April 3, 2020

Valerie Dalena, Marketing Chair
Whatcom Arts Project

Together While Apart - New Whatcom Arts Project Keeps Artists Connected to the Community

As a gift to the community, during Washington State's Stay Home - Stay Safe Order, Bellingham and Whatcom County artists, musicians, actors, storytellers, dancers, filmmakers, performers and arts supporters have come together to create the Whatcom Arts Project. Free, daily online content is available on Facebook and on a webpage through this campaign to uplift, educate, and inspire during these difficult times, while we socially distance to slow the spread of COVID-19.

More than 30 nonprofits and organizations from Whatcom County’s vibrant arts scene are collaborating to provide free performances, interactive tours, classes, narratives, and other arts experiences online and accessible to the public. The newly formed collective arts campaign hopes to inform, entertain, educate, and support the community and each other through this stay-at-home period and beyond. We are all in this together. Now we can stay engaged and connected, even while apart.

According to John Purdie, Interim Executive Director of the Mount Baker Theatre, “We collaboratively formed Whatcom Arts Project because the arts bring people together, connecting our hearts, minds, and imaginations.” 

“Our artists are keepers of culture. Our stories, our communities, our hearts thrive when we share what makes us most human -- connecting to one another and cherishing each other’s place in the tapestry of Whatcom County,” says Shu-Ling Hergenhahn-Zhao, one of the founders of Sylvia Center for the Arts. 

To help ensure the community continues to have access to the arts, the Whatcom Arts Project has created a new Facebook page where arts organizations and venues will place daily direct links to performances, classes, virtual tours and other experiences. Page visitors can ‘tune in’ and take part as often as they like and engage with the arts on a daily basis, be it an educational adventure for kids, a time to learn about the arts scene in our area, or a date night for couples. The a weekly content calendar is also located on the campaign's webpage hosted by Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism.

Wap Zoom Meeting Photo (1)

While the magic of gathering together in a theater, concert hall or gallery can never be equaled, the project’s collaborators are excited to explore new ways to present recorded and interactive presentations. "The arts bring us together and inspire us, creating community,” says Gail Ridenour, Executive Director of the Bellingham Symphony Orchestra. “We look forward to working together to bring the arts from our homes to yours." 

We are all experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. Arts organizations and venues have shuttered their doors, but our community will continue to survive and thrive. Through the Whatcom Arts Project, the arts will continue to uplift and inspire. There has never been a more important time or place for all to come together, even though we are apart. The Whatcom Arts Project content, resources and messaging can be found at: and

Participating organizations include:

  • Bellingham Symphony Orchestra
  • Mount Baker Theatre
  • Sylvia Center for the Arts
  • Cascadia International Women's Film Festival
  • Bellingham Film
  • Pickford Film Center
  • The Upfront Theatre
  • Allied Arts of Whatcom County
  • Whatcom Museum
  • Jansen Art Center
  • Western Gallery
  • Jazz Center of Bellingham
  • Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth
  • Baker Creek Ceramics Studio
  • Bellingham Theatre Works
  • Kuntz and Company
  • Bellingham Festival of Music
  • Lynden Music Festival
  • Lynden Performing Arts Guild
  • Bellingham Theatre Guild
  • Downtown Partnership
  • Whatcom Library System
  • Gallery Syre
  • Opus Performing Arts School
  • Northwest Ballet Academy
  • Whatcom Art Market
  • Entertainment News Northwest
  • Cascadia Weekly
  • Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
  • Intellitonic
  • Stiletto Rosso Productions

If your arts organization wishes to be a part of Whatcom Art Project, please email

        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
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