Written by Ian Lovering.

We here at Get Lit! were recently honored with the Spokane Arts Award for Inclusion as well as the Washington State Governor’s Arts Award and we couldn’t have done it without the amazing talent and support from the Spokane literary community. Here’s some information to let you know why receiving these awards is such a big deal and what it says about some of the people that make up our local art community.

What these awards are about:

ArtsWA is a Washington State agency set up to recognize and support the artistic communities throughout the state. One of their responsibilities is the awarding of recognition to people and organizations for their efforts in supporting the arts in Washington State. In order to receive an award, a person or organization must demonstrate they have “significantly contributed to the arts and cultural landscape of Washington State.”

Spokane Arts is an organization that is similar to ArtsWA, but it focuses its efforts on growing the arts specifically in Spokane. Spokane Arts does this to help support our economy and encourage the development of an artistic identity that is unique to the Spokane area. Their award for Inclusion recognizes local organizations for their work in exposing diverse voices in the arts, and “enacting just and diverse community [and] building bridges across divides.”

Why we earned them:

The Washington State Governor’s Arts Award was awarded to us because of our growth from a humble one day of events to our now week-long literary festival. Not only has the Get Lit! Festival grown in duration and activities, but also in the interest it generates in nearby art communities. Because of the hard work of our staff and supporters, the festival has become an attraction that draws interest from all over the inland northwest. This helps foster a sense of place in local communities and helps businesses identify as supporters of the arts. We also received this award because of our Writers in Residence Program, which places published authors in local classrooms to help promote literacy, creativity, and self-expression.

We received the Spokane Arts award for our dedication to the idea that diversity in literature promotes expanded literary creativity as well as understanding in communities. Through our Visiting Writers series, we have hosted and featured writers from all over the nation and from all different social, economic, and cultural backgrounds. By bringing these writers into our community, we help increase awareness of the struggles that face people from various backgrounds while also highlighting the beautiful array of perspectives that make the written word creative, entertaining, and educational.

Why winning these awards is awesome:

In a state that has been known nationally as a leader in the arts, it can be difficult for a single city to stand out from the rest and show why they are among the best of the best. But thanks to the hard work of the Get Lit! staff, and the consistent generosity of its sponsors donors partners, and supporters, we have been able to help make Spokane a place known for its interest in literary pursuits. While doing this work is its own reward, getting recognized for that work, both on the local level and the state level, helps remind us that what we do matters—not just to the Get Lit! staff and the artists we support, but also to the city we love and the art community that we are proud to be a part of. These are two awards intended to single out the efforts and achievements of those who have worked tirelessly to provide a stage for artists to share their passions. We are deeply honored to be recognized for our work and know that we couldn’t have done it without you, the phenomenal creators, readers, writers and listeners of Spokane. So, thank you ArtsWA and Spokane Arts, and thank you, the people who make this work worthwhile.

Want to join us in celebrating Get Lit!’s recognition by ArtsWA?

We’ll be at the annual Governor’s Arts & Heritage Awards gala dinner celebrating our win. This year, the gala will be at the Admiral Theatre in Bremerton.

Date:     November 27, 2018
Time:     6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Place:    Admiral Theatre – Bremerton
Tickets: $40 can be purchased online at 
www.admiraltheatre.org/events/gaha