​Lives In The Balance - Created by Michael Jacobsen / Bronze and Granite<br> image

​Lives In The Balance - Created by Michael Jacobsen / Bronze and Granite

Arts Commission

​​ Mission

The Bellingham Arts Commission serves as advisors and advocates for the enhancement and integration of the arts in the community.


To enhance opportunities for an enriched and diverse cultural experience for the entire community.


  • Raise public awareness of the need to integrate aesthetic aspects of design into the cityscape.
  • Establish and maintain communication systems within the arts community so that activities can be identified and coordinated among public and private agencies, organizations, and individuals concerned with the arts.
  • Develop a broad base of financial support for local arts and artists through public agencies and private donations and through a "percentage and/or a per capita for the arts" program.
  • Develop strong relationships with the City of Bellingham, including the Mayor, Council members and City departmental representatives, serving as consultative resource on matters of aesthetic and artistic importance.
  • Contribute to the economic vitality of the community by working with Planning and Community Development, the Tourism commission, The Port of Bellingham and other agencies, businesses and organizations to integrate arts into the downtown / waterfront areas and all public projects throughout the City.
  • Advise the City on art acquisitions, historic landmarks, and citywide art issues. 

Time Requirements 

Meetings are typically held the first Tuesday of each month in the Mayor's Board Room at City Hall. Meetings begin at 6:00 p.m. and last approximately one to two and one half hours. Time spent outside of meetings may be as much as five hours a week depending on involvement in the Commission.


The Commission consists of eleven members including three lay members. The other eight should be made up of one City historian, and others from the following disciplines: painting, sculpture, music, literature, architecture, and landscape architecture. Terms of office are three years and no compensation is paid to members of this Commission. No City official or employee can be a member of the Arts Commission nor may any citizen having a conflict of interest. Members must live or work in Bellingham.


Main Office

Bellingham Arts Commission
Planning & Community Development Department
210 Lottie Street
Bellingham, WA 98225

Phone: (360) 778-8300
Email: arts@cob.org