CaFÉ System Overview
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System Overview

What is CaFÉ™ (back to top)

CaFÉ™ is a Web-based service that allows organizations and administrators to easily and cost-effectively manage artist-application and jury processes related to calls for entry. The service is especially designed for use with public art projects, artist fellowships, and juried visual-arts competitions.

Because slide projectors are being phased out, many organizations are choosing to jury artists' work via high-resolution digital images instead of slides. CaFÉ™ provides artists with an easy-to-use system to enter contact information, upload digital images of their artwork, and enter a number of open calls at one time, eliminating the cost of duplicating slides and mailing individual packets. Organizations using CaFÉ™ benefit by saving considerable time and money with the elimination of data-entry costs. In addition, they experience savings in the areas of communication and jury costs, while gaining an amazingly efficient and high-quality digital-jury process.

System Overview (back to top)

CaFÉ™ enables artists to apply online to multiple calls for entry through a central Web site, The online application process also allows artists to directly upload high-resolution digital images of their artwork for jury presentation. All of the uploaded artwork will be password protected in a consistent, quality, digital format. The high-resolution images will be presented to the jury of each call for entry, and slide projectors will be replaced with high-resolution LCD projectors. The LCD projectors will be connected to a specialized digital-media player called a Roku HD1000, which will hold the high-resolution images. The CaFÉ™ system also enables the jury to score online.

The features of CaFÉ™ are:

  • Built on the Web, CaFÉ™ allows artists and call-for-entry administrators 24-hour, password-protected, global access.
  • CaFÉ™ is scalable (near to infinity) and has the capacity to manage a vast number of artist-application forms and calls for entry.
  • Artists fill out a standardized universal application form that collects basic contact information (name, address, etc). Artists only have to enter this data one time into the system. This data will be automatically used each time an artist applies to a different call for entry. In addition, the site collects customizable supplemental data as needed for each call for entry.
  • Organizations that use CaFÉ™ no longer need to devote time and resources to entering artist-application data that is handwritten or typed into a paper form.
  • If applicable, artist-application fees are collected centrally online for each call for entry using a VeriSign account maintained by WESTAF. This process reduces the time and resources each organization allocates to accounts management. Collected funds are disbursed on a pre-scheduled basis to each licensing organization, less the pre-agreed-upon credit-card transaction fee.
  • CaFÉ™ serves as an online application-management system, not simply an online data-collection device. With this capability, organizations will be able to use the system to contact applicants, run reports, download data, and manage a number of other functions.
  • CaFÉ™ has the ability to maintain and manage customizable data elements in order to meet the unique requirements for each call for entry.
  • CaFÉ™ is designed to ensure that confidentiality is maintained among arts organizations and among artists.
  • Annual or more frequent updates of the custom-application elements will be available on a continuous basis.
  • CaFÉ™ has the capacity to hold multiple years of data.
  • CaFÉ™ enables artists to run reports that annually summarize the calls for entry to which they have applied.
  • CaFÉ™ displays basic information on each call for entry, such as a description, logo, and Web site link for each. This information will help artists select the calls for entry for which they wish to apply.
  • CaFÉ™ includes online-scoring functionality.
  • Organizations are able to download all their specific data as a csv file (comma-separated values, aka comma-delimited format) that is readily importable into Access and Excel.

How to Apply to Calls for Entry (back to top)

Artists can apply through CaFÉ™ by following these steps:

  1. Prepare your artwork images formatted to the Image Preparation specifications.
  2. Create a profile by entering basic contact information and creating a username and password to CaFÉ™.
  3. Upload up to 100 digital images of your artwork to your image portfolio.
  4. Apply to your choice of calls for entry.
  5. Choose the required number of images from your image portfolio to apply to a specific call for entry.
  6. Submit an application online.
  7. If applicable, pay the application fee online with a credit card or mail in a check.
  8. Artists receive e-mail notifications when their applications have been received and when they have been accepted or declined.
  9. Artists can view their application status at any time on the My CaFÉ™ Entries page and can choose to accept or decline invitations

The Hardware (back to top)

This section is meant to provide more detail on the technical hardware that replaces slides, slide carousels and slide projectors in the jury process.

