Artist Trust, a nonprofit organization, aims to support artists in all media to enrich community life throughout Washington state. Toward that end, the group has set up shop in Spokane.
“Art is an intrinsic part of the human experience,” said Anne-Claire Mitchell, Artist Trust’s Spokane program coordinator, “Personally, making and surrounding myself with it contributes to my internal development and emotional intelligence. In the broader sense, art contributes to healthy communities by creating dialogue, bridging cultural gaps, driving economy, and simply delighting people.”
Artist Trust was created in 1986 by artists for artists and has since served thousands of artists annually through its programs that include grants and information services. While Artist Trust’s home base is in Seattle, it serves the whole state. They thought it was time to infiltrate other cities in the state, offering a physical presence to help foster creativity, bring artists together, and to help navigate the grant-application process.
Artist Trust’s decision to hire a Spokane representative came early this year as group leaders discussed renewing their dedication to their mission with a hands-on, more assessable approach. “I’m here to better represent Artist Trust in practice and philosophy,” said Mitchell, a Spokane native who was hired early this year. “I’ll be coordinating events and workshops tailored to the needs of Spokane. I’m here to help.”
With allotted funds, Artist Trust is promising a two-year commitment to Spokane, hoping that their presence will increase the number of grant applications from the area and show that their work here benefits the community.
“There are a lot of great artists in Spokane and often, their financial struggles influence their art; they don’t know how to move forward,” said Mitchell, “There’s a very assessable grant opportunity opening this month called the Grant for Artist Projects, and Artist Trust is here to help get artists started.”
Artist Trust is launching its renewed friendship with Spokane this month with events, presentations, workshops, and meet-ups beginning with Happy Hour and Artist Trust on Tour in partnership with Seattle Art Fair on Thursday evening at the Bartlett, 228 W. Sprague Ave., followed by Office Hours on Friday, a free grant-writing support program for artists of all disciplines looking for advice on how to apply for funding from Artist Trust (4 to 7 p.m. at Terrain, 304 W. Pacific Ave.), and professional development workshops on Saturday.
“It’s about creating connections and highlighting the creativity in the whole state of Washington,” said Artist Trust’s Executive Director Shannon Halberstadt, who formerly ran Spokane Arts, “and showing others that art sustains and benefits communities.”
For more information on upcoming events, visit www.artisttrust.org or you can find Artist Trust on Facebook.