Because public support for the arts is vital to the arts community, WESTAF continues to build the capacity of state arts advocacy so that it can properly support public-sector involvement in the arts in the West.
- State Advocacy Funds
For over a decade, WESTAF has disbursed funds (generated from its earned income) to each state in the West to support advocacy on behalf of the state’s arts agency. This advocacy support includes helping to fund professional-level advocacy work, advocacy training, and, occasionally, arts advocacy days and summits.
- Western Arts Advocacy Network
In 2020, WESTAF launched a Western Arts Advocacy Network that brings together leaders from state arts advocacy organizations and other key advocates from across the West to network, share best practices, and inform WESTAF’s support of arts advocacy.
- Federal Advocacy Funds
In 2020, WESTAF began piloting a new program that offers funding (generated from its earned income) to state arts agencies in the region to organize delegations to Washington, D.C. to participate in national advocacy activities and to organize other forms of engagement with members of Congress. Through this program, WESTAF also provides advocates in the West with tools and information to effectively communicate the value of federal funding for the arts.
- Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar
Between 2011 and 2017, WESTAF convened an annual Arts Leadership and Advocacy Seminar that brought a group of arts leaders from the West to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress and their staffs, engage in briefings regarding the status and future prospects for federal arts support, and to discuss with the WESTAF trustees ways to generate more state government support for the work of state arts agencies. The future development of this program is currently under review.