Why give? Take it from supporter Lele Barnett.

When you support our fall fund drive before December 31, you join fellow donors like Lele Barnett who believe that Washington State artists should have the resources and funding to take risks, fuel change, and lead our creative communities bravely into the future. Give now to join Lele, and learn more about how your business can support our 2019 Benefit Art Auction!

As a former Artist Trust staff member and current Artist Trust donor, Lele Barnett is very familiar with all things AT! Her perspective as a Managing Principal and Art Advisor with The Lumiere Group gives her a front-row seat to what’s happening for artists in the Pacific Northwest, and we caught up with Lele to see how she sees the impact of Artist Trust on the vitality of Washington State’s creative community.

What has kept you in the AT community over time, from being a staff member to being a supporter? What made you want to grow your support of Artist Trust?
My life goal has always been to support art and artists. I was able to do that as staff at Artist Trust, and I do that now as an Art Advisor and Curator. My support started with giving time, lots and lots of time! Now I have less time to give, and my company The Lumiere Group is able to support Artist Trust with donations.

Your work as a curator gives you a front-row seat to what’s happening for artists in the Pacific Northwest. What do you think artists need most to support their work? How do you think Artist Trust fits into that?
Artists in the Pacific Northwest need a broad worldview, the time and funding to explore what is happening in the larger world of art. Artist Trust provides education, and the grants can certainly help find time!

You’ve supported the Benefit Art Auction in some way almost every year since 2009. What value do you see in the event and what keeps you coming back?
One of my favorite and most memorable art experiences happened at the 2010 Artist Trust Benefit Auction, when the performers of Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders — owls, mice, cats, all dressed in white — threw open the doors of the Fisher Pavilion and danced out into the star-filled night. It brought tears to my eyes. I live for moments that remind us why art is important and makes us human.

With all of the organizations out there that are worthy of support right now, why do you think people should choose to support artists and creative communities?
I live in Seattle because of the abundant support of art that is here. As our region changes, I hope to see that support continue and expand. Art gives us an exciting, vibrant community and a life worth living.

What do you hope your support of AT will mean for the future of Washington State artists?
I hope to be part of a large support system for artists that grows, and that in turn, the art in Washington State will grow.