Cultural Planning

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Economic Impact of Arts & Culture in Edmonds

In 2017 the City conducted a study of the economic impact of arts and culture in Edmonds. The study implements a key strategy in the 2014 Cultural Plan to conduct economic assessments of cultural tourism and the impact of arts and culture in the community. Berk Consulting and AdvisArts conducted the project. The key findings in the study include:

  1. The arts and culture cluster has a significant positive impact on Edmonds, generating an estimated $50 million a year and 440 full-time equivalent positions to the regional economy.
  2. Residents and visitors attending arts and culture events in Edmonds spend more money than just the cost of their admission. Leisure activities, such as dining and shopping, are a consistent and connected part of their participation in arts and culture activities.
  3. While ECA is an anchor attraction, people come to Edmonds for a variety of arts and cultural attractions, including public, not-for-profit, and for-profit organizations. This diversity in attractions gives the Edmonds arts and culture scene its strength.
  4. People living within a short travelling distance of downtown Edmonds, especially within a 30-minute drive, serve as Edmonds’ primary market. Attendees from within a 30-minute drive are a majority of the audience for Edmonds largest arts and culture organizations, specifically Edmonds Center for the Arts. Tourism from beyond a 30-minute drive represents a modest share for all survey respondents.
  5. Edmonds has a firm foundation of arts and culture attendees and participants, particularly among people 65 and older.    

The completed study is available here:pdfEdmonds_Arts_and_Culture_2017_Economic_Impact_Study_2018_0130.pdf.
The study's recommendations are here: pdfRecommendations_Insert_2018_0130.pdf  
Please share comments about recommendations here:

Questions? Contact the Arts Office

A directory of arts and culture organizations/businesses is available here: pdfDirectory_Handout.pdf


Cultural Plan Implementation Update for City Council, May 17, 2016

First adopted by City Council in 1995, and updated most recently in 2014, the Community Cultural Plan (CCP) serves as a blueprint to position cultural resources as community and economic building blocks. Originally produced by the Edmonds Arts Commission in partnership with the Edmonds Arts Festival/Foundation, the plan is a direct result of the community’s ongoing commitment to and participation in the arts. The CCP is an element of the City Comprehensive Plan; aspects of cultural planning are also included in the Parks Plan and the Streetscape Plan. In addition to the CCP, the Arts Commission worked on the 4th Avenue Cultural Corridor and SR 99 International District Enhancements projects.

If you are interested in being a part of the CCP implementation efforts, email

Community Cultural Plan (adopted 2014)
2014 Community Cultural Plan Strategies

Edmonds Arts Summit

The first Edmonds arts summit was held in 2013, attracting over 200 participants. The summit focused on the power of arts in our community and served as a kick-off for the community cultural plan update process. A mini-arts summit was held in 2015 to present updates of the implementation of the 2014 community cultural plan.

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      Summer 2013 Information |
      Summer 2015 Mini Arts Summit Summary | Strategies
      My Edmonds News article about the Mini Arts Summit includes a summary of discussions.
      A short video highlighting Arts & Culture in Edmonds: MINI ART SUMMIT VIDEO.
      For information on events in Edmonds, go to Visit Edmonds


Cultural Planning for 4th Ave Cultural Corridor & HWY 99 International District

4th Avenue Cultural Corridor

The original idea for the 4th Avenue Cultural Corridor emerged in 2003-04 when the Parks Department, Edmonds Arts Commission, and Planning Board were looking at the ways the then proposed Edmonds Center for the Arts facility could be better linked to downtown retail shops, restaurants and services. The Planning Board subsequently integrated that initial concept into their downtown / waterfront activity center planning — part of the land use element of the city's comprehensive plan.

  • 2006 - Parks, Recreation and Cultural Service Department updated Streetscape Plan, adding new appendices, one of which is the 4th Avenue Arts Corridor concept plan [4th Avenue Arts Corridor Concept Plan (2006)].
  • 2007 - City received a matching grant for $50,000 from the National Park Service's Preserve America program to develop the 4th Avenue Cultural Corridor Implementation and Funding Plan, adopted in 2009 [4th Avenue Cultural Corridor Implementation & Funding Plan (2009)]
  • 2014 - The updated Community Cultural Plan placed a high priority on interim steps to implement the 4th Ave Cultural Corridor Plan.
  • 2016 - Interim Public Art Project funded by EAC and Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation, "Luminous Forest" by artist Iole Alessandrini, installed on 4th Ave N to highlight the connection between Main St and Edmonds Center for the Arts.
  • 2016 - City partners with Western Washington University and Assoc. of WA Cities on Sustainable Cities Partnership. Students in the Public Relations Research and Campaigns Course developed four potential public relations campaigns to promote the 4th Ave N Cultural Corridor.


SR99 International District Enhancements

  SR99  SR99 up close

The SR 99 Project Dedication took place on January 31st, 2014, after the project was completed in late 2013.  The project includes 14 new large light standards with pedestrian lights on the east side and 8 pedestrian lights on the west side of SR 99, all with banner signage to identify the Edmonds International District. Seattle artist Pam Beyette created “Eight Paths of Light” which includes seven pedestrian lights in the shape of lanterns and a stand-alone piece on the traffic island at 76th. The Phase 1 and 2 Illumination project was funded by Federal Highway Enhancements grants. Phase 3 will include new light standards and banners in the Health Care District to the north on SR 99.

The SR 99 International District Enhancement Project is featured in the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration's Public Roads 2012 May/June Report. In 2004, the City had an enhancement study (3.2MB ARgif2) and accompanying market analysis (3.9MB ARgif2) completed by the firms Makers and Berk & Associates to assess design and economic issues relevant to business growth along the Highway 99 corridor in Edmonds. A key recommendation from these reports was to build on the burgeoning cluster of international businesses, largely anchored by the Ranch 99 supermarket, BooHan plaza, and other specialty plazas. The International District area is located approximately between 238th and 224th on SR99.

In 2005, the City Economic Development Director worked with Engineering and Cultural Services to apply for a federal Transportation Enhancements grant. $316,000 was awarded in 2006 and in mid 2006 the Cultural Services Manager began implementation of the grant project. The goal is to help strengthen the International District identity through improving visual identity/aesthetics and pedestrian comfort with new gateway elements including new artist made pedestrian level lighting, new district identification signage on custom light poles, resurfacing of the island at 76th and the addition of a solar lit sculptural piece on the island as part of the gateway. Additional funding of $57,000 was awarded in 2008 and the project was expanded in 2011 with an additional grant of $289,000 secured by the City, for a total construction budget of $662,000 in Federal funds.  The artist was selected through a competitive process facilitated by Cultural Services and the Edmonds Arts Commission. Seattle artist Pam Beyette was selected to design and fabricate pedestrian lighting arms and a stand alone sculptural piece. The graphic district identification signage was designed by FORMA.

For more information contact Frances Chapin