Research and Policy

Arts Advocacy

WESTAF is engaged in several projects designed to increase the region’s capacity for advocacy aimed at advancing public support for the arts in the West. Twice annually, executive directors of western state arts agencies meet to discuss ways to move support for these agencies forward. WESTAF’s Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar brings a small group of arts leaders from the West to Washington, DC each year to meet with members of Congress and their staffs, engage in briefings regarding the status and future prospects for federal arts support, and to join in discussions with the WESTAF trustees on ways to generate more state government support for the work of state arts agencies. WESTAF also provides advocacy support to state and local arts agencies throughout the region, including assistance in funding advocacy work in the states and developing advocacy effective messaging.

Click here to learn more about WESTAF’s Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar.

Cultural Policy

WESTAF regularly convenes experts and leaders from fields both inside and outside the arts to address critical issues affecting arts and culture. These annual forums 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. WESTAF’s 15th cultural policy symposium, Creativity and Innovation in Public Education: Areas of Need, Mechanisms for Change, brought together scholars and practitioners for a lively discussion on the research and policy work needed to advance creativity and innovation in public education. Discussions included the neuroscience of creativity; evaluation of creativity-based curriculum; innovative approaches to advance arts, science, and technology education; design thinking in higher education; and creativity as collaborative practice.

To see a full list of Symposia, visit the Cultural Policy Symposia page.