Inclusion & Equity Advancement Services

From Awareness to Action

In recent years, often in response to demographic changes, socio-economic shifts, and the rise of social movements in the U.S., many nonprofit and public sector arts organizations have taken on the challenge of exploring how to become more inclusive. Organizational leaders are reconsidering the manner by which agencies established to serve a broad constituency understand and effectively address community needs and concerns.

WESTAF is a strong advocate for equity across the field. Our comprehensive approach to inclusion and equity has been shaped by long-standing relationships with cultural leaders and direct experience working toward a more representative and equitable arts sector. It is with this knowledge and expertise that WESTAF provides support to institutions and agencies actively engaging in inclusion and equity work.

Broad Perspective, Personalized Support

A thought leader with a national reputation for creating and building solutions to strengthen the arts field, WESTAF is dedicated to facing challenges alongside clients–as partners–with a shared commitment to eliminating barriers and achieving equitable outcomes for a broad set of stakeholders. Instructive, collaborative, and responsive to the needs of organizations taking on this critical and transformational work, WESTAF brings valuable skills and expertise to inclusion and equity advancement efforts.

Our Approach

Understanding that organizations will need and want to adopt a multi-pronged approach to inclusion and equity, WESTAF provides thoughtful, overall guidance for the development of an organizational blueprint for inclusion and equity. When the need for in-depth trainings arises, we leverage our relationships to connect clients to highly qualified consultants and work collaboratively to implement a customized plan.

Organizations prioritizing inclusion and equity can expect the following key steps and outcomes from a partnership with WESTAF:

Key Steps

  • Conduct an initial inclusion and equity assessment.
  • Interact with stakeholders to discover opportunities, challenges and areas for deeper investigation.
  • Orient stakeholders to how the field is talking about, interpreting and responding to inclusion and equity using research, demographic data and best practices.
  • Work in concert with leadership to operationalize inclusion and equity to ensure they are embedded in all facets of the organization including its people, policies and programs.
  • Collaborate with organizational leadership to facilitate mid-course corrections and sustained proactive engagement with key constituencies.


  • A clear understanding of organizational readiness for an inclusiveness initiative.
  • A cultivation of relationships which will serve as the foundation and inspiration for meaningful organizational change.
  • An increased awareness of the importance and benefits of inclusion and equity to the organization.
  • A developing internal culture rooted in a philosophy of belonging and cultural responsiveness geared toward altering how the organization functions and is utilized.

Fee Structure

WESTAF works closely with each client to fit its priorities, timeline, and budget. Our services are available in a range of competitively priced services to meet individual needs.

Lead Consultant, Chrissy Deal

Chrissy Deal has managed WESTAF’s Multicultural Initiatives since 2013 and is responsible for leading and implementing WESTAF’s internal inclusiveness efforts as well as advising public sector and nonprofit arts organizations on how to align their mission with inclusion and equity goals. She is the liaison to WESTAF’s Multicultural Advisory Committee and oversees the annual Emerging Leaders of Color program for arts administrators of color in the western United States. With more than 20 years of nonprofit, education, and philanthropic experience, she has worked at the Denver Art Museum, the Daniels Fund, and RedLine.

A long-time community volunteer and alumna of Denver’s Circle of Latina Leadership, Deal is on the Board of Trustees at the Denver Foundation, where she serves as secretary and is past chair of the Inclusiveness Project (now Leadership & Equity committee), whose purpose is to advance racial equity by acknowledging and dismantling the historical, systemic and societal context of privilege and oppression. A former vice chair of the Denver County Cultural Council, which allocates Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) tax dollars to scientific and cultural organizations, she is also a founding member of Denver’s first Latina women’s giving circle, LatinasGive! Deal holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Regis University.

For additional information on WESTAF’s Inclusion and Equity Advancement Services, contact Chrissy at, 303.629.1166.