Poetry at the Podium Open Call!

Spokane Arts, in partnership with Spokane Poet Laureate Mark Anderson and Spokane City Council, currently has an open call for Poetry at the Podium, an opportunity for poets to read their work at City Council meetings. After the Pledge of Allegiance, during Words of Inspiration, each poet will represent Spokane poets and writers by reading a single poem before the Council. This call will be ongoing throughout 2019 and will offer 30+ poets the opportunity to read. Interested poets are asked to submit a single poem, less than three minutes in length, for review and approval. Please email artshelper@spokanearts.org with any questions. For further information and to submit, click below.

Spokane Arts News

Signal Box Open Calls!

Spokane Arts, in partnership with STCU and the City of Spokane, currently has two open calls for artists for upcoming signal and utility box art wrap projects! The general signal box call features 21 boxes to be covered in the Riverside, Audobon/Downriver, and Emerson-Garfield neighborhoods. The Riverfront Park utility box call features 3 large utility boxes located near the Looff Carousel in Riverfront Park. Both calls are open and accepting applications until Friday, November 9th at 11:59 p.m. Click the links below for more details and to apply. Email mika@spokanearts.org with any questions.

Details and application for signal box call here: https://app.smarterselect.com/programs/51384-Spokane-Arts

Details and application for Riverfront Park utility box call here: https://app.smarterselect.com/programs/53622-Spokane-Arts

Spokane Arts Communications Internship

Deadline: Wednesday April 11

Spokane Arts is looking for a Communications Intern! The intern will be required to commit 9 hrs/week to the position and will receive a small stipend. Responsibilities include managing our social media platforms, attending and documenting local arts events, updating our database and artist roster, and last, but not least, drafting our newsletters! 

Who should apply? 

Our ideal communications intern will have excellent verbal and written communication skills and a basic knowledge of local arts organizations. They will be able to play well with others, manage various projects from start to finish, and be willing to pitch in on other projects as needed. Experience with design and Creative Suites is not necessary but helpful. If you are excited about the idea of promoting and cultivating the arts in Spokane, we encourage you to apply!

If you're interested, please send a cover letter and résumé to artshelper@spokanearts.org.


Call for Artists! for INB Renovation

The Spokane Public Facilities District has undertaken a project to update the INB Performing Arts Center (PAC) at 334 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA. The Spokane Public Facilities District's vision is to create event experiences that make our guests say WOW! Over 150,000 guests attended events in the PAC in 2016. As a part of this project, an artist from the Spokane region will be engaged to create a substantial work of art for the lobby of the PAC which may extend into the breezeway entrance to the facility.

This opportunity is open to individual artists/artist teams working or living in the Inland Northwest region of Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. Preference will be given to Spokane area artists. All applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have all necessary documentation and permits to work in the United States at the time of submittal of qualifications. One artist or artist team will be selected for the project.

The site will be the PAC lobby and could include the breezeway of the PAC and the Spokane Convention Center. The work should be of a large scale and visible from the street as well as to those within the lobby itself. The PAC is located on the Spokane River and adjacent to the Centennial Trail. The art work should be accessible and welcoming to the public; create an inviting destination for citizens, neighbors, visitors and users of the INB Performing Arts Center.The successful project will be made of durable materials suited to an urban location and elements of light may be part of the design. 

The artist is responsible for the design, fabrication and installation of the art work within the given project budget. The artist will be asked to develop a design proposal with a detailed budget which will not exceed $150,000 including all applicable expenses including sales tax, insurance, engineering, fabrication and installation.



SUBMITTAL DEADLINE: November 15, 2017. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Artist Selection (including Finalist Interviews) & Contracting: by December 1, 2017. The artist will immediately join the Design Build team for the project, attend design meetings and assist with coordination, structural and design details through the completion of the project. Due to the events schedule, the PAC renovation including the art work installation is to be completed by October 26, 2018. Construction in the facility will begin on May 1, 2018.

The selected artist must comply with any local business licensing requirements including any local Business Tax requirements and will be required to obtain Automobile Insurance and General Liability Insurance coverages in conformance with requirements set by the Spokane Public Facilities District.


All interested artists must complete their submittal for this project online. There no exceptions.
The artist or artist team will be selected based on their submitted work samples from other completed projects and how those demonstrate design and execution of projects in varied environments.

There will be a two-phase selection process:

Phase I – Qualification Submittal and Short List: 
Qualifications, work samples, and statements of interest shall be submitted in accordance with the instructions below. Staff will preview all submissions for completeness prior to Selection Committee review and may reject incomplete applications or non-responsive submissions. Specific proposals are not requested and will not be reviewed at this time.

Up to three (3) artists will be selected by a Selection Committee. The Committee will include District stakeholders, representatives of the Spokane Arts Commission, affiliate organizations, and visual arts professionals.

General Review Criteria

Consideration of artists in the selection process will include but is not limited to the following: 
• Aesthetic excellence of past projects
• Experience in materials and methods appropriate to the scope of this project
• Demonstrated ability to manage projects on time and on budget. 
Demonstrated delivery of projects with similar budgets will be reviewed.

Phase 2: The finalists will be interviewed by the selection committee as part of an interview session on November 27th or 28th, 2017.

