2018 Grant Updates

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture grant program, which has been investing in the arts and cultural community for over 40 years, will see significant changes in 2018 and 2019 as the City transitions to a new online Citywide grant platform. Grant programs will continue to be available including CityArtists Projects, Civic Partners, Arts in Parks, Neighborhood & Community Arts, smART ventures, Youth Arts, and Cultural Facilities Fund.

Investing in a new platform that will produce a better experience for applicants and aligns with race and social justice values by providing more equity in opportunities for artists and communities of color, is a major undertaking for ARTS and the City. 2018 will be a year of transition while this new platform is built and grant program staff continue to research and test innovative ideas based on community feedback from underserved and underrepresented community stakeholders.

While the new grant platform is being built, ARTS’ current grant platform, CultureGrants Online (CGO) will no longer be supported by WESTAF – as of June 30, 2018. This means that:

  • a number of grants will be hosted on interim platforms
  • organizations and individuals who have application material in the CGO system, will need to save application materials. ARTS will offer workshops and webinars to help guide you through this process.

For additional information on each program please see below.

Grant Program Application Dates  

Program Manager

 

Arts in Parks 2019

 

Scheduled to open August 2018  

Jenny Crooks
206.684.7084

 

Civic Partners 2019 Currently funded organizations will have their funding extend through 2019. New organizations interested in 2019 funding will be able to apply in early 2019.

 

Kathy Hsieh
206.733.9926
CityArtist Projects 2019 Scheduled to open May 2018  

Irene Gómez
206.684.7310

 

Cultural Facilities Fund 2018 More information available April 2018  

Matthew Richter
206.733.9955

 

Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute Facilities Grant Ongoing, no changes Amanda Licorish
206.684.4758
Neighborhood &

Community Arts

 

Scheduled to open August 2018 Jenny Crooks
206.684.7084
Youth Arts 2018 – 2019 More information available April 2018 Kristi Woo
206.727.8671
smART Ventures 2018 Ongoing, no changes  

Jenny Crooks
206.684.7084

 

Please let us know additional ways ARTS can help as we navigate these changes with you. As always we welcome your feedback and input.

CAP Report: Implementation Update

This summer the Office of Arts & Culture published its long-anticipated CAP Report: 30 Ideas for the Creation, Activation, and Preservation of Cultural Space. The report sourced its ideas from the cultural community, the development community, from electeds, from departmental staff, and from consultants.

In the short four months since its publication, the Arts Office, City Council, and the Mayor’s Office have already acted on four of its 30 recommendations, and continue to explore the remaining 26.

The first of the 30 to see the light of day is Idea #3: Brand Cultural Space. Piloted in Capitol Hill, Seattle’s first of three Arts & Cultural Districts, this Cultural Space Brand is a medallion that officially recognizes cultural spaces in these arts-rich neighborhoods. The Brand is conceived as part of a wayfinding system, and designed to highlight the presence of cultural space, to aim people towards the arts, and to center cultural issues in neighborhood planning. The medallions themselves were designed by Kristen Ramirez, artists and Art & Enhancements Project Manager at Seattle Department of Transportation following a year of public community input, and created by a small local company.

 

The second of the 30 ideas to be operationalized is Idea #23: Increase City Capital Funding for Cultural Spaces. For the past five years, the City has awarded small capital grants to cultural space projects through the Cultural Facilities Fund. While the total amount has varied year to year, the largest that fund has been in any year was $250,000. In 2018, we are proud to debut a newly reconceived and greatly expanded Cultural Facilities Fund with $1 million total assets to award. ARTS is in the process of running a Racial Equity Toolkit on the fund expansion, to ensure that the added resources equitably benefit communities of color, in recognition of the fact that these communities have been largely underinvested in the history of this country. That new fund will debut in early 2018.

