Board of Trustees Bi-Weekly Recap

Bi-Weekly Recap: October 21, 2019

By October 21, 2019October 28th, 2019No Comments

Hello WESTAF trustees!

We are beyond excited to welcome you to Denver this week! We have a fun, productive and informative agenda planned, and the WESTAF staff is excited to spend some time with you! Please read on, because while we’ll be together soon, there’s still lots of important information to share that may or may not make it onto the agenda at the board meeting:


This past Thursday, you received the agenda and board book. Here’s a web version of the board book as well, in addition to the .pdf you each received. This web version has a few updates, including an overview of trustee elections including a new slate of officers. Also, because one of the target outcomes for this board meeting is to get our trustees and our staff better acquainted, we have a few fun activities planned, including a whimsical conversation prompt at our dinner together on 10/23 as well as a planned Gallery Session before lunch the following day. At lunch, we’ll be joined by our MAC friends, then in the afternoon we’ll be diving into some thoughts and reflections on WESTAF’s DEI work past, present and future. Don’t forget also that we’ll have a proper photographer who is going to take some good pictures of us together. Hooray!


WESTAF welcomed 14 former Emerging Leaders of Color program alumni to Denver October 7-9 for a three-day workshop titled Designing Our Future – Imagining Inclusive Systems. In addition to the alumni, myself, David Holland, and trustee Teniqua Broughton joined Chrissy Deal and the program faculty Tamara Alvarado, Salvador Acevedo, and Margie Reese for this hands-on and interactive experience. The workshop created a space for strengthening ties between members across cohorts and the western region and gave WESTAF leadership a strong sense of ways members of the network wish to engage with WESTAF moving forward. Chrissy and Madalena will use the insights from the group to begin developing a platform for continued connection and collaboration with this talented group of leaders through FY20 and beyond. As I am not a leader of color, it was a special privilege to be invited into this circle and to be able to share this experience and learn more about the program itself. Fun picture below!


David Holland participated in the WESTAF Emerging Leaders of Color Professional Development Program session where he facilitated a session on economic inequity and the arts. The session engaged participants in utilizing data from a range of sources (including NASAA, Arts Endowment, Institute for Policy Studies) to broaden perspectives on how a range of economic issues have an impact on the field at national and regional levels. David has also begun to engage state arts advocacy organizations and lobbyists across the thirteen states and recently engaged Julie Baker at Californians for the Arts, JD Bullington, a lobbyist in New Mexico, and has an upcoming meeting with Megan Wagner, a lobbyist in Colorado. In the coming weeks, David has also has meetings and calls scheduled with Katharine Ferguson, Associate Director of the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group and Director of CSG’s Regional and Rural Development Initiatives, Dee Schneidman, Program Director, Research & Creative Economy at NEFA, and others to discuss areas of common interest and potential for future collaboration. David and Laurel Sherman are working on the launch of the FY20 Advocacy Funds program in November and planning for the upcoming Executive Directors Forum in January 2020.


Leah completed and the shared the FY20 MarComm Master Plan, which outlines preliminary marketing plans for CaFE, CVSuite, GO Smart, and PAA, as well as marketing and communications for WESTAF’s programs and services for fiscal year 2020. She is currently working on an intial plan for bringing more visibility to WESTAF’s work in the area of alliances and responsibilities. She has begun work with the GO Smart and CVSuite teams for the year’s planned marketing initiatives, including developing and lanching a Client Touch Program for GO Smart and the Top 20 Lists campaign for CVSuite. The kickoff meeting with the CaFE team takes place next week, where a focus will be refining the marketing strategies to support developing a strong digital sales strategy in FY20. Also in the works is a dissemination plan for the ELC evaluation results and some guidance for staff regarding internal communication systems, tools, and resources. The MarComm team also continued updating key FY20 documents and resources, including the WESTAF Style Guide and FY20 boilerpplate, as well as finalizing details and materials for the early October ELC convening and the upcoming board meeting in Denver.


This was the first time that WESTAF has participated in this conference, and it was extremely helpful and informative, especially to start to better understand the arts and social justice philanthropy landscape. I attended some really useful sessions and came away with a stronger sense of how to prioritize the foundations that we will be approaching around our social responsibility work in the coming years. Chrissy participated in a pre-conference session – Philanthropic Imaginaries: Creating the funding landscape we need – which challenged attendees to dismantle the structures in philanthropy that hinder the ability to effectively address social and economic injustices in marginalized communities and communities of color. The conference was a great opportunity to connect to long-time members of the WESTAF family, state arts agency partners and members of the Leaders of Color network. David also attended the Grantmakers in the Arts Conference, where he met with Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts. He also met with the Emcarts team about potential engagement on future WESTAF programming for state arts agencies. He was also able to engage with state arts agency and local arts agency teams from across the WESTAF region along with representatives from a range of regional and national foundations.


CaFE internal sales are going well. CaFE has received 42 demo requests in October, and 10 demos have been completed. Five new clients have signed on. On 10/22 CaFE will add social sharing buttons to each call listing page for easier sharing of opportunities.


The team released an update to the scripting language, PHP, and we are working on a new data update with our developers. We received a contract from the University of Boulder for an environmental design class to use CVSuite data to conduct comparisons of and provide analysis for two Colorado cities, Boulder and Longmont. As one of our first university use-cases, they will provide feedback for potential site enhancements.


Alaska State Council on the Arts are actively working on their grants again. We gave a demo to Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund who seem interested but are on an 18-month RFP path so it may be some time before we hear back. Black Belt Foundation has requested a third demo to loop in their executive director. Check-ins with clients 90 days prior to their subscription expiration date are proving to be positive and the team will continue to make this a priority.


PAA Manager Lori Goldstein will present about the Public Art Archive’s products and services to the Northern California Public Art Administrators Network (NorCal PAAN) on Friday, October 18. PAA hopes to close the sale of the CMS to Mural Arts Philadelphia, a renowned, 30-year public art organization that has commissioned over 4,000 murals.


Christina V. and Julia P. will travel to Alexandria, Virginia, next week to attend the Art Fair Directors’ Conference and host the ZAPP Oversight Committee meeting, where the FY20 ZAPP budget is approved. We signed our first, standard-show (collects more than 500 applications) contract of FY20, with a California-based client who will host three shows on ZAPP; the contract is valued at a minimum base fee of $4,700.

That’s all for now. Thank you, as always, for your invaluable service as trustees!