Festival funds Gratitude Grafitti boards

For the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, children and the public posted notes about what they are thankful for on ten Gratitude Grafitti boards.   This project, created by the Mt Erie PTA was funded by a Festival grant.  Board locations included Anacortes elementary schools, Anacortes Public Library, ACME Creative, Johnny Picassos, Playhouse Dental, Fidalgo Bay Montessori, Anacortes Lutheran Preschool and Fidalgo Danceworks.

Founders Lucila McElroy and Candice Davenport said their goal was to create the reminder by using community hubs to engage passers-by. It also allowed people to express their gratitude through art.

The deadline for 2017 grants is now closed, and we will be announcing next year’s recipients in January.

2017 Grant cycle deadline

The deadline for 2017 Festival grants is November 11. We encourage visual and performing artists, arts organizations and arts programs to develop projects, activities, special events and classes that benefit the Fidalgo Island and Guemes Island community. Grant requests where people and programs work cooperatively are encouraged, along with those where people are able to participate in the arts.   Please see our Grant Guidelines for more information.

2016 Grants totaled $52,500. Through all of our efforts the Festival gave back over $70,000 this year.  Also included are $25,000 raised during our April events for Cultural Arts Programming for the Anacortes School District, Sculpture and Mural projects funded through our Art Dash, and Anacortes Collects placement of artwork at the Anacortes Middle School.    

Festival Honors Past Board Members

Two Festival fine art memorial awards, and a musical tribute are being presented this year,  to honor two very special people who had tremendous impact on the Festival.  Both passed in 2016.

Richard Mitlyng was a Festival Board President for 15 years, also serving as our Production Manager for much of that time. He was an educator and musician who started a successful ukulele program in the schools, and later the community. He was a tireless Festival supporter and youth arts advocate.  A Ukulele ensemble will present a tribute to him on the Main Stage on Sunday, August 7 at 11:30.

Teresa Kolp started as a Festival volunteer and later joined the Board in 2010, eventually moving into the role of Board President.   She was an artist and writer whose creative passion was instrumental in the evolution of Arts at the Port.   Teresa also designed and executed the Art Gate installation at the entry to the Arts at the Port exhibition space.

Festival Receives Brodniak Award

The Arts Festival is very honored to be the recipient of the Walter A. Brodniak Cultural Education Award this year.  The award is given by the Anacortes School District to an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to arts education in our school district.

The Board and Staff at the Arts Festival work hard every day to support art for our community, with a focus on art for kids.  It is our pleasure to create funding opportunities for Local Artists in Schools, field trips to theatre and music venues, plays presented in schools, instruments, art supplies and so much more.

Our partnership with the Anacortes School District is one that we are proud to keep growing.  This award is very special to us and we are thankful to Tina Franulovich-Martin, Dr. Mark Wenzel, Carl Delutri, Jim Thompson, Candice Reid, all of the teachers teaching art to our kids, the artists supporting them and the students for engaging in the programs we sponsor.  Thank you!

Oh, and the event received a little press in the Skagit Valley Herald!




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.