.

Check out the new site!

WESTAF Engages Local Arts Agency Veterans on Civic Imagination Convening June 8-10, 2022 with support from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, and Denver Arts & Venues

With the support of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, and Denver Arts and Venues, WESTAF organized a gathering of cultural policy professionals including current and former Local Arts Agency (LAA) leaders and state, regional, and national arts service organizations leaders in Denver, Colorado from June 8-10. The objective of the convening was to create a platform to think, dream, and strategize around the concept of Civic Imagination, which is defined as the intersection of the Civic Body (policy, governance and the public realm) and Creative Practice (how we imagine our lives together through stories, sound, images, and design). Attendees included representatives from public, private, philanthropic, and non-profit sectors as well as members of WESTAF’s Leaders of Color network.

A person using chalk to create a mural of a red haired woman

Washington Creative Economy Strategic Plan Project

The State of Washington Department of Commerce has commissioned WESTAF to lead a Washington Creative Economy Strategic Plan project with the Cultural Planning Group and Randy Engstrom of Third Way Creative. The team is currently recruiting a statewide creative economy workgroup and establishing partnerships with critical networks in the state’s creative economy ecosystem. The workgroup will include leaders from state government agencies, representatives of Washington’s indigenous communities, creative industries firms, arts and cultural nonprofits, financial services institutions, and other stakeholders.

alliances, advocacy & policy        

Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar logoWESTAF’s 2022 Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar Concludes

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2022 Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar (ALAS)! This year’s ALAS concluded on May 24 with 278 registrations, average attendance per session of nearly 40 with a session participation high of over 50. Both registration and participation numbers increased from last year, nearly tripling our total registrations and increasing per-session attendance by almost 50 percent, thanks to expanded sessions created in partnership with the League of American Orchestras, Californians for the Arts, Inspire Washington, and the Center for Cultural Innovation.A post-event survey has been shared with participants and we are excited to receive feedback to continue to improve ALAS! All six panels are now available to watch on YouTube and additional post-event resources are coming soon.

View the playlist

Kenneth Rainin Foundation logoBay Area Arts Policy and Leadership Seminar Continues with Additional Support from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation (a private family foundation with collaboration and innovation at the heart of its programs dedicated to enhancing quality of life by championing and sustaining the arts, promoting early childhood literacy and supporting research to cure chronic disease) joins the Hewlett Foundation to support the Bay Area Arts Policy and Leadership Seminar, which continued with a virtual gathering on June 14th. This session centered on a discussion of “Power and Policy,” with a specific focus on two issue areas identified in the first gathering by the cohort members: sustainable and equitable funding and housing security. The remaining dates for the seminar have been announced and will take place on July 19 (virtual), August 23 (in person), and October 18 (in person).

social responsibility & inclusion      

Colorful painting of human shapes against a bright red, yellow and orange backgroundWESTAF Presents on Diversifying and Empowering the Pipeline for 2022 NASAA Learning Series

WESTAF Director of Social Responsibility and Inclusion Anika Kwinana recently joined Dana Payne from Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Joy Young from South Arts in an in-depth discussion on strengthening leadership pipelines and empowering BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and/or people of color) administrators as critical to long-term equity strategies.

WESTAF Receives Completed Applications for TourWest

Now that the application process has officially closed on TourWest’s 2022 cycle, WESTAF is now in the process of securing a diverse group of panelists to review submissions. Panels are anticipated to take place mid-July, with WESTAF providing support for the administration of an organization’s regional touring programs. TourWest has received numerous applications form organizations throughout the region, with all western states represented. California, Colorado, Utah, and Washington entered 20 or more applications. Hawaii, Nevada, and Wyoming organizations applied the least, with fewer than 10 applications. Overall, 24.2% organizations hired Indigenous artists. In support of Western Arts Alliance’s Advancing Indigenous Performance Program, TourWest remains to be one of the leaders of supporting Indigenous artists throughout the country.

