The mission of the ARTgarage is to encourage an appreciation for and participation in the visual, performing and literary arts.
The ARTgarage was founded by local artists who, upon finishing a studio arts class at UWGB didn’t want to lose the experience of making art in a studio. They approached the landlords of the Cannery complex for space to work and display their art. Soon, that led to the creation of a board of directors and the vision to apply for a 501c3 status as a not-for-profit organization. Sandi Van Sistine was instrumental in getting the organization established and acted as both the founder of the ARTgarage as well as the first non-paid site director. By March 17, 2006, the ARTgarage was open. In the beginning, the ARTgarage was sustained by a small board of directors and a lot of sweat equity. In 2007, our first staff member was hired. By our fifth anniversary in 2011, the ARTgarage had expanded to two rooms in 6,000 square feet, with a board of 21 people, two part-time staff members, two staff serving under SeniorCorps grants, over 150 volunteers, and more than a dozen artists and teachers who work with our organization on a regular basis. The ARTgarage purchased the cannery complex in January of 2015.