Board of Trustees Contact List

Click here to access a print-ready version of the contact list.

Roy Agloinga
Program Officer
Rasmuson Foundation
301 W. Northern Lights Blvd, #601
Anchorage, AK 99503
(Tel.) 907-301-4917
(Email) ragloinga@rasmuson.org
(Term) 10/2020

Cyndy Andrus
Montana Arts Council
3247 Gardenbrook Lane
Bozeman, MT 59715
(Tel.) 406-581-1228
(Email) cyndy.andrus@gmail.com
(Term) 10/2020

Lisa Becker
Director of Communications
Newmont Mining Corporation
285 Spruce Road
Elko, NV 89801
(Tel.) 775-778-2130
(Email) ellebee.nv@gmail.com
(Term) 10/2022

Victoria Panella Bourns
Utah Division of Arts and Museums
617 East South Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
(Tel.) 801-236-7551
(Cell) 801 487-8507
(Email) vbourns@utah.gov
(Personal Email) vpanellabourns@xmission.com
(Term) 10/2019

Michael Faison
Executive Director
Idaho Commission on the Arts
PO Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0008
(Tel.) 208-334-2119 x 107
(Email) michael.faison@arts.idaho.gov
(Term) 10/2020

Joaquin Herranz, Jr.
Associate Professor of Public Affairs
Evans School of Public Affairs
University of Washington
Box 353055 Seattle, WA 98195-3055
(Tel.) 206-616-1647
(Email) jherranz@u.washington.edu
(Term) 10/2020

Jonathan Johnson
Executive Director Hawaii State
Foundation on Culture and the Arts
250 South Hotel Street
2nd Floor, Honolulu, HI 96813
(Tel.) 808-586-0301
(Email) jonathan.johnson@hawaii.gov
(Term) 10/2020

Nikiko Masumoto
Farmer, Artist, Volunteer
Fresno Regional Foundation / California
State University, Fresno
9336 E.Lincoln Avenue
Del Rey, CA 93616
(Tel.) 559-346-9319
(Email) nikmasu@gmail.com
(Term) 10/2021

Brandy Reitter
Town Manager
City of Eagle
200 Broadway, P.O. Box 609
Eagle, CO 81631
(Tel.) 970-328-9628
(Email) brandy.reitter@townofeagle.org
(Term) 10/2021

Tamara Alvarado – Chair
Executive Director
Leo M Shortino Foundation
1760 The Alameda
San Jose, CA 95126
(Tel.) 408-275-6306
(Email) talvarado@shortino.org
(Term) 10/2020

Amber-Dawn Bear Robe
Assistant Professor in Art History
Institute of the American Indian Arts
83 A Van Nu Po
Santa Fe, NM 87508
(Tel.) 505-699-0243
(Email) amberdawn.bearrobe@iaia.edu
(Term) 10/2022

Bassem Bejjani
Chief Medical Officer
2211 E. Beaver Lake Drive SE
Sammamish, WA 98075
(Tel.) 509-280-0184
(Email) bejjani03@gmail.com
(Term) 10/2021

Teniqua Broughton – Vice Chair
VerveSimone Consulting/ The State of Black Arizona
1601 E. Highland Ave, Unit 1072
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(Tel.) 480-707-9977
(Email) teniqua@gmail.com
(Term) 10/2019

Karen Hanan
Executive Director
PO Box 42675
Olympia, WA 98504-2675
(Tel.) 360-753-3860
(Email) karen.hanan@arts.wa.gov
(Term) 10/2020

Ann Hudner
Hudner Strategies
1125 NW 12th Avenue, Unit 1016
Portland, OR 97209
(Tel.) 774-264-0852
(Email) ann@hudnerstrategies.com
(Term) 10/2021

Michael Lange – Treasurer
Executive Director
Wyoming Arts Festival
2320 Capitol Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82002
(Email) michael.lange@wyo.gov
(Term) 10/2021

Paul Nguyen
Product Manager, Data/API
2040 14th St #200
Boulder, CO 80302
(Tel.) 720-388-5580
(Email) paul.nguyen@jumpcloud.com
(Term) 10/2022

Karmen Rossi – Secretary
Military and Veterans Specialist
U.S. Representative Liz Cheney
401 Stetson Dr.
Cheyenne, WY 82009
(Email) rossikarmen@gmail.com
(Term) 10/2021

Kelly Stowell
Executive Director
Center for Education, Business and the Arts
468 East 300 South
Kanab, UT 84741
(Tel.) 435-899-0443
(Email) stowell@kanab.net
(Term) 10/2020

Board of Trustees Terms

Click here for a print-ready version of the term list.

Roy Algoinga
1st Term Start: 5/2015
1st Term End: 10/2017
2nd Term Start: 10/2017
2nd Term End: 10/2020
Future Eligibility: Through 10/2024

Cyndy Andrus
1st Term Start: 10/2014
1st Term End: 10/2017
2nd Term Start: 10/2017
2nd Term End: 10/2020
Future Eligibility: Through 10/2023

Lisa Becker
1st Term Start: 10/2019
1st Term End: 10/2022
Future Eligibility: Through 10/2028

Victoria Panella Bourns
1st Term Start: 02/2019
1st Term End: 10/2019
2nd Term Start: 10/2019
2nd Term End: 10/2022
Future Eligibility: Unlimited

Michael Faison
1st Term Start: 10/2013
1st Term End: 10/2014
2nd Term Start: 10/2014
2nd Term End: 10/2017
3rd Term Start: 10/2017
3rd Term End: 10/2020
Future Eligibility: Unlimited

Joaquín Herranz, Jr.
1st Term Start: 5/2012
1st Term End: 10/2014
2nd Term Start: 10/2014
2nd Term End: 10/2017
3rd Term Start: 10/2017
3rd Term End: 10/2020
Future Eligibility: Through 10/2021

Jonathan Johnson
1st Term Start: 5/2016
1st Term End: 10/2017
2nd Term Start: 10/2017
2nd Term End: 10/2020
Future Eligibility: Unlimited

Nikiko Masumoto
1st Term Start: 10/2015
1st Term End: 10/2018
2nd Term Start: 10/2018
2nd Term End: 10/2021
Future Eligibility: 10/2024

Kelly Stowell
1st Term Start: 2/2018
1st Term End: 10/2020
Future Eligibility: Through 10/2027

Tamara Alvarado – Chair
1st Term Start: 5/2012
1st Term End 10/2014
2nd Term Start: 10/2014
2nd Term End: 10/2017
3rd Term Start: 10/2017
3rd Term End: 2020
Future Eligibility: Through 10/2023

Amber-Dawn Bear Robe
1st Term Start: 10/2019
1st Term End: 10/2022
Future Eligibility: Through 10/2028

Bassem Bejjani
1st Term Start: 10/2018
1st Term End: 10/2021
Future Eligibility: Through 10/2027

Teniqua Broughton – Vice Chair
1st Term Start: 6/2016
1st Term End: 10/2019
Future Eligibility: Through 10/2025

Karen Hanan
1st Term Start: 10/2014
1st Term End: 10/2017
2nd Term Start: 10/2017
2nd Term End: 10/2020
Future Eligibility: Unlimited

Ann Hudner
1st Term Start: 10/2018
1st Term End: 10/2021
Future Eligibility: Through 10/2027

Michael Lange – Treasurer
1st Term Start: 5/2016
1st Term End: 10/2018
2nd Term Start: 10/2018
2nd Term End: 10/2021
Future Eligibility: Unlimited

Paul Nguyen
1st Term Start: 10/2019
1st Term End: 10/2022
Future Eligibility: 10/2028

Brandy Reitter
1st Term Start: 4/2019
1st Term End: 10/2021
Future Eligibility: Through 10/2024

Karmen Rossi – Secretary
1st Term Start: 10/2018
1st Term End: 10/2021
Future Eligibility: Through 10/2027

Board of Trustee Biographies

WESTAF Board of Trustees Biographies

Click here for a print-ready version of the biographies.

Roy Agloinga
Program Officer | Rasmuson Foundation | Anchorage, Alaska
Roy Agloinga is a program officer at Rasmuson Foundation. Agloinga is the co-author of the Qawiaraq Iġałuik Inupiat Dictionary and currently serves as board secretary for the White Mountain Native Corporation. He is a trustee for WESTAF (the Western States Arts Federation). His experience includes rural health administration; Inupiat language preservation, education, and training; and government policy. He has also served as a health corporation board member, tribal administrator, and city council member. Angelina has a bachelor’s degree in English and a degree in secondary education from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is a continuing language student of Inupiat and Spanish. Agloinga is a tribal member of the Native village of White Mountain and a shareholder for Golovin, White Mountain, and Bering Straits Native corporations.

Tamara Alvarado | WESTAF Chair
Executive Director | Leo M Shortino Family Foundation | San Jose, California

Tamara Alvarado is the executive director of the Leo M. Shortino Family Foundation. Alvarado previously served as the executive director of the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza. Prior to that position, she was the director of multicultural leadership for 1st ACT Silicon Valley. From 2003-2008, she served as executive director of MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana in San Jose, California. From 1999-2003, she served as program director for the newly opened Washington United Youth Center, a partnership between Catholic Charities and the City of San Jose. She is the past president of the board of directors for ACE Charter Schools in San Jose. Alvarado is also co-founder of the Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute, a leadership development program for people of color working in arts, culture, and entertainment now housed at the School. A traditional Aztec dancer for the past 18 years, she is a member of Calpulli Tonalehqueh Danza Azteca of San Jose. Alvarado is originally from Escondido, California and holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature from Stanford University.

Cyndy Andrus
Chair | Montana Arts Council | Bozeman, Montana
After working in Yellowstone Park for many years, Cyndy Andrus settled in Bozeman, Montana, where she spent 10 years working for the Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce as the Convention and Visitor Bureau director. In May 2011, she left the chamber and started her own consulting business (Andrus Consulting), providing small communities in Montana with strategic planning and economic development tools to enhance the tourism experience in the community. Andrus has served six years on the Bozeman City Commission and was elected mayor in November 2015. She serves on three state governor-appointed councils (the Montana Arts Council (currently chair), the Tourism Advisory Council (past chair), and the Montana Heritage Commission) in addition to her service on the board of directors for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and the board of the Western States Arts Federation. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Amber-Dawn Bear Robe
Assistant Professor of History | Institute of American Indian Arts | Santa Fe, New Mexico
Amber-Dawn Bear Robe is from Siksika Nation in Alberta, Canada. Currently, she is visiting faculty in the museum studies and cinematic arts departments at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her latest curatorial projects include organizing the annual fashion show for the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts and curating an exhibition for the Tweed Museum in Duluth, Minnesota titled Blood Memoirs: Exploring Individuality, Memory, and Culture through Portraiture. Previously, she was the director/curator of Urban Shaman: Contemporary Aboriginal Art, the largest Aboriginal artist-run center in North America. She has a master’s degree in American Indian studies and a second master’s degree in art history, both from the University of Arizona.

Lisa Becker
Director of Communications and External Relations | Newmont Mining Association | Elko, Nevada

Lisa Becker is the director of communications and external relations for Newmont Mining Association. In this position she works with the communities of Elko, Spring Creek, Carlin, and Eureka. Becker enjoys working with these local communities to promote mining education and to fulfill Newmont’s commitment to being a socially responsible community partner. Newmont is a significant company in Northern Nevada, and Becker believes it is important to maintain a healthy working relationship and meaningful communication between the company and the Elko area communities. Since returning to Elko in 2007, Becker has been active on many community boards, including the Great Basin College Foundation and the McCaw School of Mines Foundation. She has served on the Chamber of Commerce Board. Becker received a master’s degree in communication and leadership from Gonzaga University and a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Hillsdale College.

