Edmonds Center for the Arts Programs
ECA meets a multitude of community needs through its three-pronged mission.
The central component of ECA’s mission is to serve as a conduit of the arts to the people. Over 100 performances and events occur at Edmonds Center for the Arts each year. ECA’s presented artist season consists of 20-25 performances by national and international artists and runs from September through May. The balance of the events are presented by local and regional performing arts groups and other rental clients. Programs include theatre, music, dance, comedy and lecture series as well as community forums, receptions and events.
ECA has established partnerships with several local organizations: Sno-King Community Chorale, Olympic Ballet Theatre, and Cascade Symphony Orchestra (long-standing nonprofit community arts groups) and Edmonds Community College, the only local institute of higher education. ECA’s partner organizations are offered the use of the professional, high-tech venue at a significantly reduced rate, as well as promotional opportunities, box office/ticketing and front-of-house support. This helps the organizations to build audience and increase the service provided to their patrons, while maintaining their artistic autonomy and the integrity of their work.
ECA coordinates workshops and outreach programs by the professional touring artists for local students which enhance the curriculum and allow students the unique opportunity to work with and learn from professional artists. ECA also presents student matinee performances to local schools at a significantly reduced ticket price. Performance schedules are catered to fit well into the school day and annual academic calendar, and their content has strong curriculum ties. Teachers are offered study guides which accompany the productions to enhance the learning opportuities for their students and assist in post-performance discussions.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In its short existence, the organization is already a cornerstone of the Edmonds community. With a beautiful facility, a historic campus (including a large parking lot and two buildings, a portion of which have not yet been renovated), and strong community support, we are experiencing continued successes each year and increasing our impact daily. We are thrilled to be reaching more people both locally and regionally, as demonstrated by our expanding patron base. Over the last two years, we have made the commitment to expanding our education and outreach programs to compliment our presented artist season and better serve the youth in our community. Thanks to a generous grant from the Hazel Miller Foundation, we have a robust student matinee series with shows for elementary to high school students. We also have an outreach project planned in which touring musicians will work directly with students in the local schools, bringing the benefits of arts and educational workshops directly to the students. We are now exploring ways to expand programming to serve families and young adults more fully.
Along with facing the challenge of building infrastructure, awareness, audience and support, Edmonds Center for the Arts faced one of the worst economies our country has seen in decades – all in its first few years of operations. While the organization has proudly balanced its budget over the last two years, it has not been without sacrifice. With the leanest of budgets and limited staffing and resources, we are challenged to continue to expand our services to reach the true potential of the organization and the growing needs of the community. Increasing revenue is the key to meeting this challenge.