Creative Placemaking

Creative Grays Harbor


silos to synergies

4S Framework for Community Building
arts, history, beaches

Forests, rivers, and beaches. Oh my.

Grays Harbor is one of the most beautiful and varied places to live, work, play, and stay. Beaches, forests, arts, and history create new and different experiences around every corner.

Culture organizations steward everything from coastal interpretation to timber history and today's environmental restoration. We have music, arts, theater, pirates, and more.

We asked and learned. The region is at a crossroads where we can choose to create a sense of identity and place. When Aberdeen wants to transform from a drive through to a drive-to city for the ten millions of people passing through its gateway to natural treasures.

Grays Harbor culture leaders describe their top challenges:

  • How to be on the same team for mutual success?
  • How to move forward not backward?
  • Get past our traumatic past and lumber industry!
  • Need to attract new and diverse people to our mission.
  • Develop sustainable fundraising.
  • Collaborate as a culture sector in a rural county that is bigger than some States.
  • Engage volunteers.
  • Create a sustainable Board (we are aging out!)

Let's connect as culture leaders so together we can strengthen cultural organizations and the culture sector that create quality of life and experience in Grays Harbor.

Sheila Siden

Meet Sheila Siden

Sheila, our seasoned guide, believes in the creative process and leads with vision and intention. With 30+ years of experience in social enterprise, nonprofit development, and an MBA background, Sheila offers a compass for leaders seeking solid footing in the ever-changing landscape.

As an XCHANGE Guide, Sheila helps culture leaders adapt and evolve from within and together so they can create their vision of success for themselves, their teams, and their mission.

Sheila has called the WA North Beach home since 2010. When she's not zooming locally and globally, you can find her tilling her gardens, beach walking, forest bathing, and herding cats.

Since 2021, Sheila is on a mission to discover Grays Harbor's culture sector landscape. In her development and executive director roles in Seattle, she was a key representative in national cohorts with Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC), Emily Hall Tremaine, and Joan Mitchell Foundation for artist support. She led city-agency collaborations for arts education and projects for ArtsWA's Creative Economy Vitality Index.

Naturally, Sheila wants to make big-picture sense of the Grays Harbor culture sector. Sheila is in conversation with the creative community, speaking with arts and culture leaders, conservation leaders, and residents. She discovered that culture leaders face challenges mentioned above while newcomers and long-time residents are unaware of what makes up Grays Harbor character. 

So, she created this invitational co-lab to connect with culture leaders, support foundational learning, and create connections across the sector so all boats can rise with the tide.

There is no charge, however response to several surveys is required. When you register, you'll receive a welcome email with a link to the intake survey. Responses will be used to design the sessions.

Me & We: Future Visions of Success for Culture Leaders Round 1 will run through 2023.

Unlock Collective Wisdom

Don't miss this opportunity to learn, connect, and create your future.

Me & We Calendar


Me & We Culture Leaders

In our 2023 Me & We sessions, we covered key best practices for developing engaged volunteers, your ideal board, and donors. We use generative questions to imagine our desired future.

Creating a future vision and co-creating with volunteers, board, and donors depend on our development approach. 

"Approaching the meaningful work of development as a creative process that is iterative and conversational makes this goal for me and my board more accessible!". 

Barbara Hayford, Executive Director, Coastal Interpretive Center


Me & We: Future Visions of Success for Culture Leaders 

Complete your registration to be informed of upcoming sessions.