Bassem Bejjani
Vice President | CARAVAN | Sammamish, Washington
Bassem Bejjani is the past chair of the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA). He also serves as vice president of the board of CARAVAN, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building peace through the arts between the creeds and cultures of the East and West. Bejjani is also chief medical officer of Metis Genetics, a company dedicated to telegenetic medicine and genetic counseling. He is interested in arts and science education and the role of art in enhancing creativity, scientific learning, and critical thinking. A pediatrician and medical geneticist by training, Bejjani is a longtime patron of the arts who retired as chief medical officer of Signature Genomics, a company he co-founded in 2003 and sold to PerkinElmer, Inc. in 2010. He also served on the board of the Spokane Symphony, where he was executive vice president. A native of Lebanon, he has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a doctor of medicine degree from the American University of Beirut. He has earned board certifications in pediatrics, medical genetics, clinical molecular genetics, and clinical cytogenetics.

Victoria Panella Bourns
Director | Utah Division of Arts and Museums | Salt Lake City, Utah
Victoria Panella Bourns currently serves as the director of the Utah Division of Arts & Museums. Bourns has been involved in art activities and cultural organizations in Utah for more than 30 years. She is on the board of the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) and a member of the Utah Women’s Forum. As a founding member of the Dance Theater Coalition, she produced, directed, choreographed, and performed in numerous original dance and theatre works. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in dance from the University of Utah, she earned a master’s degree in arts administration. Bourns then worked for some of Utah’s premier cultural organizations: Repertory Dance Theater, KUER (FM90), and the Salt Lake Acting Company. In addition, she served as treasurer for the Performing Arts Coalition during the planning and building of the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, a model for public-private partnerships. She helped transform the Utah Citizens for the Arts into the Utah Cultural Alliance and served as treasurer for the State Arts Advocacy League of America. Prior to assuming her current position, she was the director for Salt Lake County’s Zoo Arts and Parks special tax district. She also managed Salt Lake County’s public art, art collection, and open space programs. Under Panella Consulting, she developed and facilitated many planning projects, board retreats and organizational succession plans for nonprofit and governmental agencies.

Teniqua Broughton | WESTAF Vice Chair
Cultural Consultant | Verve Simone Consulting, LLC.| Phoenix, Arizona
As the founder and CEO of VerveSimone Consulting, LLC, a minority woman owned small business providing consulting services to individuals and organizations. Broughton is noted for her impact in both national and local sectors. Leading with passion, she identifies strategies that support the sustainability of organizations by leveraging her experience, initiative, and insight gained throughout her professional career. With a focus on nonprofit governance consulting, event and project management, and leadership and equity empowerment through public speaking and workshops. Teniqua ignites creativity and challenges mediocrity to drive desired outcomes. Broughton’s extensive non-profit understanding in both direct services to children and organizational leadership serves as a platform for Broughton to infuse her knowledge and experience into professional organizations, while also providing insight on board governance best practices. She has supported administrative leadership and provided staff/ resource management to organizations in Arizona and throughout the nation. Verve Simone has clients such as Arizona Facts of Life, Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona, ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, AXS Group, City of Tempe Division of Arts & Culture, Life Design Events and Productions, Rachel Frazier Johnson Law, PLLC and Tempe Tourism Office. Broughton has an earnest commitment to governance and diversification on boards. She is the founder of the Monarch Society and Council at the Desert Botanical Garden, establishing a membership and leadership group to integrate age diversification within the garden during her tenure as a Trustee. She currently serves as a Trustee for the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) for Arizona, and Chair of Equity and Inclusion (EIC) Committee; a Commissioner, and Chair for the City of Phoenix’s Arts & Culture Commission. In 2017, AZ Central’s selected Broughton as Who’s Next award, emerging leaders making a difference in the arts. Broughton has her M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision, and her B.I.S. in Educational Psychology, with an emphasis on theater for youth, and certificates as Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP) and Equity & Inclusion.

Michael Faison
Executive Director | Idaho Commission on the Arts | Boise, Idaho
Michael Faison is the executive director of the Idaho Commission on the Arts. Faison previously served as the arts in education division director of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the assistant director of the Oregon Arts Commission, and the executive director of the Center for Arts Management and Technology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Faison has served as an information technology consultant for Pittsburgh’s Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and worked as a high school art and commercial art teacher in the Austin, Texas Independent School District. Faison is a member of the WESTAF board of trustees. He holds a bachelor’s degree in studio art from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in management from Carnegie Mellon University, and multiple Texas teaching certifications.

Karen Hanan
Executive Director | ArtsWA | Olympia, Washington
Karen Hanan was appointed executive director of ArtsWA (the Washington State Arts Commission) by Governor Jay Inslee effective March 2014. The agency, established in 1961, is charged with speaking up for the public value of the arts, building leadership in and for the arts, and strengthening arts education in the state’s public schools. ArtsWA is also responsible for documenting the impact of the arts on the state’s communities and in people’s lives, and sharing the findings. The agency’s work also includes building participation in the arts and acquiring and caring for artwork in the State Art Collection sited at Washington’s K-12 public schools, colleges, universities, and state agencies. Prior to her current appointment, Hanan was the executive director of Arts Northwest, the regional service organization for the performing arts. Before that, she was the founder and first executive director of the Olympic Peninsula’s Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts, a four-day multicultural, multi-stage festival held each year over Memorial Day weekend. The organization also offers programs, shows, and outreach to locals and visitors year round. Hanan holds a bachelor’s degree from Leeds Polytechnic in England. She is well known as a resource to the greater arts community in the Northwestern U.S. and beyond. In 2014, Hanan was honored with a Distinguished Service Award in recognition of “exceptional leadership and dedication to the field.”

Joaquín Herranz, Jr.
Associate Dean | Evans School of Public Affairs | University of Washington | Seattle, Washington
Joaquín Herranz, Jr. is the associate dean for academic programs and professor of public affairs at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. Herranz is currently writing a book about the quadruple bottom line for 21st-century organizations that adds cultural creativity as a fourth bottom line to the financial, social, and environmental performance expectations of governmental, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. His other research includes studies of multi-sectoral network performance and the relationship between arts, culture, and community economic development. He has conducted research for the Urban Institute, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the World Bank, and the International Labour Organization. Herranz is a member of the WESTAF board of trustees. He holds a master’s degree in city planning from the University of California at Berkeley and a doctorate in urban political economy and policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ann Hudner
Principal | Hudner Strategies | Portland, Oregon
As a communications professional with an expertise in strategic positioning, media relations, and community engagement, Ann Hudner has been involved in the art and design conversation on multiple levels in various capacities. She previously served as director of communications at Ziba Design, a global innovation and design consultancy in Portland, Oregon, Hudner integrated the responsibilities of external relations, marketing, and public programs to advance the firm’s reputation, creating opportunities for new business and influencer cultivation. She relocated to the Pacific Northwest in 2008 to take the position of vice president for communications and public programs at Pacific Northwest College of Art, where she was responsible for the reorganization and elevation of the college’s communications function and public programs platform. Also, while in Portland, Hudner developed an art and design management consultancy, working with developers and architects as their business liaison to artists and designers, commissioning and installing local artwork for their properties across the country. Prior to this, Hudner led the External Relations Department at Rhode Island School of Design for 14 years, where she established their national media relations program and developed external collaborations to elevate the college’s influencer platform and global visibility. She has served as a board member of Design Museum Foundation and played an active role in their national expansion into Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; and Chicago, IL. Additionally, with essayist and design journalist Akiko Busch, Hudner was co-editor on the publication, Szenasy, Design Advocate, a collection of writings by Susan S. Szenasy, Metropolis magazine’s former publisher/editor-in-chief published by Metropolis Books, ARTBOOK | D.A.P. With a master’s degree in journalism/news media management and a bachelor’s degree in business administration, she has been active for more than 30 years in developing strategic platforms, collaborative initiatives and complex partnerships working with artists, designers, socially progressive businesses, architects, developers, nonprofits, higher education, and the media. Hudner currently serves as a trustee for WESTAF (Western States Art Federation), a regional nonprofit arts service organization dedicated to strengthening the financial, organizational, and policy infrastructure of the arts in the West.

Jonathan Johnson
Executive Director | Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts | Honolulu, Hawai’i
Jonathan Johnson was appointed executive director of the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA) in 2014. He has been with the SFCA since 1988, holding many positions within the agency, including program manager, project manager, conservation coordinator and registrar for the Art in Public Places Program, and director of the Hawai`i State Art Museum (HiSAM). Johnson grew up in Honolulu, was in public education from K-12, graduated from Kalani High School, and attended California Lutheran University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in design with an emphasis on business administration. He developed relationships with government and the arts and architecture communities as he oversaw the creation and installation of monumental art projects throughout the islands. Over the course of his SFCA career, Johnson has managed more than 130 of the commissioned works of art seen in state office buildings, libraries, public schools, university campuses, the convention center, state hospitals, and airports. He has worked on conservation projects, curated exhibitions at the Hawai`i State Art Museum, oversaw the artist-in-residence programs at four dozen Hawai`i public schools, was the project lead on the HiSAM sculpture garden and initiated the HiSAM ArtBento museum education program. Johnson was also appointed the chairman of the Hawai`i Commemorative Quarter Advisory Commission, which guided the design process representing Hawai`i in the 50 States Quarter Program. Johnson has a passion for the concept of a “museum without walls,” and is a strong advocate for arts in public education, ensuring access to arts and encouraging community participation. He draws on his 30 years of arts administration experience as he helps to guide SFCA in carrying out the goals of the agency outlined in the new Strategic Plan for FY2019-2023. The plan’s priorities focus on “supporting the artistic expressions of Hawai’i’s diverse cultures and communities, enhancing public engagement in culture and the arts, strengthening arts education for all learners, and enriching the public sphere through the arts.”

Michael Lange | Treasurer
Director | Wyoming Arts Council | Cheyenne, Wyoming
Michael Lange is the executive director of the Wyoming Arts Council and helps strengthen Wyoming communities by using the arts as a vehicle for positive change. Prior to serving as executive director, Lange served as the community development specialist for the arts council and worked for the University of Wyoming, where he used the arts as a catalyst for co-curricular student development initiatives. Lange is a trustee for WESTAF (the Western States Arts Federation). His research interests are centered on exploring and creating structures and atmospheres that promote creativity and he is the recipient of the 2017 Northwest College Alumnus of the Year. Lange is also a musician and composer, performing mostly in the jazz idiom. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s degree in public administration.

Nikiko Masumoto
Organic Farmer and Artist | Fresno, California
Nikiko Masumoto first learned to love food as a young child slurping the nectar of overripe organic peaches on the Masumoto Family Farm. Since then, she has never missed a harvest. A farmer, artist, and leader, Masumoto works alongside her father to raise organic peaches, nectarines, and grapes. She calls herself an “agrarian artist,” cultivating the richness of life in the Central Valley through farming, food, stories, art, and community. She debuted her one-woman show, What We Could Carry, about Japanese American Redress hearings in 2011 and co-authored her first book, The Perfect Peach (Ten Speed Press), with Marcy Masumoto and David Mas Masumoto. Her artistic work currently is focused on Yonsei Memory Project, which she co-founded with Brynn Saito to awaken the archives of Japanese American history through site-specific creative and public pedagogy. Masumoto has a bachelor’s degree in gender and women’s studies from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s degree in performance as public practice from the University of Texas, Austin.

Paul Nguyen
Product Manager | JumpCloud | Denver, Colorado
Paul Nguyen has more than 10 years of experience in software as a service (SaaS). As product manager at JumpCloud, Nguyen manages the development of impactful products that solve customer problems and bring high value to businesses. Previously, he was the project manager of the Creative Vitality Suite project, which analyzes economic data to demonstrate the impact of the creative and cultural sector in the economy. Nguyen now manages the development of JumpCloud’s data pillar, leveraging metadata from IT infrastructures to effectively manage, optimize, and identify IT challenges. He believes that with statistics, visualization, machine learning, and deep learning methods, complex and challenging problems can be transformed into action and decision. Nguyen has a master’s degree in data science from Regis University and a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Parsons School of Design.

