PROJECTS, PROGRAMS & SERVICES

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.

Technology

WESTAF is an experienced technology developer, with six distinct projects that benefit the arts and creative industries. WESTAF’s technology products are not discounted for participating states. However, states in the the WESTAF region can benefit from these projects by: a) arranging for cost-advantageous bundling of two or more technology products; b) negotiating free or discounted pilot programs for organizations within the WESTAF region; and c) receiving no-cost, on-site demonstrations of one or more of these programs in state conferences, arts agency governing board meetings, and other forums where such in-person demonstrations would be beneficial.

Convenings

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.

Grants

WESTAF currently administers two grant programs: Independent Music on Tour (IMTour™), a grant program for tour-ready independent musicians, and TourWest, a competitive grant program that provides subsidies to arts and community organizations for the presentation of out-of-state touring performers and literary artists.

To learn more about WESTAF’s online grants management system, visit GO Smart. For more information about WESTAF’s funding opportunities, please contact WESTAF at (303) 629-1166 or by e-mail at staff@westaf.org.

Executive Search Services

WESTAF offers high-quality, targeted search services focused on securing new leaders for state and local arts agencies, regional and national arts service organizations, and leaders of organizations of color.

Advocacy

WESTAF is engaged in several projects to increase the region’s capacity for advocacy aimed at advancing public support for the arts in the West. WESTAF’s Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar brings arts leaders from the West to Washington, DC annually to meet with members of Congress. WESTAF also provides advocacy support to state and local arts agencies in the West, including helping to fund professional-level advocacy work and developing effective advocacy messaging.

Publications

WESTAF has an extensive archive of publications dating back to 1976. To obtain a copy or for information on how to access these publications online, please contact Leah Horn.