Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs Committee

HB 1183

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Authorizing specified local governments, including municipalities and federally recognized Indian tribes, that typically have limited access to economic development resources, to designate a portion of their territory as a creative district subject to certification by the Washington state arts commission.

Sponsors: Representatives McBride, Chapman, Haler, Ryu, Robinson, McDonald, Stambaugh, Frame, Senn, Riccelli, Dolan and Hudgins.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Authorizes the Washington State Arts Commission to certify creative districts designated by local governments or federally recognized tribes as areas that promote cultural facilities, creative industries, or arts-related businesses.

Hearing Date: 1/25/17

Staff: Sean Flynn (786-7124).


The Washington State Arts Commission (Commission) was established to promote the conservation and development of the state's artistic resources that contribute to the quality of life and general welfare of the state's citizens. The Commission is composed of 19 members appointed by the Governor, and four members of the Legislature.

The Commission has a broad authority to sponsor and administer activities or programs related to the growth and development of the arts and humanities, and assist any private or public agency or person in such pursuits. The Commission administers the state's public arts collection and the Washington State Poet Laureate program.

Summary of Bill:

The Commission may certify a creative district that includes an area designated by a city or county or a federally recognized tribe containing a hub of cultural facilities, creative industries, or arts-related businesses. The creative district must be:

The Commission may require additional eligibility criteria at its discretion. A creative district also may include vacant property suitable for similar development in proximity to the artistic activities.

The city, county or tribe seeking certification of a creative district must submit an application for review by the Commission. The Commission may approve or reject the application, and include terms and conditions upon approval. The Commission may revoke certification for a city, county, or tribe's failure to comply with the conditions of approval.

The Commission may designate an employee to administer and coordinate the creative district certification program, including reviewing applications, developing policies and standards, and overseeing compliance. The coordinator also identifies public and private resources and incentives to support and enhance development within the districts. The Commission may offer incentives to a certified creative district to encourage business, facilitate connections to state economic development assistance, and provide technical assistance, among other resources.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on January 18, 2017.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.