Terrain vitalizes Spokane’s creative economy

In 2008, the founders of Spokane nonprofit Terrain noticed a saddening trend: young, talented artists fleeing Spokane for cities that seemingly offered more vibrant creative communities and greater chances for success. Spokane provided little interchange between emerging artists and industry veterans.

Terrain is a response to that artistic stagnation. The organization began in 2008 as a one-night exhibition meant to light a vitalizing spark in Spokane’s artistic ecosystem, and it has since grown into an influential nonprofit with three flagship events, three flagship programs and a permanent gallery.

But Terrain’s growth is far from over. The nonprofit’s 10th anniversary inspired an expansive vision for the future, and Terrain decided it needs an Executive Director to develop community partnerships and bolster organizational efficiency. The Director will educate political and business leaders about how crucial the arts are to a thriving community, making Terrain a more sustainable pillar of Spokane’s creative economy.

Innovia Foundation awarded a $30,000 Community Strategies grant to partially fund the Director’s salary. Now Terrain is even further on the way to its ambitions of increasing exposure and income for local artists and ultimately fostering economic rejuvenation and artistic renaissance in Spokane.

“Growth in Terrain’s capacity will allow our organization to more vastly improve the vitality and impact of Spokane’s creative class, thereby strengthening the vibrancy and economy of our community as a whole,” says Brian Estes, Board President of Terrain. “This will have reverberating effects for our region and will make Spokane a magnet for innovation and industry.”

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