About Us

  • ArtsWA Board Meeting - Walla Walla August 2015
    ArtsWA Board Meeting - Walla Walla August 2015

Former board member Mark Andersen, Commissioner Rick Johnson, and Commissioner Amanda Jackson Mott.

Former commission member Frank Video and Board Chair Bassem Bejjani.

ArtsWA is the Washington State Arts Commission, a state government agency established in 1961. 

This is what we do

  • We speak up for the public value of the arts.
  • We build leadership in and for the arts.
  • We strengthen arts education in our public schools.
  • We document the impact of the arts on our communities and in peoples’ lives, and we share the findings.
  • We build participation in the arts.
  • We acquire and care for artwork in the State Art Collection, sited at our K-12 public schools, colleges, universities, and state agencies.

Our Programs

  • Art in Public Places
  • Arts in Education
  • Poetry Out Loud
  • Grants to Organizations
  • Poet Laureate
  • Governor's Arts and Heritage Awards
  • Track Washington's Creative Economy
  • Special Projects

  • Our partnership with the NEA

    One of ArtsWA's major partners is the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).  Approximately 40 percent of all NEA funding is assigned directly to the states of which we receive an average of $800,000. These federal funds require a one-to-one match by the state of Washington and leverages state support of the arts. Competitive grants from the NEA also funds other ArtsWA programing including Poetry Out Loud and the Teaching Artist Training Lab (in collaboration with Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction).

    We also rely on the NEA as a critical and important resource for information on best practices, national policy, and emerging trends. The resources provided by the NEA helps to inform our work at the state level. 

    In 2015-16, as part of its 50 year anniversary, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) produced videos for state arts agencies across the United States and U.S. territories. The short videos tell the story of the importance and impact of NEA support.



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