Images that are uploaded by artists are saved as high-resolution images and transferred to compact flash cards. Compact flash cards hold large quantities of data on a piece of equipment that is the size of a postage stamp. They are replacing the slides and slide carousels previously used. These flash cards are inserted into a Roku High Definition Media Appliance, referred to as the "Roku" in the CaFÉ™ system description. This device is a small computer that reads stored data on compact flash cards. A high-definition display (LCD) projector is connected to the Roku to read images on the compact flash cards and display them. A digital image displayed using a Roku and an LCD projector provides high image< quality suitable for jurying and provides a more accurate representation of the work.

Each artistic discipline or medium category will be saved on a compact flash card. The Roku has been designed to allow "slide shows" at precisely equal intervals-allowing the jury flexibility to time the presentation and score as they see fit. A remote control allows users to pause the image presentation if necessary.

The advantages of using the Roku over regular computers or laptops include:

  1. The ability to control more than one Roku media player with a single remote control.
  2. Consistent projection format.
  3. The Roku costs less than a full-fledged computer.
  4. The Roku is easy to use and set up.
  5. Consistency of equipment for more efficient technical support.
  6. The Roku will display high-definition images at 1080i which is roughly five times higher resolution than a standard TV.

The advantages of using the Roku/LCD projectors over slide projectors include:

  1. Kodak has announced that it will cease production of slide projectors, making it essential to identify new technology.
  2. The Roku and LCD projectors take up much less space than hundreds of slides and slide carousels.
  3. Slides warp when left in slide projectors for extended periods of time.
  4. Slide projector bulbs have different color characteristics. Essentially, a slide projector cannot be set uniformly, but the Roku and an LCD projector will provide uniformity across images.
  5. Slide projector tray mechanisms can pinch slides, and as a result, they do not drop. The Roku has no moving parts, so the images can't get caught.
  6. The CaFÉ™ database will organize images for the compact flash cards so staff and volunteers don't have to load images by hand.
  7. The artist has approved the images before they are loaded onto the compact flash media so there is no chance of images being upside-down or reversed.
  8. The ambient noise generated by slide projectors is virtually eliminated with the Roku and LCD projectors.

WESTAF chose the Roku as our preferred media server because it is the only high-definition media appliance on the market that has the functionality required by the CaFÉ™ system. If you are interested in reading more about the Roku, please go to

The Hardware Settings (back to top)

The DELL 4100 MP LCD Projector settings:
Brightness: 48
Contrast: 68
Colortemp: Mid
User Color Red: 128
User Color Green: 128
User Color Blue: 128
V. Keystone: 0
H. Keystone: 0
Auto Keystone: Off
Semi Auto Keystone: Off
Zoom: 1
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Video Mode: sRGB
White Intensity: 4
Degamma: 3

The ROKU HD1000 settings:
Video Format: 9:VGA 1080i

Security (back to top)

  • Reliability

    Reliability is a key issue when you are selecting a server to host systems. All data that is accessed through the Internet is stored on computers called servers. They are called servers because they "serve up" information. There are a variety of different kinds of Internet servers, the most common being "Web" (like Apache) which allow the display of Web pages. Servers are physical computers that have a large capacity to retain information and programs. The CaFÉ™ database will physically reside (be hosted) on a Linux server.

    A server needs an operating system to allow computer programs like the CaFÉ™ database to run on them. An operating system is a computer program that acts as the central system allowing other computer programs to operate. One familiar operating system is Microsoft Windows. Windows allows other programs such as Word and Excel to work together on your work or home PC. Similarly, the server's operating system will run all the programs needed to create and operate the CaFÉ™ database allowing it to "serve" information to Internet users and maintain security.

    The Linux operating system is extremely reliable and stable. It allows multiple users (people who access information on the Internet) to access your information. Other operating systems may cease to work when they have too many users accessing data. Linux is known for its ability to accommodate large numbers of users with little loss of performance.

