WESTAF regularly convenes experts and leaders from a variety of fields to address critical issues that affect arts and culture and to provide an opportunity for practitioners and thinkers in the region to reflect on issues particular to the West while considering a national context.
WESTAF organizes symposia of experts and leaders from fields both inside and outside the arts to address critical issues affecting arts and culture. These periodic meetings, 16 of which have been held since 1997, provide an opportunity to reflect on cultural policy issues particular to the West, to introduce practitioners in the region to one another, and to expand the acquaintance of national and international discussions of cultural policy with thinkers in the West. Learn more about WESTAF’s Cultural Policy Symposia.
In 2020, WESTAF piloted a new seminar format that brings together representatives from local and state government, private grantmakers, national rural arts and rural design initiatives, folk and traditional arts organizations, indigenous organizations, artist collectives and colonies, and other arts and cultural institutions on how to advance arts in the rural West. On April 3, WESTAF conducted an Arts + the Rural West initial virtual workshop over 3 hours with 25 participants representing the Alliance for California Traditional Arts; California Arts Council; Idaho Commission on the Arts; Epicenter; Mountain Time Arts; First Nations Development Institute; Plains Indian Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center for the West; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the National Endowment for the Arts; Housing Assistance Council/Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design; Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC); Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture; Center for Education, Business, and the Arts; Advocates for California Indigenous Language Survival; Western Folklife Center; Artes Americas; and the Town of Eagle, Colorado.