Investing in the Arts

What We're Up Against

Our state has tried to choke the arts—with no more cabinet secretary, no more film office, and erasure from too many of our schools.

We deserve an economy where all of us have enough to live on, not just with dignity, but also with beauty and community. We will make West Virginia the first state in the country to choose local artists over out-of-state monopolies.

Our Plan

  • Launch 100 Public Arts Projects per year. 
  • Provide start-up capital for 200 artists. 
  • Launch 50 Arts Apprenticeships.

Incorporate the arts into every facet of public life, starting with economic development:

  • Create a “percent for art” policy, as many states and cities have done. This would create an expectation that new, large business development would be expected to set-aside 1% of the value of the project for arts and culture.
  • Re-open the WV film office as an independent office within the Department of Commerce.
  • Support the restoration of local music venues.
  • Encourage all state agencies, such as the WV Department of Tourism and the WV Commerce Department, to use local artists and design agencies in marketing efforts.


  • In order to help West Virginians across the state access information, technology, and literacy service, increase financial support for libraries through the WV Library Commission.
  • Identify one or more WV public colleges with fantastic arts programs, to expand into a pipeline for the arts businesses, apprenticeships, and public arts projects .

No one politician or slate of candidates can win this plan alone. We need you.

If you have an idea for how to make this plan stronger, or if you would like to lend a hand to win it, contact our co-chair Stephen Smith at

Fund the Movement

This movement runs on people power, without a dime of corporate cash. Make your donation today. Or better yet, join the ranks of our monthly donors by selecting the box during check out! 

Join the Movement

It will take 1,000 leaders not 1 to win a West Virginia that works for all of us. That means we need you!