About Centrum

“I can’t believe a place like this actually exists”

Centrum, in partnership with Fort Worden State Park, is a gathering place for artists and creative thinkers from around the world, students of all ages and backgrounds, and audiences seeking extraordinary cultural enrichment. Centrum promotes creative experiences that change lives.

Located in Port Townsend, Washington, Fort Worden—a turn-of-the-century army base–offers an unmatched combination of natural beauty and historic interest. Acres of saltwater beaches, wooded hills, and open fields are framed by stunning vistas of the Olympic and Cascade ranges and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It’s a place where the land stops, the sea begins, and the mind keeps going.

Over the past three decades Centrum has gathered hundreds of thousands of individuals—great artists, creative thinkers, ardent students, and passionate fans—who have transformed Fort Worden into a legendary site of creative learning and interaction.

Creativity is our primary resource. We believe that individuals and organizations achieve excellence by taking risks and embracing change. We change by actively seeking out, inviting in, listening to, and learning from people of all ages and backgrounds. Centrum serves as both a retreat from and opening to the world.

Centrum was founded as a partnership between the Washington State Arts Commission, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. We continue to thrive in partnership with these agencies and develop new partnerships with educational and arts organizations (such as Goddard College and Copper Canyon Press) that extend our mission and expand our capacity and reach.

With these partners Centrum is able to provide year-round programming at Fort Worden. We offer 2-7 day residential workshops—some very intimate, others serving several hundred participants in myriad forms of music, dance, writing, visual arts, and theater, led by master artists from around the region and world. Often these gatherings feature major festivals and public performances drawing thousands from around the region to McCurdy Pavilion and the Wheeler Theater. Centrum provides artist residencies and creative gatherings devoted to new work and new ideas.

While most of our programming is intergenerational we do provide a series of residential learning experiences that serve youth only. About one-third of Centrum workshop participants are 18 year old or younger. We are dramatically increasing scholarship funds available for youth with the goal of being able to serve and learn from the broadest possible spectrum of aspiring young artists and creative thinkers.

We directly serve about 27,000 individuals each year.

At the core of the Centrum community are more than one thousand individual donors and volunteers who demonstrate through their generosity a profound belief in the power of creativity. They understand that imagination is the freedom to create a different world–for an hour, a week, or a lifetime.

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