Pratt Fine Arts Center Programs
Founded in honor of slain civil rights leader Edwin T. Pratt to serve citizens living in one of Seattle’s most economically disadvantaged and ethnically diverse areas, Pratt transforms the lives of individuals of all ages, skill levels, ethnicity and economic means through art. In support of this goal, we offer creative experiences for newcomers, continuing education for emerging artists and learning and teaching opportunities for professional artists in addition to rentable studio space and equipment. Pratt serves not only as a gathering center for artists and the artistically-inclined, but allows every Seattle citizen to become part of their creative community through low-cost classes, numerous volunteer and scholarship opportunities and free programming including lectures, exhibitions and events. Within an extraordinary community of artists, students and patrons, Pratt strives to be a conduit for artistic development, providing pathways to knowledge, support and inspiration and changing the way individuals see themselves and the world around them.
Covering nearly two city blocks in Seattle’s Central District, the Pratt Fine Arts Center campus features classes and artist rental access in our spacious and well-lit drawing and painting studios, Seattle’s largest printmaking studio, a typesetting & letterpress workshop, a glassblowing & casting hot shop, a flameworking & kiln glass studio, a jewelry & metalsmithing workshop, a forging studio, a bronze-casting foundry, a welding & metal fabrication shop, a wood studio, a youth studio, and a covered stone yard.
Every aspect of Pratt’s programming serves a different aspect of our diverse community.
- Our low-cost classes in glass, sculpture, jewelry/metalsmithing, wood, painting, drawing and printmaking give many individuals their first exposure to making art. Beginning artists practice their newly learned techniques while emerging and established artists enhance their skills and explore new media. More than 3,500 individuals participate in one or more classes each year.
- To ensure that our tuition rates are not a barrier to participation, we subsidize our adult and teen classes by nearly 60% and offer underserved children and youth access to free, challenging arts education. Pratt also provides need- and merit-based scholarships.
- Pratt’s affordable, professionally-equipped studio space enables over 500 working artists to hone skills and produce art through Pratt's unique Studio Rental Program.
- Our Master Artist Program brings nationally- and internationally-renowned artists to teach master-level workshops at Pratt, allowing advanced students to learn cutting-edge techniques and exchange ideas with seasoned artists. Our Artist-in-Residence Program offers professional artists the opportunity to explore new processes and materials in Pratt’s studios.
- We present free public artist lectures and demonstrations at Pratt and at partner organizations such as Chihuly Garden & Glass and the Bellevue Arts Museum, exposing the community to world-renowned artists and techniques taught in our studios.
- Our free exhibitions at the Pratt Hallway Gallery showcase work by instructors, students and studio renters, providing emerging and established artists with opportunities to exhibit and introducing Seattle audiences to the work of local artists.
- Each facet of our programming benefits from the support of dedicated volunteers and donors. We strive to create multiple avenues for community members to participate in our thriving artistic community.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Throughout 2011, Pratt worked to strategically expand our profile locally, nationally, and internationally, and initiated a capital improvement effort, the Campus Improvement Project, to maximize underutilized space. The Campus Improvement Project was designed to transform Pratt’s existing facilities to match the organization’s programming and philosophy of accessibility, while better serving the artists and arts enthusiasts of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest region.
Pratt raised over $475,000 for the 3-pronged Campus Improvement Project, the goals of which were to relocate the Painting and Drawing Studios, establish a Wood Arts Program and create a dedicated Youth Art Works Studio by renovating two buildings. Completed in early 2012, the renovation allows us to activate previously unused space to expand programs and generate additional earned income by offering additional courses in our Painting, Drawing, Printmaking and Youth Arts Studios, in addition to new programming and rental opportunities in our Wood Arts Studio.
Pratt currently faces the challenge of identifying funding sources for regular programming including our new Wood Arts Program, our Artist-in-Residence Program, and funding for tuition assistance and scholarships for low-income students.