SAVE BAM: Keep Bellevue Alive

February 15, 2024


February 15, 2024

Contact: Priyanka Parmanand

[email protected]

Bellevue, WA— The Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM), an art institution with community roots dating to 1947, is faced with dire circumstances and urgently appeals to the community for support. The museum has a longstanding commitment to providing exceptional exhibitions, cross-cultural programming, and events, including the iconic Bellevue Arts Fair.   

Despite the foundational role BAM plays in the presence of arts and culture for the greater Eastside, the museum is currently in a state of financial crisis.

BAM, like most American museums, has been affected by revenue losses amid drops in attendance, fundraising, and retail sales since the end of the pandemic. This is a nationwide conversation about how the arts can thrive financially following the expiration of the Paycheck Protection Program. Until attendance and fundraising fully return to pre-pandemic levels, it is critical for the community to play a role in closing the gap.

Despite the current realities, BAM is taking a long-term view of delivering upon their mission to create and sustain an environment that supports freedom of artistic expression and invites and embraces diverse and wide-ranging perspectives. The organization recently added new board members and confirmed Kate Casprowiak Scher as Executive Director. Kate has a bold vision, centered around the museum’s potential to catalyze a vibrant arts community, while also balancing the need to build an immediate coalition to navigate the museum through the financial crisis.

“I am heartened by the dedicated staff, board, docents, and extended BAMFam as we face persistent, systemic financial challenges,” said Kate Casprowiak Scher. “In the four months I have been Interim and now Executive Director, I have learned so much about the virtues of this historic institution, areas that need improvement, and challenges that are rooted in not having a sustainable funding model. While our story may not be unique, I think it would surprise my neighbors in Bellevue and beyond to realize we are so massively underfunded. I hope people hear this fundraising call and help us shepherd in a new cultural era for the greater Eastside.”

Kate believes in art’s ability to heal, to uncover new perspectives, and to help explore emerging societal trends like the role of technology and globalization.  She’s excited to explore these trends in collaboration with and in support of other Puget Sound institutions, as part of a thriving arts and culture fabric.

“As we navigate these challenging times, the Bellevue Arts Museum remains steadfast in our dedication to serving the community," said Jay Pathy, Board Chairman of BAM. “We have a long history of bringing creativity and inspiration to the people of Bellevue and the Eastside and now, we call upon our community to stand with us. Together, we can ensure BAM continues to thrive as a beacon of culture, education and community engagement for generations to come.”

Bellevue Arts Museum seeks support from the community to join it its efforts to preserve the historic organization. Community support is critical to ensuring the museum will continue to enrich lives through art and education. Collectively, the iconic institution can remain and uphold its legacy as a cornerstone of the community.



The mission of the Bellevue Arts Museum is Engaging people in the power of art, craft and design.



Washi Transformed image: Kakuko Ishii, Musubu W0, 2006, Washi paper (Mizuhiki), Image courtesy of the artist, © Kakuko Ishii.