Welcome,
WYPs and Chamber of Commerce!

The arts make our communities better places to live.

Not just in a fuzzy, feel-good kind of way (though also that…) but in very tangible, measurable ways.

Local performing arts are an ‘economic multiplier.’ Among other things:

  • when people come see a show, they often go eat a meal and/or get drinks at neighboring local businesses before or after;
  • arts organizations (even nonprofits) pay admissions tax and occupation tax to the city, and payroll and excise taxes to the state;
  • arts facilities revitalize stagnant areas and increase surrounding property values;
  • access to arts programs even improves students’ academic performance!

‘Intangible’ benefits include the warm fuzzies, but also things like providing ways for people across all political, economic and cultural spectrums to come together and tell and listen to each others’ stories.

Investing in the arts makes a community stronger and improves quality of life, period.

Whatcom County is home to a thriving ecosystem of small performing arts organizations, producing unique and original music, dance, theater, even circus productions… but affordable space to work has been in short supply for decades.

SYLVIA CENTER FOR THE ARTS is running a capital campaign to create a new home for over a dozen small arts groups by renovating a historic industrial building in downtown Bellingham’s Arts District into a new performing arts center.

This new facility will help meet some of the demand for affordable space for local artists and organizations to rehearse, teach and perform, while also creating a central hub for regional arts audiences to discover and enjoy locally-created music, theater, and dance.

A gift to the Sylvia Center for the Arts campaign is an investment in Whatcom County’s future — we hope you’ll join us in helping build the kind of community we want to live in!


Yes! I want to make a gift today!
(PayPal donation form – no account needed)