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Dear Advocates and Partners,


Imagine how your creative and cultural programs will grow if you were provided more funding. How would you inspire your community with more science, heritage, and arts experiences? What is your community's cultural future? To support growth, Inspire Washington has been focused on increasing investments from the state and developing new funding resources from local government. When cities and counties step up, then cultural funding may respond to the specific challenges your communities are facing and opportunities that will have profound impacts. And, what if the funding was significant? Well, then the investments would be transformative. That is Inspire Washington's deepest wish for all of our cultural partners and the communities you serve.


We have invested so much of our time and energy into Washington's Cultural Access program because the potential funding for your community is incredible. Last year, our success with House Bill 1575, places this opportunity in reach by expanding the authorizing options for the program. Now a community may adopt a program with a public vote OR councilmanic authority. This opportunity is fueling renewed interest across Washington. Your city, town or county could be next!


King County adopts Cultural Access.

On December 5th, King County Council unanimously approved their cultural access program, Doors Open, utilizing their councilmanic authority as provided by HB 1575. As a result, public funding of science, heritage, and the arts will increase by $90+ million annually with a small sales tax that King County residents will pay. We know this investment is critical for the fragile businesses that are struggling to recover from the pandemic and will revitalize community life and spur economic growth across the very diverse county. To learn more about the program, please read the press release from King County Council.


Tacoma Creates and Inspire Olympia, our citywide Cultural Access programs, paved the way. As Washington's first county and councilmanic program, we hope that Doors Open will have a positive ripple effect throughout the state to inspire many others to adapt their own. Our team is keen to provide guidance and mentorship to groups that are interested in pursuing a cultural access program for their city or county, through a public vote or councilmanic process. Please reach out to us to chart your journey.


Advocacy is aspirational and inspiring. There were many roadblocks in the last several years that made cultural access in King County seem unattainable, but we, as a coalition, persisted and persevered. We are so grateful to our champions, Executive Constantine, prime sponsor Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, co-sponsor Councilmember Claudia Balducci and the other seven councilmembers who embraced and supported this incredible opportunity. To the members of Regional Policy Committee, thank you for your work on the challenging amendment process; you made the program better! Thank you to WA Representative Julia Reed, prime sponsor of HB 1575, the bill that made this opportunity possible. Shout out to our incredible campaign team: Sung Yang, Rachel Mishra, Andy Jensen, and Bryan Yambe.


Most of all, we give our endless gratitude to the thousands of advocates across the state who testified, wrote in letters, and signed in pro for HB 1575 during the 2022 Legislative Session. We always said that this would not happen because Inspire Washington asked for it; it would only happen because everyone made their voice heard, and you did that. And this win is because of you and for you. In 2024 and beyond, let's make Cultural Access a reality for more communities across Washington!

 

With humble gratitude,

 

The Inspire WA Team

Manny Cawaling, Executive Director

Jessi Wasson, Programs and Operations Manager

Madeline Dalton, Advocacy Coordinator

Anna Tatelman, Annual Fund Manager

Inspire Washington staff and advocates gather at the King County Courthouse after the passage of Doors Open.

All in for Advocacy Virtual Rally

Inspire WA along with our state-wide partners at ArtsWA, Humanities WA, WAMA, ArtsFund, WA State Historical Society, and many others are excited to announce our broad cultural agenda for the 2024 legislative session at the All in for Advocacy Online Virtual Rally on Friday, January 5th at Noon. At the rally, we will share the details of each request and provide resources so that advocates may confidently meet with their lawmakers before the holidays. It is vital that the legislature hears from their constituents about the needs of the sector before session begins. This is also a great opportunity to meet the people who represent you and your cultural work in the government space, ask all your questions, and provide feedback.


Register on our website by clicking here.

Time to Celebrate!

Cultural businesses, partners, board members, staff, and advocates please join us for a countywide celebration on Saturday, January 20th at 7pm at the Bellevue Botanical Garden to honor the passage of Doors Open and to thank our King County councilmembers for their unanimous support of this transformational funding.


This event is free and open to the public, but requires registration on our website here.

We Need your Support

Dear Cultural Supporter,

This past year has been an incredible time for our sector. Although we continue to face many challenges, Inspire Washington is exceptionally proud of what we have accomplished together. From advocating for our students to receive a quality arts education, to strengthening coalitions, to engaging communities, and providing more resources for cultural programs, we could not be prouder of how our sector continues to recover from the long tail of the pandemic and find new ways to thrive.


Our team loves the work that we do. We want to continue listening to and advocating for you in the coming year. But to continue providing for you, we also need to have enough resources to provide livable wages to our staff, funds to travel the state to meet with constituents, and sustain basic operations.


Please consider making a donation to Inspire Washington so that we can continue our vital work into the new year and beyond. All donations are tax deductible.Your donation today can help ensure our continued ability to stand by you during tough times, victories, and everything in between.

Community Accelerator Grant 2024

ArtsFund is pleased to partner with the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation on the second round of funding for the Community Accelerator Grant, a $10 million investment in Washington state’s arts and culture sector.


Administered by ArtsFund and funded by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, this program builds on the success of its 2023 pilot, which awarded 671 unrestricted grants, reaching 35 out of Washington’s 39 counties.


In 2024, the Community Accelerator Grant program will continue to provide unrestricted funding for cultural nonprofit organizations across Washington state. Funding will provide essential capital to Washington’s cultural organizations, including fiscally sponsored and tribal organizations, whose primary mission is to produce or support arts and cultural activities. The funds are intended to boost arts organizations’ ability to invest in their missions and essential roles serving communities across the state.


Applications for the 2024 program will run from February 5 to March 5, 2024. The process will again utilize a Community Advisory Panel, which will inform the application, outreach, and awardee slate. Further details about the application process, the advisory panel, and criteria will be shared in January of next year.


Visit www.www.artsfund.org/accelerator for more info!

2024 WA State Legislative Session

Believe it or not, the 2024 Washington State Legislative Session is just around the corner and the Inspire WA team has been hard at work meeting with members of the legislature across the state in preparation for another great year for culture.


Manny and Jessi toured 22 cities across our state this summer and were inspired by your work and heard loud and clear the needs for continued new funding. We are excited by early conversations with our partners and look forward to sharing more in the coming weeks!


Statewide advocacy activities coming up:

  • SAVE THE DATE: Feb 7, 2024 - Arts, Heritage, and Science Day
  • District Teams: Our Outreach Coordinator, Madeline, will begin assembling district teams shortly! Please email her if you are interested in participating: advocacy@inspirewashington.org
  • Legislative Agenda: Join us virtually on Jan 5th at Noon for our announcement regarding the 2024 Cultural Sector Legislative Agenda.
  • Cultural Futures Report: We will soon be releasing the 2023 report based on our 2023 state tour. Take a look at the 2022 report in anticipation!

About Inspire Washington

Inspire Washington nurtures the human spirit and strengthens communities by increasing access to science, heritage, and arts programming through advocacy, resource development, education, and coalition building.


Inspire Washington

info@inspirewashington.org

P.O. Box 806, Seattle, WA 98111

InspireWashington.org


Manuel R. Cawaling, Executive Director: manny@inspirewashington.org

Jessi Wasson, Programs and Operations Manager: jessi@inspirewashington.org

Anna Tatelman, Annual Fund Manager: anna@inspirewashington.org

Madeline Dalton, Outreach Coordinator: advocacy@inspirewashington.org


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