ARTS releases 2015 Report to Community

As we look forward to 2017, it’s also time to look back at our accomplishments. In this case, it’s looking way back, at our accomplishments of 2015, as we finally get around to publishing our 2015 Report to Community. We’re a little late this year, but I hope you take the time to poke around. You’ll find maps of all our public art and activations, and photos of all the artworks that were installed. You’ll also find a really handy map of every grant recipient (nearly 500!) – showing the program, a description, photos in some cases, and a link to their website. We think it’s a great tool to see where the investments of the City are going – where there are holes and what trends we’re observing.

There’s also a bunch of great photos of our partners, descriptions of the programs we launched and ran, and a handy guide to staff and resources.

Let us know what you think – what kind of information would you like to see reported here? What’s useful or necessary for you? How should we be evaluating our success? We look forward to hearing from you. And we pledge that our New Year’s Resolution for next year is being prepared to share this with you way earlier next year!

  • Calandra Childers, Deputy Director

Civic Partner Highlight: The Wing

The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience

This May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – in other words, a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States and the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. The Wing is a longtime Civic Partner of the Office of Arts and Culture and is a glittering gem in the cultural landscape of Seattle.

Founded in 1966, the museum was named after Wing Luke (1925-1965), the first Asian American to hold public office in the Pacific Northwest.  The Wing explores the culture, art and history of the pan-Asian Pacific American experience and is the first Smithsonian affiliate in the Pacific Northwest as well as an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service. Their mission is to connect everyone to the rich history, dynamic cultures and art of the Asian Pacific Americans through vivid storytelling and inspiring experiences. Their community rich exhibitions offer authentic perspectives on a unique version of the American story.

The Wing exhibitions have explored Seattle’s Japanese community incarceration during World War II, community portrait galleries featuring Filipino, Vietnamese and South Asian portraits, a history of Seattle’s Chinatown-International District and temporary exhibitions featuring popular culture and icons. The museum also offers guided neighborhood walking tours that provide an insider look at the historic and culturally-rich Chinatown-International District. Tours include Historic Hotel tour, Bruce Lee’s Chinatown tour, Songs of Willow Frost tour, and dumpling tours (yes, please).

What does being a Civic Partner mean to The Wing? “Support from Seattle Office of Arts & Culture enables The Wing to give voice to those who are underrepresented and underresourced to share their art, culture, history, passions and perspectives. Being a Civic Partner demonstrates our joint effort in providing opportunities to bridge communities and connect with the general public overall.”

Don’t miss the following exhibitions and events at The Wing during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month:

Immigration in Context
Thursday, May 7, 6-8pm
Join us for a lively discussion about how immigration and the U.S’s response to new migrants have changed over the last 50 years. Panelists from Changelab, UW, Washington DREAM Act of Coalition, and more will attend. Moderated by Cynthia Brothers. In conjunction with the Belonging exhibit with support from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. RSVP through the website. Free.

Baseball Saved Us
Saturday, May 9, 11am-12pm
Come see Baseball Saved Us, the award-winning children’s book, presented by 5th Avenue Theatre! Follow the journey of young Shiro, who, along with his family, is imprisoned in a “camp” unlike any other, and his struggles learning how to play baseball and survive. Free.

Constructs: Installations by Asian Pacific American Women Artists
May 15, 2015 – October 18, 2015
Explore history & memory, traditional arts & new technology, identity & belonging, and more – all through immersive and interactive environments that have transformed space at The Wing.

Bruce Lee’s Chinatown Tour
Retrace Bruce’s footsteps through the Chinatown-ID, his old stomping ground. His first martial arts studio and his hangouts – see how he became a part of the local community. For more details, go to or call 206.623.5124 ext.133

Interesting Fact: The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

The Wing personifies the type of organization that the Civic Partners program funds. The Civic Partner program awards funding to arts and cultural and heritage organizations in all disciplines with a minimum three-year history of serving Seattle residents and visitors. The City’s investment is aimed at creating broad public access to a rich array of quality arts opportunities while promoting a healthy and diverse cultural community. The 2016/17 Civic Partner program funding opens May 5 so mark your calendars now.


Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture announces $2.45 M in grants available

The Office of Arts & Culture announced that $2.4M in cultural program grants are available to expand public access to arts and cultural organizations, develop and renovate arts spaces, support community festivals, individual artists, and youth programs and foster innovative projects. The office’s goal is to foster a city driven by creativity that provides the opportunity for people of all cultural backgrounds to engage in diverse arts and cultural experiences.

“Investing in the arts makes our community more vibrant, spurs economic growth and can also help further our ongoing pursuits of social and economic justice,” says Mayor Ed Murray. “These grants will make a meaningful impact in our communities by expanding access to the arts for residents throughout our city.”

The office’s cultural partnerships programs support performances, events, exhibitions and permanent and temporary artworks, from neighborhood festivals to mainstage performances to arts training for youth. In 2014, the city invested $2.45 million to support more than 360 individuals and institutions, representing a major investment in Seattle’s cultural and artistic community, and in the city’s greater civic life.

Cultural Partnerships grant programs provide funding for arts and cultural groups, individual artists, and youth service and community-based organizations. Below are applications opening dates for the following programs in 2015:


Grant Program Application Dates Amount
Work Readiness Arts Program 2015 February 17 – April 1 (open now!) $100,718
Civic Partners 2016 and 2017 May 5 – June 30 $1,700,000*
CityArtist Projects 2016 May 27 – July22 $160,000
Cultural Facilities 2015-16 June 22 – September 4 $175,000
Neighborhood & Community Arts 2016 August 18 – October 21 $48,000
Youth Arts 2016 December (exact date tbd) $175,000
smART Ventures 2015 Ongoing $50,000


* This amount is based on current year budget. The City’s 2016 budget process will determine the total funding available through this program for that year. Those awarded in 2016 will also receive funding in 2017.

In addition, $50,000 will be distributed through all of our funding programs for projects benefitting Seattle youth through the arts.

For more information on funding opportunities and the Office of Arts & Culture, go here: