WESTAF Now Newsletter | October 2021

By October 14, 2021January 30th, 2023No Comments


2021 Creative Vitality™ Summit Concludes

On Monday, September 20 and Tuesday, September 21, WESTAF’s inaugural Creative Vitality™ Summit brought together 40 creative economy experts, arts and culture leaders, and equity champions across the field to discuss the future of the creative sector. With nearly 500 registered participants, this year’s Summit will go down as one of the largest convenings in WESTAF’s history. To learn more about the Summit, please visit the event website and be sure to check out the pre-conference paper to learn more about some of the topics covered during the event. We will be sharing recordings of all the sessions soon on the WESTAF website.

International Economic Development Council Annual Conference Creative Economy Session

Deputy Director David Holland and fellow Creative Economy Coalition Executive Committee member Susan Soroko, director, creative economy, Arlington Economic Development, arranged a session for the International Economic Development Council Annual Conference: Creative Economy: Economic Development for a Sustainable Future. David was joined on this panel by Margaret Hunt, director, Colorado Creative Industries, and Jessica Stern, senior manager, local arts and business partnerships, Americans for the Arts, on Monday, October 4 in Nashville, Tennessee. The panel discussed the creative economy, economic recovery, community revitalization and inclusive economic development.

WESTAF Leads Sessions on Rural Arts and Chambers of Commerce as Arts Advocates at CCI Summit

WESTAF team members attended and presented at the Colorado Creative Industries Summit: Frontier of Imagination September 29 – October 1. The team moderated and participated in five different panels during the conference, including a session on chambers of commerce as arts advocates in collaboration with the Western Arts Advocacy Network, a session on arts and culture in rural, remote, and frontier communities in Colorado, a creative economy data workshop, and a session on makerspaces and data.

Anika Kwinana Serves as Keynote Speaker at the Nevada Museum Association’s Annual Conference

The Nevada Museum Association’s (NMA) annual conference, held October 7-8, welcomed WESTAF director of social responsibility and inclusion Anika Kwinana as the keynote speaker. The conference’s 2021 theme was “We’re Back: Connecting to our Communities.” The NMA provides support to the state’s 100+ museums by providing learning opportunities through a quarterly newsletter, annual conference, and other informational workshops held throughout the year.

Artists Selected and Showcased in the First Round of Performing Arts Discovery

Ten artists, companies, and ensembles were selected in the first phase of the National Endowment for the Arts Performing Arts Discovery program being managed by WESTAF and delivered by the Western Arts Alliance in collaboration with sister regional arts organizations. Versa-Style Dance Company, Ensemble Mik Nawooj, and acoustic picker Cary Morin were selected from the West in the first round alongside artists from other regions. The ten artists and groups were showcased at the Western Arts Alliance Conference and at the Arts Midwest Conference. A selection of these artists will be featured at the National Endowment for the Arts/International Federation of Arts Councils and Cultural Agencies (IFACCA) Americas Cultural Summit 2021 this fall. A second round will also open this fall for an additional group of artists.


American Rescue PlanUpdate on WESTAF’s American Rescue Plan Fund for Organizations

WESTAF’s executive committee has approved the organizations recommended by the SRI team to receive WESTAF ARP awards. Originally planned to disburse grants at an average level of $50,000 each to 30+ awardees, these levels and awardees were adjusted due to the demand from many impacted organizations. WESTAF will disburse grants at an average level of $35,000 each to 44 awardees. Look for an announcement with the full list of awardees in the coming weeks.

WESTAF WEB SERVICES                                 

ZAPP® Launches New Referral Program

As part of its continued efforts to grow a strong ZAPP community, the ZAPP team recently launched a new referral program! When current clients refer new events to ZAPP and the new event signs up, both organizations will receive a $100 gift card.

CaFÉ™ October Blog: 6 Tips for Emerging Public Artists with Expert Insights

In the latest installment to the blog, the CaFÉ™ team spoke with Denver Arts & Venues public art program administrator Brendan Picker about the most beneficial steps artists can take to stand out from the crowd when applying for public art calls for entry. From advice on what panels look for to common mistakes to avoid during the application process, if you are applying for a public art call, this blog is for you!

Check it out!

Collection Launches and New Collections Added to the PAA Platform

Recently, Public Art Archive successfully launched Los Alamos County Public Art’s collection, which was featured in the Los Alamos Daily Post and the Los Alamos Reporter. PAA is also working to complete the design and launch of Metro Arts Nashville’s public art showcase page and map, which includes the program’s public art Lending Library. Rowan University’s public art collection was also recently imported to the PAA platform.

Women’s Suffrage Mural Completed by Artist Adri Norris

PAA is excited to share that local artist Adri Norris has completed the WESTAF Women’s Suffrage Mural, located in Denver’s Montbello neighborhood. Norris’ work features eight prominent local, regional, and national women who made meaningful contributions to the history of women’s suffrage and voting rights throughout the U.S. These matriarchs of the women’s rights movement are accompanied by painted snapshots of minority communities fighting for the right to representation throughout the twentieth century. The work, made possible thanks to a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Federal Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, guides viewers through an illuminating story of communities that remain underrepresented in our history, highlighting a more inclusive narrative surrounding the nineteenth amendment as we acknowledge the centennial of women’s suffrage.

