NASAA Notes: March 2009


March issue
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March 9, 2009

Washington: Wallace Excellence Project & Awards

The Wallace Foundation and the Washington State Arts Commission (WSAC) have announced a four-year arts funding partnership designed to develop the skills and expertise of leaders of arts organizations to build arts participation. The partnership builds on WSAC’s past Wallace START Program that funded arts participation grants and learning for underserved communities. Nine Seattle arts organizations will receive Wallace Excellence Awards (WEA), totaling $6.1 million over four years, for their commitment to community and participation building activities. WSAC will be working with these organizations to form a learning network with a focus on establishing a knowledge framework about arts participation; building arts participation among youth and young adults and diverse populations; and building the capacity of arts organizations to expand access to the arts through new technology.

WSAC will also receive a Wallace Excellence Award, totaling $1.6 million over four years, to foster arts engagement throughout the Puget Sound region. WSAC is calling their effort the Wallace Excellence Project and it is designed to strengthen the commission’s participation building work, to document and share lessons learned, and to build on the Wallace funded START Program that has developed into the Commission’s Arts Participation Initiative. As part of the project the WSAC will convene WEA grantees twice yearly; hold forums and workshops for arts leaders in the Puget Sound area; commission research; hire artists to create “artistic responses” to key topics; and establish a technology network. In addition, WSAC will regrant some Wallace funds to Seattle arts organizations to increase arts participation and technology efforts. For more information, contact WSAC Executive Director Kris Tucker.