Brandy Reitter
Town Manager of Eagle Colorado | Eagle, Colorado
Denver native Brandy Reitter is the Town Manager for Eagle, Colorado and has 15 years of experience working in city management to build communities and improve economic vitality. She started her career in economic development working for the City and County of Denver and the District of Columbia in Washington, DC. Prior to Eagle, she was the Town Administrator for Buena Vista and supported art, events, and music in the Arkansas River Valley as an economic driver. She has served in various leadership roles that have helped communities accomplish Space to Create artist work live projects, art in public places, Creative Districts, downtown revitalization, and affordable housing. Having participated in WESTAF’s Emerging Leaders of Colorado in 2014, Reitter started her journey as an arts and humanities advocate at the state and federal level. In addition to her experiences in municipal government, Reitter received a master’s in public administration from the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Public Affairs in 2008. Brandy also serves on the Board of Directors for Downtown Colorado, Inc. and was appointed by Governor John Hickenlooper to serve on the Colorado Creative Industries Council. In her free time, Reitter enjoys the outdoors and likes to travel.

Karmen Rossi | Secretary
Field Representative | U.S. Representative Liz Cheney, Wyoming-At-Large | Cheyenne, Wyoming
Karmen Rossi is a field representative for U.S. representative Liz Cheney and previously for U.S. Representative, Cynthia Lummis, of Wyoming. In her position, she oversaw an eight-county service area in which she interacted with business and community leaders, assisted constituents reaching out for assistance with federal agencies. She serves as the military affairs and veteran specialist for the district office. Rossi is currently a board member and former director of the Wyoming Arts Alliance (WyAA), a statewide nonprofit arts organization that seeks to provide a voice and effective advocacy for the arts. At WyAA, Rossi oversaw the annual state block booking conference, Arts Advocacy Day, and the general operations of the statewide organization. She has been a grant adjudicator for the Wyoming Arts Council’s Community Support Grants. Rossi is involved in her community by serving as the Chairman for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum Western Art Show and sale, the museum’s largest fundraiser for operations. Her other nonprofit experience includes serving as interim executive director of the Wyoming Affiliate of Susan G. Komen, as member of the education team for Laramie County United Way, and as program director for Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming. Rossi holds a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs, Italian, and Economics from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Kelly Stowell
Executive Director | Center for Education, Business, and the Arts | Kanab, Utah
Kelly Stowell has been the executive director of the Center for Education, Business, and the Arts since 2008 and also serves as the Kane County film commissioner. He is a native of southern Utah, where he grew up on a ranch in Parowan. Before relocating to Kanab, he was the executive director of the Utah Student Association with the Utah System of Higher Education. Stowell’s background includes stints in Washington, DC with United States Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah. Stowell earned a degree in business and psychology from Utah Valley University.

WESTAF Committees

WESTAF Committees

Click here for a print-ready version of the committee list.

Since its reorganization in 1996, WESTAF has not commissioned many committees. Most committee-type work is conducted directly at the meetings of the Board of Trustees. Currently, there are three WESTAF committees in operation: the Executive Committee, the Board Development Committee and the Multicultural Advisory Committee. According to WESTAF bylaws, all members of WESTAF committees–except the Executive Committee–are appointed by the WESTAF chair. Appointments to committees are for a one-year period and are renewed at the discretion of the WESTAF chair. The members of the Executive Committee are elected by the WESTAF trustees from a slate presented by the Board Development Committee in consultation with the WESTAF chair. The officers serving on the Executive Committee serve for a two-year period. The Executive Committee also has “at large” members who serve one-year renewable terms.

Duties of the Members of the Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is comprised of the four officers of WESTAF and up to three at-large members. The Executive Committee manages the work of the trustees between the meetings of the trustees and determines when business between full board meetings needs to be brought to the attention of the full board. The Executive Committee leads in the annual budget review process and also in the evaluation of the executive director.

The Executive Committee meeting monthly via telephone conference call and in-person in advance of each meeting of the full board of trustees. The Executive Committee also meets in-person in late summer to undertake its budget review and executive director evaluation tasks.

Duties of the Members of the Board Development Committee
The core duties of the Board Development Committee are to: a) Recruit and vet candidates for board service, b) In collaboration with the WESTAF chair, develop a slate of officers (every two years) and a slate of at-large members of the Executive Committee (every year), 3) Annually conduct a survey of the board regarding board business processes, d) Oversee the orientation of new members of the Board of Trustees, and e) Identify areas in which the members of the board may require additional orientation. The Board Development Committee meets in conjunction with each in-person meeting of the WESTAF trustees. It also meets via telephone conference call approximately three additional times during the year.

The Multicultural Advisory Committee
The Multicultural Advisory Committee is comprised of citizens from the WESTAF region and beyond who have been appointed to the committee by the WESTAF chair. The Committee includes some WESTAF trustees as members; however, the Committee is largely populated by individuals who are not members of the WESTAF Board of Trustees. The group meets in person twice a year and periodically meets as a group with the WESTAF trustees. The Committee is an advisory group of arts administrators, artists and arts advocates working to promote multicultural leadership in the arts through policy, project and program development. Established in 1992, the Committee has played a leading role in the diversification of the board and staff of WESTAF and also in the development of programs for the WESTAF region that advance multicultural leadership in the field, especially among emerging leaders of color in the arts.

Current Committee Members

Executive Committee

Tamara Alvarado – Board Chair
Teniqua Broughton – Vice Chair
Mike Lange – Treasurer
Karmen Rossi – Secretary
Karen Hanan – Member-at-Large

Board Development Committee

Karen Hanan – Chair
Tamara Alvarado
Bassem Bejjani
Brandy Reitter
Jonathan Johnson
Ann Hudner

Equity and Inclusion Committee

Teniqua Broughton – Chair
Tamara Alvarado – ex officio
Roy Agloinga
Cyndy Andrus
Michael Faison
Ricardo Frazer
Eric Hayashi
Amir Jackson
Candace Kita
Tey Marianna Nunn






Click here for a print-ready version of the WESTAF By-Laws.

These Amended and Restated Bylaws of Western States Arts Federation were adopted by a majority vote of the Board of Trustees of the corporation held on October 25, 2018 and supersede and replace in their entirety all previous bylaws of the corporation.


Definition, Purpose & Principles

Section 1: Definition

WESTAF (the Western States Arts Federation) is a private nonprofit corporation that provides concentrated benefits and services to the thirteen states and state arts agencies in the West, and serves the arts nationally through the provision of technology services, programs, and advocacy. The states and state arts agencies that are a special focus of WESTAF are the states and arts agencies in the states of: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai’i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming (the “Federated States”).

Section 2: Purpose.

WESTAF weaves technology, diverse thought leadership, and innovation to energize, network, fund, and otherwise support public sector arts agencies and arts communities throughout the West and the United States.


Section 1: Business Offices.

The principal office of WESTAF (sometimes referred to as the corporation) shall be in Denver, Colorado.  The corporation may have such other offices as the Board of Trustees may determine from time to time.

Section 2: Registered Agent’s Office.  

The corporation shall maintain a State of Colorado registered agent’s office, and a registered office, as required by the Colorado Nonprofit Corporation Act. The registered office may be, but need not be, identical with the principal office in the State of Colorado, and the address of the registered office may be changed from time to time by the Board of Trustees.


The corporation has no members.

Board of Trustees

Section 1: General Powers.

The general policies of the corporation shall be set by the Board of Trustees (sometimes, the “Board”).

Section 2: Number and Qualifications.

The Board of Trustees shall consist of no less than thirteen (13) and no more than twenty-two (22) members, the exact number of which shall be determined by the then-serving Board of Trustees from time to time.  Each Trustee must be a human who is eighteen years of age or older.

  1. Five (5) voting Trustees shall be Executive Directors of any of the WESTAF-region State Arts Agencies. They will be nominated by the Executive Directors of the WESTAF-region State Arts Agencies  and elected by the WESTAF Board. A WESTAF-region State Arts Agency is a state arts agency in any of the Federated States that pays a Participation Fee to the corporation as provided for in Article VIII of these Bylaws.   
  1. Up to seventeen (17) private citizens shall be selected as voting At Large Trustees. Prospective Trustees will be elected by the WESTAF Board upon nomination by the Board Development Committee.  Eight (8) of these Trustees must be from Federated States not represented on the Board by a State Arts Agency Executive Director.

Section 3: Election and Tenure.  

The Board of Trustees shall elect and replace all Trustees. Trustees will serve three-year terms and may be elected to no more than three consecutive full three-year terms, except: (a) Trustees may be elected to one and two-year terms to allow for the staggering of Trustee rotation and other imperatives as determined in the Board’s discretion; (b) as provided for in Section 3.1 of this Article IV; and (c) a Trustee may be elected to a one- or two- year term beyond three consecutive full three-year terms if necessary to allow the Trustee to serve a full two-year term as Chair.

Section 3.1: Extension of Trustee Terms for Leadership Continuity

To provide continuity in governing board leadership during a changeover to a new Executive Director, the absolute terms of service for Board Officers as Trustees and Board Officers under Sections 3 and 5, respectively, of this Article IV may be temporarily waived by a majority vote of the Board, but for no more than two (2) additional one (1) year terms or for one (1) additional two (2) year term. This allows these Board Officers to serve beyond the normal nine-year term limitation for Trustees. In order to enjoy this release from term limitations, these individuals must be elected and re-elected as Trustees by the Board of Trustees.

Section 4: Officers. The Board Officers shall consist of a Chair, Vice Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. No Trustee may hold more than one office at any one time. The Executive Director of the corporation shall not be eligible to hold office as a Board Officer.

Section 5: Election and Term of Board Officers. The Board Officers shall be elected by the Board from among its members to  serve for a term of two (2) years. An individual may not serve in any one of the five  principal offices of Chair, Chair-Elect, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer for more than three consecutive two year terms.Election of the Chair-Elect to the position of Chair shall take place during the Board’s final meeting in the second year of the existing Chair’s tenure, or at a regular meeting of the Board should the Chair resign or otherwise be removed from office. Election of the Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer shall take place at the Board’s first meeting of the Chair-Elect’s tenure as Chair. New Board offices may be created and filled at any regular or special meeting of the Board. Each Board Officer shall hold office until expiration of term, resignation or removal.

Section 6: Nominations.

  1. Board of Trustees.  Prior to the annual meeting of the corporation, the Board Development Committee shall present the Executive Committee with nominations for persons to fill the positions to be voted on by the Board at the upcoming annual meeting. Following a review by the Executive Committee, the nominations shall be presented to the Board for action at the annual meeting.
  2. Officers.  As required by Article IV, Section 5, the Board Development Committee, at the beginning of the current Chair’s final year as Chair, shall present to the Board a nomination of a Trustee for the position of Chair-Elect. Subsequent nominations of Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer of the Board will be made by the Board Development Committee in consultation with the Chair-Elect.

Section 7: Removal of Trustees.

Any Trustee may be removed by the vote of two thirds of the Board members then serving whenever, in the judgement of the Board, the best interests of the corporation would be served thereby. A Trustee who misses  two consecutive Board meetings may be removed from the Board at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

Section 8: Vacancies.

A vacancy on the Board due to death, resignation, removal, disqualification or otherwise, may be filled by the Board for the unexpired portion of the term, in accordance with qualifications for Trustees as stated herein.

Section 9: Duties of Officers of the Board of Trustees.

Chair. The Chair of the Board shall preside at all meetings of the Board and manage and provide leadership to the Board of Trustees. The Chair acts as a liaison between the Board and senior-level staff, and ensures Trustees are properly informed. The Chair provides independent advice and counsel to the Executive Director. The Chair acts as a communicator of Board decisions when appropriate.

Vice Chair. The Vice Chair, in the absence of the Chair of the Board, or in event of the Chair’s inability or refusal to act, shall perform the duties of the Chair, and when so performing shall have all the powers of and be subject to all restrictions relating to the Chair’s authority.

