Americans for the Arts mourns the passing of Bill Bulick, architect of the Regional Arts & Culture Council, who spent more than 30 years helping to shape the potential of cultural development and planning to build prosperous, livable, vital communities.
Over the course of more than 20 years Bill led or co-led cultural planning in numerous regions, including Bradenton, Florida; Austin; Tucson; Minneapolis; Kelowna, BC; Charlotte; Spokane; Monterey County; Santa Cruz; Newark; Cincinnati; and Portland. He wrote the forward to the Americans for the Arts’ 1998 publication, Community Cultural Planning, A Guidebook for Community Leaders.
Bill served on the Americans for the Arts board from 1992 to 1999, during which time he played the important roles of secretary and treasurer. But he was an important part of the extended Americans for the Arts family for more than 30 years, as a member, local arts agency leader, consultant to the field, and longtime participant in the musical collaborations and jam sessions that are part of the DNA of many Americans for the Arts conferences and events. Bill was an accomplished mandolin and Irish flute player, having been part of the Celtic music scene in the Pacific Northwest where he performed as part of the legendary band WILDGEESE 35 years ago and celebrated the reissue of their 1983 CD just three years ago. As a musician and an accomplished professional ceramicist, Bill brought an artist perspective to his administrative work and to his volunteer work on many boards.
Bill was critical in transitioning the local arts agency in Portland, Oregon, to a regional one. When he left the Regional Arts & Culture Council he created his own firm, Creative Planning, Inc., to help communities design cultural plans. He is a past president of Americans for the Arts’ U.S. Urban Arts Federation and served on many local arts panels for the National Endowment for the Arts.
In addition to his work with Americans for the Arts, Bill served as Program Director of Pioneer Courthouse Square, a nationally recognized urban public plaza where he developed a schedule of more than 200 events per year. He was Producing Director of the multi-cultural World Music Festival and Artichoke Music Concerts and is a folk music performer.
During his career, Bill consulted extensively with education and youth development organizations, networks, and funders to design programs, strengthen planning and evaluation, craft policy and advocacy frameworks and design best practices training and shared learning tailored to their needs.
Bill Bulick was a joyful, generous, and accomplished force in the local arts agency movement, and Americans for the Arts will deeply miss his dedication to the arts, support, and leadership that helped shaped and advance the arts and arts education across the country.