Update Notes #86 | January 2016

By January 2, 2016July 1st, 2021No Comments

WESTAF Update Notes #86 | January 2016
From Anthony Radich, Executive Director
This is the 86th in a continuing series of updates about the work of WESTAF.

Speaker Announced for 2016 Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar
In early February, WESTAF will bring 60 arts advocates from the West to Washington, DC for the fifth consecutive year. During the meeting February 2-4, the participants in WESTAF’s Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar will learn more about the current and planned future work of the NEA, update themselves on federal level advocacy efforts, and meet with their members of Congress.

The speaker for the seminar’s opening dinner is John Feehery, President of Communications and Director of Government Affairs for Quinn Gillespie and Associates, a Washington, DC, public affairs firm. The firm is one of the first government relations entities in Washington to employ professionals of both political parties and was founded by Ed Gillespie, former Chair of the Republican National Committee, and Jack Quinn, former White House Counsel to President Bill Clinton. Feehery is a frequent commentator on the political landscape and is often a guest on television programs such as CNN’s The Situation Room, MSNBC’s Hardball, and Bloomberg Television’s Money and Politics. He is also a columnist for The Hill. Feehery has served as staff to prominent members of the United States House of Representatives and for House Republican leadership.

WESTAF Video for NEA 50th Anniversary
The NEA has supported the development of videos to tell the story of how federal funding has impacted the states and regions over the last 50 years. WESTAF’s video was produced by WESTAF staffer and videographer Natalie Villa and features the NEA’s encouragement of risk taking and experimentation. Those approaches of the NEA to its support of the work of WESTAF have benefited WESTAF and the region greatly over the years. The video can be found at

New Additions to WESTAF Board of Trustees
WESTAF’s newest trustees are Nikiko Masumoto and Steven Tepper. Masamoto was born in California’s Central Valley and spent her childhood on the Masumoto Family Farm, an 80-acre organic farm in Del Rey, California. In 2007, she graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in Gender and Women’s Studies. Masumoto then completed a Master of Arts in Performance as Public Practice at the University of Texas, Austin. Her area of research focused on the performance of memory and Japanese-American history. Masumoto moved back to Del Rey in 2011 and spends her days in the fields, apprenticing with her father and creating agrarian art. In 2011, she started the Valley Storytellers Project as a means to create public space for Valley residents to tell their own stories.

Steven Tepper is the dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, the nation’s largest comprehensive design and arts school at a research university. Tepper is a leading writer and speaker on U.S. cultural policy and his work has fostered national discussions around topics of cultural engagement, everyday creativity, and the transformative possibilities of a 21st-century creative campus. Prior to assuming the position at ASU, Tepper served on the faculty at Vanderbilt University, where he was a chief architect of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy, a national think tank for cultural policy and creativity. Tepper holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University.

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