Washington State Arts Alliance Foundation Programs
The Arts Alliance serves Washington’s residents (participants, artists, arts professionals, and cultural leaders) through three primary programs:
The Washington Cultural Congress, Washington’s only statewide, multidisciplinary, arts conference. The Congress is a collaborative conference that brings together a diverse group of cultural leaders to strengthen skills and cultivate partnerships through intensive workshops, peer dialogue, and dynamic speakers. The 21st annual Cultural Congress was held April 22 - 24 in Seattle and featured a continuing dialogue on Arts & Social Change, workshops and presentation at the convention center, guest speakers Roberto Bedoya and Bill Ivey, dinners on the town, and opportunities to partake in the incredible arts environment in Seattle.
Regional Advocacy Meetings & Training Workshops provide a venue for members of the cultural community to learn about, discuss, and react to local, state, and national advocacy issues. These meetings are sponsored by the Arts Alliance, often chaired by members of the Arts Alliance board, and hosted by local arts organizations or agencies; and
Arts & Heritage Day, is a yearly event held in partnership with the Washington Museum Association, during which constituents from around the state meet with legislators to talk about arts and heritage issues in the current legislative session and cultural concerns in our communities and schools.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In February, we collaborated with the Washington Museum Association to coordinate Arts & Heritage Day – a cultural advocacy day in Olympia. Approximately 150 cultural advocates (administrators, board members, artists, arts educators, commissioners, volunteers and community arts leaders) from across the state came to Olympia to talk about the value of arts and heritage in their communities and schools. Participants were provided a script with detailed talking points and messages – and Legislators were provided a one-page brief that clearly articulated the Arts Alliance position on proposed legislation.
Due to the efforts of our partners, advocates, and the Arts Alliance staff and lobbyist, none of several proposed bills that would have negatively affected the Washington State Arts Commission passed the legislature. In addition, as of the end of the regular session, the proposed budget bills have no direct adverse effects on cultural funding. Several arts positive bills made it through the legislature these included a continued usage of the local option hotel/motel tax to support nonprofit cultural organizations and a bill to level the playing field in regards to the availability theater liquor licenses as compared to other venues.
The Arts Alliance needs funding and support to continue our arts advocacy efforts, improve networking opportunities, and update our communications tools including our primary website. A modern and well managed website will act as an advocacy hub and platform for discussion and civic engagement with diverse statewide communities.