Artfully Edmonds: Survey reveals how our community feels about arts and culture

Juliet Brewster
Juliet Brewster

From Aug.15-Sept.15, an open-access questionnaire was live online to collect data from Edmonds residents regarding the use of parks and open spaces and city-sponsored arts events. The City’s Community Cultural Planning Committee met again this week to discuss the findings from this “Environmental Scan” and how they differ from the objectives of previous cultural plans.

Over 1,000 questionnaires were filled out and submitted. In addition to the online survey, MIG — the planning firm hired by the city to help us through this process — set up “intercepts” at widely attended events around Edmonds, including at Yost Pool and during September’s Third Thursday Art Walk.

The Environmental Scan showed that half of the respondents considered themselves or wished to be working artists—a figure that bodes well for those of us who see Edmonds as an artistic community. Edmonds residents recognize our advantage in having a community that is engaged in a wide variety of high-quality existing arts programs with a decent capacity for implementing more such programs, and seem to agree that these programs need to expand beyond the downtown area. Respondents were most likely to point to a lack of youth involvement in the arts community and a need for more organized publicity for arts events as our major challenges. Across the board, respondents wanted more free art in and around Edmonds.

For the next couple of months, the committee will be working to revise and strengthen the 2008 Community Cultural Plan. The 2008 vision statement reads:

“Promote and sustain a vibrant cultural community through proactive partnerships and civic leadership, a network of successful cultural facilities, effective marketing and outreach strategies, and broad participation in a diverse range of cultural offerings.”

MIG would like to see Edmonds pull together a cultural plan that highlights the strength of existing Edmonds arts organizations, states objectives with measurable rates of success, and outlines specific strategies for achieving our goals. To participate in this stage of the process, please stay tuned for more information regarding public workshops on Oct. 16 and 17 that will support both the arts and park planning processes.

The 9th Annual Previously Loved Art Sale will take place next Saturday, Oct. 5 at ArtWorks on the corner of 2nd Avenue and Dayton. This is a fantastic opportunity to find your next favorite painting, sculpture, poster, art book, or more—in addition to new or lightly used art supplies at low prices! Can’t even imagine bringing new work into your over-decorated home? Consider donating some tired pieces to the sale by bringing them to ArtWorks Monday, Thursday, or Friday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., or haul donations along with you to the Art Sale. Call ArtWorks at 425-774-6049 for more information.

Edmonds Center for the Arts’ new season kicks off next week, with a lively performance by musical sketch comedy group Capitol Steps. Capitol Steps was formed in 1981 by disillusioned Senate staffers preparing entertainment for Sen. Charles Percy’s Christmas party. Over 30 years later, the former Capitol Hill staffers have been able to “quit their day jobs,” taking politics to the people and making them laugh. While not every member of the comedy group has worked on Capitol Hill, the group represents a collective 62 years of experience in a total of 18 Congressional offices. Capitol Steps exposes the entire farce of our political process, ridiculing all that deserve it regardless of gender, race, creed, or party affiliation. Tickets are going fast for the show Saturday, Oct. 5 so reserve yours now! $32-$42 for adults, youth $15.

"Gray Day Opening," William Houston
“Gray Day Opening,” William Houston

Cole Gallery welcomes featured October artists Katya Minkina and William Houston, showing their urban-inspired acrylics all month long. Meet the artists during the 3rd Thursday Art Walk the evening of Oct. 17.

A 2012 entry on the theme “Hello Sunshine”…can you do better?
A 2012 entry on the theme “Hello Sunshine”…can you do better?

Test your eye in the 6th annual Edmonds Photo Marathon! You have six hours to take six photos on themes provided by the Rotary Club, starting at 10 a.m. this Saturday, Sept. 28. Meet outside of RBC Wealth Management (303 5th Ave. S. Suite 100) between 9 and 10 to hand in your $30 registration in exchange for a list of themes. All photos must be taken with a digital camera and submitted via CD, memory card, or e-mail by 4 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, and to download a registration form, visit

— By Juliet Brewster

Artfully Edmonds columnist Juliet Brewster, an Edmonds native and Edmonds-Woodway High School graduate, has a degree in literature from Bennington College. To have your arts happening listed, email her at



  1. I am trying to find other folks in Edmonds who are interested in artistic art journalling, do you have any suggestions?

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