As a theater company, ArtsWest’s work is based on the premise that good art inspires good ideas and encourages the kind of healthy, non-harmful debate that builds a sense of community. We rally around the idea that producing plays and musicals that fit our mission by inducing conversation is more important than the simple production of the plays. We adhere to the notion that for theatrical art to be significant, it has to be a means to an end, rather than the end itself. Each year, we produce a full season of mainstage plays (5-6 productions).
As an art gallery with a free admission policy, ArtsWest exhibits and sell the works of artists from across the region for the enjoyment and engagement of people from all over the Puget Sound area. We produce 7-9 full exhibitions a year. The ArtsWest Artists Association (AWAA) developed in 2001 out of the interest and enthusiasm of several local artists who believed that a visual artists group would benefit our local community and act as an additional enhancement to ArtsWest as an organization.
As an arts education leader, ArtsWest is nationally renowned for its summer youth programs. ArtsWest is one of only three arts organizations in the United States to receive three successive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in support of the Theater Education Program. ArtsWest's Theater Education Program serves area youth of all demographics. Each summer, we offer an Apprenticeship Program for ages 16-21, a Theater Conservatory for ages 12-16, and a Musical Theater Academy for ages 8-12.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
From 1999 - 2012, ArtsWest has provided an estimated direct positive economic impact of over $5 million. And, because ArtsWest is by far the most prominent arts organization in West Seattle, that $5 million might have a) been spent in other parts of the city; or, likelier, b) not been spent at all. ArtsWest’s financial well-being is crucial to the financial well-being of the Junction and of West Seattle.
Now, the time has come to take past success on stage, in the classroom, and in the gallery to a higher level. The theater needs studio mirrors for rehearsals, improved sound and lighting, video, stage, and shop equipment, and decking hardware. The gallery needs vitrines, shelving, and lighting. Replacements of worn out items are needed in some cases; in others, we need the capability represented by the capital improvement itself. Tremendous success has been achieved to date with worn and inadequate theater and gallery fixtures and equipment. Just imagine what might become possible!