Thought Leadership and reach
The Creative Vitality™ Summit Returns!
We invite you to register to join us virtually on November 30 and December 1, 2022, for a series of discussions from today’s creative economy experts, arts and culture leaders, and equity champions. Check out the Summit site to view session information, learn what to expect from the event, see the schedule, and get to know the Summit speakers. This year’s Creative Vitality™ Summit will feature four panels with community-led discussions around how the creative economy intersects with technology, digital placekeeping, and more. These discussions will also delve into creative economy development through liberatory investment models, as well as belonging and civic imagination.
WESTAF Presents on Advocacy Grantmaking at GIA Conference with Partners Californians for the Arts, Hewlett Foundation, and Kenneth Rainin Foundation
WESTAF organized and presented a session on grantmaking in support of arts advocacy titled “How Arts Funders Can Advance Systems Change: Developing Advocacy in the West & Beyond” at the Grantmakers in the Arts Conference on October 6-12. WESTAF was joined by Julie Baker of Californians for the Arts, Ted Russell of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, and Adam Fong of the Hewlett Foundation. This session engaged participants in discussions about how funding advocacy efforts can lead to policy change, examined the limits of grantmaking, provided practical examples of how to build capacity, and invited participants to ideate on the future of funding arts advocacy.
alliances, advocacy & policy
Western Arts Advocacy Network Holds First In-Person Meeting in Wyoming
The Western Arts Advocacy Network (WAAN) gathered for its first in-person meeting after nearly three years of organizing at the UCROSS Foundation and Artist Residency located just outside of Sheridan, Wyoming. WAAN and the Executive Committee of WESTAF came together to discuss a federal arts advocacy strategy for the West. Arts advocates from 10 out of 13 WESTAF states and 1 out of 3 Pacific Jurisdictions were represented. WAAN meetings focused on the accomplishments of the group over the last three years, how to advocate for arts and culture in rural and remote places, and visions for the future of the group. The group was joined virtually by Richard Saxton of M12 Studio and Matthew Fluharty from Art of the Rural. Ellen O’Neill graphically recorded the meeting.
WESTAF and Partners Initiate Work Group for the Development of the Washington Creative Economy Strategic Plan in Olympia, WA Hosted by s’gʷi gʷi ʔ altxʷ: House of Welcome
The 31 members of the Washington Creative Economy Strategic Plan Work Group, chaired by Martin Cohen of Cultural Planning Group and David, convened in Olympia, Washington, at the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at Evergreen State College for a first meeting. During the two-day gathering, participants engaged in rich discussions around the WESTAF and CPG initial economic analysis and policy research and plans for consulting with stakeholders across the state. Deep exchanges were had regarding methodological approaches, definitional challenges, deep inequities in Washington’s creative industries, and the wide-ranging regional economies and cultural contexts of the state. While in Olympia, the project team organized a tour of the Armory Creative Campus project and a focus group with local artists and creative entrepreneurs, economic development professionals, business leaders, and local arts agency staff to discuss the structure, growth potential, and barriers to the growth of the creative economy in the region. Later in the week, the project team conducted individual interviews and a focus group in Yakima, meeting with individual artists and creative entrepreneurs, art collectors, and representatives from tourism, economic development, and major arts and cultural institutions in the region.
WESTAF Bay Area Arts Policy and Leadership Seminar Continues in Oakland and Santa Rosa
The Bay Area Arts Policy and Leadership cohort most recently met at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center on August 23, 2022. This fourth meeting (second in-person gathering) focused on beginning to envision the future of this emerging coalition and better defining its goals. During the session, the group discussed local issues and aspects of their draft policy framework with local arts agencies and private philanthropy leaders. Participants included: Roberto Bedoya, cultural affairs manager, City of Oakland; Kerry Adams Hapner, director, Cultural Affairs, City of San Jose; Jennifer Lovvron, chief cultural affairs officer, City of Berkeley; Ted Russell, director arts strategy and ventures, Kenneth Rainin Foundation; and Adam Fong, program officer, Performing Arts, Hewlett Foundation. The next meeting of the group will take place from October 17-18 in Santa Rosa in partnership with the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center.
