Who We Are
The Washington State Legislature acknowledged the public value of the arts in 1961 by establishing the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) (RCW 43.46.005).
ArtsWA has been nurturing the arts in Washington communities to serve as:
- Economic drivers. The arts create jobs and produce tax revenue, stimulate business activity, attract tourism revenue, retain a quality work force, and stabilize property values.
- Educational assets. The arts foster young imaginations and facilitate children’s success in school. They provide the critical thinking, communication, and innovation skills essential to a productive 21st century work force.
- Civic catalysts. The arts contribute to a welcoming sense of place and desirable quality of life. The arts also support a strong democracy, engaging citizens in discussion and discourse, exploring important issues, and encouraging collective problem solving.
- Cultural legacies. The arts preserve unique culture and heritage, so our state’s cultural character and traditions can be passed on to future generations.
The Washington State Arts Commission is committed to values of inclusion, diversity, equity, and creative expression. We believe in diverse forms of artistic expression, and we believe in access to arts and arts education for all individuals in our state. The arts can and should play a role in addressing inequities, modeling inclusion, and teaching empathy.