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Published on Friday, March 31, 2017

Bill authorizes local governments to establish creative districts

HB 1183 would grant the Washington State Arts Commission the authority to certify creative districts designated by local governments or tribes as areas that promote “cultural facilities, creative industries, or arts-related business.”

Total appropriations for the program may not exceed $150,000 in the 2017-2019 biennium and $235,000 in the 2019-2021 biennium. From within these amounts the Art Commission must issue grants totaling at least $45,000 to state-certified districts each fiscal year.

Requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for creative district designation include geographically contiguous sites, areas where there are concentrations of artistic or cultural activity, and an area that is distinguished by physical, artistic, or cultural resources that play a vital role in the quality and life of a community, including its economic and cultural development.

HB 1183 had a public hearing in the Senate Ways & Means Committee on March 29 and was passed unanimously the same day.