Before Story Crossroads kicked off, the Western States Arts Federation had already impacted me on when I received a grant to attend the annual Arts Northwest Booking Conference along with a tandem storytelling partner, Holly Robison, to Eugene, Oregon. WESTAF is one of the major partners of Arts Northwest. We met a mentor in connection with this grant on how to build relationships with venue directors and fellow artists. By recognizing WESTAF, we are also recognizing the National Endowment for the Arts provides the funds for the several grants to share with other arts groups.
WESTAF and NEA are praised nowadays for the three-time funding of Story Crossroads so we could bring out Christopher Agostino from New York (2016), Mara Menzies from Scotland (2017), and Denise Valentine from Pennsylvania (2018) through the TourWest Grant.
Everyone in the office is so kind and supportive. One year, I needed to convert a video into a certain format. I thought I had done everything right to submit along with the grant. I was mistaken and a lady at the office created a special note to the reviewers on how best to watch it. Perhaps that was the year there was a new system for submitting grant applications online. No matter the reason, I knew that was going above and beyond. Then, to receive the grant itself despite my “technical difficulties” was a great boon.
WESTAF as an organization and as individuals celebrate diversity. Story Crossroads and WESTAF have both enjoyed the amazing art that comes across cultures and generations. We both aim to also see that diversity in the audience who comes. WESTAF is aware of our efforts to build relations with the Blind and Deaf communities through audio descriptions and ASL interpretations. We also have our posters and fliers in English and Spanish to reach out to the Hispanic populations in Salt Lake County and surrounding areas.
From the WESTAF website, here is a little more insight to their purpose and mission:
WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation) is a regional 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.
Founded in 1974, WESTAF is located in Denver and governed by a 22-member board of trustees comprised of arts leaders in the West. WESTAF serves the largest constituent territory of the six U.S. regional arts organizations and includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai’i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Learn more about the Western States Arts Federation here: https://www.westaf.org/westaf/.
You can see WESTAF’s Arts Northwest Booking Conference here: https://www.artsnw.org
Starting December 18, 2017, the WESTAF office is transitioning to a new location so we feel this is a timely shout-out for the new address will be: 1888 Sherman Street, Suite 375, Denver, CO 80203.
So toss, tip, or take off your cap to the Western States Arts Federation!
We also have year-round events such as the monthly house concerts and the 3rd Annual Story Crossroads Festival that will be on May 23, 2018.