part of WESTAF's mission to strengthen the financial, organizational, and policy infrastructure of the arts in the West, WESTAF regularly undertakes research
projects on behalf of our member arts agencies and the general arts community. The results of our research are usually presented in position papers, many of
which are available to the general public upon request. Papers have been completed on such topics as: economic arguments for the public funding of the arts; opportunities
for collaboration among cultural agencies; background information concerning the development of cultural trust legislation; and an assessment of the effectiveness of legislative arts caucuses in advocating for the arts. For a complete list of WESTAF position papers and economic impact studies, follow
the "papers" link.
**NEW!** Following the staggered release of symposium sessions in electronic print form throughout 2010, WESTAF is pleased to release the final, complete proceedings of its symposium titled Engaging the Now: Arguments, Research, and New Environments for the Arts. The symposium convened in Aspen, Colorado, in October, 2009. The proceedings feature a keynote presentation by Doug McLennan of ArtsJournal.com, a discussion about the efficacy of state film incentives, a dialogue about the state of arts education research and advocacy, a consideration of new economic arguments for the arts, a review of trends in youth engagement in creativity and the arts, a forum on rethinking the structure and scope of state arts agencies, and a discussion about cultural policy trends in Europe. In addition to McLennan, a wide range of speakers participated in the symposium discussion--from economists and economic development professionals to cultural policy leaders and academics.
Rethinking the Structure and Scope of State Arts Agencies, a session of the 2009 WESTAF cultural policy symposium, is now available in electronic form. The session included a presentation and discussion about the ways state arts agencies might transform and redevelop in order to position themselves effectively for the future. This session was facilitated by RAND Researcher Julia Lowell.
Arts Education: Advocacy and Research, a session of the 2009 WESTAF cultural policy symposium, is now available in electronic form. The session included presentations and discussion about trends in and criticism of contemporary arts education research and advocacy. Speakers included experts in the fields of education, advocacy, and arts education curriculum.
This report is the result of the survey conducted in conjunction with the Statewide Arts Education Assessment (SAEA), a project developed by practitioners in the field of arts education in collaboration with the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF). The SAEA was developed in response to a call for a more comprehensive snapshot of the status of K-12 arts education in individual states and is structured to be a low-cost tool that can be administered annually. The SAEA offers an opportunity for those interested in arts education development to track essential K-12 arts education statistics over time.
The 2009-2010 Statewide Arts Education Assessment report serves as a valuable resource for all who want to advocate for a high-quality, well-rounded education for students. SAEA report findings can be used to advocate for the arts as a core subject and identify areas at the state and local level that require attention and support. The initial four partner states of Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming are now better positioned to understand the strengths and opportunities for improvement of arts education within their states as a result of the SAEA report.
WESTAF's symposium on economic development, state government, and the creative economy in the West took place in San Diego, California, on December 4-6, 2008. Symposium participants discussed how creative sectorsboth for-profit and non-profithave been considered in state economic development efforts as well as how they factor into the way states and cities develop economic policy as economic climates shift. Participants included state economic development officials and senior policy advisers in the West, and selected speakers, experts, economists, state arts agency directors, academics, and participants from related fields.
Two sessions of the 2009 symposium, Messaging I: Constructing the Argument and Messaging II: Arts and Culture Redefined, are now available in electronic form. The sessions include presentations and discussion about argumentation theory as it relates to the arts, considerations of ways to construct public-sector-focused messaging about the arts, and strategies for making the case for public art funding. Speakers include experts in the fields of communication theory, public policy, advocacy, messaging, economics, and popular culture.
The Western States Arts Federation recently commissioned and completed an in-depth study of music in Denver as part of the Creative Vitality Index™ (CVI™) report prepared for the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs. The objective was to use quantitative and qualitative methods to assess the economic vitality of Denver's music community. Data collected and analyzed for the report included interviews with key figures in the music community and economic data on for- and non-profit music activities. The resulting technical report containing the findings is an example of the kind of supplemental reporting available to agencies and organizations that license the CVI™. For more information, please visit the CVI™ website.
WESTAF is pleased to announce the audio release of Steven Tepper's presentation at WESTAF's recent annual cultural policy symposium, held in Aspen, October 15-17, 2009. In the presentation, Tepper shares his perspective on the participation of young people in the arts and new patterns of arts participation by the public. His remarks are in .MP3 audio format at can be accessed by clicking the link to the left. You can also right-click the link to the left in order to "save as" if you prefer to save the .MP3 for use on an iPod or other personal audio player. If you have any problems accessing this file, please contact Erin Bassity at firstname.lastname@example.org.