In 1995, a group of arts organizations, including the Arts Council-Windsor & Region, Gina Lori Riley Dance Enterprises, and the artist-run gallery Artcite, approached City Council as one entity, requesting assistance to create a permanent funding base for community artists and arts organizations.

With encouragement, WEA was then established for the threefold purpose of creating a stable funding base; establishing principles for the growth and governance of the organization; and developing a systemic approach for the evaluation of funding applications.

The declared principle of WEA was then, and continues to be, to connect, celebrate and invigorate a vibrant arts community in Windsor Essex to enrich the lives of all. 

WEA has partnered with a number of different organizations to highlight the arts in Windsor Essex. With support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, it has designed and implemented a donor development program and its new Arts Leadership Awards and WEA Arts Grants program. It is now poised for continued growth to nourish the arts in Windsor Essex.

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