 

We are also proud to have worked closely with the Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) to activate Idea #4: Create an FAR (floor-to-area-ratio) Exemption and Bonus for Cultural Space. Piloted in the newly designated Uptown Arts & Cultural District, this mechanism will create an incentive for developers (without increasing heights) to embed cultural uses into their new projects. For every cultural square foot created, developers will be able to build additional market-rate square feet, helping subsidize the cultural uses in the building. Floor-to-Area Ratio incentives have long been used to encourage uses such as affordable housing, and are being leveraged here to meet another civic priority.

Finally, to implement Idea #9, we partnered with the Code Review team at the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) to update Seattle’s Building Code. Art galleries in Seattle are designated as Assembly uses in the code, but their operations are far better aligned with other retail uses, officially called Mercantile uses. The difference, while technical and specialized, is that it is impossible to put an Assembly use into an older building without triggering a prohibitively complicated set of reviews for the whole structure. This change will make it possible to open an art gallery in an older building without, for example, re-wiring every space in the building, or re-insulating every wall (whether in the gallery or not). Most exciting about this particular change is Seattle’s opportunity, at the next biennial meeting, to pitch this to the International Building Code review panel, and potentially share this change internationally.

 

ARTS continues to work on implementing the remaining recommendations from the CAP Report. Have you got a favorite idea? Reach out to us at arts.culture@seattle.gov and let us know what you think we should be working on.

ARTS allocates $1.25M for cultural spaces through the Cultural Facilities Fund

Opening early 2018, expanded fund creates more opportunity for underserved organizations

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s (ARTS) Cultural Facilities Fund has expanded from $250,000 to $1,250,000 to better support capital projects for arts and cultural organizations in the City. The fund increase is in direct response to the needs to preserve cultural space and support affordability in a rapidly growing city.

The Cultural Facilities Fund started in 2012 and is designed to support capital projects that improve Seattle’s arts spaces in significant and lasting ways. The fund’s goal is to help Seattle-based organizations build and improve their facilities in ways that will ultimately advance their missions and strengthen Seattle’s cultural scene by creating greater accessibility. In 2017 ARTS is undertaking a Racial Equity Toolkit for the Facilities Fund to ensure that the benefits it creates are shared equitably with communities of color, and that it helps vulnerable organizations fight growing displacement pressures.

“It’s vital for the City to invest in artists and cultural organizations of color to create an affordable and livable city,” says Randy Engstrom, director, Office of Arts & Culture. “A thriving city needs space where diverse artists and organizations can create and present their art.”

In addition to addressing the needs of the community through an increased facilities fund, ARTS’ Cultural Space program will host the annual Square Feet Seattle convening on October 16, 2017 at King Street Station to explore affordability and ownership models in the arts and cultural sector. Recommendations from the recently released “CAP Report: 30 Ideas for the Creation, Activation, and Preservation of Cultural Space,” will also be included. The CAP Report advances the city’s agenda of affordability and livability. The report seeks to define opportunities to increase cultural space, equitably support creative innovation, strengthen neighborhoods and preserve the culturally rich traditions of the city.

The Office of Arts & Culture’s Cultural Space program preserves, creates and activates Seattle’s cultural square footage. To achieve this goal ARTS works with artists and cultural organizations to strengthen their role in charting the future of their creative spaces; works with developers and builders to incorporate arts and culture into new projects; and works with property owners to incentivize the preservation and expansion of arts and culture uses.

http://www.seattle.gov/arts/cultural-facilities

City of Seattle announces a $240,000 investment in Seattle’s cultural facilities

Funds will create new studio and cultural community spaces, update technology, and increase access to the arts citywide

 

SEATTLE, (Dec. 5, 2016) — The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture will invest $240,00 in 14 arts and cultural facilities across the city for capital improvements and renovations. The Cultural Facilities Fund is designed to support capital projects that improve Seattle’s arts spaces in significant and lasting ways. The fund’s goal is to help Seattle-based organizations build and improve their facilities in ways that will ultimately advance their missions and strengthen Seattle’s cultural scene.

