by Luke Putvin
Lynnwood is working on improving its creative spirit and reinstating the City’s Arts Program. The plan itself is a model for a sustainable, diverse and vibrant community that supports universal access to the arts.
Americans for the Arts, founded in 1960, is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. Lynnwood’s Cultural Arts Plan mentions them in their “Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts” infographic. Some of these reasons include the strengthening of the local economy, driving tourism and the arts’ social impact. Lynnwood’s plan echoes some of this reasoning.
Lynnwood has several goals in this plan. First and foremost, they want to promote lifelong learning in the arts. This includes encouraging artists to engage with the community through lectures, providing opportunities for all citizens to participate in creative activities (afterschool programs, senior programs) and creating family-oriented art performances and exhibits.
The city also wants to put a greater emphasis on promoting artists and opportunities in the arts. Connecting with local artists, providing public art displays on city properties and increasing access to a variety of cultural arts are just a few ways Lynnwood plans to do this.
Not only is the local arts community vital to the economic health of Lynnwood, but it is vital to building community and a sense of place in our city. The plan advocates for things that may be difficult to notice but are essential to giving Lynnwood a unique character. These include incorporating artistic designs to maps around the city and artistic designs through architectural elements of the city like gateways, streetscapes and corridors.
A vibrant arts community is necessary for a city’s character. This doesn’t just mean having accessible and affordable art installations throughout the city, but it means an inclusion of a variety of voices and cultures. Lynnwood’s plan looks to encourage openness and inclusion. This means having educational opportunities for all residents about ethnic arts and cultural traditions. This also means the city wants to expand public art to include pieces that represent the diversity of our city. After all, in order to understand our city’s character, it is important to look to its residents and understand the community of everyone who lives here.
In addition to the city’s plan, residents have their own part to play in allowing the arts scene to thrive and to support local artists. This can be anything from attending local art installations, attending local book/poetry readings or participating in the ongoing EGGS-plore egg hunt. Feedback is another important element; if there is something residents would like to see more of throughout the arts community, contact Fred Wong at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-670-5502.
A thriving arts community is important for Lynnwood and both city officials and residents have their part to play.