ArtsWA Community Investments

ArtsWA grants provide resources for organizations to create arts experiences with and for their communities. Our grants focus on cultural equity and expanding the creative economy, and support arts participation by ensuring that all people have culturally relevant access to the arts. State and federal funds support our grants.

  • Grants to Organizations (GTO) fund projects, programs, and services spanning artistic disciplines, cultures, and traditions. Programs reach audiences and arts professionals across the state. For additional information, please visit our website.
  • Arts in Education (AIE) supports arts learning as a part of basic education for all students PreK-12. This program expands arts education access through grants, professional development, youth leadership opportunities, and ongoing research. Creative Start (CS) is an AIE Program focused on Early Learning (PreK - 3) and includes grants for schools and regional leaders, community-based professional learning opportunities, and a studio of resources to support students, teachers, and families.
  • Wellness, Arts, & the Military (WAM) supports the growth of artists and arts organizations who have arts and wellness programs for military connected communities. WAM began in 2017 as a Community Connections Project supported by the NEA Creative Forces Military Healing Arts Network. Through summits, convenings, and key partnerships, the WAM program has grown to include arts programming grants, training, funding, and outreach.
  • Tribal Cultural Affairs Program (TCAP) works to support Washington tribal communities expand, enhance, or create space for art and culture that is respectful and responsive to each communities’ needs. Washington’s culture is richly rooted in tribal practices that have been taking place since time immemorial. TCAP fosters this by working with Indigenous communities to develop authentic and effective programming.

About ArtsWA

ArtsWA is the Washington State Arts Commission. The Washington State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts fund our programs. ArtsWA's grant programs are contingent on available state and federal funding. ArtsWA complies with all local, state and federal laws and regulations concerning civil and human rights. For more information regarding Washington State Arts Commission’s policies on Accessibility, Diversity, and Nondiscrimination, click here.

Photo credits: 

Left: Pacific Northwest Center for Architecture and Design. CallisonRTKL & Bayley Construction - Kaleidospace. Photo by Letao Tao, August 21, 2021. 

Center: The world premiere of RIVERWOOD by Andrew Lee Creech at Langston Seattle, directed by Shermona Mitchell. Co-produced by Seattle Public Theater and Langston Seattle. Photo by Truman Buffett, pictured: Brandon Jones Mooney and Jordan-Michael Whidbey, May 2022

Right: Urban ArtWorks mural apprentices and teaching artist work on panels for the FIRS Center in Seattle, 2022. 

Welcome to the WAYAL FY25 Program Application

What is WAYAL? 

The Washington Youth Arts Leadership (WAYAL) Program is an annual cohort of youth and young adults (ages 16-19) from across Washington State. WAYAL leaders work with the Arts in Education (AIE) team at ArtsWA to explore and amplify the role of arts engagement in their communities. Young artists build community among their peers, gain leadership and communication skills, and explore arts careers with mentors in the field. Youth leaders receive a stipend for their participation. 

What will selected WAYAL cohort members do? 

  • Explore careers in the arts and cultural sector.
  • Refine multimedia communication skills.
  • Engage in activities as an artist and critical thinker.
  • Gain understanding of the creative economy, arts funding and related policy.
  • Build community among their artist peers across the state.

Important Dates: 

  • Application & Nomination Opens: April 15, 2024
  • Application Deadline: July 11, 2024, at 5:00pm
  • Notification to WAYAL cohort members: September 6, 2024
  • Cohort virtual retreat: October date TBD (2 hours)
  • WAYAL Program: October 2024 – May 2025


Apply Now

Who Can Apply? 

Application or Nomination: Youth ages 16-19 may apply directly to this program. Mentors, teachers or community members may also nominate a youth artist from their communities; once nominated, youth will be contacted to complete the entire application in order to be considered.

Eligibility: Applicants/nominated youth must be:

  • Between the age of 16-19 (by start of cohort, October 1, 2024).
  • A Washington State resident.
  • Living within the state of Washington throughout October 2024 - May 2025.
  • Engaged in arts or cultural activities beyond school-related assignments.
  • Interested in building leadership skills and working with youth across the state.
  • Able to attend 9-12 afternoon online seminars (October – May); contribute to a collaborative project; and participate in at least 2 learning or leadership opportunities (in-person or online) outside of seminar time.


How Does ArtsWA Select WAYAL Members? 

Evaluation and Scoring Panel

A panel of artists and educators evaluate eligible applications to the WA Youth Arts Leadership (WAYAL) Program. Panelists use scoring criteria to give a numerical score to each application. An application’s final score is the combined average of all panelists’ scores. Top scoring applications from each ArtsWA-defined region are selected for the WAYAL program. Panelists will assign each application a score between 1 -30 using the evaluation and point system below. 30 points is the highest possible score for this application.

1. Artistic Practice (10 points possible) 

  • a) Engagement with art making/creative practices 
  • b) Artist Work Sample 

2. Artistic Aspirations (10 points possible)

  • a) Interest in exploring creative careers 
  • b) Interest in joining the WAYAL Program 

3. Community Engagement (10 points possible) 

  • a) Interest in amplifying youth voice/input in art spaces and policies
  • b) Experience with working collaboratively on projects 
ArtsWA Community Investments