“To create an affordable and livable city, it is more important than ever that we preserve and strengthen Seattle’s arts and cultural landscape,” says Randy Engstrom, director, Office of Arts & Culture. “A thriving city needs space where artists and organizations can create and present their art.”

Fourteen organizations received funding ranging from $2,160 to $35,000, including:

  • SouthEast Effective Development (SEEDArts) is building Rainier Valley Radio (RVR), a new community-based FM radio station dedicated to programming by, for and about Southeast Seattle. Funds will be used to build and equip a professional studio which will serve as a digital communications hub for Southeast Seattle and beyond. The finished space will include a broadcast studio, community production space, classroom for training, offices for volunteers and staff, and an engineering room.
  • Freehold Theatre Lab Studio is creating a new home for the performing arts in the Freedman Building in Seattle’s Chinatown/International District. Funding will assist in the transformation of a 7,000 square-foot basement space into a Black Box Theater, two studios, offices, and a library.
  • Densho is improving the process of digitizing historical materials by replacing and upgrading failing and aging digital network wiring with high throughput (Gigabit) capacity wiring and network switches.

For a complete list of funded organizations, visit the Cultural Facilities web page at: http://www.seattle.gov/arts/cultural-facilities

The Cultural Facilities Fund is part of the Office of Arts & Culture’s Cultural Space program. Through this program, the City of Seattle preserves, creates and activates its cultural square footage. To achieve this goal the Office works with artists and arts organizations to strengthen their role in charting the future of their creative spaces; works with developers and builders to incorporate arts and culture into new projects; and works with property owners to incentivize the preservation and expansion of arts and culture uses.

Photo credit: Freehold Theater, photo by Zoe Cauley.

 

Building for the future: Cultural Facilities Grants Available

Cultural Facilities Fund application now open

Closes Friday, September 4, 2015 at 11 p.m. PST

The 2016 Cultural Facilities Fund is currently open and is designed to support capital projects that improve Seattle’s arts spaces in significant and lasting ways. Our goal is to help Seattle-based organizations build and improve their facilities in ways that will ultimately advance their missions and strengthen Seattle’s cultural scene. Grant requests can be made up to $50,000. The office of Arts & Culture has been providing grants for capital projects since 2012. For more information about the grant, workshops and the application visit http://www.seattle.gov/arts/funding/cultural_facilities.asp.

Cultural facilities, including performing arts centers, museums, cinemas, galleries, music venues, and workshop and rehearsal spaces, create visibility for the arts and function as community gathering places. They provide cultural opportunities for residents and visitors, economic vitality to neighborhoods and surrounding businesses, and homes for artists and arts groups. They are the anchors for our creative neighborhoods, the portals through which our neighbors engage with the arts.

Recipient Highlight:

A 2014 recipient of the Cultural Facilities Grant is Café Nordo.  Located in Pioneer Square, Café Nordo’s mission is to push the boundaries of theatrical storytelling by integrating the culinary, performing and visual arts. Café Nordo utilized funding from the grant program to implement phase 1 of their capital improvement plan, creating and renovating Nordo’s first permanent home and bringing theatre back to Pioneer Square.

Phase 1 improvements included a permanent tech booth, a retractable stage, front window signage, entryway curtains, back wall curtains and a bar. Accomplishing this work enabled Café Nordo to renovate and create Nordo’s Culinarium at 109 Main St. at the former Elliot Bay Book Company space, a new venue dedicated to integrating the performing and culinary arts for the community of Seattle.

The newly developed Nordo’s Culinarium includes:

  • A community gathering spot offering diverse entertainment and educational opportunities.
  • Extended feature productions that will run as long as there is audience demand.
  • Expanded arts and educational offerings such as:
    o Free admission to First Thursday cabaret-style performances
    o Guest Chef/Artist Series – Chefs & artists paired to create pop-up art & cuisine installments.
    o  A monthly Movie Night will showcase a food-focused film with a corresponding menu.
    o  Cooking Classes for youth and adults will engage topics such as food justice, locally sourced foods, and sustainable agriculture in an effort to improve how we eat.