About ZAPP®

The ZAPP® System

ZAPP® enables artists to apply online to multiple art shows through one central website, ZAPPlication.org. The online application process also allows artists to directly upload digital images of their artwork for jury review. The result is that all artwork in the system is in a consistent, high-quality, digital format. The digital images are presented to the jurors of each show and the system allows them to score online.

Benefits to Artists

  • Using ZAPP® is free to artists
  • Artists can upload 1000 MB of digital images to their online, individual image bank
  • Jurors see high-quality digital images of artists' work
  • Artists can manage applications to multiple shows through ZAPP®
  • Artists save money on postage and no longer have to mail slides or CDs of images
  • Artists can access their ZAPP® accounts and image bank online from any computer with an Internet connection
  • Artists only have to enter contact information into ZAPP® once
  • Artists no longer have to complete multiple-page paper applications
  • Artists receive email notifications with application status and other relevant information
  • Artists' images and personal information are kept secure and confidential


The ZAPP® Team

Full Time Staff

Christina Villa, ZAPP® Manager
Christina Villa is the ZAPPlication® manager. She is responsible for overseeing the operations of the ZAPP® system, executing long-term strategies, and directing the annual Arts Festival Conference. Villa previously worked with the city of Aurora, Colorado’s Art in Public Places program, and the Colorado Council on the Arts. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a public relations emphasis and a marketing minor from Metropolitan State University. Away from the office, Villa enjoys gardening and scouring local second-hand and used bookstores looking for novels to add to her classic literature collection.

Mareike Bergen, ZAPP® Program Associate

Mareike Bergen is a ZAPP program associate. She provides customer support for ZAPP and will assist the ZAPP team by processing contract renewals, coordinating logistics, and more. Bergen has a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Bethel College and has a background in customer service and event planning. Originally from Kansas, she relocated to Denver after graduating from college. Outside of work, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, and cooking.

Justina Braziulyte, ZAPP® Program Associate
Justina Braziulyte is a ZAPP program associate. Originally from the suburbs of Illinois, she moved to Denver to learn computer science. Braziulyte is practicing self-paced computer programming and coding in order to pursue a computer science career. Outside of WESTAF, Braziulyte works part-time as a server and bartender, where she hones her customer service and interpersonal communication skills. When not working or learning to code, she enjoys being creative with digital photography and taking drives and hikes in the mountains. 

Julia Passantino, ZAPP® Communications and Support Associate
Julia Passantino is the ZAPP communications and support associate. She assists in the creation and execution of webinars, news, and video content and supports the communication, marketing, and social media strategies. She also supports the ZAPP team by providing technical support and assistance to both administrators and artists. Outside of work she enjoys playing the violin, hiking, and immersing herself in a book. Passantino holds a bachelor of arts degree in public relations and film studies from Coe College.

Part Time Staff

Lori McAlister, ZAPP® Sales Contractor

Lori McAlister is a ZAPP® sales contractor. She is responsible for connecting prospective users to the ZAPP system. McAlister worked with the Lincoln Arts Council in her home state of Nebraska for more than five years, doing a variety of tasks including fundraising, event planning and management of the Lincoln Arts Festival. Having relocated to St Joseph, Missouri, in 2018 to create a 3-generation household, McAlister also works at The Celtic Ranch in Weston, which befits her passion for Scottish, Welsh and Irish culture and travel.

Nancy Musser, ZAPP® Demonstration and Training Associate
Nancy Musser is the ZAPP® demonstration and jury training associate. She conducts online demonstrations to potential customers inclusive of front-end and back-end tutorials and gives in-depth, online jury trainings to new ZAPP® clients. Musser works as an independent consultant for several local and regional festivals providing professional services in management, logistics and budgetary requirements. Musser is an advocate for the ease and functionality that the ZAPP® system provides and has used the ZAPP® system for her own events since 2005.  Recently, she has added the CaFE™ and GO™ demonstrations to her WESTAF responsibilities. Musser has made Atlanta, Georgia her home.

