It was December 1987 that the Hampton City Council established the Hampton Commission on the Arts. Appointed by the Council, this 13-member citizens board acts in an advisory capacity to the City Council to promote further development and awareness of artistic and cultural programs in the City and to provide a coordinated method of City support of cultural organizations and programs. This body worked closely with the City to create a City department known as the Hampton Arts Commission.
Since its creation, the Hampton Arts Commission has grown and evolved into a unique public/private partnership complete with its own non-profit "arm" - the Hampton Arts Foundation. The Hampton Arts Commission (now popularly known as Hampton Arts) is a much respected and praised institution which has been responsible for a remarkable renaissance of the arts not only within the City of Hampton but within the entire Hampton Roads region.