Olympia - Under legislation introduced by Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent, today, the state Arts Commission would create a revolving fund to raise revenue for both the State Need Grant program for qualified higher education students and for our state's arts programs.
Under Senate Bill 6597, the commission would choose works to be auctioned to raise a minimum of $5 million. Sixty percent of the funds raised would be dedicated to the State Need Grant program, and forty percent of the funds would be directed back to the commission to conserve, repair and acquire art. Over 26,000 students who qualified for the State Need Grant were turned away just last year.
Said Keiser, “I was surprised to find that the state arts commission has collected more than 4,000 items in the state art collection. Many need repair and conservation and are not available for public view. Hundreds are in state offices, including regional State Patrol offices, where few members of the public can view them.”
Auctioning just 250 pieces, at an estimated auction price of $20,000 each, would raise the $5 million established as a goal in the legislation.
“It is important to have a vibrant arts community and a culture of appreciation. But as a state, it’s not our job to maintain a large art collection,” said Keiser. “It is our job, however, to help make higher education attainable for middle-class families. Hopefully this bill will be a win-win by not only helping more students attend a college or university but also by encouraging the arts commission into giving the public a chance view and purchase a few inspiring pieces of art.”
Under the bill the first public auction would take place by June of 2013.
For more information, Michael Althauser, 360-786-7326