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Our Mission

Cultivating community through accessible arts experiences for all. 


Art Education for All (Adults!)

When I was first hired at the ZACC nearly three years ago, I was self-conscious about my lack of formal training in visual arts. I had played in bands for years and worked on stage with artists across the Pacific Northwest, but it had been almost a decade since I had picked up a drawing pencil. But my self-consciousness really was misplaced. The ZACC’s mission to ‘cultivate community through accessible arts experiences for all’ lays a solid foundation for welcoming all types of artists, even those who may not bear the title so willingly … I soon discovered that I fit right in, and now I honestly can’t stop learning new techniques here!

With the mission of providing accessible arts experiences for all as its foundation, the ZACC’s adult education programming is designed to be worthwhile for all those interested in making art, regardless of skill level or expertise. In each course, there is always something for completely new learners, and something for experienced artists – our adult ed program is special in that it supports an environment of mentorship and collaborative learning. For instance, registration for our Faux Taxidermy class with Melissa Thompson, beginning in September, is open to experienced and totally novice felt-makers alike to learn stylized techniques developed by Melissa – a working artist. Likewise, a skilled illustrator is just as welcome to contribute to the workshop atmosphere of Jason C. Poole’s Drawing Animal Skulls course (also starting in September) as someone picking up the basics of contour drawing.

While having a diverse range of themes, art forms, and instructors contributes to our core values, making sure students have the ability to explore multiple courses is just as important. To help alleviate one of the most pervasive barriers to new artists, the ZACC makes sure its scholarship program is available to anyone who meets the simple set of financial requirements, whether they are a caregiver looking to place their children in summer camps or they are retired and looking to pick up printmaking as a new hobby.

The ZACC is for every student, all ages, and all abilities — even staff members (like me). Check out our fall adult arts ed offerings, register or apply for a scholarship, and come create with us!


Artist Ann Karp of Sideways Gaze
  • Caitlyn Stainken Buhl, ZACC Executive Director

    We believe in the power of the arts to create the human connections, innovations, and healing to make significant positive change in our world and our community, and the ZACC’s programs serving youth, veterans, families, and seniors are on the forefront of that change.

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