To apply, visit here



2017 SAGA Grantees, Round 1

In the first round of the 2017 Spokane Arts Grant Awards (SAGA), eight proposals were awarded funding from a pool of seventy-four applications. The grant winners will receive funding to support projects and programs that will take place in the Spokane region over the next year. Twenty-five thousand dollars total was awarded, spread between the eight grant winners through a competitive process.

The first round of SAGA funding will support a wide range of artistic endeavors. One grant will support live music at ArtFest 2017, allowing for new performing artists to participate. Another grant will pay for the publication of an anthology celebrating the nationally-recognized Spokane Poetry Slam. SAGA funding will help improve the production quality for GlitterCouch, a fun, wacky and totally unique way of interviewing local artists. Millwood Print Works will use their grant to procure equipment necessary to offer classes in letterpress and screenprinting. Terrain Program’s Window Dressing will use SAGA funding to help sustain their operations. Local musician Scott Ryan will hold a series of songwriting workshops, which will build on existing skills and push songwriters to experiment with new methods, providing support to the burgeoning local music scene. Kathryn Smith, a local poet, was awarded funding for a book-length project called “The Chosen Companions of the Goblin,” and she will compose and teach workshop sin the summer of 2017, Spokane Tribe artist Dr. Shawn Brigman will create traditional Salishan sturgeon nose canoe, which will be presented, displayed, and paddled on the Spokane River, as well as used in cultural educational offerings that will benefit both students and community members.



Spokane Arts will celebrate the new year with a new grants program! The much anticipated Spokane Arts Grants Awards, known as SAGA, will have applications available on www.spokanearts.org on January 1, 2017. The application deadline is on February 1 and awards will be given on March 1, 2017.

Individual artists, arts organizations, heritage groups or collectives, are invited to apply for up to $10,000 each, and multiple grants will be awarded. A SAGA Selection Panel will convene to judge the grant applications on the following criteria: artistic merit, financial & management effectiveness, and Spokane community impact.

The January launch of SAGA is the first of four grant rounds to be announced for 2017. SAGA was created with input from a wide range of community members and stakeholders. “Spokane Arts held two free community forums in November 2016 to discuss how best to make SAGA work on behalf of the arts,” said Spokane Arts Grants Administrator, Jennifer Knickerbocker. “We heard from over one hundred organizations and individuals who want to help shape the story of the arts in Spokane.” 

Spokane Arts encourages diverse community members and organizations to apply for grant funding through SAGA. Questions?  Please contact Jennifer Knickerbocker at 509-321-9614 or email jennifer@spokanearts.org

Melissa Huggins Photo credit Marshal Peterson

Melissa Huggins Photo credit Marshal Peterson


 Spokane Arts is pleased to announce that Melissa Huggins has accepted the position of Executive Director for the organization. In her new role, Melissa will oversee all aspects of Spokane Arts, including programming, facilitating events, day-to-day operations and more.

“We are so excited to welcome Melissa to the helm of Spokane Arts,” said Brooke Kiener, Spokane Arts Board Chair. “She brings a wealth of experience and wonderful community connections, and we know she’ll help us grow our outreach and impact.”

Huggins has spent the last five years as the director of Eastern Washington University’s Get Lit! Programs, which includes the annual Get Lit! Festival as well as Writers in the Schools programs for K-12 students. As part of the Get Lit! Festival, she helped facilitate many collaborations between writers and other artists, including stage productions, art exhibits, concerts, and more. Prior to joining Get Lit!, she worked and volunteered with nonprofits like Planned Parenthood and the Pierce County AIDS Foundation.

"I'm delighted to join the team at Spokane Arts during such an exciting time, both for the organization and the arts community as a whole," said Huggins. "There are so many individuals and organizations doing incredible work in our community, with lots of room to grow. I'm looking forward to supporting and advocating for a broad range of artists in Spokane."



SPOKANE, Wash.  -   Spokane Arts is pleased to announce that Jennifer Knickerbocker has been hired to take on the role of Grants Administrator for the organization. Knickerbocker will design, build and implement a citywide grant funding program for arts, culture and heritage organizations. This is a new program of Spokane Arts and one that will be supported through revenue generated by the local admissions tax beginning in January 2017.

Knickerbocker brings a vast background in grants management and was most recently the manager of grants and strategic partnerships for the Spokane Symphony, where she built and shaped a robust granting program. She has served as the former Chair of the Advisory Commission for Diversity for the city of Renton, and has worked in Spokane in educational advocacy for the past six years in both a professional and voluntary capacity. As an artist herself, she says that she “understands the complexities of finding funding, and is supportive and compassionate to the issues many artists and community organizations face when working in the arts.” 

Laura Becker, outgoing Executive Director of Spokane Arts, states that “Jennifer was the perfect candidate for this significant position – both because of her demonstrated experience and also because she is deeply connected and committed to what is happening in the Spokane community. She is held in high regard by her colleagues and is a person that the people of Spokane can trust with their shared resources and cultural investments. She will excel in this role and will continue the work that we have all fought so hard to achieve.”

Knickerbocker will be starting with Spokane Arts after September 1st, 2016 while she works to conclude her position with the Spokane Symphony. This is a contract, part-time position and she will be working both remotely and in the Spokane Arts office and will establish regular office hours after her arrival.

Spokane Arts, which was a division of the City of Spokane until 2012, is a 501c3 organization that works to support and promote Spokane as a cultural hub and to strengthen the arts in all disciplines in our community.