It's nearly impossible to have a day go by in Spokane when something isn't happening in the arts scene. Between theater performances, First Friday art events, live local music, poetry slams and a whole slew of other activities, it's apparent the arts are alive in the city.
But when Shannon Halberstadt began her role as executive director of Spokane Arts last year, she talked with local artists and they agreed something was missing.
"Spokane has a wealth of creativity, and the public participation hasn't really been that high historically," says Halberstadt.
While there's a whole lot of output coming from local artists, it seems Spokanites haven't fully dived in. So, Spokane Arts decided to create a monthlong celebration of local arts called CREATE SPOKANE (createspokane.com) for the public to come and see the thriving creativity that exists, she says.
Create Spokane will fill the month of October with events every day of every week all over the city, spanning disciplines from dance and theater to literature and music to visual and culinary arts.
Four major parts will make up the festivities. Program partners will present activities like workshops, lectures, exhibits and performances at low cost or for free. For the second piece, artists will open their studios and workspaces so people can come in and see their tools and watch them create.
"We want to invite people to learn a little bit more about the processes and increase their appreciation and understanding for the arts," Halberstadt says.
To honor the creative forces behind the work, the public can nominate their favorite artists, organizations and groups for the arts awards. Then at the fourth and final piece of Create Spokane, the award winners will be announced and everyone will party in the name of art at the costume ball on Oct. 30. ♦