ArtsFund Kicks Off 50th Anniversary with Newly Proclaimed “ArtsFund Day”

Photo from ArtsFund’s 1970 Annual Report; The 5th Avenue Theatre, 'Annie'; Spectrum Dance Theater, 'Occurrence #6'; Museum of Pop Culture, 'Grace Love and The Dirty Church.' Photo courtesy of ArtsFund; photo by Tracy Martin; photo by Marcia Davis; photo courtesy of Museum of Pop Culture

ArtsFund announces the launch of its 50th anniversary year with a proclamation from Mayor Durkan, who has declared October 15, 2019 to be “ArtsFund Day”. The honor officially kicks off ArtsFund’s milestone year. 

Founded in October 1969, the Seattle-based nonprofit has been building community through the arts for 50 years. ArtsFund is one of the nation’s leading United Arts Funds and has contributed to the vibrancy of the Central Puget Sound region by supporting the health and vitality of arts and cultural organizations and the individuals they serve.

ArtsFund Interim President & CEO Sue Coliton stated, “ArtsFund was founded 50 years ago to generate support for the arts from the business community. Since then, it has evolved into a leader of the sector. We work to ensure arts are accessible to all and valued as central and critical to a healthy society. A future for the arts is a future for community, and ArtsFund is uniquely positioned to help deliver on that promise.”

“Whereas, the City of Seattle recognizes the work ArtsFund has been undertaking for the past 50 years and wishes them continued success.”

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, City of Seattle, from the proclamation

The celebration of 50 years of impact will complement ArtsFund’s annual fundraising campaign, which runs through May 31, 2020.  Each year, ArtsFund’s fundraising empowers companies, individuals and community partners to make collective, regional and significant impact strengthening the community through support of the arts. Revenues from ArtsFund’s annual drive will support grants and capacity building programs, as well as additional activities and services strengthening more than 120 organizations throughout the Central Puget Sound region. 

ArtsFund Board Chair Anthony R. Miles added, “As we celebrate 50 years of impact, we remain focused on realizing ArtsFund’s unique potential to enhance the role of the arts and creativity in our region. In addition to grantmaking, ArtsFund’s research, programs and advocacy contribute to a sustainable, collaborative, informed, equitable and inclusive future. As the region has grown and evolved ArtsFund has been there every step of the way for the arts and cultural community. We are committed to empowering the sector in the years ahead.”

As the region has grown and evolved ArtsFund has been there every step of the way for the arts and cultural community.

Anthony R. Miles, ArtsFund Board Chair

ArtsFund was originally founded as the United Arts Council of Puget Sound to bring corporate and civic leaders together to help establish and sustain our region’s arts and cultural institutions. Upon completion of its inaugural fundraising campaign, the first grant beneficiaries included ACT Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Opera, Seattle Symphony and Seattle Rep—all organizations still supported by ArtsFund today. Fifty years and a few name changes later (to Corporate Council for the Arts in 1975 and to ArtsFund in 2003), ArtsFund has supported nearly 240 arts nonprofits with more than $84 million in grants, and by providing valuable leadership and advocacy.

Anniversary events will include a birthday edition of ArtsFund’s Celebration of the Arts Luncheon on March 20, 2020. Registration will open in February 2020.

The full mayoral proclamation can be viewed on Artsfund’s website.

Learn more about ArtsFund’s 50 years of impact and the plans for the year ahead.