Upcoming Social Responsibility and Inclusion Department Events

WESTAF’s Social Responsibility and Inclusion Team (SRI) supports equity-centered learning experiences and funding opportunities that connect and inspire leaders and communities to build a more inclusive arts and culture sector, strengthen the arts field, and catalyze change. In an effort to share experiences, knowledge and resources, the SRI team will be holding virtual gatherings this summer into early fall to engage with grantees and networks. Please “save the date” for any of the gatherings included on the event schedule that pertain to you!

List of virtual WESTAF SRI events with a colorful wavy pattern

WESTAF WEB SERVICES                                 

People looking at various art pieces in a galleryZAPP Launches Embeddable Galleries

The ZAPP team recently launched a frequently requested feature: embeddable galleries! This feature allows event organizers to display the artists’ works and also provides visitors with their booth numbers. ZAPP is excited to continue to find innovative ways to not only connect artists with art events but to also highlight the works of artists attending these events.

Learn more

CaFE System Updates graphic

Updated Interface for CaFÉ Jurors and More New Features 

After making several significant improvements to the site for administrators last year, CaFÉ has now updated the site for jurors! In addition to refreshing the design and colors to match the rest of the CaFÉ interface, additional updates were made to improve the jury experience. Read more about this update and other new features for administrators in our blog! 

Read the latest blog

CaFE recharge the arts campaign logoCaFÉ Website Updated with Art from Recharge the Arts Campaign

Earlier this year, CaFÉ held a call to recognize the hardships of the pandemic, ongoing racial injustice, climate change, and more brought to the artist community. This new artwork, gathered from CaFÉ’s Recharge the Arts campaign, is now highlighted throughout the CaFÉ website.

See the updated CaFÉ site

Americans for the Arts logo against a blue backgroundPublic Art Archive Leads Roundtable at Americans for the Arts Annual Convention

On May 18, Public Art Archive Program Manager Lori Goldstein hosted a roundtable discussion at the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) annual convention in Washington, D.C., Activating Data: Creative Strategies and New Approaches to Digital Public Art Collection Management. The conversation focused on how the pandemic has highlighted the importance and urgency around providing publicly accessible experiences of public art. The discussion also illuminated how public art platforms showcase collections and potentially activate public agency, inciting positive change in the public space, prior to inception and after installation and removal.


The Denver skyline with a colorful sunset aboveCVSuite™ Shares Top 10 Highest-Paying Creative Occupations in Denver

Creative industries can be difficult to navigate career-wise. With CVSuite’s latest blog, you can dive into 10 of the highest-paying occupations in Denver with data visualizations and their median salaries. Learn how to utilize your creative talents or read up on the trajectory of your career with the latest creative economy data.

Read the blog

DataEd logoThe Newest Installment of DataEd is Here!

The CVSuite team has launched another addition to the DataEd series! Check out the newest installment of Creative Economy Evaluation Methods. Watch the video to learn about the variety of ways an economist can approach the analysis of the creative economy.

Watch part three

WESTAF Community NEWS                          

Map of the Pacific Jurisdictions with pink typography

Pacific Jurisdictions Partnerships

WESTAF has hosted several key partnership meetings across the Pacific Jurisdictions. These meetings have been illuminating, with discussions around local programming, community needs, and agency innovations. The gatherings will soon become regular monthly meetings between the arts agencies in Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and WESTAF for ongoing dialogue surrounding tailored technical assistance around equitable grant making. All three Pacific Jurisdictions have accepted WESTAF’s invitation to attend the first executive director forum since the pandemic started. The gathering, happening later this month, will convene the Pacific Jurisdiction executive directors, in addition to executive directors from all 13 western states. WESTAF is looking forward to serving and building stronger connections with these jurisdictions and views this relationship as a two-way exchange of knowledge and success sharing as this investment is underway.


Two performers on stageArts Midwest Announces Shakespeare in American Communities Grantees

Arts Midwest has announced the recipients of the Shakespeare in American Communities grants, including 40 professional theater companies partnering with schools and 9 organizations working with students in the juvenile justice system. Of these recipients, 14 are located in the WESTAF region, and we are so excited to highlight these great organizations! 


View the full announcement

CONNECT WITH US                                           

13 Western StatesThe 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.

WESTAF | www.westaf.org