TourWest is WESTAF’s competitive grant program that has historically provided subsidies to arts and community organizations for the presentation of touring performers and literary artists within the 13-state WESTAF region. Since its inaugural year, TourWest has allocated approximately $500,000 a year in small amounts throughout the region.
Through its longstanding efforts, TourWest has brought touring to a region covering nearly a quarter of the continent but holding only about 3% of the population in the 1960s. Cultural leaders in the Western states pursued a way of making tours more affordable for rural communities in addition to making them more attractive to artists by allowing them to book consecutive performances. This in turn allowed TourWest to provide WESTAF the opportunity to support and learn from a diverse cross-section of regional touring programs across the region.