By LUKE PUTVIN
Founded in 1987, the Lynnwood Arts Commission supports universal access to diverse arts to enrich the community’s quality of life and economic vitality, according to its Mission Statement.
“In practice, the Arts Commission reaches out to artists and other creative people, to support their creativity and work, and to support fun, creative happenings in Lynnwood that engage community members,” said Fred Wong, Community Programs Coordinator for the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department.
The Arts Commission, like all other commissions in the city, is a group of volunteers, but Wong is a city employee that works with the Arts Commission.
According to the Lynnwood Municipal Code Chapter 2.26, the Arts Commission is an advisory commission of the City of Lynnwood, and its duties are to provide advice and recommendations to the mayor and City Council regarding the display of art in public places within the city.
Some past and present accomplishments of the commission include public art wraps on Traffic Signal Boxes, art galleries in City Hall and the Rec Center, EGGS-plore Lynnwood 2019, supporting events such as Shakespeare in the Park and the advocation for a public art ordinance that sets 1% of capital construction budget for public art.
Upcoming projects supported by the Arts Commission include EGGS-plore 2020, the I Love Lynnwood sculpture, future Traffic Signal Boxes and upcoming art exhibits such as Pause with Cause, Korean American Artists of Washington and Edmonds Community College Students.
The Arts Commission frequently partners with city departments and groups like the Lynnwood Parks and Recreation Foundation as well as other organizations like local non-profits and businesses in the case of the EGGS-plore hunt.
“[The people sitting on the Arts Commission] are volunteers who truly love Lynnwood and are some of the most giving people with their time and talents, helping our city become a more livable place,” Wong said. “Art is an expression of creativity, which is important to me because Creativity is the “Force” (to quote Yoda) that balances our dark side.”
Elizabeth Lunsford, the chair of the Arts Commission, said, “I found the importance of art when I was deprived from it. I had the honor of serving in the Navy and going on a WESTPAC deployment. As beautiful as the ocean is, being surrounded solely by the ocean and grey interior of the ship, day in and day out created a unique monotony.”
“A piece of artwork, may it be a painting, performance, or whatever media, makes for a lively conversation,” Lunsford continued. “With our daily grind of making a living, it’s nice to have a welcoming community where we can spend our precious free time. Art is key to making spaces feel welcoming, vibrant and connected.”
“The only duties [the members of the Arts Commission] have is to show up to the meetings and give advice because it’s an advisory board, but just like our city, they do a great deal more,” Lunsford concluded.
For more information about the Lynnwood Arts Commission and upcoming events such as Lynnwood “State of the Arts” (a free event teaching people how to get involved in the arts), visit www.LynnwoodArts.org.