Arts in the Parks grants support community festivals, art installations

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture in conjunction with Seattle Parks and Recreation today announced $198,400 in funding awards and artist selections for the “Put the Arts in Parks” pilot program. One of the first programs for the new Seattle Park District, the grant will provide support for arts festivals, events, and temporary art installations in parks across the city.

“Seattle’s parks and natural beauty are the centerpiece of our vibrant city,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “The Seattle Park District is key to activating and improving that amazing legacy. ‘Put Arts in Parks,’ one of the first projects funded by the district, celebrates all our city’s diverse cultures in our open spaces.”

This pilot program will support 24 events organized by neighborhood arts councils and community-based groups that are seeking to activate Seattle parks with new and established festivals or events that promote arts and cultural participation.

These events and installations will activate and encourage vibrant cultural work done in and by communities throughout Seattle. Highlights include:

  • Othello Park International Music and Arts Festival, a showcase of southeast Seattle’s rich cultural heritage featuring authentic music, dance and food from East Africa, the South Pacific Islands, the Filipinas, and Latin America (August)
  • Jimi in the Park, celebrating the re-opening of Jimi Hendrix Park and the opening of the Northwest African American Museum’s exhibition Jimi in the Park (September)
  • The Art & Culture of Lucha Libre, a celebration of one of the most popular sports in Mexico—wrestling with high-flying, acrobatic moves in South Park (July)
  • Luminata Lantern Walk at Green Lake, an annual autumnal celebration that boasts an illuminated, hand-built lantern parade (September).

“Thanks to Seattle voters and the Seattle Park District, the ‘Put Arts in Parks’ program provides a great opportunity for art and artists to activate and energize neighborhood parks,” said Jesús Aguirre, Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation. “We look forward to collaborating with artists and community organizations on this program. This is one of many projects and improvements funded by the Seattle Park District throughout the city.”

In addition seven artists have been selected to create temporary artworks in parks across the city. Selected artists include Barbara de Pirro, Ryan Feddersen, Sierra Graves, Elsie Koncsek, Blanca Santander, Melissa Koch, and Anne-Marie Stillion. Artworks will be installed throughout 2016.

Approved by voters in 2014, the Seattle Park District provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding for Seattle Parks and Recreation including maintenance of parklands, facilities, operation of community centers and recreation programs, and development of new neighborhood parks on previously acquired sites. 2016 marks the first full year of funding available from the Seattle Park District. For more information regarding projects funded by the Parks District, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/ParkDistrict/default.htm.

For more information on funding opportunities and the Office of Arts & Culture, go here: http://www.seattle.gov/arts/grants