Announcing Arts Crush, The Month-Long Arts Festival

As you may already know, Theatre Puget Sound is planning an expansion of our highly successful Live Theatre Week festival.  In an effort to build upon the momentum of that program and address the expressed needs of the larger arts community, we decided to expand our scope and build a more diverse and inclusive month-long festival modeled after Live Theatre Week.

This October, Theatre Puget Sound will present Arts Crush, a month-long festival that connects artists and audiences with invigorating new experiences at hundreds of events across the region.  More than 200 arts organizations and innumerable artists from all over the Puget Sound will come together as a united arts community to share arts experiences with people of all kinds.

We want you and/or your organization to be a part of this unprecedented collaboration! Spotlighting a different discipline each week, the festival will feature a vast diversity of opportunities to participate in theatre, music, literature, dance, visual art and beyond.  Arts Crush aims to reawaken the senses by inviting people to engage in the arts in unique ways, whether through hands-on participation, peeking behind the scenes, or experiencing art in unexpected places.  In addition, Arts Crush extends an open invitation to sample the abundance of arts and culture in our region by making traditional arts experiences affordable and accessible for everyone.

Arts Crush is being led and managed by Theatre Puget Sound (TPS) in cooperation with a consortium of arts leaders from various arts disciplines and geographic regions throughout the Puget Sound.  TPS will support the festival with an extensive marketing campaign, community outreach efforts, event coordination, public relations, promotional materials, data management and reservation services.  There is no fee to participate.

View the Arts Crush Calendar to get a basic idea of what the month will look like.

Get the basic scoop on how you can participate below.  For more ideas view our Arts Crush Participation Breakdown.

How You and/or Your Organization Can Participate

Create a Special Event: Put your creative caps on and think outside the box to come up with unique events that engage community and raise awareness of your work and your mission.

Free Night: Each Thursday of the festival will be Free Night.  Offer free tickets or admission to an already scheduled event, exhibit or performance.  This gives patrons the opportunity to sample new arts organizations and/or disciplines and provides your organization the opportunity to cultivate new patrons. (Reservations will be managed and demographic info captured by TPS and then forwarded to each company.)

2-for-1 Offers: Offer two for one tickets or admission to an already scheduled event for Arts Crush Date Nights on Tuesday and Friday nights during the festival.

Family Day: Host a family-friendly special event or offer free tickets to a family-friendly performance on any given Saturday during the festival.

Host an Artist or Arts Organization: Open up your venue for use by an artist or organization from another discipline.  For example, if you are a theatre you could host an indie band or string quartet during Music Week; if you are a gallery you could host an intimate dance performance during Dance Week.  Convert your lobby into an arts gallery during Arts Week.

Site-Specific Work: Create work that gets you out of your venues and out into the community, whether it’s on the streets, in a local coffeeshop or bar, in a hospital, prison or homeless shelter, on a bus or train or in a department store.

Flash Mob: Organize and orchestrate a flash mob in your neighborhood or city.

Roll in Current Events: While we prefer programming unique to the festival, if you already have scheduled events with a focus on community engagement (ie, readings, open houses, tours, workshops, gallery crawls, etc.) that are free and open to the public in the month of October, you can submit these events and we will roll them into the larger festival.

What Next

In the coming weeks, we will ask to you to complete a very brief survey documenting your general interest in participating.  In early May, we will have festival participation forms available online for you to begin submitting your events and/or offers.  In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to brainstorm ideas please don’t hesitate to contact Sam Read at Theatre Puget Sound: or 206.770.0370.  You can also feel free to contact any of the folks represented on the Arts Crush Consortium (listed below) to get more information or discuss ideas for participation.

Arts Crush: Consortium Members

Gretchen Johnston – ArtsNow & Edmonds Community College
Michelle Haines – Broadway Across America
Frances White Chapin – City of Edmonds
Naomi Strom-Avila – City of Tacoma
Caroline Renard – Eastside Arts Coalition
Tomi Douglas – EMP / SFM
Betsey Brock – Henry Art Gallery
Suzanne Cohen – Mirror Stage Company
Stephanie Johnson – Olympia Arts Commission
Jennifer Rice – Rice Public Relations
Calandra Childers – Seattle Art Museum
Hollis Palmer – Seattle Arts & Lectures
Nicola Reilly – Seattle Chamber Music
Lori Patrick – Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs
James Keblas – Seattle Office of Film & Music
Katie Jackman – Seattle Repertory Theatre
Andy Fife – Shunpike
Barbara McMichael – South King County Cultural Coalition
Kara O’Toole – Velocity Dance
Josh Powell – The Vera Project

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