Secretary. The Secretary shall be responsible for the maintenance of minutes and records of the meetings of the Board; see that all notices are duly given in accordance with the provisions of these Bylaws or as required by law; be custodian of the seal of the corporation; and in general perform all duties incident to the office and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned by the Chair or by the Board.

Treasurer. The Treasurer shall be generally responsible for oversight of the fiscal activities of the Federation.

  • The Officers of the Board must be Trustees of the corporation.


Section 10: Regular Meetings.

A regular meeting of the Board of Trustees shall be held at least three times each year at such time and place, either within or without the State of Colorado, as the Chair of the Board shall determine. Additional regular meetings may be scheduled by the Chair as the Chair deems necessary. Regular meetings may be convened via telephone conference call as provided for in Section 14 of this Article IV.  The Chair shall direct that such notice of regular meetings be given as the Chair reasonably determines is reasonable and consistent with the practices of the corporation.

Section 11: Special Meetings.

Special meetings of the Board of Trustees may be called by the Chair of the Board or a majority of the Executive Committee. The person, or persons, authorized to call special meetings of the Board may fix any place, whether within or outside the State of Colorado, as the place of holding any special meeting of the Board called by them. A minimum of 5 days advance notice must be given for a special meeting. Special meetings may be convened via telephone conference call as provided for in Section 14 of this Article IV. Notice of a special meeting shall include the general purpose of the meeting and shall be given as required by Article XII of these Bylaws.

Section 12: Quorum.

A majority of the Board then serving in office shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of the Board. If less than a majority of the Trustees are present at said meeting, a majority of the Trustees present may recess the meeting without further notice.

Section 13: Manner of Acting.

The act of a majority of the Trustees present at a meeting at which a quorum is present at its convening (commencement) shall be the act of the Board, unless the act of a greater number is required by law or these Bylaws. Trustees may cast their vote via mail ballot or an email ballot, provided the Chair allows a mail ballot or email ballot.  No proxies are allowed.

Section 14: Meetings by Telephone.  

Members of the Board or any committee of the Board may participate in a regular or special meeting by any means of communication by which all Trustees participating may hear each other during the meeting.  A Trustee participating in a meeting by this means is deemed to be present in person at the meeting.

Section 15:  Action Without a Meeting.

Any action required or permitted to be taken at a meeting of the Board of Trustees or any committee thereof, may be taken without a meeting if taken in accordance with subsection A or B of this Section 15.  Any action taken without a meeting shall have the same effect as action taken with a meeting. All signed written instruments necessary for any action taken without a meeting shall be filed with the minutes of the meetings of the Board of Trustees.

  1. Action may be taken without a meeting if each and every member of the Board of Trustees then serving as Trustees does one of the following in writing: votes for, votes against, or abstains from voting on such action, and the affirmative vote for such action equals or exceeds the minimum number of votes that would be necessary to take such action at a meeting at which all of the Trustees then in office were present and voted.
  1. Action may be taken without a meeting pursuant to C.R.S. § 7-128-202 as follows:


Required Notice to Trustees.

An action without a meeting may only be taken if the corporation transmits notice in writing to each Trustee, as provided for by Article XII of  these Bylaws, stating the action to be taken, the time within which a Trustee must respond, and that failure to respond by the time stated in the notice will have the same effect as abstaining in writing by the time required in the notice and failing to demand in writing by the time stated in the notice that action not be taken without a meeting. The notice may also include any other matters the corporation determines to include.


Action by Trustees.

Action may be taken without a meeting only if notice as described in B(i) above is transmitted in writing to each Trustee, and each Trustee, by the time stated in the notice (i) votes in writing for such action, or (ii) votes in writing against, abstains from voting on such action, or fails to respond or vote, and fails to demand in writing that such action only be taken with a meeting. The vote, abstention or demand that such action not be taken without a meeting by a Trustee may be revoked in writing by that Trustee if received by the corporation by the time stated in the notice.


Contents and Form of Writing.

The writing required by Trustees under this subsection B must inform the corporation of the identity of the Trustee, the vote, abstention, demand or revocation of that Trustee, and the proposed action to which such vote, abstention, demand or revocation relates. Such writing may be transmitted to or received by the corporation by electronically transmitted facsimile, email, or other form of wire or wireless communication, or by hand delivery or U.S. mail, and shall be effective upon receipt by the corporation.


Vote Required and Effective Date.

Action without a meeting under this subsection B may only be taken if, at the end of the time stated in the notice, the affirmative votes for such action received in writing and not revoked equals or exceeds the minimum number of votes that would be necessary to take such action at a meeting at which all of the Trustees then in office were present and voted, and the corporation has not received an unrevoked written demand by a Trustee, within the time stated in the notice, that such action not be taken without a meeting. Action taken without a meeting under this subsection B shall be effective on the date by which the Trustees must respond as stated in the notice.

Section 16: Executive Session.

The Chair can establish an Executive Session on legal matters, personnel matters or other sensitive matters. On actions involving Article VII, Section 2, (Compensation), or other financial or personnel issues relating to a member of the Board, such Board member will be excused by the Chair from those portions of the Executive Session  involving a discussion of his or her circumstances.

Section 17: Indemnification.

The corporation shall indemnify each director, officer, employee and volunteer of the corporation to the fullest extent permissible under the laws of the State of Colorado, and shall pay or reimburse in advance his or her expenses, to the fullest extent permissible under the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act (the “Act”). The corporation may in its discretion purchase insurance insuring its obligations hereunder or otherwise protecting the persons intended to be protected by this Section. The corporation shall have the right, but shall not be obligated, to indemnify any agent of the corporation not otherwise covered by this Section to the fullest extent permissible under the laws of the State of Colorado.

If any provision of the Act or these Bylaws dealing with indemnification is invalidated by any court on any ground, then the corporation shall nevertheless indemnify each party otherwise entitled to indemnification hereunder to the fullest extent permitted by law or any applicable provision of the Act or these Bylaws that has not been invalidated. Notwithstanding any other provision of these Bylaws, the corporation shall neither indemnify any person nor advance expenses or purchase any insurance in any manner or to any extent that would jeopardize or be inconsistent with the qualification of the corporation as an organization described in § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or that would result in the imposition of any liability under either § 4941 or § 4958 of the Internal Revenue Code.


Section 1: Committees of the Board.

  1. Standing Committees. The corporation shall have the following standing committees to advise and recommend to the Board of Trustees and, for the Executive Committee, to serve in place of the Board on those matters within its express or delegated powers:

1)  Executive Committee.  

  1. Composition. The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees shall consist of the principal Officers of the Board, (Chair, Vice Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer), and the Executive Director of the corporation as a nonvoting member, and up to three (3) other At Large members of the Board who shall be nominated by the Board Development Committee in consultation with the Chair-Elect and elected by the Board at its first meeting in the tenure of the Chair. A majority of the then-serving members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum. The action of a majority of the members of the Executive Committee present and constituting at least a quorum shall be the act of the Executive Committee.

  2. Powers. The Executive Committee shall have and exercise all and every power of the Board between meetings, except for the election or removal of Board Officers and Trustees, hiring or firing the Executive Director, and modification of the Bylaws or any long range plan adopted by the Board. The Executive Committee shall also have and exercise such powers as the Board may from time to time delegate to or impose upon it, except as is or may be limited by law or any other provision of these Bylaws.

  3. Chair. The Chair of the Board shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee. In the absence of the Chair, or in the event of inability or refusal to act, the Vice Chair of the Board shall perform all the duties of the Chair.

  4. Notice. Notice of standing meetings via conference call of the Executive Committee need not be given. Notice of in-person meetings of the Executive Committee must be given 30 days in advance. Notice of a special meetings of the Executive Committee need not state the purpose of the meeting and, notwithstanding the provisions of Article XII of these Bylaws,  shall be given with such advance notice and in such manner as the Chair determines is reasonable and consistent with the practices of the corporation.  

  5. Minutes and Reports. The Executive Committee shall keep regular minutes and provide copies to Trustees at their request.

  6. Meetings. The Executive Committee shall hold meetings as need arises at such time and place as may be determined by the Chair. Meetings of the Executive Committee may be via telephone conference call or in person.

2)  Board Development Committee.  

  1. Committee Composition.  A Board Development Committee of no fewer than four Trustees shall be appointed from among Trustees then serving in office by the Chair in consultation with the Executive Committee. The Chair will also designate a chair for the Committee. The Committee will be designated at the first meeting of the Executive Committee in the Chair’s tenure, and at subsequent meetings if required. The Board Development Committee shall include both At Large Trustees and Trustees who are State Arts Agency Executive Directors. Members of the Committee will serve one year renewable terms.

  2. Powers. The Board Development Committee shall have the power to nominate individuals to serve on the WESTAF Board of Trustees and also, in consultation with the Chair or the Chair-Elect, to nominate Board Officers and At Large members of the Executive Committee. The Board Development Committee shall also have and exercise such powers as the Board may from time to time delegate to or impose upon it, except as is or may be limited by law or these Bylaws.

  3. Chair The chair of the Committee shall preside at all meetings of the Board Development Committee. In the absence of the chair, or in the event of inability or refusal to act, an officer of the Board shall be appointed by the Board Chair to perform all the duties of the Committee chair.

  4. Notes. The Board Development Committee shall keep keep meeting notes and provide copies to Trustees at their request.

  5. Meetings. The Board Development Committee shall hold meetings as need arises at such time and place as may be determined by the Committee chair. Meetings may be via telephone conference call or in person.

3)  Multicultural Advisory Committee

  1. Committee Composition.  A Multicultural Advisory Committee of no fewer than two Trustees and four members of the public shall be appointed by the Chair. Members of the Multicultural Advisory Committee will serve one year renewable terms. The Multicultural Advisory Committee shall include both Trustees who are At Large and State Arts Agency Executive Directors.

  2. Powers. The Multicultural Advisory Committee will advise the WESTAF Trustees and staff on issues of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion. The  Multicultural Advisory Committee will also evaluate and advise concerning WESTAF programs and initiatives related to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion. The  Multicultural Advisory Committee shall also have and exercise such powers as the Board may from time to time delegate to or impose upon it, except as is or may be limited by law or these Bylaws.

  3. Chair. The chair of the Multicultural Advisory Committee shall be a current Trustee appointed by the WESTAF Chair.  A vice chair of the Committee will also be appointed by the WESTAF Chair.

  4. Notes. The Multicultural Advisory Committee shall keep notes of their meetings.

  5. Meetings. The Multicultural Advisory Committee shall hold meetings as the need arises at such time and place as may be determined by the Chair. Meetings may be via telephone conference call or in person.

4) Ad Hoc Committees. In addition, the Chair may designate and appoint Ad Hoc Trustee Committees as needed. The Chair or Board may also dissolve such Committees.

  1. A) Powers. Committees shall have and exercise the authority given them by the Chair or the Board of Trustees, except the Chair does not have authority to delegate the powers of the Board to any Ad Hoc Committee.

  2. B) Term of Office. Each member of an Ad Hoc Committee shall be appointed by the Chair for a term of one year that is renewable by the Chair.

  1. C) Committee Chair. One member of each Ad Hoc Committee shall be appointed as chair of the Committee by the Chair of the Board.

Generally Applicable Provisions. The following provisions apply to all Committees of the  Board except for the Executive Committee:

A) Vacancies. Vacancies in the membership of any Committee may be filled by the Chair.

B) Quorum. Unless otherwise provided in the documentation establishing a Board Committee, a majority of the whole Committee then serving in office shall constitute a quorum and the act of the majority of the members present and constituting at least a quorum shall be the act of the Committee. After due notice, any action of such Committee may be taken without a meeting if consent, setting forth the action so taken, shall be signed by all the Trustees who are members of such Committee.

C) Notice of regular or standing meetings of any Committee need not be given. Notice of a special meetings of a Committee need not state the purpose of the meeting and shall be given at least five (5) days in advance of the meeting as provided for in Article XII of these Bylaws.  

