Bishop Center for Performing Arts receives ArtsWA Innovation grant

The Bishop Center for Performing Arts at Grays Harbor College is among several Washington State arts organizations who have been awarded grants as part of ArtsWA’s inaugural Innovations Incentives Program. Arts organizations applied for the Incentives awards as part of the annual competitive Grants to Organizations projects support process.

The Bishop Center was awarded $2,000 in the Level B catagory, according to their website, they received a Project Support grant of $2,400 last year to increase access to, and participation in cultural opportunities. “This year we offered professional arts organizations a chance to compete for an extra $1,000 to $3,000 for innovative projects that will increase art participation with young adults and diverse audiences,” said Mayumi Tsutakawa, ArtsWA Grants Program Manager. “As a result, Innovations Incentives grants were awarded in each of the project support levels for fiscal year 2015. These incentive awards were in addition to the amount ArtsWA granted to the organizations for their FY 2015 project support funds.”

The Innovations Incentives awards are an outgrowth of ArtsWA’s Arts Participation Leadership Initiative (APLI), a five-year project funded by The Wallace Foundation that investigates methods arts organizations can use to broaden, deepen and diversify their participating audiences, supporters and artists. This subsequent pilot program focused on projects that addressed young adults and racially diverse demographic groups, and emphasized projects that employed new uses of social media and technology.


$1,000 –  Level A (Arts Organizations with an annual budget of $200,000 or less)

Mid Columbia Mastersingers / Richland
The grant will be used to introduce dramatic staging elements and operatic treatment in the “All Creatures Great and Small” performance of Benjamin Britten’s “Noye’s Fludde” (Noah’s Flood). Mid Columbia Mastersingers are working to draw a larger and more diverse audience to this project which will help to increase the interest in choral music.
Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra (SWOJO) / Seattle
To initiate an online music publishing division for SWOJO’s unique jazz ensemble composition contest for women composers. The purpose is to expand participation in, awareness of, and access to, the contributions of women composers in jazz.
Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia / Olympia

To pilot “Media on the Mezz.” This program dedicates the mezzanine level in the Washington Center for the Performing Arts for audience members who will use their phones and cameras to post comments, photos and video clips on social media during the concerts. The goal is to attract and encourage young audience members to use social media as an integrated approach to audience development.

$2,000 – Level B (Arts Organizations with an annual budget between $200,000 to $1 million)

Earshot Jazz / Seattle

Incentives funds will be used to involve young professional artists to help curate the 2015 Earshot Jazz Festival. The goals are to create a more diverse range of content and also to build future presenters and audiences.


Richard Hugo House / Seattle
Richard Hugo House plans to use Innovations Incentives funds to videotape its Lit Series and Word Works readings, making them available on its website and e-newsletters. The project will help writers investigate craft and help Richard Hugo House expand audiences.

Seattle JazzEd / Seattle

Seattle JazzEd plans to partner with Odessa Brown Clinic, presenting youth music classes and concerts at the inner city health center. Funds will also be used for the JazzEd staff to receive training to help them better serve the social/economic needs of its students.

$3,000 – Level C (Arts Institutions with an annual budget of over $1 million)

On the Boards (OtB) / Seattle

OtB will strengthen diversity in its community with the Ambassador Project, convening 15 individuals from a cross-section of Seattle’s creative industry and arts community to serve as ambassadors. It envisions the project will create conversations about aesthetics and community issues. These new ambassador voices will help interpret performances, lead artist questions & answers and broaden attendance; including curating the 12 Minutes Max performance lab; creating artist-to-artist dialogues; and producing workshops and collaborative performances that contextualize mainstage pieces.

Tacoma Symphony Orchestra (TSO) / Tacoma

Tacoma Symphony will create the Mini Maestros Program in partnership with Lakewood Boys & Girls Club, targeting low income families in the South Tacoma area. Its goal is to inspire and provide access to quality live music and education events, working to reduce psychological barriers to classical music programs. TSO plans to use the Innovations Incentives grant to improve overall academic fitness by involving children in the arts.