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a humble beginning...
an eye to the future.

In 2002, a few artists and art patrons met at Dr. Jim Harken’s home in the Kokomo area, which in 2004 became part of the new City of Spokane Valley, to discuss the absence of art in the area.

The group discussed the lack of art appreciation in the Inland Northwest, lack of a market at which artists could sell their wares, and the lack of public art available for viewing. Many such meetings were held and finally, as consensus was reached, it was decided to incorporate the group and take on leadership of the arts in Spokane Valley. This group became known as the Arts and Culture Transition Team.

Norma Ventris was a business icon in the community and led the Arts and Culture Transition Team.  She dedicated many hours to getting Spokane Valley Arts Council (SVAC) established and the organization off to a successful start.  She served many years as the first SVAC president before passing the reins to Dr. James Harken.

SVAC was incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)3 on November 1, 2004 eight months after the incorporation of the City of Spokane Valley. It took several years and many meetings before SVAC determined how it could best serve the regional area. It formed for the stated purpose of working “with local businesses, civic leaders and artists to cooperatively conceive, develop, and implement art-related programs and cultural activities.” The City and its citizenry are benefitting from art leadership without having to fund a department dedicated to art in its many forms.


Del Gish, Lilacs
Artwork from our 2018 Auction


The Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce was a founding sponsor of SVAC and provided

administrative and management expertise. In addition, many other businesses contribute in-kind and/or monetary support to SVAC. As part of our goal to create community identity and cohesiveness, we encourage our own distinctive cultural assets. The arts are a further investment in the education and overall development of our youth. They provide more ways for more citizens to gather to celebrate traditions old and new. It takes commitment and hard work to help the arts flourish.

In 2009, the mission of improving the appreciation of art began with the first SVAC Artist Showcase Art Auction. With this highly successful event and a generous grant provided by the City of Spokane Valley, the Council produced its first bronze, titled "Working the Line", by nationally-recognized artist Dr. Jerry McKellar. This was donated to the city and is now located in front of Discovery Park, just south of Mirabeau Point Park. This was just the first of numerous monumental statues that have been commissioned, paid for and dedicated at various locations throughout the city.


Robert Krogle
Grand Canal of Italy

Artwork from our 2018 Auction


SVAC maintains a 22-to-25-piece art exhibit on display in the lobby at CenterPlace Regional Event Center. The exhibit changes periodically and includes both living and deceased artists. These exhibits feature local amateur and professional artists, area high school students and loaned art work from private collections.

SVAC works with local businesses, civic leaders and artists to cooperatively conceive, develop and implement art-related programs and cultural activities. The goal of these endeavors is to strengthen the community and benefit regional arts and cultural organizations, area artists and local businesses.

SVAC provides support to the performing arts and visual arts at ValleyFest. It helps support the Inland Northwest Dance Association, which puts on a yearly free event, DanceFest, to showcase the talents of performing artists. SVAC has worked with the Spokane Symphony to provide the orchestral petting zoo at events.

SVAC established collaborative relationships with school districts, libraries, art retailers and art communities throughout the region. In 2016, the Council partnered with a committee of Liberty Lake community leaders to administer a contest for the design of a Liberty Lake Community Flag.  A flag was designed and successfully produced by working with Daniel Dunne, Liberty Lake councilman, multiple businesses and the municipal agencies that serve Liberty Lake: City Council of Liberty Lake, Spokane Valley Fire Department, Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District, Central Valley School District and Liberty Lake Municipal Library Foundation.

SVAC encourages support from the citizens and businesses of the region.
Consider becoming a member of SVAC to help the arts flourish in our region!


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