Spokane Arts in the News


Grants Administrator position open for applications!

Applications due Monday, October 16 by 5 p.m.

GRANTS ADMINISTRATOR Position Description: 

 Spokane Arts represents the joint efforts of the 501c3 Spokane Arts Fund and the City of Spokane’s Arts Commission, working together to amplify Spokane as the cultural hub and catalyst for the Inland Northwest through responsive and adaptive programs, arts leadership, advocacy, networking and support. We aim to be a unifying voice for the arts, build appreciation and understanding of the value of the arts, cultivate success of artists and arts organizations and support arts in public places.

The Grants Administrator facilitates all aspects of the Spokane Arts Grant Awards (SAGA), focusing on stakeholder and community outreach, logistics, materials preparation, and communications with applicants and grantees. The Grants Administrator reports to and works closely with the Executive Director. To apply, please submit cover letter, resume, and a list of three references to melissa@spokanearts.org by Monday, October 16 at 5 p.m.

Key Grants Administrator duties include:
·        Facilitate multiple rounds of SAGA grant selection per year, including updating application forms, coordinating grant processes, facilitating selection panel meetings, and corresponding with applicants and grant recipients
·        Provide direct support to SAGA applicants, which may include pre-submission application reviews, one-on-one meetings, written feedback, and more
·        Coordinate outreach efforts and any relevant workshops and/or trainings to facilitate access to any of Spokane Arts’ grant opportunities.
·        Work to amplify and promote the SAGA program, its grant recipients, and the successes of funded projects. This may include grant recipient profiles, earned media coverage, social media, and various other means. Maintain and manage all SAGA information on the Spokane Arts website.
·        In coordination with the Executive Director, manage fiscal oversight of the grants program and all procedural reporting as required by the City of Spokane
·        Work closely with the Executive Director to grow the pool of SAGA funding, so that we can steadily increase our grantmaking capacity
·        Serve on the SAGA advisory committee alongside Executive Director and members of the Spokane Arts Fund board
·       Support the maintenance of SAGA-related databases, files and records.
·        Work with Spokane Arts staff to develop and distribute SAGA press releases
·        Assist with Spokane Arts events and additional projects as assigned.

COMPENSATION:  This is a part-time (15-20 hr/week) hourly staff position at $25-$28 per hour DOE, plus a $250 per month incentive for healthcare. Due to the cyclical nature of the grants program, some weeks and/or months might require more time than others and as such, hours can be flexed to adjust for these demands. Grants Administrator will be responsible for their individual medical and dental coverage. 


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.