Over $25,000 raised for art education in April

The Evening of Color auction, Art of Shopping event and fine art sales raised over $25,000 for arts education in the Anacortes School District. This money will bring artists into classrooms, provide funding and transportation for kids to see cultural performances and purchase art equipment and supplies.  Thank you to everyone who came to our events and purchased art or raised their paddle in support of kids.

April events support youth arts education

Anacortes school children are the benefactors of our April Art in Bloom Events.  Through these events the Festival funds the Anacortes School District Cultural Education program, visiting artists in the schools – as well as individual grants for supplies, equipment and education in art, music, and drama for k-12 students.   During March, district seconds graders were bussed to the Mt Baker Theater in Bellingham, where they were treated to a production of  BFG (Big Friendly Giant) thanks to a Festival grant.  Join us in supporting these efforts by participating in our Art in Bloom events.

Festival Grants $42,000 to Local Programs

The Anacortes Arts Festival ended its year by granting over $42,000 for 2016, in its Giving Back Grant Program.   With over $75,000 in requests, the board approved 21 projects that fund arts education, programming and project support. Through its April events, the board has committed additional funding for the Anacortes School District Cultural Arts Program. The Festival also supports public art projects through the annual Art Dash and Color Run, in partnership with the City of Anacortes.   2016 “Giving Back” grants include


ACME Creative Space – High School student art exhibition – $500
Anacortes Boys & Girls Club – fine art program – $3,500
Anacortes Family Center – music therapy program – $5,000
Anacortes Farmers Market – Farmers Market music – $1,500
Anacortes Fidalgo Culture – Tommy Thompson mural restoration – $500
Anacortes Music Channel – Steam on Wheels project – $750
Anacortes Parks & Recreation – Open Streets Buskerfest – $1,000
Anacortes High School – 3D Hidden Narratives glass project – $1,400
Anacortes High School/Middle School Choirs – piano purchase – $2,500
Anacortes Middle School Drama Club – stage backdrops & wings – $1,000
Fidalgo Elementary School – art library and creative spaces – $1,300
Fidalgo Danceworks – June dance performance – $4,000
Fidalgo Island Quilters – youth quilting program – $3,150
Friends of the Anacortes Public Library – Just for Teens program – $1,000
MoNA Link – education outreach program – $6,000
Mt Erie PTA – gratitude graffiti project – $500
Seahawk Music Boosters – band instrument collection – $1,500
Seahawk Music Boosters – music program headliner concert – $2,000
Skagit Artists Together – 2016 studio tour – $500
Skagit River Poetry Foundation – Spoken Words project – $3,000
Skagit Symphony – 5th grade educational concert series – $1,750

Art for the Sky

We have just finished an amazing partnership with the Anacortes School District, where we were able to take a lMt. Erie Horsearge scale, collaborative art project to three elementary schools.  Art for the Sky involved all of the students at Island View, Mt. Erie and Fidalgo.  At each school, an art piece was created on the field and then the almost 1500 students and staff played the part of paint drops.  The Arts Festival is proud to be able to bring these unique art experiences to the school district through our Giving Program.  Island View Eagle

Here is the story in the Anacortes American.  And, to learn more about Art for the Sky, visit Daniel Dancer’s website.

We are currently accepting grant applications for 2016 and invite new ideas for art in our schools and in our community.


2016 Grant Applications Now Available


Each year, the Anacortes Arts Festival provides Grants to a wide range of arts education and enrichment programs supporting creativity in our community. Grant Applications are now available on our website at Grant Guidelines. Applications for art related projects and organizations are being accepted through November 4th, 2015.

The Arts Festival is looking to fund a well-balanced group of grant requests and projects that involve a diverse group of people and art activities. Nearly $80,000 in funding was committed in 2015 to support the arts in Anacortes.

Since 1994, the Giving Back program has provided more than $600,000 to art related projects and organizations in our community. For more information about the Anacortes Arts Festival’s Giving Back program, visit …Giving BackGrants.

MoNA Youth Art Partnership

The Festival is supporting the Museum of Northwest Art MoNA Link Program with an $8,000 grant this year.   We are thrilled that MoNA is partnering with us in our Arts at the Port Youth Art Show, showcasing work from that program.  Be sure to visit the Port Transit Shed to see this show (as well as our other Fine Art Exhibits).

MoNA Link provides comprehensive art education for students in pre-k through middle school throughout Skagit County.   They work with teachers to provide professional development and classroom art projects and students who visit the museum 3 times a year.



