Arts in the Parks grants support community festivals, art installations

24 organizations, seven temporary artworks receive $200,000 

SEATTLE, (February 22, 2016) —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 Parks District, the grant will provide support for arts festivals and events and temporary art installations in parks across the city. These events and installations will activate and encourage the vibrant cultural work being done in and by communities throughout Seattle.

“Seattle’s parks and natural beauty are the centerpiece of our vibrant city,” says Mayor Murray. “The Seattle Park District is integral to activating and improving that amazing legacy. Put the 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.

Highlights include the 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, Latin America, and more (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); and the 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 and facilities, operation of community centers and recreation programs, and development of new neighborhood parks on previously acquired sites. 2016 is the first full year of implementation and will include funding to tackle the $267-million major maintenance backlog; and will fund the improvement and rehabilitation of community centers; preservation of the urban forest; major maintenance at the Aquarium and Zoo; day-to-day maintenance of parks and facilities; more recreation opportunities for people from underserved communities, programs and art activations for young people, people with disabilities, and older adults; development of new parks; and acquisition of new park land. For more information, 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