Mission and History

Northwind Arts Center’s mission is to connect arts and community. Northwind cultivates and encourages the arts by showcasing and serving visual, literary and performance artists, and fosters arts appreciation and education in the greater community.

Northwind Arts Center 701 Water Street, Port Townsend in historic Waterman & Katz building


Northwind Arts Center is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) volunteer organization dedicated to promoting the arts in the Northwest region by sponsoring educational programs, lectures, readings, and workshops, and by providing juried and invitational venues for displaying the work of regional artists, both visual and literary. Our vision is to be an anchor for the arts in Port Townsend and the greater Northwest region. In 2014 , with the financial support of the community, the arts center purchased the ground floor of an historic downtown Port Townsend building to relocate its home. We plan to grow our programming to include more arts education for youth, artist talks and lecture series, a vibrant adult workshop and art demonstration schedule, and music and performance series.

Northwind previous location


Northwind Arts Center was founded in 2001 by a small group of Port Townsend artists who sought to improve representation and support for the arts in the region, with the goal of connecting a wider diversity of art and artists with the community. We were awarded 501(c)(3) status in 2002.

The Northwind Arts Center building at 2409 Jefferson Street in Port Townsend was previously a gallery. The Northwind Arts Center had the opportunity to utilize this space when the previous tenant (Port Townsend Gallery) moved downtown. A grant from Port Townsend Friends of the Arts was seminal in launching the exhibit space. An early Northwind Arts Center exhibit, “Art from the City of Dreams”, embodied the new organization’s goal. The show, which had been curated and exhibited in Seattle by Lamar Harrington, former director of both the Henry Gallery and the Bellevue Art Museum, superbly represented the broad spectrum and high quality of the work of artists in our region.

Soon after, Northwind Arts Center assumed sponsorship of the annual Art Port Townsend festival (created in 1999 by the Port Townsend Arts Commission), and rapidly added a variety of educational programs, including an annual series of art workshops, Arts for Elders, the Northwind Reading Series, Kaleidoscope and Children’s Festival of Art.

In 2009, Northwind Arts Center acquired additional space in the Jefferson Street building. This allowed Northwind Arts Center to launch the Showcase Gallery, a place where select regional artists rent wall space to exhibit their work and to provide space for art talks, seminars, literary gatherings, and on-site workshops.

In 2014 we launched a capital campaign to raise funds to purchase and renovate the first floor of the historic Waterman & Katz building in downtown Port Townsend. Thanks to an overwhelming response, we completed the purchase in November 2014. Our move to this new larger space at 701 Water Street enables us to continue and enhance our mission of providing Juried and Invitational Art Shows, literary and musical events, and workshops that attract artists from throughout the Northwest and beyond.