    This server lives at a high-speed broadband Internet-access facility. Many home PCs access the Internet through a dial-up connection. This is a very slow connection. The server has access to the Internet through a much larger connection. Think of this as the highway to the database. The high-speed broadband is a six-lane highway; a DSL or Cable modem is a two-lane highway; and a dial-up connection is a dirt road. The high-speed broad-band connection means lower congestion and better speed for sending and receiving data to the CaFÉ™ database.

  • Redundancy

    CaFÉ™'s first level of redundancy is known as a RAID 5 (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) configuration. This is the hard disk configuration on which the system will operate. This means that the physical computer is made up of multiple hard drives instead of just one. The server will share redundant copies of the same data on separate physical hard drives.

    For example, your PC at home has only one hard drive. If your one hard drive breaks down, you can't get to your information, run programs or operate your computer. A server with several hard drives running would allow the server to continue operating, run programs and give out information, even if one of its hard drives breaks down. Basically, the CaFÉ™ server has multiple chances to survive before it cannot operate. It also allows for continued operations while the broken drives are being fixed. This configuration is known as "hot swappable disk drives". There is very little chance of down time due to drive failure.

    The second level of redundancy is back up. All the data on the CaFÉ™ server is backed up every six hours off site, protecting precious data in case of fire, natural disaster, or electronic attacks. If the server were to have a catastrophic failure, we could reload the backup data onto a different server and resume operations very quickly. The third level of redundancy is back-up power. The CaFÉ™ server is secured at a facility that has back-up power supplies. This back-up power will provide electricity to the server in case of black or brown outs.

  • Security

    The server is physically located on an Internet-connected network facility in New Mexico. This is called a co-location facility (also known as a Server Farm). The co-location facility safeguards your data on the server from external intruders, whether they are physical or electronic. It also utilizes climate controlled rooms that will protect the physical server from environmental stress. The server is monitored by live persons at this facility and off site 24/7, 365 days a year. Issues are automatically communicated to our network administrator via email, text page and cell phone. In addition, we have utilized password protection to safeguard access to the CaFÉ™ database.

    Benefits to Artists (back to top)

  • CaFÉ™ gives artists the opportunity to gain visibility by applying to multiple juried exhibitions and projects.
  • Using CaFÉ™ is free to artists.
  • CaFÉ™ resides on the Internet, so artists can manage applications from many locations or while traveling.
  • Artists can manage multiple calls for entry through CaFÉ™.
  • Contact information only needs to be entered once into CaFÉ™.
  • CaFÉ™ is paperless--no more packet submissions.
  • CaFÉ™'s e-mail ability allows immediacy in communication.
  • Artists save money on reproductions of slides, mailing and return postage.
  • Artists will be able to upload up to 100 digital images to be stored in an online image portfolio. Artists will select which images to submit for each call for entry.
  • CaFÉ™ provides consistent projection quality and desirable presentation for jurors.
  • Artists' images and information are kept secure and confidential.

    Benefits to Arts Organizations (back to top)

  • Staff and volunteers do not have to load or unload slides by hand. Instead, they will be trained on working with compact flash media, which are more efficient than working with slides.
  • There is never the potential for a slide to jam in the tray mechanism.
  • Staff do not spend time physically pulling eliminated artists' slides from the slide carousels.
  • A finalist list is created with great ease.
  • Staff do not have to do any data entry unless an organization decides to accept paper applications on an exception basis.
  • If applicable, application fees are processed automatically using a secure credit-card transaction company.
  • Staff will have the ability to send automated communications to artists through a status feature of CaFÉ™.

    Benefits to Jurors (back to top)

  • Each projected image is always in focus using a Roku.
  • Jurors will be viewing images in a fair manner because the images will be set to display at uniform intervals.
  • The Roku has a zoom-in capability that will allow jurors to see detail of an image that they never could see before.
  • There is less ambient noise and distraction, resulting in higher visual concentration.
  • The system provides jurors the ability to score and finalize selections with easy online functionality.