WESTAF Impacts Policy

Through involving and inspiring regional and national legislators and business leaders, collaborating with advocates and aligning public perception, WESTAF promotes the stability and growth of resources for the arts.

The Alliances, Advocacy, and Policy (AAP) division connects, coordinates, and mobilizes a western and national network of artists, administrators, public officials, and influencers within and outside the arts field to build awareness of arts-related issues to drive legislation and policy. In this capacity, the team leads a variety of efforts, including conducting arts policy research, delivering professional development programs for state arts agencies, advancing and supporting the work of arts advocates, and convening thought leaders in the field. The team also develops mutually beneficial relationships with organizations and individuals across the sector and manages WESTAF’s external relations, including our engagement with public sector agencies and philanthropy.

Latest AAP News

This page is updated monthly, so be sure to check back often to stay up-to-date on the latest alliances, advocacy and policy news!

WESTAF Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar Logo

Complete Your Registration for ALAS 2022!

Registration is open for the 2022 Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar (ALAS)! The virtual convening aims to activate western states in discussion around cultural policy at the regional and national levels. This year’s event will take place virtually on Monday, May 24 and Tuesday, May 24, 2022. Learn more about this year’s ALAS or register today.

Learn more and register
Washington State Department of Commerce logo

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.

WESTAF staff and Bay Area Seminar attendees standing outside of event venue

WESTAF Hosts Bay Area Arts Policy and Leadership Seminar

The first convening of the Bay Area Arts Policy and Leadership Seminar took place on April 5. The seminar, held in San Jose at the School of Arts and Culture Mexican Heritage Plaza, brought together nearly 30 individuals representing various organizations, including: MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, Teatro Visión, Creser Capital, Chinese Historical Society of America, San Benito County Arts Council, School of Arts and Culture at MHP, and more! Topics included current policy environments in both regional and national arts advocacy and cultural policy landscapes, as well as arts advocacy strategies, and arts activism and community building. WESTAF Board Chair and Program Advisor Tamara Alvardo and Californians for the Arts Executive Director Julie Baker were featured on panels focused on arts activism and arts advocacy respectively alongside Chris Esparza, School of Arts and Culture, Roy Hirabayashi, School of Arts and Culture, and Tom DeCaigny, Create CA.

Black and white image of three ballet dancers side by side with their arms extended in a graceful pose

Second Round of Artists for Performing Arts Discovery Selected

The second cohort of artists in the Performing Arts Discovery program have been selected by a national selection panel coordinated by the Western Arts Alliance. PAD panelists included Lynn Cuny of Thunder Valley CDC, Lindsay Bauer of Fairfield Arts & Convention Center, Megha Rao of Dhirana Academy of Classical Dance, Ramón Rivera-Servera of UT Austin CFA, Margaret Lawrence, Director of Programming at Moss Arts Center, Virginia Tech,Yonca Karakilic of Arts Transcending Borders, College of the Holy Cross, Ali Rosa-Salas of Abrons Arts Center/Jacobs Pillow, Asali Ecclesiastes of Ashé Cultural Arts Center, Brandall Jones (South Arts ELC alumnus) of Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre, Elena Higgins of Indigenous Ways, and Christopher Nicholas of Ensemble Miknawooj.

Meet the 2021 Phase 1 PAD Artists