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June 7, 2022

Penny Thomas, Commerce Communications
Washington State Department of Commerce
(206) 256-6106

Application Portal for $3.5 Million in Grants to Washington Community Festivals and Events Open June 8 – July 1

The Washington Department of Commerce, in collaboration with the Washington Festivals and Events Association (WFEA) and ArtsWA, announced a $3.5 million grant program to help established, small-community festivals and events..

The application portal for the grants is open at beginning at 8 a.m., June 8. The application window closes July 1 at 5 p.m.

This program supports “legacy” events, festivals, civic and holiday celebrations, cultural and heritage events, music festivals, and street and arts fairs – those that have taken place for five or more years - in communities with populations of 100,000 or less.

Grants are designed to either restart and stabilize these legacy festivals and events that were suspended in 2020 and 2021, recover from disruptions and losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or both. Covered expenses include deposits on infrastructure (security, temporary fencing, staging, lights, sound equipment, etc.) and staff and labor costs. Grants range from $5,000 to $35,000. Award amounts are based on need and demonstrated losses.

“Communities across the state have had to postpone or cancel their events and celebrations over the last two years,” said Robb Zerr, Senior Managing Director for the Office of Economic Development & Competitiveness at Commerce. “These activities are a source of tremendous community pride and identity and the revenue generated often support local non-profits, causes and scholarships. We are thankful to the U.S. Economic Development Administration for providing funding to support communities across the state.”

Application seminars

To provide additional technical assistance to organizations, WFEA and ArtsWA are conducting a series of informational seminars across the state:

June 8                              

Noon      Meydenbauer Event Center, Bellevue

June 9

Noon      Hotel Windrow, Ellensburg

June 13

8 a.m.     Farmhouse Restaurant, Mt. Vernon

1 p.m.     Tri-Cities Convention Center, Kennewick

June 14

10 a.m.   Gonzaga University, Hemmingson Center, Spokane

Applicants do not have to attend a seminar to apply for these grants. For more information, contact the WFEA at or call 360-808-3204

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
Visitor Center Located at I-5 Exit 253 - Check Hours
904 Potter Street, Bellingham, WA 98229
Phone: 360-671-3990

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