Last week 140 community leaders helped raise more than $32,000 during a fundraiser breakfast for the Bellevue Arts Museum.
Board president Joel Petersen said the generosity of the community speaks volumes to the importance of arts in Bellevue.
“We have a vibrant group of artists here and are able to showcase their work, along with other amazing artists, because the community gives back,” Petersen said.
Along with breakfast and a private tour of the museum’s newest exhibits, including its third biennial, “Knock on Wood” 39 works from Northwest artists involving wood, keynote presented Jordan Schnitzer, president of Harsch Investment Properties, delivered a passionate speech about his lifelong love affair with art.
“For me, waking up each day without art around me would be like waking up without the sun,” he said. “When you live with art around you, your mind and soul are filled with the beauty of life and the creativity of the human spirit.”
According to a 2013 report to the Community City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, the arts scene in Seattle generated $448 million in economic activity, provided 10,807 full-time jobs, generated $248 million in household income and $32.8 million in local and state government revenues.
Bellevue has the opportunity to take advantage of a similar situation and create similar results, Schnitzer said, but it’s going to take “the most creative, inventive, entrepreneurial workforce in the world. Citizens with healthy minds, hearts and souls.”
As the arts community in Bellevue continues to grow and more and more works are brought into the city it’ll breed a larger culture and eventually grow into and beyond itself, he said.
Petersen said the money raised during the Nov. 13 breakfast will go a long way to help realize that goal by bringing in current and future artists.