D) Rules. A Committee may adopt its governing rules. Such rules shall not be inconsistent with these Bylaws, with rules otherwise adopted by the Board, or applicable law.

Article VI

Subsidiary Organizations

Section 1: Authority to Form The corporation may incorporate, form or organize a new organization which is wholly owned or controlled by the corporation (a “subsidiary”).

Section 2: Types of Subsidiaries A subsidiary may be of any type permissible by law, including, without limitation, a 501 (c) (3), 501(c) (4), other nonprofit classifications, or for-profit corporations, partnerships, or limited liability companies.

Section 3: Board Approval of the Subsidiary In advance of the formation of a subsidiary, the legal structure of the subsidiary, the governance structure of the subsidiary, and the purpose and principles related to the work of the subsidiary, will be approved by the Board. The Board will review and approve all documents that pertain to the establishment of the subsidiary and its governing structure.

Corporation Officers and Operations

Section 1: Officers. The executive officers of the corporation shall be an Executive Director and such Deputy or Assistant Directors as may be determined by the Executive Director.

Section 2: Executive Director. The Board shall have the authority to hire, terminate and set salary and term by contract of the Executive Director. Performance reviews and termination of the Executive Director shall be in accordance with procedures established by the Board.  The Executive Director may be removed from office at the pleasure of the Board, although removal by the Board does not affect whatever rights the Executive Director may have under any contract or agreement with the corporation.

Section 3: Vacancy. In the event of a vacancy or incapacity of the Executive Director, the Board may designate an Acting Executive Director.

Section 4: Duties of Executive OfficerThe Executive Director shall be employed by the Board as the corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, and act in accordance with policy determined by the Board. The Executive Director shall have such powers and perform such duties as are generally incident to the office of a Chief Executive Officer including authority to sign contracts and promissory notes provided such actions are within the framework of the Corporation’s annual budget as approved by the Board of Trustees. The Executive Director has authority to employ the corporation’s staff, including its Deputy and Assistant Directors,  set salaries, and terminate employees.

Article VIII

Participation Fees

Section 1: Determination of the Fee . The Board of Directors shall determine, in its discretion, the amount of the fee to be assessed to each state arts agency in the WESTAF region.

Section 2: Benefits . Payment of the participation fee entitles a state to: a) a seat for at least one individual from the state on the Board of Trustees with the person selected through the WESTAF nomination process; b) Eligibility for a state’s state arts agency executive director to be elected to one of the five board seats reserved on the board for executive directors of state arts agencies; and c) any other benefits that may be made available to the state arts agency by the corporation.   

Contracts, Checks, Deposits and Funds, Drafts, etc.

Section 1: The Board may authorize any officer or officers, agent or agents or employee of the corporation, in addition to the officers so authorized by these Bylaws, to enter into any contract and execute and deliver any instrument in the name of and on behalf of the corporation and such authority may be general or specific.

All checks, drafts or orders for payment of money, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued for amounts over $250,000 in the name of the corporation shall be signed by an officer or officers, agent or agents or employee of the corporation in such manner as shall from time to time be determined by the Board. In the absence of such determination by the Board, such instruments shall be signed by the Treasurer or an Assistant Treasurer and countersigned by the Executive Director.

Section 2: Deposits. All funds of the corporation shall be deposited to the credit of the corporation in such banks, trust companies, or other depositories as the Executive Director selects.

Section 3: Gifts.The Board may accept or reject on behalf of the corporation any contribution, gift, bequest or device for the general purposes or any special purpose of the corporation and may adopt policies for acceptance or rejection of such gifts which shall bind all Board Officers, corporation officers, employees and any other agents of the corporation. Gifts and bequests linking WESTAF to long term, ongoing and significant obligations must be approved by the Board of Trustees.

Books and Records

The corporation shall maintain correct and complete books and records of accounts and shall also maintain the minutes of the meetings of the Board and the corporation’s Committees in conformance with law.

Corporate Seal

The Corporate Seal of the corporation shall be in such form as shall be approved by resolution of the Board.


Notice of any special meeting of the Board or any meeting of the Executive Committee shall be given at least five (5) days previously thereto by written notice delivered personally or sent by mail or email to each Trustee or Committee member at their last known address as shown by the records of the corporation. If mailed or emailed, such notice shall be deemed to be delivered when sent. Any Trustee or Committee member may waive notice of any meeting. The attendance of a Trustee or Committee member at any meeting shall constitute a waiver of notice of such meeting, except where a Trustee, or Committee member attends a meeting for the express purpose of objecting to the transaction of any business because the meeting is not lawfully called or convened and, after raising such objection, leaves the meeting.

Revisions or Amendments

These Bylaws may be revised or amended by majority action of the Board of Trustees then serving in office. Proposed revisions or amendments will be recommended by the Executive Committee to the Board and provided in writing to the Trustees at least 30 days prior to any meeting at which such revisions or amendments are to be considered.

WESTAF Standing Rules

Denver, Colorado
Trustee Approved Standing Rules

Click here for a print-ready version of the standing rules.

Approved: January 30, 1999

1. Frequency of Trustee Meetings
The WESTAF Trustees will meet three times a year: October (the organization’s annual meeting), January, and May. The Chair, in consultation with the Executive Director, selects the meeting times.

2. Location of Trustee Meetings
The WESTAF Trustees will rotate the location of their meetings throughout the region. Periodically, when a reason exists, the Trustees may meet in Washington D.C. or in another out-of-region location in conjunction with a national arts meeting. The Chair, in consultation with the Executive Director, selects the meeting location.

3. Meetings of the Executive Committee
The Executive Committee meeting will convene monthly. The Committee will generally meet via conference call except when it meets in a session preceding a meeting of the full Board. The Committee will meet in person every summer to review the proposed WESTAF annual budget, begin the annual performance evaluation of the Executive Director, and consider major policy changes that the Board needs to consider at its annual meeting.

4. Approval of TourWest Grant Awards
After a panel has reviewed the TourWest grant applications, the roster of groups recommended for funding will be faxed to the Executive Committee for each member’s signed approval. After a majority of the forms marked “approved” have been received back in the WESTAF office, grant applicants will be notified of decisions on their applications. Any member of the Executive Committee may request the convening of a meeting via conference call to discuss the list of recommended awards. The Executive Committee has the power to revise the awards.

Approved: May 15, 1999

5. Executive Director Forums
Twice a year, WESTAF will organize and convene meetings of the Executive Directors of the state arts agencies of the region. The agendas for the meetings will be developed in consultation with the Executive Directors and will focus on items such as professional development, program-development advice to the WESTAF staff, discussion of issues and policies affecting state arts agencies, and networking and information-exchange opportunities.

6. Evaluation of the Executive Director (Revised May 18, 2002)
The process of evaluation of the performance and accomplishments of the WESTAF Executive Director will have the following steps.

                • Within 45 days following the annual meeting in October, the Executive Director will prepare a list of goals for the coming year. The goals will be presented to the WESTAF Chair, who may comment on and suggest revisions to them.
                • The Executive Director will summarize the degree to which she/he believes the goals have been met. The summary will be submitted with the board book materials that the Executive Committee will receive in advance of the annual in-person Executive Committee meeting.
                • Each summer, the state arts agency Executive Directors will receive a survey from the WESTAF Chair soliciting their advice regarding the performance of the WESTAF Executive Director.
                • The members of the WESTAF Board of Trustees will be surveyed regarding the performance of the Executive Director in the summer every two years or whatever time is set forth in the Executive Director’s employment contract.
                • At their annual (late summer) in-person meeting, the Executive Committee will conduct an evaluation of the Executive Director based on data collected from surveys, the goals fulfillment statement prepared by the Executive Director, and other appropriate sources.
                • At the annual meeting, the Chair will report the findings of the evaluation process to the full Board. The Executive Director will be present during that report and will be offered an opportunity to respond to the findings.

7. Annual Budget Process
The annual budget process will have the following components:

                • At the spring meeting of the full Board, the Executive Director will present the Trustees with an overview of the staff’s perspective on mid- and long-range budget projections, outline short and long-term rationales informing the preparation of the budget, and outline the major year-to-year budget changes that will be proposed in the staff’s budget draft.
                • Prior to the submission of the detailed draft budget to the Executive Committee, the staff will meet with the Treasurer and receive advice concerning the budget.
                • At least seven days prior to the summer in-person meeting of the Executive Committee, the Executive Director will mail the Committee a detailed budget proposal for the coming fiscal year.
                • At the summer in-person meeting of the Executive Committee the Committee will review and revise the budget presented by the staff and approve a form of the budget for the Treasurer and Executive Director to distribute to the full Board.
                • Following the in-person summer Executive Committee meeting, the full Board will be mailed the budget draft approved by the Executive Committee and will be asked to comment on it prior to its submission for approval at the annual meeting.
                • In a meeting prior to the annual meeting, the Executive Committee may approve any necessary additional revisions to the draft budget.
                • The budget will be presented by the Treasurer to the full Board for discussion, revision, and ratification at the annual meeting.

8. Appeals of Participation Fees by State Arts Agencies
If a state wishes to appeal the payment of a full participation fee, the following steps will be taken:

                • The state agency that is appealing the payment of its participation fee in light of a substantially reduced budget will be requested to send a letter stating the appeal and the grounds for the appeal in writing to WESTAF’s Executive Director. This letter must be received by May 15th preceding the WESTAF fiscal year in question which begins October 1st.
                • The Executive Director of the state arts agency making the appeal will work with WESTAF’s Executive Director to prepare the appeal presentation.
                • In a scheduled or special meeting of the Executive Committee, the appeal argument will be made by the appealing state’s Chair and Executive Director.
                • The Executive Committee will discuss the appeal and advance it to the full Board with a recommendation to approve or deny the appeal.
                • The full Board will consider the appeal and approve, reject or table it.
                • After final action is taken, WESTAF’s Executive Director will prepare a draft letter for the WESTAF Chair’s signature that sets forth the Board’s decision regarding the state’s appeal.

Approved January 22, 2000

1. The Selection of Executive Directors as Trustees
When a WESTAF vacancy (or vacancies) for one or more of the five Trustee positions designated for a state arts agency Executive Directors occurs, the following procedure will be used to elect a state arts agency Executive Director(s).

                • State arts agency Executive Directors eligible for election include all state arts agency Executive Directors from the WESTAF-region holding their state positions on the day of the election in an active, participating state.
                • State arts agency Executive Directors eligible to vote in the peer election include all state arts agency Executive Directors from the WESTAF-region holding their position on the day of the election.
                • The “day of the election” is the twenty-four hour period following the time in the WESTAF office that the ballot was distributed via fax.
                • Election of state arts agency Executive Directors to the Board is either:
                • A full three-year term or a designated term length defined by the Board Development Committee and approved by the WESTAF Board of Trustees.
                • The period required to complete the unexpired portion of a vacated seat due to the departure of an another state arts agency Executive Director serving as Trustee.
                • The length of term shall be indicated on the ballot.
                • State arts agency Executive Directors serve on the Board until their term of election to the Board expires, they resign, or they no longer hold the position of state arts agency Executive Director.
                • The Chair of the Board Development Committee will work with the WESTAF staff to manage the balloting procedure. If the Board Development Committee Chair is not a state arts agency Executive Director, the Board Development Committee Chair will enlist a state arts agency Executive Director who serves on the Board Development Committee, to oversee the election process.
                • A ballot will be prepared that allows those voting to identify their first, second and third choices via a weighted voting method. Such weighting will, if necessary, allow for the election of more than one person on a ballot.
                • Ballots will be submitted for tabulation to the WESTAF staff.
                • If no one person on a ballot receives more than 50% of the first choice designations of their peers, those who receive the greatest number of votes will be presented to the state arts agency Executive Directors in a runoff ballot, or a series of runoff ballots, until a minimum of 50% of those voting give an individual the first choice rank.
                • The Chair of the Board Development Committee (jointly with the state arts agency Executive Director managing the election) will notify the WESTAF Chair and Executive Director of the election results and then will notify the state arts agency Executive Directors and the WESTAF Trustees of the election results.

