About WESTAF: Mission and Profile
Celebrating the Western Imagination through the Arts
The Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) is a regional non-profit arts service organization dedicated to the creative advancement and preservation of the arts.
WESTAF encourages the creative development and preservation of the arts regionally and through a national network of clients and alliances. WESTAF fulfills its mission to strengthen the financial, organizational, and cultural policy infrastructure of the arts in the West by developing and providing innovative programs and services, technology solutions, funding opportunities, advocacy and cultural policy work, and other services.
Founded in 1974, WESTAF is located in Denver and is governed by a 22-member board of trustees that comprises arts leaders in the West. WESTAF serves the largest constituent territory of the six U.S. regional arts organizations that includes the state arts agencies, artists, and arts organizations of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
WESTAF regularly convenes experts and leaders to address critical issues affecting arts and culture. In 2008, WESTAF held a seminar on cultural taxing districts in Seattle, Washington, followed by a symposium on economic development and the creative economy in San Diego, California. In 2009, WESTAF convened a symposium on new arguments for the arts in Aspen, Colorado, at the Aspen Institute. In 2010, WESTAF convened a symposium of leaders in the art fair field about the status of the field today during the second annual ZAPP® Conference,which it also organized. Additionally, WESTAF's multicultural task force, established in 2000, meets regularly to provide inspiration and guidance for the organization’s commitment to multicultural policies and values.
WESTAF is an experienced developer of technology systems that benefit the arts and creative industries. These systems include GO:GrantsOnline™, a fully customizable, robust, and flexible online grants management system; the Public Art Archive™, a searchable national online database of public art; CallforEntry.org™ (CaFÉ™), an online application and adjudication management system used by public art programs, galleries, museums, and educational institutions to manage public art commissions, exhibitions, fellowships, and visual art competitions; ArtJob.org, an online arts job bank that lists national opportunities for arts administrators and others as well as internships, grants, public art projects, and residencies; ArtistsRegister.com, an online gallery that allows visual artists to showcase their work and connect with private collectors, gallery owners, interior designers, corporate art buyers, public art administrators, and general art enthusiasts; ZAPPlication.org®, an online application and adjudication management system used by more than 400 art fairs, festivals, and shows; and CreativeSpaceAgent™, an online system that matches artists, musicians, and other creative people seeking studio, rehearsal, or performance space with those offering spaces for lease or purchase (currently deployed in the Denver metro area). WESTAF is also the creator and purveyor of the research-based Creative Vitality™ Index (CVI™), a sophisticated creative economy report that measures and provides highly reliable and comparable data about the health and vitality of an area's creative sector, including for-profit and non-profit endeavors, businesses, and organizations.
As a progressive and evolving organization, WESTAF initiates new programs and projects regularly and is proud to have artists, musicians, and arts administrators on staff. WESTAF remains committed to the improvement of the the capacity and quality of public funding of the arts by the state arts agencies of the West. Position papers, advisory research, and professional development services are regularly provided to these agencies. WESTAF is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.