2023 State Cultural Priorities

The Cultural Sector in Washington is a big tent. Therefore, the number of requests (spanning policy and budget requests) that have both indirect and direct impact on science, heritage, and arts programming is broad. It’s our job to share all of these opportunities with you and to help you be strategic with your advocacy. 

This page shares the opportunities that Inspire WA believes will have the biggest impact on the broad sector AND needs the push from our whole coalition to achieve.

You want more funding to sustain your program and expand access within your community. And, that funding should be sustainable and multi-year.  You want places to create, perform and learn; to gather community and to share stories. These are the top priorities that will deliver, if approved by the legislature.

2023 Leg Session Broad Cultural Summary of Requests (Overview document that includes all the requests below)



  • Cultural Sector Support (Rep Berry/Inspire WA): $25 million of state investment in FY24 for the Cultural Sector will grow and secure cultural employment, ensure public safety, expand cultural access, and address student learning loss through cultural experiences and programs across WA.

           The ask: Please provide $25 million for cultural sector support to sustain and strengthen cultural businesses and provide programming.


           The ask: Please support HB 1575 and SB 5612, providing councilmanic authority for the Cultural Access Program.


  • Building for the Arts (ArtsFund/Commerce): The program awards grants to performing arts, art museums, and cultural organizations for as much as a 33% state match of eligible project costs for acquisition, construction, and/or major renovation of capital facilities. Projects funded have been reviewed and approved by a panel of experts. The governor’s proposed budget included only part of the approved projects.

          The ask: Please provide $18 million for the Building for the Arts Program and include all 32 recommended projects. 


          The ask: From the Governor’s FY 23 Budget, please provide the full $10 million for Heritage Capital to include all recommended projects.


Field Specific Requests

The state legislature will weigh many more specific policy and budget requests specific to the science, heritage, and arts fields. They may also be of intersectional interest to our sector, like education, workforce development, and affordable housing, to name just a few.  How do you decide what to talk about when you have limited time with your lawmaker or their legislative aide?  You will need to decide what matters most to your community and your cultural work. We do not expect anyone to advocate for everything. We’ve grouped the opportunities in various ways to help direct your decision-making.

Each request has a specific proponent (like Inspire Washington, ArtsWA, WA State Historical Society, etc.) They are your advocacy partners and information specialists. 


Arts Requests:


Heritage & Humanities Requests:


Watch the All in for Advocacy Rally! Watch the video here


Sign up to be an advocate at Arts, Heritage, and Science Week!

We are already gearing up for the 2023 legislative session. As some of you may already know, Inspire Washington hosts Arts, Heritage, and Science (AHS) Week during every state legislative session. This is when cultural advocates speak to their lawmakers about the issues facing our sector. Arts, Heritage, and Science Week will be February 6-10, 2023. This year's event will be a hybrid format so you can join virtually at any point in the week, or in-person in Olympia on February 8th. 

Why you’ll love being an advocate: 

  • You’ll get to meet your local lawmakers and build relationships with them! 
  • You’ll get a hands-on look at how the legislative process works. 
  • You’ll meet other people in your cultural community.
  • When we secure our big legislative wins, you will be an integral part of the reason why we won! 

Questions? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click here to sign up!


Sign up to be a DISTRICT Leader

Looking to take your advocacy a step farther? Our advocates are split into teams for each of the 49 legislative districts in the state, and each team needs a District Leader. District Leaders attend Arts, Heritage, and Science Week (in-person or virtually), schedule lawmaker meetings, track meeting data, and energize their team of advocates. 

Due to the current state budget forecasts, funding for the cultural sector is in jeopardy. Without robust advocacy from all 49 legislative districts in Washington, we can’t win. We need you. 

Why you’ll love being a District Leader: 

  • You’ll be a leader in your cultural community. 
  • Your lawmakers will look to you for guidance as they engage in cultural conversations with your district.
  • You’ll ensure that your district has a prominent voice in conversations about cultural funding. 
  • You’ll inspire other people in your community to advocate alongside you! 

Questions? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click here to sign up! 


Tools & Tips:


2022 Documents:

Arts Fund Covid Cultural Impact Study

About ESSB 5878: Arts Education in Schools