In 1973, a car carried two men through a windy, rainy day from Olympia to Port Townsend, Washington. As it crested the hill above Fort Worden State Park, the sun broke through the clouds. In that instant, the white-washed barracks and officers’ houses of the abandoned Army post were lit up against scuttling grey clouds beyond.

For one of those men, that moment was a revelation. It would change his life and the lives of thousands of artists who would teach and learn in those same buildings over the next 50 years. Joe Wheeler knew immediately that Fort Worden—then almost empty—was the right place to launch a long-imagined center for life-long learning and creative discovery. By the end of 1973, that idea was called Centrum. In the months that followed, Centrum started bringing to life the programs that continue today.

For five decades Centrum has been building a home for the arts and artists, nurturing a community which values creativity and inspiration in our lives and the world.

Cheers Centrum!

Listen to messages from Centrum faculty celebrating 50 seasons of arts programming. 


The Centrum Circle

We invite you to invest in Centrum’s future by joining the Centrum Circle. Created to lay the foundation for fifty more years of creativity in community, the Centrum Circle is a giving community of multi-year donors dedicated to Centrum’s transformative artistic programming.

Centrum’s goal is to fuel the durability and sustainability of our programs through fifty 3-to-5-year commitments of $1,000 or more per year from the visionary donors who make our work possible.

Centrum 50 Events

ThankS To Our Community Sponsors

Centrum 50th season sponsors