WESTAF Expands Engagement with Western States
Each year, WESTAF tracks the value of our engagement with the states in the West and provides metrics to illustrate this value with our participating state arts agencies in our region. Based on the most recent reporting, aggregate return on investment for the states in the region continues to rise. WESTAF’s direct funding through grantmaking within the 13 states increased by 333% since 2019. These results were made possible through increased investment from the National Endowment for the Arts and private foundations. WESTAF also increased our engagement with our state arts agencies partners. Last year, we conducted 33 individual meetings with SAAs. This year, meetings with SAAs alone increased to 58; when including meetings with the Pacific jurisdictional arts agencies that became partners of WESTAF earlier this year, 74 total meetings were held. In addition, we conducted 52 meetings with citizen advocacy groups and lobbyists in our region. Prior to the end of our fiscal year, we conducted over 125 meetings with state partners (SAAs, advocacy groups, and lobbyists). We also conducted 18 technical assistance and consulting engagements of various types with state and jurisdictional arts agencies and other state government partners, which include undertaking the Washington Creative Economy Strategic Plan project for the Washington Department of Commerce; Cultural Industry Visioning Facilitation for the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, Utah Department of Cultural and Community Engagement, and Utah Cultural Alliance; and the Bay Area Arts Policy and Leadership Seminar in partnership with the Hewlett Foundation and Kenneth Rainin Foundation.
WESTAF to Deliver Advocacy Session for Colleague Regional Arts Organization South Arts
South Arts has invited WESTAF to collaborate with Arts North Carolina to produce a virtual arts advocacy workshop, Vote SmART ‘22 for the Southeast region on October 21, 2022.
social responsibility & inclusion
Social Responsibility and Inclusion (SRI) Team to attend the 134th Annual Meeting of the American Folklore Society
Grant and Access Manager Ashanti McGee of the Social Responsibility and Inclusion (SRI) Team, will attend the 134th Annual Meeting of the American Folklore Society in Tulsa, Oklahoma from October 13-15, 2022. This year the meeting’s theme is “Re-Centering the Periphery,” examining the “connections, tensions, and fluctuations of marginalized and centralized entities within the folklore discipline and within the larger environments”. Artists, administrators, historians, and Living Traditions personnel in the field of Living Traditions, will gather for workshops, presentations, and local tours to connect and discuss current and emerging practices.
SRI Team Attends the Arts Northwest Conference
Anika Tené and Ashanti McGee will attend the 41st Annual Arts Northwest Conference from October 10-13, 2022, in Tacoma, Washington, where WESTAF has been invited to share information about its regional touring grant program, TourWest. The Arts Northwest Conference is a gathering for performing artists, stakeholders, and connect and learn through workshops, mentorships, meetings, and live performance.
WESTAF Holds Equity, Recovery, and Relief Virtual Gathering for Grantees
On Wednesday, September 28, the Social Responsibility and Inclusion (SRI) Team gathered with 85 grantees representing our American Rescue Plan, CARES Act, and Mellon Foundation grant funding in 2020 and 2021, sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic. With a plenary session led by Dr. Michelle Ramos, grantees also had the opportunity to share in a peer-to-peer environment in facilitated breakout sessions led by five grantee organizations on topics including survivance, partnerships, liberatory leadership and programming practices, and support for small cultural organizations. In a post-gathering survey, more than 90% of respondents said that the sessions met or exceeded their expectations. At the request of the attendees, WESTAF has set up a listserv to support their continued interaction through resource and information sharing.
WESTAF Attends NASAA Pre-Conference and Conference
Grants and Access Manager Ashanti McGee attended the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies Living Traditions (formally Folk and Traditional Arts) and Accessibility pre-conferences. States Arts Agency living traditions coordinators from our region met with Ashanti to discuss further collaboration and potential projects. Workshops included Team Dynamics, which examined power dynamics within the Living Traditions field. The importance of living traditions workers assisting communities on how to address the impacts of climate change and climate migrants, how to empower local organizations to incorporate accessibility training, and a discussion about “burning issues” in the accessibility field.
LEADERS OF COLOR NETWORK UPDATES
WESTAF and the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations (USRAOs) Move Toward Final Selections for the National Leaders of Color Program (LoCF)
On September 7, Social Responsibility and Inclusion Director Anika Tené led the USRAO panelists in an orientation for reviewing LoCF applications. Twenty-three panelists representing the various regional organizations have completed a review of all applications. The program will start with the orientation on October 14. WESTAF has set up a listserv for Fellows and the LoCF faculty and team and are meeting with website consultant Alexandria Jimenez (ELC 2015) to set up virtual program resources. WESTAF has also invited the more than 300+ applicants who could not be selected to a special information and group mentoring session with the USRAO Collective and members of the LoCF faculty and team that will take place on November 7. WESTAF will seek to include all applicants from our region on our mailing list to continue to engage with them and share activities, including upcoming grant programs and paneling opportunities.