Greer BrownZAPP® Customer Service Associate
Greer Brown is a customer service associate at WESTAF. Her background includes a customer support role at a real estate photography firm, HIV and AIDS advocacy work, and internships with non-governmental agencies focused on Ghana and India. Outside of work, Greer is pursuing a degree in nursing, and on the weekends can be found backpacking, playing board games and spoiling her mutt, Lyla.

Sarah JoelZAPP® Customer Service Associate
Sarah Joel is a customer service associate at WESTAF. She is studying public health at the University of Colorado Denver with plans to apply to medical school after graduation. Prior to joining the organization, Joel worked in customer service at the on-campus library at the University of Colorado Denver, and she tutored elementary students at a local youth center. Joel volunteers at the Children’s Hospital in Aurora, Colorado in her spare time, in addition to enjoying art, working out, hiking, traveling and listening to music.

Natalie Scherlong​, ZAPP® Customer Service Associate
Natalie Scherlong is a customer service associate at WESTAF. She has a background in digital marketing, content creation, social media, and customer service. Her experience includes accompanying the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in leading a panel to showcase the success of their anti-smoking social media campaign. Scherlong has an associate’s degree in general studies from Community College of Denver. Outside of work, she loves spending time with her cat and dog, as well as traveling and honing her photography skills.


Artist Advisement

Artists have advised us continually over the life of the system. An Artist Advisory Committee was established in the early years of ZAPP® to maintain strong communication with artist users of the system and to help respond to their needs. Feedback from Committee members shaped the system to better serve artists for years to come. The ZAPP team continues to consult with artists in the field across the country.  All artists who use ZAPP have helped to make the system what it is now and will continue to shape how it evolves in the future.

Artist advisement provides feedback to ZAPP® in five main areas:

    1.    ZAPP®'s ease of use
    2.    The clarity of content on the ZAPP® website
    3.    Possible new features for the website
    4.    Ways to effectively communicate with artists about technical aspects of the site
    5.    Ways to correct misinformation about ZAPP® image and event processes


The History of the Project

In 2001, WESTAF convened several meetings with representatives of the National Association of Independent Artists (NAIA) and several major art shows to discuss the feasibility of developing a web-based system that would enable artists to apply to art fairs, festivals and shows online. Discussions regarding this technology continued over the next few years. In March 2004, WESTAF began the development of an online application system in consultation with the NAIA and eight major art shows across the U.S. The system was branded as ZAPP®, the universal online arts application, and was launched in September 2004.

ZAPP® is brought to you by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) in partnership with:


Western States Arts Federation is a regional nonprofit arts service organization dedicated to strengthening the financial, organizational, and policy infrastructure of the arts in the West. 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. Founded in 1974, WESTAF is located in Denver and governed by a 22-member board of trustees composed of arts leaders in the West. WESTAF serves the largest constituent territory of the six U.S. regional arts organizations and includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai’i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

WESTAF is an experienced technology developer, with six projects that benefit the arts and creative industries: ZAPPlication.org® (ZAPP®), the premier online application and adjudication system used by over 70,000 artists and 700 art fairs and festivals nationwide; CallforEntry.org™ (CaFÉ™), the leading call-for-entry application and adjudication system for public art commissions, exhibitions, fellowships, and juried visual art competitions; 
Public Art Archive™ (PAA™), a free, online and mobile-accessible catalog of completed public artworks across the U.S.; GO Smart™ (GO™), a powerful, flexible, and affordable online grants management system designed for local and state art agencies; and Creative Vitality™ Suite (CVSuite™), a research-based economic development tool that offers high quality creative economy data and reporting to arts advocates, organizations, and researchers; and IM Tour
, an online program created by musicians for musicians that offers underappreciated artists support in the areas of prefessional development, exposure to new audiences, opportunities to play shows at new venues, and grants.


The Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) is a regional non-profit arts service organization dedicated to the creative advancement and preservation of the arts.


Our unique and affordable pricing programs can accommodate any event – regardless of size or scope. Read more... 

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