2. Profile of Executive Director Trustee Candidates
The following list is a matrix of qualities that can inform the election of state arts agency Executive Directors to the WESTAF Board. During the peer election process, WESTAF State Arts Agency executive directors are asked to keep these characteristics in mind when completing their ballots. These qualities were unanimously agreed upon by the Executive Director’s at a forum held in June of 1999. The considerations are:

                • A willingness to serve on the WESTAF Board, attend meetings, and contribute to the organization’s development.
                • The need for the Executive Directors serving on the board to collectively represent the geographic diversity of the region.
                • The need to have representation from states with varying population bases.
                • The need to maintain an institutional memory of WESTAF and the institutional memory of the relationship of state arts agencies to WESTAF.
                • The leadership ability of the candidate for board service.
                • The fair rotation of opportunities for board service.

1. “Strong CEO” Management Model
In defining the role of the executive director within the management structure of WESTAF, the model utilized is one of a “strong CEO,” similar in format and responsibilities to that of a corporate chief executive. This structure enables the WESTAF Board of Trustees to establish policies and to state its goals, desired outcomes, and concerns, empowering the executive director and his/her staff to be creative in accomplishing the Board’s mission and goals within its policy structure.

As the chief executive, the executive director is charged with achieving the mission and goals of the organization, while operating within boundaries established by the Trustees. He/she is responsible for developing and recommending budgets, for managing all organizational, program budgets and financial plans; for overseeing the development and evaluation of all administrative, programmatic and enterprise activities; and for the supervision and assessment of all WESTAF personnel.

As the Board is responsible for the organization’s governance through policy development, the executive director is responsible for the overall management of the organization and is a key initiator of budget and program items brought to the Board for consideration. For example:

                • Budget Development: Annually, the executive director initiates the development and preparation of the organization’s budget for the subsequent fiscal year. The proposed budget is then distributed to the Trustees for review, adjustment and approval. In part, through the budget process, the executive director makes considered recommendations and develops needs assessments and/or a rationale for the initiation or discontinuation of programs through the allocation of resources.
                • Program Implementation: After consultation with the field and working with staff, the executive director will present major program initiatives requiring sustained, substantial, multi-year financial commitments to the Board for approval. The Board may function as part of “the field” to suggest initiatives to the director.

12. The program development process should conform as closely as possible to the following:
Ideas for programs and the proposed design of such programs will emerge in forums and/or general discussions with the field.

                • Ideas for programs may also emerge from individuals in the field, trustees, or the WESTAF staff. In this case, members of the field will be consulted to secure their advice regarding the necessity, feasibility, and implementation strategy of the program.
                • Professionals and practitioners gathered by WESTAF to advise on field development will be the primary source for the suggestion for refining programmatic initiatives.
                • The WESTAF staff will review new program proposals and submit them to the Board of Trustees with a recommendation for approval or denial. Proposals will not be submitted unless they comply with the WESTAF plan or are believed to offer the organization and/or the field it serves, unique opportunities.
                • All programs should extend upon or relate to WESTAF’s mission. All proposals will carry a budget note that details present and projected future budget implications of the program.
                • In a formal meeting, the Trustees will take one of the following actions regarding the program proposal: approve, deny, table, return to the staff for further study, or assign to a committee for further study.

1. Use of a Mail/Fax Ballot for Conducting Business
A mail and/or fax ballot may be used for the election of Trustees and to conduct other business not specifically limited to in-person meetings by the by-laws provided the Executive Committee approves its use in advance.

2. The Duties of the Board Development Committee
In cooperation with its appointed Chair, the Board Development Committee will be responsible for the following:

                • Oversee the nomination and election of candidates to the Board as provided by the by-laws.
                • Development and ongoing review and revision of a matrix of Trustee characteristics.
                • Maintenance of a pool of potential Trustee candidates,
                • Organization and supervision of the Board orientation and ongoing development process, and
                • Conduct the Board performance assessment.

Approved May 22, 2008

WESTAF Organizational Structure
Annually, WESTAF’s Executive Director will review the organizational structure of WESTAF to determine if alternative subsidiaries or changes therein, would serve the mission and current programs. The results of this review will be reported to the Board of Trustees at any regular meeting.

The Executive Director will offer any recommendations, such as alternative subsidiaries, under Article VI of the WESTAF by-laws to the Executive Committee, who will review and act on each such proposal as a recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees will act on each such recommendation brought forward.


Trustee Nomination Form

To nominate a trustee candidate for the WESTAF board, please submit a Nomination Form.

New Trustee Orientation

Joining the WESTAF Board of Trustees

Guidance for New Members

Click here for a print-ready version of the guidance for new members.

The Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) is an organization of modest size; however, its programs, processes, and organizational culture can present a daunting front to new trustees. Persons joining the WESTAF board receive a formal orientation immediately prior to their first board meeting. There is, however, a need for ongoing orientation to the organization’s many projects and a special need for informal direction concerning how a trustee can organize his or her relationship with WESTAF to be an effective board member. Following is a guide to key access points for WESTAF trustees. Becoming involved in WESTAF through these access points will allow a trustee to properly execute his or her duties.

What is the Role of a WESTAF Board Member?

WESTAF operates with a strong CEO model of governance. The WESTAF board is not a working board but a policy board that advises and directs the staff on issues of significance. The board is also charged with the evaluation of the effectiveness of WESTAF’s projects and services. Perhaps the most important duty of a board member is to consider the future environment for the organization and provide strategic vision and guidance that help the organization succeed in its evolving environment.

Trustees exercise their governance role in the organization in the following ways:

  • They actively participate in the WESTAF strategic planning process that occurs every three years. Through this process, the organization’s trustees provide WESTAF with long-term strategic direction. In addition, through the planning process, trustees make decisions about the nature of organizational processes and advise regarding mid-course corrections and/or the termination of existing programs and services.
  • The evaluation of existing programs, services, and processes is a key responsibility of a WESTAF board member. Trustees do not directly operate programs and services; however, they need to know how WESTAF activities are progressing and whether they are meeting the goals set forth in the strategic plan.
  • As significant policy issues arise–and often outside of the planning process–board members are charged with bringing such issues to the attention of the board. If such issues are not placed on the agenda by the chair, it is the responsibility of each trustee to suggest to the chair that a certain issue needs attention.
  • The evaluation of the performance of the executive director is also a responsibility of a trustee. Because in WESTAF’s strong CEO system of governance the executive director has so much authority, a trustee must feel certain that the executive director is exercising that authority in a way that addresses the policy interests and strategic goals the board has established. The executive director is evaluated annually by the executive committee. In addition, state arts agency executive directors annually complete a survey regarding the executive director’s performance. The trustees complete a survey of the executive director’s performance every other year. Annually, the WESTAF chair reports the results of the executive director’s evaluation to the trustees and invites their comments and discussion regarding the executive director’s performance.

Who is Watching the Money?

WESTAF trustees are responsible for approving the budget of the organization and also for calling attention to financial issues considered problematic or potentially problematic. WESTAF finances operate under three major controls: 1) WESTAF’s books are audited annually by an outside auditor; 2) The WESTAF treasurer conducts a monthly review of the organization’s finances; and 3) WESTAF maintains a CPA-level senior staff member to maintain its financial records. In addition, the organization has a culture of transparency regarding all information, particularly its finances.

Trustees intersect with the budget in the following ways:

  • The WESTAF budget preparation process provides three points for trustee involvement: 1) A staff presentation and board discussion of the general budget plan for the coming year. This presentation and discussion are standing items on the board’s May meeting agenda; 2) In late summer, the executive committee conducts an in-person review of the draft budget and sends it with their revisions via mail to the full board. Upon receiving the draft budget, trustees are encouraged to contact staff and/or members of the executive committee if they have issues with items in it; and 3) The budget is formally discussed, revised and adopted at the organization’s annual meeting of the trustees in October. This is the final chance for trustees to significantly change the budget prior to its implementation.
  • The board receives financial updates in every meeting packet. At any of the three trustee meetings, board members are invited to ask questions and/or suggest changes to the budget.
  • At any time, a board member can request additional information about any and all budget items. Though the budget is implemented using a number of controls, each board member is responsible for asking significant questions and presenting significant concerns they may have regarding its execution.

How Do Trustees Relate to WESTAF Personnel?

WESTAF by-laws mandate that the executive director hires and fires the staff. Thus, the staff is responsible to the executive director and not to the board. The executive director can be held accountable by the trustees for staff performance in the aggregate; however, trustees cannot work directly with the organization’s staff unless the executive director approves such direct work. In practice, the executive director is receptive to comments by trustees regarding the performance of staff, particularly performance related to projects and events with which the trustees are highly familiar.

What is a Trustee’s Role Regarding Earned-Income Projects?

WESTAF’s earned-income projects have two major purposes: 1) To provide service to the arts field in general; and 2) To generate discretionary income for the organization. Although all WESTAF earned-income projects have a nexus with the arts, few–if any–would be launched if they did not have potential to generate net discretionary income. Earned-income projects at WESTAF have been necessary because funding from the National Endowment for the Arts to support WESTAF activities has increased only marginally over the years. In addition, the states in the region have been unable to grow budgetarily and, as a result, WESTAF has elected not to increase their participation fees since 1995.

Following are the areas in which WESTAF trustees can exercise authority over earned-income projects:

  • Trustees approve earned-income project budgets that include revenue and expense projections for each project.
  • Trustees, through the planning process and policy decisions made at board meetings, provide a policy framework for all earned-income projects.
  • Trustees are responsible for requiring timely and appropriate reports and evaluations of all earned-income projects.
  • Trustees are selectively asked by staff to advise on components of earned- income projects in which they hold expertise.

Why the Focus on State Arts Agencies?

WESTAF primarily focuses its work on the improvement of the capacities of state arts agencies. The organization committed to this focus in the mid-1990s, when it completely reorganized in response to a dramatic national-level reduction in National Endowment for the Arts funding that resulted in a sharp decline in its NEA block grant. There are two key motivations for this approach. One is that the state arts agencies in the region need the help. As a group, they are less well funded and have smaller staff sizes than do their peers across the country. A second reason is that an organization of limited size like WESTAF can only leverage so much change in the region, thus focusing the organization’s resources can maximize the impact of its efforts. WESTAF once had a large arts programmatic focus in addition to its state arts agency focus. Sustaining the programmatic focus with limited dollars in a very large geographic region was deemed impractical.

WESTAF’s focus on state arts agencies requires the following actions by trustees:

  • Trustees need to constantly analyze how actions and initiatives of WESTAF contribute or to detract from its emphasis on assisting state arts agencies.
  • Trustees need to represent the interests of the people of their state regarding programs in which WESTAF engages with the state arts agencies. WESTAF’s work is designed to build strong agencies that provide a public value–not preserve the agencies their historic forms.

What are These Other Acronyms About?

There are four key organizations WESTAF trustees need to know about and work to develop a single position about. These organizations are:

  • The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is the federal arts agency that awards WESTAF a block grant of approximately $1.6 million per year. The NEA has long been relatively easy to work with and, if it needs one thing, it is communication with members of Congress regarding the good work that the dollars the NEA distributes through WESTAF do for the region.
  • The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) is a national service organization that is largely driven by the executive directors of state arts agencies. NASAA is organized as a service organization for the nation’s state and territorial arts agencies. The organization is a primary source of data on the grantmaking of state arts agencies and also a resource on the annual legislative appropriations to the agencies. Executive directors of state arts agencies affiliated with WESTAF often serve on the NASAA board.
  • Americans for the Arts (AFTA) is a national membership organization that broadly advocates for the arts in American life. AFTA is important to WESTAF because it has an interest in the development of more effective arts-advocacy mechanisms at the state level. The beneficiary of a $100 million contribution, AFTA is expected to play an increasing role in the repositioning of the arts in the lives of Americans.
  • WESTAF is one of six U.S. regional arts organizations (RAOs). The executive directors of the organizations meet in person approximately three times a year and via telephone another three times. In addition, the group holds an annual planning session. The development of cooperative activity among the RAO group has been very slow; however, WESTAF’s position on fostering strong communication among them is that the RAOs need to be visible and appear as solid investments for the NEA because, if they do not, other interests may suggest that the funds allocated to the RAOs be used for their purposes.

