2020 WAA Conference Call For Proposals

Western Arts Alliance is seeking session proposals for the 2020 Conference in San Diego, and the Pre-Conference in Tijuana! 


(Haga clic aquí para español)

Deadline Extended to Friday, March 20, 2020 @ 11:59 PM PST! 
Read the Session Guidelines and Policies

Western Arts Alliance (WAA) is accepting session proposals for the 2020 Transborder Conference. The pre-conference program will take place in Tijuana, Mexico, August 29-31, and the Annual Conference will take place at the Town and Country Hotel in San Diego, California, August 31-September 3.   

The WAA Annual Conference convenes 800+ artists, agents, and presenters from the U.S. and abroad around the shared goal of programming live performances. A vital component of WAA’s conference is the professional development program, which aims to address and explore trends, practices, and challenges that we face in the evolving field of performing arts through pre-conference and in-conference workshops, panels, and roundtables.

Given this year’s transborder program, the conference will explore themes of mobility, identity, borders, and international collaboration. Our goal is to learn, discover new artists and work, and to build relationships that will propel transborder cultural exchange for years to come. The conference will feature bilingual translation for both Tijuana and San Diego programs. 

For the pre-conference event in Tijuana, WAA will program two workshops/panels. For the San Diego Conference, WAA is offering five workshops/panels, and seven roundtables. Of the seven roundtables,  WAA has reserved four rooms for Advancing Indigenous Performance, Conexiones, 35Below, and Black Arts @ WAA. 


WAA welcomes session proposals in the formats below:  

Workshops & Panels (90 minutes) – These sessions are hosted by knowledgeable professionals in the field and are open to all registered attendees. 

Roundtables (60 minutes) – These facilitated discussions are led by conference attendees. Roundtable presenters often bring targeted questions to pose to the participants in order to learn from and with those attending. Open to all registered attendees. 


We are seeking relevant, informative, and engaging proposals around the issues of mobility, identity, cross-border and international collaborations, as well as the topics listed below. The bolded topics speak to the interest of WAA members, and further the missions of WAA’s programmatic initiatives: Advancing Indigenous Performance Program, Black Arts @ WAA, and Conexiones

Activism, Social Justice, and the Arts
Arts, Community, and Gentrification
Booking and Touring
Business and Industry How-Tos
Career Development
Collaboration, Commissioning, Partnership For Artists/Agents/Presenters
Community Relationship Building, Engagement, and Partnership
Contracts, Negotiations, & Legal Issues
Decolonizing Practices in the Arts
Diversifying Arts Management, Board, and Committees
Education, Outreach, & Audience Development
Environmental Sustainability
Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility
Funding and Development
Indigenous Performance, Collaboration, and Transborder Relations
International and Transborder Collaboration and Relations 
International Taxes, Visas, & Contracts
Intersectional Programming
Marketing and Social Media
Management, Finance, Governance
Programming & Disciplines (Particularly Dance and Family Programming)
Ticketing, Operations & Production Management


Submitting your proposal is easy! Visit our OpenWater application portal and sign in as guest OR use your WAA credentials OR create an OpenWater account. WAA welcomes proposals from non-members and members.  Be sure to read the Session Proposal Policies and Guidelines before you submit.  


Applications will be reviewed and scored by the Professional Development Committee. Scores will be based on the selection criteria: 

  1. How well does the proposed session align with the priority topics outlined in WAA’s Call for Proposal?
  2. How well do the title, description or abstract, and learning objectives align with each other? 
  3. How likely is it that the format and delivery methods selected will allow participants to achieve the stated learning objectives, including audience engagement appropriate to the objectives?
  4. Are the presenter(s) knowledgeable in the topic area?
  5. Does the proposed session or its designated speakers support WAA’s goal of nurturing a move inclusive and equitable community?
  6. Given the limited number of slots available for sessions and the high volume of proposals received, how likely would you be to attend or recommend someone attend this session if placed on the program?


I will be submitting more than one proposal. Should I submit each proposal separately?  Yes, you will need to submit one application for each proposal. 

 How will I know my submission has been received?  Upon submitting your entry, you will receive a confirmation e-mail message containing your submission details.

►  What should I do if I did not receive a confirmation e-mail containing my submission details?  First, check your junk mail folder - the most likely problem is that your spam filter sent the e-mail there.  If you don't find it in your junk mail folder, please contact staff@westarts.org

►  Do I have to start and finish my submission in one session?  It depends. As a guest user, you must finish your submission in one session. However, if you create an account (or login using your WAA credentials), you may save and come back to finish the application before the deadline, March 6, 2020 11:59 p.m. PST. 

►  Can I revise my submission after I've hit the "Save and Finalize" button?  Yes, but you must contact the staff@westarts.org to request access to make changes through the portal. All revisions must be made before the deadline. 

 Can we submit a few days late?  No. In the interest of fairness to all participants, no late entries will be accepted.

►  How will our submissions be viewed?  Jurors will review and score your materials based on the selection criteria. Please review the selection criteria above. 

►  When will we be notified?  Applicants will be notified in April.