The art of diversity in the Inland Northwest

Most of us are familiar with Marc Anthony’s wise words, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

And while this may seem particularly true for the creative mind, any artist can tell you that breaking into the industry takes a lot of work. In 2008, a small group of community organizers recognized that breaking into the industry was even harder for individuals who have been historically marginalized, disenfranchised, and oppressed.

The group set out to create a one-night event, Terrain, to celebrate Spokane’s vibrancy and emphasize the creative strengths of young and emerging artists in the Inland Northwest. More than a decade later, Terrain has become a year-round support system and incubator for local artists and an advocate for the health and prosperity of our communities.

“Terrain has orchestrated visionary programs to support artists and creatives by fueling the market for local art and engaging the public in art works,” said Terrain Executive Director and Co-Founder, Ginger Ewing.

“We have helped to fuel a Spokane renaissance by helping young, emerging, established, and marginalized artists recognize and express their gifts. We create new venues for them to showcase their works, and make it a community norm to purchase locally produced handmade art.”

Terrain fervently believes that the arts are fundamental to our community’s cultural and economic vitality. Artists and creators have the power to transform Spokane into a more economically diverse, and just city while boosting its cultural and artistic draw.

“We are committed to promoting social justice through the equitable distribution of wealth, opportunity and social privilege in everything we do,” said Ginger.

From Here is one successful example of how Terrain promotes this concept. It is a retail shop that features the art and creative works of 95 different local artists and entrepreneurs – all in one convenient location. You can even shop and support these artists online.

From Here acts as an incubator for artistic businesses through different stages of their growth cycle. Although selling locally made goods is important to Terrain and the artists, From Here is also an opportunity for businesses to receive professional development.

“Our overarching goal is to plant and germinate the seeds of artistic businesses so they can take root, grow, and flourish – first within the walls of From Here and then on their own,” explains Ginger.

Shopping and purchasing items from small businesses is always a great way to support our local economy, but during the pandemic, this is now more important than ever.

Over the next few months, look forward to meeting a few of our local artists. They’ll be sharing their unique stories and introducing us to their work.

Since its establishment in 2002, the Avista Foundation has made grants totaling over $10 million across all five states in our service area and Terrain is one of them.


Shop and support these artists online.

From Here

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