Benefits of Participation

Benefits of Participation

Click here for a print-ready version of the benefits of participation.

Western States Arts Federation is a regional nonprofit arts service organization dedicated to the creative advancement and preservation of the arts. WESTAF fulfills its mission to strengthen the financial, organizational, and policy infrastructure of the arts in the West by assisting 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 and arts education for all citizens. Through innovative programming, advocacy, research, technology, and grantmaking, WESTAF encourages the creative development and preservation of the arts regionally and through a national network of customers and alliances.

Founded in 1974, WESTAF is located in Denver and governed by a 22-member board of trustees comprised of arts leaders in the West. The organization serves the largest constituent territory of the six U.S. regional arts organizations and includes the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai’i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

WESTAF regularly sponsors cultural policy forums throughout the region that bring together experts and leaders to address critical issues that affect the arts. These forums provide an opportunity to reflect on cultural policy issues particular to the West, to introduce cultural policy practitioners in the region to one another, and to expand the acquaintance of national and international discussions of cultural policy with thinking and thinkers in the West.

Introduction to WESTAF’s Benefits Menu
The state arts agencies in the West are WESTAF’s primary constituents. This document describes the menu of benefits available to WESTAF’s state arts agency partners. The benefits menu is designed to provide each participating agency with services of value that it can employ in its work. Because agency needs differ substantially, no single benefits menu can be expected to address the needs of each participating state. Accordingly, WESTAF takes a flexible approach in the administration of benefits.

We invite you to examine this document and then call on and work with WESTAF staff to design the mix of benefits that is most useful in your work. WESTAF is prepared to design customized benefits that best address the needs of each participating state arts agency.

Creative Use of WESTAF Benefits
Every state in the WESTAF region is entitled to the core benefits outlined in this document. These benefits are considered to have an annual value that, when combined with other services, reflects an appropriate level of service for the state-participation fee. State arts agencies, however, are encouraged to think of additional ways that WESTAF might assist them with their work by providing services not listed here. Please know that WESTAF is prepared to shape benefits in a way that best addresses the long- and short-term needs of each agency. The following examples illustrate the creative manner in which participating states have used WESTAF services. Most of these services have been delivered at no additional cost.

                • WESTAF has conducted confidential administrative reviews for boards and staffs at state arts agencies, focusing on organizational structure and administrative processes.
                • WESTAF has provided advice on the refinement of the grant application process in state arts agencies.
                • WESTAF staff members have met with the personnel of state arts agencies in several states and helped them refine application forms to make them user friendly and more efficient to administer.
                • WESTAF has a wide network of contacts to help states in their search for experienced and skilled executive directors. WESTAF can also provide support for executive director search processes.
                • Members of the WESTAF staff possess expertise on a wide variety of issues and have been used as faculty for workshops, moderators for group discussions, and as presenters at statewide conferences.
                • As part of the self-evaluation process of state arts agencies, WESTAF has conducted focus groups with field constituents to identify areas in which an agency might improve and/or extend services.
                • WESTAF has participated in meetings with major partners of state arts agencies. WESTAF staff are qualified to join in the discussion about the quality and depth of the services offered by agencies and support plans for streamlining services. WESTAF has gathered and convened facilitators and participants for a statewide task force to re-envision state arts agencies.

Note: All fees and benefits are deliverable within WESTAF’s fiscal year: October 1–September 30. Any deliverables not received at the conclusion of the year cannot be carried over to the next year unless WESTAF’s executive director explicitly agrees to such a carryover in writing.

Grant Programs

WESTAF, with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, provides TourWest grants for the presentation of out-of-state performing artists and performing-arts groups. The NEA designates underserved communities as eligible for grants awarded through this program. The term underserved communities is meant to describe communities for whom access to the arts is limited by geographic isolation, economic constraints, physical limitations, or historic patterns of exclusion. Grants of up to $2,500 per project are available.

The TourWest program includes a safety-net provision. Through this mechanism, any state with a large disparity between its five-year TourWest funding average and its most recent TourWest panel-approved grant level is offered funding to cover this gap. These funds are allocated to the state’s presenting community in consultation with the executive director of the state arts agency.

Independent Music on Tour
Independent Music on Tour (IMTour) is a grant program for tour-ready independent musicians from the Front Range–including Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs. IMTour is committed to artistic excellence, audience development, and sustainable touring practices for musicians and nonprofit presenters in the West and seeks to meet these goals by offering resources to touring independent musicians and grants to nonprofit organizations to present independent musicians.

Research and Advocacy

Position Papers & Research
As an experienced research organization, WESTAF regularly initiates research projects to benefit the state arts agencies of the West as well as the broader arts community. Research papers on a variety of topics can be prepared for participating states as a service of WESTAF. Two papers or consultancies are available per year to each state arts agency. Such papers are generally about 10 pages in length.

Papers have been completed on topics such as: defining culture and the arts as a cluster of economic activity, an overview and summary of international programs at state arts agencies, economic arguments for the public funding of the arts, opportunities for collaboration between various cultural agencies, and background information concerning the development of cultural trust legislation. WESTAF provides additional ad hoc research assistance, such as searches of periodicals, books, ephemera and other information sources to address needs as they arise.

Arts Advocacy
WESTAF is engaged in several projects designed to increase the region’s capacity for advocacy aimed at advancing public support for the arts in the West. Executive directors of western state arts agencies meet twice annually to discuss ways to move support for these agencies forward. Recently, members of an arts council board were engaged by WESTAF in an advocacy strategy and training process. WESTAF also provides up to $10,000 a year to each of the 13 states in the WESTAF region to support professional-level advocacy work and offers assistance in developing effective advocacy messaging.

Multicultural Initiatives
Recognizing the increasing diversity of the West, WESTAF has established a set of organizational core values and goals to make it more representative of and responsive to the cultures of the region. WESTAF strives to reflect the values, insights, spirit, and knowledge of communities of color, indigenous peoples, and other underrepresented ethnic communities in the West. To better represent these communities, WESTAF works to ensure that its programs and initiatives incorporate the diverse perspectives of the region. WESTAF proactively engages state arts agencies and arts and cultural policy leaders in efforts that promote diversity, inclusion, and equity at the local, state, and regional level. The plan for activities in this area is based on the report of WESTAF’s Multicultural Advisory Committee, a group of 13 individuals from across the West that advises WESTAF on ways it can expand and strengthen its commitment to better represent the region’s diverse communities.

As part of its multicultural initiatives, in 2010, WESTAF established its Emerging Leaders of Color Professional Development Program. The program promotes multicultural leadership in the arts by building a cohort of cultural leaders of color in the West who are committed to advancing the arts and creating a network to support their careers and the cultural interests of the people they represent. In 2014, the committee convened its fourth Emerging Leaders of Color Professional Development Seminar October 1-3, in Denver. Participants in the two-day meeting engaged in coursework and activities designed to strengthen competencies and prepare them for leadership positions in the field. The seminar also provided participants with information intended to deepen their understanding of the arts in the United States and how public support for culture contributes to the vibrancy of the sector.

Professional Development and Consulting

Advocacy Leadership Convening
Full travel and meeting support is available for state arts agency executive directors, trustee chairs, and directors of state advocacy organizations to attend WESTAF’s Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar. This meeting brings a small group of arts leaders from the West to Washington, DC each year to meet with members of Congress and their staffs, engage in briefings regarding the status and future prospects for federal arts support, and to join in discussions with the WESTAF trustees on ways to generate more state government support for the work of state arts agencies. The meeting also provides opportunities for state arts leaders to share advocacy strategies and learn about new approaches for successful advocacy.

Executive Director Forums
Full travel and meeting support is available for the executive directors of state arts agencies to attend WESTAF-sponsored executive director forums. State arts agency directors select the topics and professional development issues they would like to engage in at the forums. Each forum presents one or more invited speakers or workshop leaders. These gatherings also serve as an opportunity to develop regional and sub-regional collaborations.

Technical Assistance and Strategic Consultation
Technical assistance and strategic consultation are available for special projects and unexpected challenges. This special assistance is usually delivered in the form of special research, the underwriting of an out-of-state speaker who can affect the outcome of a discussion on a critical issue, or an on-site consultant who can address operational issues such as data management, grant form design, planning, or on-site staff or board training. This benefit is available on a limited basis.

Technology Needs Analysis
WESTAF employs full-time staff and off-site contractors who are experienced in conducting a variety of technology needs assessments, including an inventory of hardware, the skill sets of technology staff, and software design. Recommendations in these areas are made based on the agency’s goals. Examples of completed projects include a technology needs assessment related to grant programs, a review of an agency’s readiness to launch a new technology project, and advice on a decision to outsource certain technology services.

Staff Professional Development
WESTAF offers travel support and/or subsidies for professional development seminars and networking opportunities for selected staff of state arts agencies. In recent years, professional development seminars have been convened in the areas of community arts, organizational development, accessibility, literature, folk arts, public art, visual arts, and public information.

Tech Consultation
A limited number of hours of technology-related professional consultation are available via telephone. WESTAF staff can provide advice on most tech-related issues. They can also draw on a pool of software- and web-development professionals across the country for further assistance if needed.

Development of one presentation on a topic chosen by the state arts agency is available each year. Presentations have covered such topics as budgets, strategic plans, and the economic impact of the arts.

Custom Benefits
WESTAF can offer an increased level of travel support in place of other services. Additional travel support is negotiable and is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Technology Projects
WESTAF is an experienced technology developer, with six distinct projects that benefit the arts and creative industries. WESTAF’s technology products are not discounted for participating states. However, states in the the WESTAF region can benefit from these projects by: a) arranging for cost-advantageous bundling of two or more technology products; b) negotiating free or discounted pilot programs for organizations within the WESTAF region; and c) receiving no-cost, on-site demonstrations of one or more of these programs in state conferences, arts agency governing board meetings, and other forums where such in-person demonstrations would be beneficial.

ZAPPlication.org® (ZAPP®)
The premiere online application and adjudication management system used by more than 700 art fairs and festivals and more than 70,000 artists nationwide. ZAPP provides event staff with a convenient and easy-to-manage platform for collecting, reviewing, and jurying applications and allows artists to easily apply online to multiple art shows using high-quality digital images of their artwork that are stored in an online profile.

CallforEntry.org™ (CaFÉ™)
The leading online application and adjudication management system used by nearly 150,000 artists and over 500 public art programs, galleries, museums, and educational institutions to manage public art commissions, exhibitions, fellowships, and visual art competitions.

Creative Vitality™ Suite (CVSuite™)
A research-based economic development tool that provides high-quality creative economy data and reporting. The tool contains information on nearly 80 creative industries and 60 creative occupations, nonprofit cultural revenues, and state arts agency granting information and includes an interactive granting map that displays the distribution of state arts agency grants by region, county, ZIP code, or Congressional district.

PublicArtArchive.org™ (PAA™)
A free, searchable online and mobile accessible catalog of completed public artworks in the United States. The Archive makes public art and its processes more accessible, displaying images alongside extensive descriptions, including audio and video supplementary files when available. Locate public art pieces, create custom walking tours, and access images and data via the free mobile site.

GOGrantsOnline.org™ (GO™)
A powerful, flexible, and affordable online grants management system designed with local and state art agencies in mind. GO allows administrators to customize system elements to match their unique workflows and provides all the data collection, communication, reporting, and management tools they need to simplify the grant making process.

An affordable, easy-to-use, web-based tool for managing competitions of all types. WESTAF’s latest adjudication solution for managing application and jury processes and was designed to be simple, accessible, and affordable–even for organizations on the tightest of budgets.

