Board of Trustees Bi-Weekly Recap

Bi-Weekly Recap: August 26, 2019

By August 26, 2019No Comments

Dear Trustees:


Just a brief bi-weekly follows (although still choc-a-bloc with helpful updates!):



In case you missed it — here’s a recap of the tumultuous week: We recently shared with you the disheartening news that Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy line-item vetoed a bipartisan budget package put forth by the Alaska legislature, which eliminated all FY20 funding for the Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA). We are now delighted to report that full funding for ASCA has been restored! As NASAA recently reported, after Governor Dunleavy’s line-item veto of 182 items, including all funds for ASCA, the legislature reconvened to develop a supplemental budget package to reverse some of the cuts. HB2001 included $704,400 in state funding for ASCA, as well as authorization for ASCA to receive both federal and private funds. This restoration of funds is a direct result of the unrelenting efforts of arts advocates across the state who simply would not accept an Alaska that did not invest in arts and culture. The citizens of Alaska made it clear that support for the arts is non-negotiable and an integral part of the state’s cultural heritage. WESTAF warmly welcomes ASCA back (what a month!) and looks forward to supporting the agency and its staff as it begins rebuilding.



David Holland joined us at WESTAF this past Monday. It’s been a great week with David so far. He has been attending several onboarding meetings, and becoming acquainted with the office and his new colleagues and the work, as he will be doing for the next two weeks. He has an early firm grasp on several important topics in advocacy and public policy and is diving right into the work and developing a strategy moving forward. It is so great to have him!



Leah and I had a good initial meeting with James Ogsbury, Executive Director of the Western Governors Association. We discussed their “Reimagining the Rural West” initiative as well as their “Celebrate the West” art competition. We are exploring ways to collaborate.



At the recent ArtsWA Commissioners meeting in Tieton, the “CSPAN of Washington State,” TVW, covered the whole proceedings. You can catch up on the really high quality capture of the meeting here.



Evaluation – Christian and Chrissy met with independent consultant Andrea Giron Mathern who was hired earlier this year to evaluate the impact of the Emerging Leaders of Color program. The meeting was joined by Madalena Salazar who continues to collaborate with Chrissy on social responsibility and inclusion work and Salvador Acevedo, longtime ELC faculty member. The evaluation was framed around ELC’s four program goals, which include preparing participants for leadership positions, deepening understanding of the arts & how public support sustains the vibrancy of the sector; creating a cohort of cultural leaders of color in the western US committed to the advancement of the arts; and establishing networks to support careers and the cultural interests of the communities they serve. According to the respondents, some of the more impactful aspects of the program are the network of peers and colleagues (including ELC alumni, WESTAF staff and faculty) and professional and personal growth. Chrissy will work with me on how best to present the findings in the final report at a future board meeting.

ELC19 – We are looking forward to hosting 15 ELC alumni on October 7-9 for this year’s ELC alumni convening. They are: Christy NaMee Eriksen (Alaska), Yvonne Montoya (Arizona), Abraham Flores (California), Laili Gohartaj (California), Mariana Moscoso (California), Alexandria Jimenez (Colorado), Julz Bolinayen Ignacio (Washington/Hawai‘i), Anastacio Del Real (Nevada), Michelle Patrick (Nevada), Sandra Margarita Ward (Nevada), Gabrielle Uballez (New Mexico), Candace Kita (Oregon), Humberto Marquez Mendez (Oregon), Renato Olmedo-González (Utah), and Moana Palelei HoChing (Utah). In addition to the alumni, faculty and Chrissy, Teniqua Broughton, myself and our new Director of Public Policy, David Holland will also be participating in the 3-day session. Chrissy will share the final version of the agenda in the coming weeks.



GO Smart has four potential clients in progress for possible total revenue of $17,500. With Alaska’s reinstatement, we hope to recoup their expected $8,500 annual fee. The tech team is working hard to make a lot of small UX/UI changes that will increase the user-friendliness of GO Smart. Along with simple text changes, the admin portal is getting a facelift so that all of the existing features are laid out in a more linear, intuitive path.  


Thank you for your service as a trustee,