WESTAF WEB SERVICES
CaFÉ Celebrates Public Art Archive Anniversary Map
The CaFÉ team is excited to highlight the Public Art Archive’s anniversary map. This second edition comes 10 years after the original Have You Seen My Public Art? map was created, and this new version highlights 144 artworks across all 50 states through a call for entry on CaFÉ. In our latest blog post, the team delves into the timeline of how this new edition came to be.
Celebrating Public Art Archive’s 2nd Edition of Have You Seen My Public Art? Map!
Join the Public Art Archive™ (PAA) as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of our Have You Seen My Public Art? map with a second edition! The original map was created in 2013 and quickly became the program’s most recognizable visual. Since that time, the PAA team has continued its mission to make public art more public, archiving almost 20,000 public artworks around the U.S. and abroad in the process. This new map, illustrated by Colorado-based artist Kara Fellows, highlights a diverse array of public artists and their artworks from across the country.
CVSuite™ Teams Up with Parsons School of Design
A new collaboration is on the horizon and we couldn’t be more excited! CVSuite is collaborating with Parsons School of Design, School of Design Strategies on a three-week design initiative. The CVSuite team will work with graduate students to uncover design interventions and strategies in and around the CVSuite business model and its role as a resource for the creative economy. Stay tuned for more updates!
2021 Data Coming to CVSuite™ This Fall
The CVSuite team is preparing for our next data update, 2022.3, which will make the newest data year (2021) available. In addition to making this new data available, this fall, we will be updating the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes from the 2019 Emsi hybrid SOC codes to the 2018 SOC codes—the most current system in 2022. This change will reflect and describe today’s occupational data more accurately.
NEA’s Pilot Equity Initiative Uses GO Smart as Universal Application Provider
The GO team is thrilled to share that GO Smart will be the Universal Application Provider for the NEA’s new Pilot Equity Initiative, a national pilot program to be conducted in partnership with our five fellow RAOs. This program will promote equal access to the arts and address participation in historically underserved communities. As the universal application provider, GO Smart will be the software as a service (SaaS) platform through which the initiative will be administered, an exciting opportunity to showcase the tool to a nation-wide audience!
GO Smart Equity Resources for Grantmakers
Want to further streamline your grants management processes? Look no further than GO Smart’s new multiple submission tool! This innovative enhancement will save you time and stress during your next grant cycle. Check out our latest blog post to learn more!
WESTAF Community NEWS
The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) recently announced the winners of the 2022 NASAA Leadership Awards, and we are thrilled to share that three out of the four winners come from the WESTAF region! They are Jean Tokuda Irwin (Utah), Margaret Hunt (Colorado), and Cyndy Andrus (Montana, and also a WESTAF Trustee!). Congratulations to all!
Dance/USA, the national service organization for dance, invites Letters of Interest from dance organizations and artists interested in working with Archival Fellows in the Dance/USA 2023 Archiving and Preservation Fellowship Program. To submit a Letter of Interest, complete this form by October 19, 2022.
The Dance/USA Archiving and Preservation Fellowship program pairs library science students and other emerging archivists with dance companies, arts organizations, and independent artists to complete archiving projects. The program’s goals include developing an engaged, passionate, and well-trained next generation of archivists in the dance field; advancing models for community-based archiving assistance to regional dance communities; and providing high quality archival assistance to dance organizations and artists who may otherwise not have the resources, time, or expertise to access professional archiving services. In 2022, Dance/USA awarded six Fellowships; learn about the Fellows and their projects here.
Please contact Imogen Smith, Dance/USA Director of Archiving & Preservation, and Hallie Chametzky, Dance/USA Archiving Specialist with any questions.
Artists Sunday is Back!
More than 500 communities across the United States have come together for the third year to champion local artists and promote the giving of the arts this holiday season. Artists in all mediums are invited to join Artists Sunday, the local and national event encouraging consumers to shop with artists on November 27th–the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It’s like Black Friday or Small Business Saturday.
NEFA Announces National Dance Project and National Theater Project Award Grants
NEFA has announced its two largest national grant awards, including 10 recipients of the National Theater Project Creation and Touring awards, 15 Artist Development awards recipients, and 20 new dance projects through the National Dance Project.
The National Theater Project (NTP) promotes the development and touring of artist-led, ensemble, and devised theater works. NTP’s 12 Advisors selected these projects from an initial 98 competitive preliminary applications narrowed to 25 final applications. Each of the finalists was paired with an Advisor to support the final application process.
Learn more about the National Theater Project
The National Dance Project is one of the country’s major sources of funding and field building for dance, supporting the creation and touring/sharing of new works. The 12 NDP Advisors, made up of artists, presenters, producers, arts administrators, and cultural strategists, selected these projects out of over 180 competitive applications; 16 out of the 20 choreographers and companies are first-time recipients.
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.