HOUSE BILL REPORT
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.
As Reported by House Committee On:
Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs
Title: An act relating to authorizing specified local governments, including federally recognized Indian tribes, to designate a portion of their territory as a creative district subject to certification by the Washington state arts commission.
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.
Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs: 1/25/17, 1/26/17 [DP].
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, HOUSING & TRIBAL AFFAIRS
Majority Report: Do pass. Signed by 7 members: Representatives Ryu, Chair; Macri, Vice Chair; McCabe, Ranking Minority Member; Barkis, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Jenkin, Reeves and Sawyer.
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 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:
distinguished by artistic and cultural resources involving economic and cultural development; and
engaged and contributing to the community arts and culture.
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 (coordinator) 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.
Fiscal Note: Preliminary fiscal note available.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony:
(In support) Creative districts offer broad potential for promoting community economic development, attracting tourism, and even providing affordable housing opportunities for artists. This is an optional program to allow local governments to consolidate artistic and cultural programs to help generate economic development. The creative arts industry has increased over the recent past during a period when other industries have declined.
The creative district program established in Colorado has been very successful. The city of Richland has created a creative district, which has been successful in developing the community and attracting tourism.
Persons Testifying: Representative McBride, prime sponsor; Representative Haler, sponsor; Karen Hanan, Washington State Arts Commission; and Doug Levy, Western States Arts Federation and Humanities Washington.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.