WESTAF Announces Regional Arts Resilience Fund Awardees

Funding provides support for arts and cultural organizations in the West to help mitigate the financial threat to the sector caused by COVID-19

In June 2020, WESTAF announced its partnership with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation on a new relief grant to support arts organizations in the 13-state western region. The $10 million Regional Arts Resilience Fund is a first-of-its-kind relief and recovery grant that was awarded to each of the six U.S. Regional Arts Organizations. The fund was designed to help mitigate the financial threat to the sector caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting small- and mid-sized arts organizations of all artistic disciplines in rural and urban areas that are regarded by their peers as having statewide, regional, or national impact. In fall 2020, WESTAF began administering the regranting of over $1.7 million in Regional Arts Resilience Fund support.

With the help of 20 arts and culture leaders from across the 13-state region who served as advisors/panelists, WESTAF adjudicated the 81 applications from organizations that were invited to apply between August 19 and September 8, 2020. From the 464 initial nominations received in August, WESTAF funded the following 39 organizations with grants in the range of $30,000 to $74,000. Applications were assessed on commitment to equity; exceptional artistic impact; visionary leadership; and engagement and impact locally, regionally, and nationally. A list of the 20 WESTAF Regional Arts Resilience Fund advisors can be found below. 

Eligible organizations included 501(c)(3) nonprofits, units of state or local government, nonprofit institutions of higher education, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments. Awards are being made to organizations across the West, with a minimum of one grant awarded to each state in the region, which includes the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The disbursement process for the funds is scheduled to take place in November.

Congratulations to the following organizations selected to receive WESTAF Regional Arts Resilience Fund grants:

Organization Name City State
Alaska Native Heritage Center  Anchorage AK
Bunnell Street Arts Center Homer AK
Arts for All  Tucson AZ
Museum of Indigenous People Prescott AZ
Rising Youth Theatre Phoenix AZ
Xico Inc. Phoenix AZ
California Indian Museum and Cultural Center Santa Rosa CA
East West Players, Inc. Los Angeles CA
EastSide Arts Alliance Oakland CA
New Americans Museum and Immigration Learning Center San Diego CA
Plaza de la Raza, Inc. Los Angeles CA
Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project San Francisco CA
School of Arts and Culture at MHP San Jose CA
Downtown Aurora Visual Arts Aurora CO
Ft. Lewis College Foundation – Community Concert Hall Durango CO
Museo de las Americas Denver CO
Rocky Mountain Arts Association Denver CO
Youth on Record Denver CO
Hana Arts Hana HI
Pacific Islanders in Communications Honolulu HI
Sun Valley Center for the Arts Sun Valley ID
Little Big Horn College Crow Agency MT
Mountain Time Arts Bozeman MT
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Inc. Albuquerque NM
Keshet Dance Company Albuquerque NM
Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, Inc. Santa Fe NM
Board of Regents, Nevada System of Higher Education on behalf of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art Las Vegas NV
Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and Museum Carson City NV
Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon Communities United Fund Portland OR
My Voice Music Portland OR
p:ear Portland OR
Art Access Salt Lake City UT
Moab Valley Multicultural Center Moab UT
Asia Pacific Cultural Center Tacoma WA
Northwest African American Museum Seattle WA
Red Eagle Soaring Seattle WA
Terrain Programs Spokane WA
Pinedale Fine Arts Council, Inc. Pinedale WY

Thank you to the following Regional Arts Resilience Fund Advisors/Panelists:

  • Laurel Canon Alder, Grants Manager, Utah Arts and Museums  (UT) 
  • Sean Chandler, Dean of Academics, Aaniiih Nakoda College (MT)
  • Eric Chang, Arts Program Coordinator, East-West Center (HI)
  • Justin Favela, Artist, Justin Favela Studio (NV)
  • Asia Freeman, Artistic Director, Bunnell Street Arts Center (AK)
  • Gustavo Herrera, Executive Director, Arts for LA (CA)
  • Maureen Hearty, Program Director, Grassroots Foundation, Liberty Rural Learning Cooperative (CO)
  • Jason Jong, Arts Program Specialist, California Arts Council (CA)
  • Leilani Lewis, Board Member, Arts Advocate, Northwest African American Museum, SAL (WA)
  • Brandie Macdonald, Director of Decolonizing Initiatives, San Diego Museum of Man (CA)
  • Robert Martinez, Owner/Artist, Martinez Art and Design (WY)
  • Humberto Marquez Mendez, Community Involvement Specialist (OR)
  • Tariana Navas-Nieves, Director, Cultural Affairs, Denver Arts and Venues (City and County of Denver) (CO)
  • Prentice Onayemi, Grains of Salt (OR)
  • Moana Palelei HoChing, Creative Director, Pasifika First Fridays (UT)
  • Scott Palmer, Producing Artistic Director, Company of Fools/Sun Valley Museum of Art (ID)
  • Faaluaina Pritchard, Executive Director, Asia Pacific Cultural Center (WA)
  • Ruth Saludes, Executive Director, Arte Americas The Mexican Arts Center (CA)
  • M. Jenea Sanchez, Chair, Border Arts Corridor (AZ)
  • Winoka Yepa, Senior Manager of Museum Education, Institute of American Indian Arts, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (NM)


The Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) is a nonprofit arts service organization dedicated to strengthening the financial, organizational, and policy infrastructure of the arts in the West. WESTAF assists 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. Through innovative programming, advocacy, research, technology, and grantmaking, WESTAF encourages the creative advancement and preservation of the arts regionally and through a national network of customers and alliances.

About The Andrew W. Mellon FoundationMellon Foundation Logo

Founded in 1969, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the largest national supporter of the arts and humanities, endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.