MISSION / HISTORY

Washington Project for the Arts (WPA) is an independent, nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization that serves as a catalyst for contemporary art.  WPA supports artists at all stages of their careers and promotes contemporary art by presenting exhibitions, issues, and ideas that stimulate public dialogue on art and culture.

Established in 1975 by pioneer Alice Denney as an artist service center, WPA was part of the grassroots movement of “alternative artist spaces.”  Today, WPA is the largest visual arts-based membership organization in the DC area and serves as a catalyst for contemporary art.  WPA is both an artist service organization, supporting artists at all stages of their careers, and a presenting organization, promoting contemporary art through exhibitions and programs that stimulate public dialogue on art and culture. WPA presents between 60 and 70 free workshops, exhibitions, artist education programs, and contemporary art events annually, serving over 12,000 artists and art appreciators each year.

Read a detailed history of the WPA HERE.

Visit the website for our 35th anniversary exhibition, CATALYST, to see more information about past exhibitions, participating artists, locations, board members, programs, and stories about WPA. Click HERE.