About WAA

Picture Postcard of WAA's First Conference Hotel (LAX, 1967)

 

Western Arts Alliance (WAA) is a membership association of touring and performing arts professionals engaged in promoting and presenting performing arts throughout the western states and provinces. Serving members since 1967, WAA's annual booking conference and its year-round programs are essential for artists, artist managers, presenters, and other performing arts professionals in the west. More than 680 artists, managers, presenters, arts service organizations, and state arts agencies know WAA as a trusted and vital resource.

Mission:
To advance excellence in performing arts presenting in the West by connecting and serving members and the field at large.

Vision
We envision a world where. . .

  • Communities throughout the West believe the performing arts are essential to their daily life.
  • The arts celebrate humanity and engage people across cultural, social and economic orientations.
  • Artists and a vibrant touring network connect audiences and communities.
  • The field attracts, sustains, and advances a diverse cohort of professionals representing the full spectrum of the performing arts.
  • The West leads the way in innovation and creativity.

Values:

  • WAA is an expansive community where members connect, build strong relationships, share, and develop ideas.
  • WAA strives to support and serve an educated and engaged field of artists, agents, managers, and presenters in the West.
  • WAA continuously adapts to changes and shifts in the field.
  • WAA values inclusion and promotes diversity of thought, expression and culture that is inherent in our world.
  • WAA embraces colleagues at every stage of their career.

History

WAA was first established as the Alliance of Western Colleges for Cultural Presentations in 1967 by presenters, located largely in California, concerned about the difficulty of scheduling artists’ tours in the western states. Twenty-six people attended the first booking conference that year in Los Angeles. In 1974, the name of the organization was changed to the Western Alliance of Arts Administrators.

In 1991, The WAA offices moved to San Francisco, California. A two-year strategic planning process was completed and a plan approved seeking to increase WAA’s cultural diversity, improve communication and advocacy, and strengthen the professional development program. In 1998, the trade name of the association was changed to Western Arts Alliance. In 2004, the WAA offices moved to Portland, OR.

Today, the association has well over 400 members, and over 1,000 people participate at the annual conference, with over 200 artists, managers, and agents exhibiting.