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 a building a home for the arts and for artists, and nurturing a community which values the importance of creativity and inspiration for our lives and our world.
It’s up to us to ensure this continues.
This July, Centrum will celebrate 50 years with a benefit concert by Diana Krall, who was herself inspired as a student at Centrum many years ago. Hers—though perhaps better known than some—is but one of thousands of stories of artists and musicians whose lives are transformed at Centrum. Stories like that of the young Diana from Nanaimo, B.C., who met her life-long mentors during a jazz workshop. Of the fiddle players, young and old, who gather for a week with living legends of Cajun music. Of the aspiring writers who hear how published authors pushed through their own fears and setbacks. Of the young artists whose eyes are opened to their own potential as they create together.
These stories and experiences would not exist without your support. Please join me by making a contribution to celebrate 50 years of creativity in community at Centrum and set the stage for 50 more to come.
Thank you for being a part of the incredible journey from 1973 to today. I look forward to many more years of creative discovery together.
Scott WilsonCentrum Board President
JOIN US BY MAKING A GIFT TODAY!
BY PHONE: 360.385.3102 ext.104
BY MAIL: P.O. Box 1158, Port Townsend, WA 98368
TEXT: PTCENTRUM to 41444
For 50 years, Centrum has held space for the creative process, with an unwavering dedication to making a place for art and community to flourish. Whether you are four years of age or 99, strumming a guitar or writing a poem, at Centrum your creativity is the key to a more vibrant and inclusive world.
We invite you to be a part of this milestone year by making a contribution today. As a current donor of $50 or more, you’ll be afforded early-bird ticketing privileges to purchase seats for our anniversary benefit concert with Diana Krall—and all of Centrum’s other summer season performances! Donors may purchase tickets between April 15-30, before they go on sale to the general public on May 1.
It is because of the generosity of our supporters that Centrum continues to make an indelible mark on the cultural life of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Thank you for your commitment to the power of the arts and to creativity in community!
Centrum Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit arts and education organization, tax identification # 23-7348302, TD Ameritrade, DTC # 0188, Account # 868-102-644. Donations are tax deductible as allowable by law.
Centrum in Pictures