News & Updates

Tamarack Foundation for the Arts: Issue Agenda


 The following six pillars offer a framework for our policy action to raise awareness and bring credibility, support, and investment for West Virginia’s creative economy. To learn more, visit our website, tamarackfoundation.org.

  • CREATIVE ECONOMY DEVELOPMENT:  Positioning the growth of this sector of our economy as a strategic asset to drive economic growth in total.
  • TALENT RETENTION AND ATTRACTION IN CREATIVE INDUSTRIES:  Cultivating dynamic, creative culture in West Virginia’s communities that attracts, retains, and advances talent, particularly in the areas of creative enterprise and design entrepreneurship.
  • CREATIVE PLACEMAKING EFFORTS:  Shaping policy that supports arts- centered community development efforts in order to spur economic development, revitalize neighborhoods, drive tourism, and strengthen community connectedness.
  • PROMOTION OF THE VALUE OF ART AND ARTISTS:  Positioning artists as economic drivers and championing the development of creative and entrepreneurial skills at all stages of life.
  • SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT:  Supporting legislation that positively affects small business owners.
  • INVESTMENT IN WEST VIRGINIA’S ARTS, CULTURE AND CREATIVE ASSETS:  Supporting the work to build the state’s investment in West Virginia’s arts, culture, and creative assets, while identifying new avenues for growth and inclusion.

The bedrock of our work is the understanding that creativity pays. Through job creation, tax revenue, business and community development, and tourism dollars, creative WV businesses such as Blenko and FiestaWare employ thousands of people, while promoting the best of our state across the globe.

We now know that the impact of arts and culture-focused business accounts for $699 billion dollars, or 4.3% of GDP, of our nation’s economy – a larger percentage than the agriculture and tourism sectors – according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Cultivating businesses that appear in almost every aspect of our lives – from textiles and consumer goods to graphic design – not only increase revenue and visibility for our state, but also contribute to the creation of places where people want to live, work, and start a family.

At the Tamarack Foundation for the Arts, we work to advance policy that better cultivates creative entrepreneurship. To accomplish these goals, we conduct and share research, advocate for policy-change, and work to inform elected officials, economic developers, and community leaders across the state about the importance of building creative enterprise through artist entrepreneurship.