October 2021

Contact: info@arts.wa.gov
ReStart Washington Grant now open
Application open through November 15
ArtsWA’s ReStart Washington Grant is now open. The grant will close on November 15. The goal of this program is to support the creative sector by stabilizing operations, stimulating rehiring, and relaunching public programs. Arts organizations of all sizes that have at least three years of operating history can apply.
Organizations can apply for awards that total up to $7,000 or 80% of their drop in revenue between 2019 and 2020. Applicants do not need to note any relief funds that they received when reporting their 2020 income totals.
Introducing: Building for the Arts
A partnership with the Department of Commerce

Building for the Arts (BFA) is a program managed by the Department of Commerce that awards state grants to nonprofit community-based organizations to buy, build, or renovate arts and cultural facilities.

For the current biennium, these grants can cover up to 20% of total project costs. This year we’re excited to work with the Department of Commerce to promote the program. Our main goal is to increase awareness of BFA across the state. We will have more news to share about Building for the Arts in the weeks and months ahead. Visit our site to learn more about who can apply and how the process works. In the meantime, take the short survey below to let us know if you are interested in BFA.
Do you have a capital campaign project that may be eligible for Building for the Arts?
Photo above: The Village Theatre's Francis J. Gaudette Theatre in Issaquah is a recipient of a Building for the Arts grant for the FY 2021-23 biennium. Photo courtesy of ArtsFund.
Meet Washington's newest Creative Districts
Rainier Valley, South Columbia, and Bainbridge Island
Washington now has three newly certified Creative Districts: Rainier Valley, South Columbia (SoCo), and Bainbridge Island. The ArtsWA board of commissioners voted unanimously to approve these Creative Districts at its October 6 meeting. With these certifications, Washington now has eleven Creative Districts across the state.
Winding through the heart of South Seattle, Rainier Valley is a hub for one of the most diverse communities in the state. This new Creative District extends south on Rainier Avenue South from South Alaska Street to Chinook Beach Park. The District runs along a vibrant stretch of road nearly four miles. It is home to nonprofits, galleries, performance venues, restaurants, and more. Welcome, Rainier Valley Creative District!
South Asian singers performing at Rainier Arts Center’s annual Arts Gumbo event, 2017. Photo courtesy of Rainier Arts Center.
On the shore of the Columbia River in Eastern Washington, South Columbia (SoCo) is the first certified Creative District in Benton County. At the center of SoCo are the brick-lined streets of Kennewick’s Historic Downtown. Over the past decade, this bright and walkable section of the city has grown into a thriving community of new local businesses. Welcome, SoCo Creative District!
Nestled in one of the most scenic parts of Puget Sound, Bainbridge Island has long been a destination for artists and art lovers across the state. This Creative District is a walkable network of public art, museums, and cultural organizations. Bainbridge Island is committed to making the arts accessible to both residents and visitors. Welcome, Bainbridge Island Creative District!
Top photo courtesy of Rainier Arts Center: South Asian singers performing at Rainier Arts Center’s 20127 annual Arts Gumbo event.
Middle photo by ArtsWA: Balancing the Wine, a 2009 public artwork by Tom McLelland in the heart of the SoCo Creative District.
Bottom photo courtesy of the Bainbridge Island Creative District: The Bainbridge Island Studio Tour is a twice-annual, free, self-guided art show on Bainbridge Island.
Welcome - Savanna Perez and Austin Sargent
Savanna Perez joined ArtsWA last month to fill a new Fiscal Analyst 2 role on the Business and Operations Team. Savanna comes to ArtsWA from the Department of Ecology, where she worked on environmental programs as part of the agency’s fiscal team. She is a graduate of the University of Washington Milgard School of Business where she earned a degree in Business Administration. Next, she plans to pursue a Master’s in Public Administration. Savanna is “excited to learn about the arts commission and proud to be a part of a team that supports arts and culture within Washington!”

The Arts in Education (AIE) team is very pleased to introduce Austin Sargent, their first intern. Austin will be working with AIE until mid-December to review reports submitted by FY21 grantees in an effort to refine AIE practices in line with program goals, intended impact, and performance measures. Austin is a teaching artist and arts administrator who has built an artistic career working with and for young people. He is currently a graduate student at Seattle University pursuing an M.F.A in arts leadership and a certificate in non-profit fundraising. 
In-person public art dedications return
As vaccinations go up, COVID-19 rates drop, and students return to school, we are starting to celebrate new additions to the State Art Collection in person. New in-person dedications have been held at schools in:

  • Tukwila
  • Richland
  • Lacey (North Thurston)
Photo courtesy of the artist: Orchard Elementary students exploring Solar Portals (2021), a new sculpture by David Cole and Michael Brown,
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