Update Notes #81 | December 2014

By July 2, 2015July 1st, 2021No Comments

WESTAF Update Notes #81 | December 2014
From Anthony Radich, Executive Director
This is the 81st in a continuing series of updates about the work of WESTAF

WESTAF Convenes Emerging Arts Leaders of Color
In early October, WESTAF hosted its fourth annual Emerging Leaders of Color Professional Development Seminar. The program brings together diverse cultural leaders recognized for their professional achievements and also their strong commitment to advancing the arts in the region. Coursework and activities are designed to strengthen competencies and prepare participants for leadership positions in the field. The coursework is also designed to deepen participants’  understanding of the arts in the United States and especially how public support for culture contributes to the vibrancy of the sector. Program faculty included long-time arts administrator Margie Johnson Reese; Salvador Acevedo, principal and president of the San Francisco-based consulting firm Contemporánea; and WESTAF Trustee Tamara Alvarado, executive director of the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose. This year’s participants were:

  • Brian J. Carter, Manager of Exhibit Experiences, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Seattle, Washington
  • Luis Escareño, Membership Manager, Center for New Music, San Francisco, California
  • Nurieh Glasgow, Program and Training Officer, ServeWyoming, Casper, Wyoming
  • Joshua Heim, Arts Administrator, City of Redmond, Redmond, Washington
  • Marla Lepe, Director/Founder, ArtFirst Arte Primero, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Nikiko Masumoto, Farmer, Artist, Volunteer, Fresno Regional Foundation/California State University, Fresno, Del Rey, California
  • Ashanti McGee, Assistant Program Director/Grant Writer, Metro Arts Council of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Yvonne Montoya, Director, Safos Dance Theatre, Tucson, Arizona
  • Leta Neustaedter, Owner/Instructor, Metamorphosis Performing Arts Studio, LLC, Boise, Idaho
  • Brandy Reitter, Town Administrator, Town of Buena Vista, Buena Vista, Colorado
  • Moriah Sallaffie, Executive Vice President, Bering Straits Foundation, Nome, Alaska
  • Saniego Sanchez, Director, Dikeou Collection, Denver, Colorado
  • Lehua Simon, Assistant Theatre Manager, Leeward Community College Theatre, Pearl City, Hawai’i
  • Regina Still Smoking, Founder/President, Project Moving Talent Forward, Bozeman, Montana
  • Gabrielle Uballez, Executive Director, Working Classroom, Inc., Albuquerque, New Mexico

For additional information about the Emerging Leaders of Color Seminar or to learn more about WESTAF’s multicultural initiatives, contact Chrissy Deal at

Chair and Executive Director Forum Takes Place in Santa Fe
On December 8 and 9, WESTAF brought the chairs and executive directors of the state arts agencies in the WESTAF region to Santa Fe for a forum centered on ways to advance those agencies. The meeting included a briefing on the current condition of state budgets presented by Erica Michel from the fiscal affairs office of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Howard Lavine, the former cultural policy advisor to Oregon’s Governor Kulongoski, presented comments on ways to structure state arts agency initiatives and also ways to work effectively with governors. Matt Wilson, who heads the MASSCreative state advocacy group in Massachusetts, shared his experiences in organizing effective creative economy advocacy. Michael Bracy, Washington lobbyist and co-founder of the Future of Music Coalition, spoke about intellectual property and other subjects that are important for state arts agencies to be involved in.

Dennis Mangers, Senior Advisor to Senate President Pro Tem, former lobbyist for the cable television industry, and former California state assemblyman, presented perspectives on ways to work effectively with state legislatures and governors’ offices. Marian Orr, a political strategist from Wyoming who works with large corporate interests there but who also represents the arts community in Wyoming’s legislature, discussed ways to be an effective communicator within the state system of elected officials. Also presenting to the group was Dale Erquiaga, who currently serves as Nevada’s Superintendent of Public Instruction and was formerly a chair of WESTAF. Erquiaga shared his views regarding ways to successfully work with governors and their staffs–knowledge he obtained while working as Nevada Governor Sandoval’s Senior Policy Advisor. The meeting was facilitated by former National Endowment for the Arts staffer (Literature) and now venture capitalist Alex Ooms.

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