SB 5238
As of January 22, 2021
Title: An act relating to creating a Washington state creative economy work group.
Brief Description: Creating a Washington state creative economy work group.
Sponsors: Senators Hasegawa, Nguyen, Salda?a, Wellman and Wilson, C..
Brief History:
Committee Activity: Business, Financial Services & Trade: 1/26/21.
Brief Summary of Bill
  • Creates a work group to develop a strategic plan to improve the Washington state creative economy.
Staff: Clinton McCarthy (786-7319)

The concept of creative economy is the income-earning potential of creative activities and ideas.  The creative economy encompasses careers in photography, graphic design, fashion design, filmmaking, architecture, publishing, video games, and more.  According to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, the arts and cultural sector jobs in America accounted for 3 percent of all U.S. jobs in 2015, for a total of 4.9 million jobs.
The duties of the Washington State Arts Commission, as provided in statute, are to meet, study, plan, and advise the Governor, the various departments of the state and the Legislature, and to make such recommendations as it deems proper for the cultural development of the state of Washington. 

Summary of Bill:

A workgroup to create a strategic plan for the Washington State creative economy is established.  


Chair of the Workgroup.  The chair of the workgroup is to be a director of a non-profit with the following qualifications:

  • experience working in the professional arts; and
  • experience drafting business plans and multidisciplinary planning documents, and business development in the professional arts.


Members of the Workgroup.  Other members of the workgroup should be selected to ensure representation of the range of demographic diversity across the state, and will include representatives of the following entities:

  • the Department of Commerce;
  • Washington State Association of Counties;
  • the Association of Washington Cities;
  • a member of the banking industry with experience in matters involving the small business administration;
  • five representatives from the Washington State arts community;
  • a certified public accounting firm or other company with experience in financial modeling in the creative arts;
  • the Washington State Commission on African American Affairs;
  • the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs;
  • the Governor's Office of Indian Affairs;
  • the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs;
  • a federally recognized Indian tribe with a reservation located west of the crest of the Cascade mountains;
  • a federally recognized Indian tribe with a reservation located east of the crest of the Cascade mountains; and
  • other state agency representatives or stakeholders for the purpose of participating in specific topic discussions. 




Workgroup Deliverables and Timelines.  Workgroup deliverables and timelines are as follows:

  • collect and analyze data on the current state of the Washington State creative economy; and
  • develop a strategic plan to improve the Washington state creative economy and deliver it to the appropriate committees of the Legislature by December 1, 2022.


Workgroup Budget.  The workgroup is appropriated $250,000 through the Department of Commerce, annually, for the 2021-23 biennium.  Commerce is directed to enter into a contract with a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to focus on creative arts.  Commerce must create a private local account to receive non-state funds and state funds, other than general fund state funds, contributed to Commerce for creating the strategic plan.

Appropriation: The bill contains an appropriation totaling $500,000 from the general fund.
Fiscal Note: Requested on January 15, 2021.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.