Make It Work! Seattle's Arts Enablers: Paige Weinheimer
Category: Arts + Events Articles
In her role at 4culture (4culture.org), Paige Weinheimer has been an integral part of many local funding programs for artists. In 2007, she organized the largest and most successful Poetry on Buses campaign since the program’s inception in 1992. In collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs and several other arts organizations, Weinheimer spearheaded a regional arts leadership development program this past spring that drew more than 100 established and emerging local arts leaders. T.N.
Q. What is your view of the current state of arts programming and arts facilities in Seattle?
A. Seattle has one of the most vibrant arts communities in the nation. Lately, I’ve been noticing even more organizations cropping up that redefine and expand our idea of how arts are incorporated into the fabric of our lives. Look at the powerful effect of arts facilities like The Hidmo in the Central District [an Eritrean restaurant and cultural center on Jackson Street], the Tashiro/Kaplan Building in Pioneer Square [a space that houses arts organizations, galleries and artist lofts] and Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle. Those places transform communities by creating space where local voices are honored and honed, and where the audience is the community.
Q. What is the city’s greatest need for arts improvement?
A. As a region we need to recognize the inextricable link between the health of the economy and the health of our creative communities. Too often artists and arts organizations are being priced out of neighborhoods that they helped make vibrant. If artists don’t have facilities in which to live, create, exhibit and perform their work, they will move elsewhere. We need to develop resources and advocate for public policies that will keep artists, arts leaders and arts-friendly businesses at the heart of every community in King County.
Q. Do you think it’s more important to tend to audiences or artists?
A. It’s an ecosystem. I’m reminded every day that community thrives when art and culture are allowed to be at the heart of every conversation. I think it’s hard to go wrong if we are striving to give everyone the best opportunities to participate in the arts that we can.