Coming Soon: CVSuite™ Data Education Video Series

Do you want to sharpen your skill set when it comes to analyzing and interpreting data? The CVSuite™ team has been busy working on a series of educational videos that give you the training you need to feel confident working with data. Stay tuned for the release later this fall!

September Blog: How to Use Data to Demonstrate Your Impact

In its most recent blog post, GO Smart delves into the ever-evolving world of grantmaking data and the different ways that data can be optimized to showcase the impact of your grantmaking efforts. Check out the blog post from WESTAF’s cloud-based grant administration software program to learn more about how GO Smart can help your grantmaking data work for you.

GO Smart™ to Present at Technology Association of Grantmakers Philanthropy Tech Product Showcase

GO Smart has been invited to join several leading product providers in the philanthropic sector to showcase how the platform can help arts programming funders to digitize and streamline their grant administration process. GO Smart Program Manager Jessica Gronich will lead a brief demo that highlights features of the product that help funders simplify their grantmaking process and amplify their impact.

WESTAF Community NEWS                          

David Holland Assumes WESTAF Deputy Director Role

WESTAF is thrilled to share that David Holland has recently stepped into the role of deputy director. After joining the organization in 2019, he has co-directed the inaugural Creative Vitality™ Summit; authored the Creative Economies and Economic Recovery report in partnership with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies; co-led the redesign of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Performing Arts Discovery program in collaboration with regional and national partners; established the Western Arts Advocacy Network (WAAN); collaborated on developing new equity-focused relief and resilience grantmaking programs in the West and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; spearheaded WESTAF’s Arts and the Rural West and Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminars; and secured private and public investment for WESTAF’s programs. David will continue to represent WESTAF in the field as he advances these efforts and to work in collaboration with Director of Social Responsibility and Inclusion Anika Kwinana on driving the impact of WESTAF’s leadership, professional development programming, grantmaking, and technical assistance and consulting services across the organization. Congratulations, David!

Expanded Social Responsibility and Inclusion Team

We recently welcomed two new members to our Social Responsibility and Inclusion (SRI) team: Ashanti McGee, grants and access manager, and Jade Elyssa Cariaga, grants and equity manager. Under the leadership of WESTAF Director of Social Responsibility and Inclusion Anika Kwinana, the new SRI managers will work together so that the intersections of access and equity are addressed more deeply. The expanded team will allow for a deeper investment in and impact on issues of access and equity across the region.

Updates to the CVSuite™ Team

In more WESTAF staff news, Kelly Ernst has been promoted to CVSuite manager and Trevor McElhaney now has a new title of senior data analyst. Kelly, who joined WESTAF in 2019 as a business coordinator, has utilized her background and expertise in design and creative thinking to advance CVSuite’s work in the field. Trevor’s vast experience and depth of knowledge in data and mathematics has broadened the scope of many CVSuite initiatives to reach new communities throughout the West. We are so excited to see these two expand their work across the organization.


Celebrating Arts and Humanities Month!

The nation’s art agencies, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Institute of Museum and Library Services, have come together to celebrate the 35th anniversary of National Arts and Humanities Month 2021. Throughout October, these agencies will highlight how the arts and culture help to rebuild the economy, promote health and well-being of individuals and communities, and unite our nation.

Association of Performing Arts Professionals ArtsForward Application Portal Now Open

The ArtsForward program, made possible with generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will support the presenting and touring field’s vibrant, equitable, and safe reopening and recovery. Presenters, artists, and audiences can begin to reconnect as tours resume and venues reopen. Learn more about the grants program or review guidelines and join APAP in one of their informational webinars about how to apply for funding:

  • Wednesday, October 13 at 3 p.m. (EDT). Register here.
  • Monday, November 1 at 5:30 p.m. (EDT). Register here.

The deadline to apply for funding is Monday, November 15, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. EST.

Support Local Artists on Artists Sunday

We’re inviting all professional artists to join us in Artists Sunday, the national marketing campaign and event encouraging shoppers to purchase from artists and craftsmen on November 28. It follows Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, the day before Cyber Monday, the largest shopping weekend of the year. Participation is free.

Artists Sunday unites individual artists and supportive organizations across the country, creating a voice of thousands, all promoting the purchase of art during the busiest shopping weekend of the year. Artists receive a comprehensive marketing toolkit, enabling them to generate buzz and awareness.

We are pleased to be a partner in this nationwide effort to promote your great work.

View the details and sign up here!

Grant Opportunity and New Additions to the 2022-2023 Big Read

Bring the NEA Big Read to your community! Applications are now open for grants to support community-wide reading programs nationwide, each designed around one of the fifteen books representing a diverse range of contemporary themes, voices, and perspectives for organizations interested in applying for a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read grant. An initiative of the NEA in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read supports programs held around the country, with the goal of inspiring meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in each community. The deadline for applications is January 26, 2022. Want to learn more about this grant opportunity and how to apply?

Register now for an informational webinar on October 27th.

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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