Happy Birthday Currents! Two years ago this month, Arts & Humanities Bainbridge launched the Currents platform to provide online access to the island’s abundance of creativity through a calendar of events and with stories highlighting the community’s cultural offerings.
The creation of Currents marks a key turning point in the history of Arts & Humanities Bainbridge and the ways it has sought over more than three decades to support the island’s creative community.
A brief history of Arts & Humanities Bainbridge and Currents Magazine
In the mid-1980s, Rita Kepner, a Bainbridge Island sculptor, saw a need for a centralized organization that would support and promote the island’s creative community. She began by working the phones, contacting the leaders of the island’s arts community and quickly discovered that they too saw a need to centralize their efforts and support one another.
With the early assistance of Erika Szigethy, Rita organized a group of leaders to tackle the issues at hand. After two years of animated and sometimes contentious discussions, the group decided to create an arts council. In March 1986, the Bainbridge Island Arts & Humanities Council (BIAHC) was officially created. In 2014, BIAHC was renamed Arts & Humanities Bainbridge (AHB).
Since AHB’s inception more than 30 years ago, they’ve achieved enormous success in promoting the island’s artistic community. The ensuing decades saw the creation of the 1% for Public Art program, the installation of the island’s first official public art, the Northwest Poets and Artists Calendar, workshops for grantwriting and fundraising, Auction for the Arts and other fundraising events, the B.I. Arts Education Consortium, as well as many other programs geared towards the cultural enhancement, education, and growth of our community.
In 1989, the first Arts News newsletter was published by B.I. Arts Council, and by 1992, Arts had become a collaborative publication, which was mailed out free to all island residents. In 2000, Arts became Currents Magazine. Over the course of seven years—between 2012 and 2019—Currents Magazine was re-designed and updated as a color publication, which also included an Arts Calendar and was distributed quarterly.
Under the leadership of Patty Bell, AHB Board President and Anne Smart, former AHB Executive Director, the legacy created by the print magazine inspired Arts & Humanities Bainbridge to create an online platform that would expand on similar content and be available to everyone on and off the island, and in 2019, AHB launched Currents Online and issued its last print magazine.
Currents now serves as the island’s cultural platform for the arts. It features the only comprehensive calendar of Bainbridge area creative offerings and is updated weekly with new stories about the arts community along with a Marketplace, where you can browse and purchase local art in many mediums; Events, which encompasses events ranging from online to in-person classes, community events, food and drink, history, music, museums, poetry and literature, stage performances, tours and walks; Stories is a collection of ongoing articles about individual local artists and all things creative in our community; Artists introduces you to our local artists in a variety of genres; Organizations provides information on businesses and organizations that support the arts; Public Art showcases the variety of sculptures that are on display through-out the island, and there are categories for Arts Education, Resources and Support.
Currents Online is designed with islanders in mind and enhances our shared quality of life by bringing the rich world of island arts and culture to you with one click, on one site, and in real time.
2021 marks the second anniversary of Currents, and AHB is celebrating its success with a clean new design, which will be easier to navigate and includes an enhanced Calendar feature for help finding local events. The site is also adding a beautiful new Splash page with video and images as well as Public Art videos. It’s informative and it’s free, click here to subscribe to Currents, and you will receive its weekly newsletter every Thursday highlighting upcoming featured events and new stories
The site is curated and staffed by Arts & Humanities Bainbridge and powered by Artsopolis, a community engagement platform focused on arts, culture, entertainment, and recreation. This platform now reaches over 50 communities across the U.S.
The Currents Editorial Board oversees content for the site and welcomes submissions that support the AHB mission of connecting everyone to the abundance of creativity on Bainbridge Island. Contact the editorial board at email@example.com or 206.842.7901. https://www.bainbridgecurrents.com/about/
*Images and logos provided by, and used with permission by Arts & Humanities Bainbridge