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 sells the works of renowned Puget Sound artists for the enjoyment and engagement of people from all over the region. We produce 6-9 full exhibitions per year, showcased beyond our regular free admission hours with artist talks, art walks and additional special events.
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. In 2014, we offer a Theater Conservatory for ages 13-18 and two Musical Theater Academies for ages 8-12.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
From 1999 - 2013, 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 our past successes on stage, in the classroom, and in the gallery to a higher level. The theater needs studio mirrors for rehearsals, a new sprinkler system, new seating, improved sound and lighting, video, stage, and shop equipment, and decking hardware. The gallery needs a projector and display podiums. 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 with the help of the community!