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A Report to the Community

Our 50th Anniversary was planned to be a milestone year, but none could have anticipated the magnitude of change that was 2020. A global pandemic, social unrest, economic upheaval, and a long overdue national focus on addressing racial injustice upended not only our sector, but also our nation.

Under Board Chair Anthony Miles and Interim President and CEO Sue Coliton, and with the support of ArtsFund Foundation then led by Jim Tune, ArtsFund responded decisively to the initial shock of COVID-19 by raising and granting over $3.1 million dollars in funding in addition to accelerating our annual distributions; culminating in over $5.5 million in relief funding to 113 local arts and cultural organizations. As the sector closed its doors in solidarity with other businesses to support necessary public-health mandates, ArtsFund mobilized our network to gather data, raise funds, and advocate for the arts.

2020 produced devasting losses and unforeseeable challenges for our cultural sector.  It also highlighted our resilience and creativity. And while ArtsFund’s core mission remains the same—to  provide grantmaking, advocacy, and leadership, we have recommitted ourselves to ensure cultural programs and experiences are accessible and representative of all in our community. That is why we embarked now to develop an ambitious new strategic plan, that drew feedback from hundreds of community conversations, so that we can reimagine our shared work with our partners, to build a more sustainable, equitable, and accessible post-pandemic cultural sector.

We cannot do this alone.

It is the support of our stakeholders, like you, that makes this possible. Thank you for joining us in creating a more healthy, inclusive, and creative Washington not only for today, but for generations to come.

Photo of Michael Greer, Sung Yang, and Anthony Miles