WESTAF History Project

A History of the Western States Arts Federation, 1974 to 2000
by Dinah Zeiger

In 1973, the Arts Council of the Federation of Rocky Mountains States made a region-wide impact with the Artrain project, impressing arts leaders in the region and across the country. The Arts Council was formed as an interest area of the Federation—which existed primarily as a forum for Western governors to address regional issues concerning water, land use, and mineral rights. Although the arts had always been on the agenda at Federation meetings, they were often one of many overlooked concerns. Robert Sheets, one of the founders of WESTAF, remembers agonizing about the decision of whether or not to split from the Federation: “They had been supportive since the beginning in the late 1960s. But we knew we had to control our own operations, keep our own bank account, to keep track of NEA money,” he said. “We couldn’t be tied to the Federation, where all the money we raised went into the general fund.”

Terry Melton, one of the founders and later executive director of WESTAF, explained that a group he refers to as the “Young Turks” gathered and drafted articles of incorporation and bylaws to govern the organization that, in 1974, became the Western States Arts Foundation. “The question before us was, ‘can we do this better on behalf of the states or can the states do it better themselves?’, ” Melton said. The group was venturing into unexplored territory with no existing regional arts organizations to look to as models. “All we knew was that the West had to speak with a unified voice,” said Sheets. “The goal was to create an efficient delivery system to get the product, the arts, to our public. We were committed to accomplishing this goal.”

Twenty years later, WESTAF faced significant fiscal concerns. By late 1994, huge budget cuts at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) signaled a 40-percent loss in revenue for WESTAF. A cost-containment committee chaired by Tony Rampton struggled to craft a financial plan that would hold the organization together. Such scrutiny raised a host of questions: Was the board too big? Was the organization overstaffed? Was the Santa Fe location too expensive? “From the financial perspective, things were critical,” Rampton said. “We simply had to find a way to pare the size of the operation and make it more resourceful. WESTAF was functioning in an inefficient manner.”

“The truth was,” said board chair Larry Williams, “losing the NEA funding forced us to examine whether we even needed WESTAF.” And so for two days in October 1995, the board wrestled with whether the organization would live or die. “I remember walking into that meeting with a real sense that the right decision might be to end the thing,” said Len Edgerly, one of WESTAF’s newest board members at the time. “I think the situation forced us to look at the fundamentals—why WESTAF was formed in the first place—and admit that those factors were still present.”

To read the full report click here.

WESTAF Strategic Plan

The WESTAF board of trustees has approved a new strategic plan. The 10-year plan, which will be formally rolled out in the fall of 2018, recognizes the central role technology now plays in the work of WESTAF and makes more explicit the dynamics that are in place to propel the organization and its key stakeholders to a higher level of success.

To review elements in the plan, hover over areas on the map until an item is highlighted. These areas can be expanded by clicking on the highlighted item. A window will open with explanatory text for that item.

This plan was made possible by WESTAF Chair Erin Graham. Graham also serves as the chief operating officer at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. The plan and planning process were developed in consultation with the design planning firm XPLANE of Portland, Oregon. Aric Wood, CEO of XPLANE, generously made himself and his staff available to help WESTAF leadership create a plan that is both easy to understand and motivating for those involved in the work of WESTAF.

Questions and/or comments about the plan should be director to: Christian Gaines, Executive Director, WESTAF. He can be reached via email at Christian.Gaines@westaf.org by phone at 303-629-1166.

View the WESTAF Strategic Plan here.

List of Future Board Meetings

Scheduled Future Meetings of the WESTAF Board of Trustees

Click here for a print-ready version of the schedule of future meetings.

Please note that the winter meeting of the WESTAF Board of Trustees is scheduled to coincide with the annual WESTAF Leadership and Advocacy Seminar in Washington, DC. Because the scheduling of that meeting depends on the congressional calendar, the date for winter meetings of the trustees are usually not known until November or December in the year preceding the meeting. Also, please know that, although we make every effort to hold meetings in the locations that are identified in this document, the WESTAF chair is empowered to change the location, should there be a reason to meet elsewhere. Thus, if you are planning personal travel to an area of the WESTAF region based on the the presence of a board meeting, we advise that you check with the WESTAF office to confirm that the meeting scheduled for that location is actually going to occur in that place.

The formal WESTAF meetings usually begin at 6:00 p.m on the first day and conclude no later than 2:30 p.m. on the second day. Committee meetings (Executive Committee and Board Development Committee) may be scheduled for as early as 3:00 p.m. on the first day of the meeting.

May, 2020
Boise, Idaho
Wednesday, May 20 and Thursday, May 21

October, 2020
Denver, Colorado
Wednesday, October 28 and Thursday, October 29

February, 2021

May, 2021
Honolulu, Hawai’i
Wednesday, May 19 and Thursday, May 20

October, 2021
Denver, Colorado
Wednesday, October 27 and Thursday, October 28

February, 2022

May, 2022
Seattle, Washington
Wednesday, May 18 and Thursday, May 19

October, 2022
Denver, Colorado
Wednesday, October 26 and Thursday, October 27

February, 2023

May, 2023
San Francisco, California
Wednesday, May 17 and Thursday, May 18

Travel Guidelines and Reimbursement Form


Travel Expense Reimbursement Policy for WESTAF Guests

October 1, 2019

The Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) reimburses individuals traveling on WESTAF business for actual and necessary travel expenses up to a reasonable amount. When traveling on WESTAF-related business, please exercise prudence.

Required Documents for Reimbursement

The travel expense reimbursement form (attached) must be completed when requesting reimbursement, and itemized receipts must be included. All reported expenses, including hotel, airline, ride sharing, parking, and meals, require a detailed itemized receipt as well as the final credit card charge receipt signed by the purchaser.

To qualify for a reimbursement, please submit the documentation in the following format:

  • Complete the WESTAF Travel Reimbursement Form and place it at the top of your documents.
  • On a separate sheet of paper, provide notes of your trip so that staff can properly code the expenses (e.g. travel to Denver for TourWest Panel Meeting). If you incurred an unusual expense, please note why (e.g. one extra hotel night in Denver because the airport was closed due to a large snowstorm).
  • Include itemized receipts for all items listed on the reimbursement request form.

Reimbursement for Meals

WESTAF has a per diem meal policy in which the individual may spend any amount on a meal as long as the total daily meal costs do not exceed $60.00. Other WESTAF restrictions on meal reimbursement are:

  • WESTAF will not reimburse a tip of more than 20%. In addition, the tip is considered to be part of the meal price: For all meals in a single day, WESTAF will reimburse for no more than the $60.00 total. Please keep in mind that WESTAF will only reimburse meals on the day the individual flies in, between meeting dates, and the day the individual flies out. If the individual chooses to extend their stay outside the meeting dates, they will be responsible for those meal costs. 
  • Itemized receipts for meals are required, not optional. WESTAF will not reimburse or pay for meals unless a detailed receipt is provided.
  • Because of restrictions on the NEA funds it receives,WESTAF cannot use NEA funds to reimburse the purchase of alcohol. Thus, WESTAF discourages those traveling on WESTAF business from seeking reimbursement for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.
  • WESTAF does not reimburse for snacks or beverages, unless they are purchased in lieu of a meal.
  • When traveling for WESTAF-hosted meetings and events, meal expenses will not be reimbursed if the meal is provided by WESTAF.

Air Travel

WESTAF requires travelers to book their travel through our designated travel agent, Corporate Travel Management (CTM). Below are the guidelines we ask our travel agent to adhere to:

  • Arrival and Departure Times. When booking flights, please review the meeting agenda for start and end times. We want to be sure to avoid scheduling arrivals and departures at times that would cause travelers to miss the starting events or require them to leave earlier than the meeting adjourn time. The ideal arrival time would be at least 45 minutes to 1 hour before the event start time and the ideal departure time would be at least 1 hour to 90 minutes after the event end time, depending on the distance to the airport from the meeting location. However, we also want to avoid charges for extra hotel nights or extra costs in airfare if the timing needs to be adjusted, so please work with the travel agent to make these arrangements. They will notify WESTAF of potential delayed arrival or early departures.
  • Direct vs. Connecting Flights. While WESTAF prefers that travelers secure the lowest fare, it seeks to avoid the purchase of tickets for connecting flights. However, if there is a significant difference in cost, we will ask the traveler to take a connecting flight. For example, if travel from Point A to Point B is $600 direct and $350 through a connecting city, WESTAF would choose the connecting itinerary.
  • Pre-Approval of High Fares. All tickets with a fare that exceeds $500 must be approved in advance by WESTAF. The travel agent will work with the main WESTAF contact for the event on the approval process.
  • Higher Fare Tickets. If a traveler wants to purchase a more expensive ticket due to timing, airline advantages, or an extended stay, it can be accommodated as long as the traveler pays the difference in cost. In order to facilitate this, WESTAF will require CTM to notify WESTAF of the lower fare amount and the amount the traveler elected to pay. CTM will then book the traveler’s preferred itinerary on the WESTAF account and the traveler will then be responsible for paying the difference for the preferred flight after the meeting.
  • Changes and Cancelations. Changes and cancelations are discouraged; however, should travel arrangements need to be changed for legitimate business reasons, guests must apply any travel credits to the very next WESTAF event. Misuse or abuse of travel credits paid for by WESTAF will be considered quite serious. Guests are to track credits with each airline to ensure the funds are not lost and the credit is applied to future business travel.


The air travel guidelines are subject to change for Alaska and Hawai‘i guests. Please notify WESTAF at your earliest convenience if you need additional days. 


Additional Fees for Travel

Many airlines now offer basic or discounted airfares that allow passengers to bring only one personal item such as a purse, briefcase, or small underseat bag. Such airlines charge for checking a larger carry-on bag and/or checking luggage. WESTAF will reimburse employees and others traveling for WESTAF for one extra bag charge. The maximum reimbursable fee for this service is $30.00. For some airlines, this may mean that the traveler must check a bag in lieu of carrying on luggage, as a carry-on may have a higher fee. Please always choose the lowest cost baggage option—either free carry-on or lower cost checked bags. WESTAF will reimburse travelers for more than one bag under the following circumstances: 1) the traveler is transporting meeting materials or special equipment as requested by WESTAF or 2) the traveler is required to travel for several days. The WESTAF travel agent will work with the traveler to book the cheapest bag option. If a passenger supported by WESTAF wishes to incur fees for more than one bag, the fees for the additional bag(s) can be purchased by the traveler at check-in. However, those fees will not be reimbursed by WESTAF. If the airline offers free carry-on or free checked bag options, WESTAF will not pay additional baggage fees for the traveler. View a list of current airline baggage fees hereWESTAF will not pay fees incurred for making a seat selection, preferential treatment in boarding, flight changes, or upgrades. If the traveler is charged for any of these items, they must pay for them directly at check-in or pay the difference in the ticket cost. For example, an all-inclusive ticket might cost $350 and a low fare ticket may cost $150. In this case, WESTAF will pay the fare amount of $150 and the traveler will be required to pay the additional $200 if they prefer the all-inclusive ticket. As a rule, if a traveler wants to book a higher-fared flight when there is a cheaper option available, WESTAF asks the traveler to pay the travel agent the difference in cost via credit card.


Mileage is reimbursed by WESTAF for up to the IRS rate of $0.58 per mile. If a personal vehicle is used for an extended trip, please refer to the WESTAF Automobile Policy and be sure to include a Google Maps screenshot of your mileage.

Deadline for Reimbursement Requests 

Travel expense reports must be printed in ink, signed, dated, and returned to WESTAF with the appropriate receipts within 14 days of the completion of a trip. If the reimbursement is not received within the 14-day period, the reimbursement will not be accepted. 

In-Kind Tracking

Please record the value of your in-kind contributions of time and other services at the bottom of the expense reimbursement form. This information is used to help match the funds the NEA allocates to WESTAF on a matching basis.

Approval of Expense Reports

All reimbursement requests and expense reports are subject to the approval of the executive director and/or the director of finance and administration.