Founded in 2002, the Department of Safety is an artist-run community space located in Anacortes, Washington's old police and fire station. It houses an all-ages music venue, art gallery, artist residency program, zine library, darkroom, artists' studios and living amenities for a handful of residents. Department of Safety provided hostel accommodations for travelers from 2002 until 2005, when the operators decided to focus on the Artist in Residence program. Department of Safety has hosted music festivals, workshops, high school classes, hundreds of concerts, art exhibits, recording sessions, weddings, halloween parties and lectures.

The Department of Safety (DoS) does not maintain nor has it applied for 501c/3 non-profit status. The model of the DoS suggests two years of commitment from residents to work on the space and programming itself while simultaneously giving those individuals access to facilities to focus on their own artistic practice. Residents pay rent and insurance to live in the space. The building is owned by a local used-car salesman.

Community support for Department of Safety is strong. The DoS has incubated numerous high school and independent music acts and artists. Families are often known to attend events as a unit. Programming reflects a direct commitment to community while also prioritizing national and international talent. When the need arises, the DoS organizes community fundraisers via bake sales, art auctions, or concerts to help subsidize one of the following: winter heating bills, plumbing and renovation costs, and/or the Artist In Residence program.

Many artists and musicians have lived and continue to live and work at Department of Safety. The DoS is very rarely referred to as a collective art group. Rather, the space is what maintains the designation.

Bands, Artists and Entities Associated with the DoS Edit

External linksEdit

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