The Politics of Art

Throughout history, the arts have played a vital role in conveying people’s support and displeasures with our political and government situations. On the flip side, our government leaders make daily decisions that pertain to the arts and cultural integrity of our community, ranging from the preservation (or destruction) of historic sites; to support for our public art, museums and theaters; or determining what arts our children are exposed to in our schools.

On the state legislative side of things, there is one measure that should be coming up this next season to pay attention to: Cultural Access Fund is a legislative issue that has been on and off for a couple of years. This bill would allow counties to set an up to 1% tax – either sales or property for access (bus etc.) to cultural activities – including arts, science, historic, zoos etc. It also has a new clause regarding getting cultural education into the schools. Advocating for the arts is an on-going endeavor. For more information about how you can help. Please ask us at Allied Arts or visit arts advocacy web sites such as ArtsEdWA or Washington State Arts Alliance.

A Word about Local Funding for the Arts from Executive Director Kelly Hart

Allied Arts of Whatcom County serves a wide variety of needs in our artistic community. Our primary three focuses are:

  1. Raising awareness and empowering our creative community
  2. Advocating for pertinent issue
  3. Educating enthusiasts of all ages

A reoccurring question we receive is “What art we doing for the artists?” All three of these goals help to serve our local artists and promote their professional efforts.

Here are some specific efforts of 2010!

  1. $235,000 of our $445,000 annual income went to local artists for art sales and teaching services
  2. Over 400 checks were signed last year to local artists!
  3. Over 600 recommendations annually for our artists and partnering organizations
  4. Art Sales in the gallery have tripled since 2009
  5. Over 27,000 objects were sold at the 2013 Holiday Festival of the Arts
  6. Through our arts education program, 21 local professional artists were trained to provide art workshops in our local schools
  7. The Art Education program s provide nearly $20,000 of arts related income to its artists
  8. Our web page and social media sites are a vital resource for other organizations and patrons of the arts to learn about our local artists and opportunities.
  9. The AARTS Art Supply Thrift Store brings in over 3,000 of unwanted materials that might have otherwise ended up in a land-fill. Donations to the thrifts store helps save over $3,000 in supplies for the Arts in the Schools Program.

We are constantly evaluating our existing programs and looking forward to better serve the needs of the community. Please do not hesitate to contact any of our staff or board members if you have ideas on ways that we can better serve your needs.

Thank you for your support.

Kelly Hart – Executive Director