Festival Grants $80,000 in 2015

By providing wonderful events to celebrate art, the Anacortes Arts Festival is able to financially provide an extensive grant program dedicated to supporting art & creativity in our community.  The Festival provides grants each year to a wide range of arts education and enrichment programs. In 2015, the Festival has committed nearly $80,000 of funding to support the arts in Anacortes. With an emphasis on art education for children, our “giving back” funding includes:





Anacortes School District Cultural Arts Program
Museum of Northwest Art – MoNA Link Arts Education Program
Art for the Sky – A combined art and science program for all elementary students
Public Art – Commissions and purchases
Instruments – For school music programs
Artists in the Schools – Supporting artists and elementary education
Boys & Girls Club Fine Art Program
Skagit River Poetry Festival – Poets in Schools
Anacortes Family Center – Art therapy programs for homeless children

Since 1994, the Arts Festival’s Giving Back program has provided more than $600,000 to these types of programs.   The Board is committed to continuing to create new revenue streams so that we can expand these important grants over time.  For more information about our Giving Program, visit … Giving Back .. Grants

Funding a Circus Camp!

Circus ME 2PE Instructor Val Holtgeerts teaches a 3-4 week circus unit to some of her Mt. Erie students.  To enhance her passion for circus art, she came up with the idea that it would be great to add some professional training to the unit.  With a grant from the Arts Festival’s Giving Back Program, she was able to offer the 4 – 6th grade students an opportunity to explore Circus Arts at a new level.

Circus ME 5The students worked hard on their circus skills and some of them became mini-experts in their new talents.  The Arts Festival Board loves to fund creative art opportunities for children and appreciates Val’s creative thinking in asking us to enhance this program.

In 2015, the Arts Festival has granted more than $80,000 to art education, art projects and public art in our community.Circus ME 1

Giving Back .. Grants

Funding Art in Schools

The Art in Bloom Auction not only brought a night of amazing art and good times, but it also brought good news for art programs in our schools.  The generosity of everyone in attendance led to a very successful fundraising effort by the Arts Festival Board, Staff and Volunteers.

We were able to raise enough money through a Live Auction, a Silent Auction of vases designed by local artists, and Fine Art Sales to fund the ASD Cultural Education Program for 2015 – 2016.  And, through commitments during Raise the Paddle, we funded a monumental collaborative art project that will take place in all three of our elementary schools this Fall.  Stay tuned for more information about Art for the Sky.  A total of almost $20,000 will be granted to art in our schools from our April Events.

The Arts Festival is committed to helping the Anacortes School District keep art and cultural education alive for our students.

Giving Back .. Grants

Quilters Reaching Kids of All Ages

The Fidalgo Island Quilters have created a Kids Quilting Program with their grants from the Anacortes Arts Festival.  The program has been successful well beyond their original hopes and the success has led to the creation of a national program modeled after their efforts.

Over the last two years, the FIQ have been able to reach all fifth graders in Anacortes and children of all ages through their presence at the Festival last August.

They began their education outreach with 2 one-hour classroom visits by four volunteers. During those visits, they engaged the students in learning about quilting: what makes a quilt a quilt, the stages of construction, art concepts (color and design), math concepts (geometry and fractional parts) and US history (Underground Railroad). Next, they bussed the 58 students to their group’s quilt show in April, where they provided docent-led tours of the show, using thinking skills based on Visual Thinking Systems, a technique employed in Museum of Northwest Art student tours. Students were able to identify specific quilt blocks, color relationships, and geometric forms in the quilts. At the conclusion of the tour, each child used a sewing machine to construct a traditional 9-patch quilt block under the direction of our members. Blocks were displayed at the show, and later, the 58 blocks became 3 quilts for American Hero Quilts and Quilts of Valor.

In August they brought the project to the Anacortes Arts Festival children’s activity area. Their open invitation for kids to make quilt blocks for more patriotic quilts and the Anacortes Family Shelter led to the creation of 100 more blocks! They estimate that they reached approximately 90 kids, age 4-14, most of whom had never used a sewing machine, at the Festival.

Positive feedback abounds! Some highlights of comments they’ve received from the parents and grandparents of participating kids:

  • one father thanked them, saying he rarely had a chance to see his daughter so proud of something she had accomplished
  • another father thanked them profusely, telling them his autistic son never gets to take part in these kinds of activities. (The FIQ member who helped him was a retired special ed teacher with 3 certifications.)
  • two FIQ members with early childhood training were able to help 2 four year-olds sew their blocks
  • several kids who were initially afraid to use a machine came to like it
  • one child returned to the festival booth 7 times to make more blocks
  • a member of Quilters’ Anonymous, a large Seattle area guild with 400 members, commented that they do many charitable projects, but nothing like this for kids!
  • many parents and grandparents thanked them for taking the time to give their children something so special, with comments like “I need to get that machine out of the closet” or ”His grandmother sews, but his mother doesn’t—so glad you are filling the gap.”

In September they accepted the invitation of the La Conner Regional Library to have the Kids’ Quilting Project be part of their special week of activities called “Outside the Lines”. 30 more blocks were completed on September 16, made by children and adults.

Overall Project Success:

  • Total blocks so far – 188
  • Students and adults participating: approx. 200
  • 3 quilts completed with 130 more blocks awaiting completion

FIQ is having so much fun sharing their love of quilting with the children in our community.  They have decided to make education a focus for this biennium, for kids and young adults.