How should Seattle grow? You tell us!

The Seattle Department of Planning and Development has released for public comment a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan Update. This is a major milestone towards an update to the City’s Comprehensive Plan which plots a 20-year vision and roadmap for Seattle’s future growth and livability. The Comprehensive Plan includes goals and policies related to the arts, culture, and historic preservation, all of which encompass a broad range of people, activities, spaces, and levels of involvement. The Draft EIS provides detailed information on various growth alternatives, their potential impacts to the environment, and proposed mitigation strategies. The City wants your voice to be heard as we refine strategies for accommodating growth for the benefit of all.

How to provide feedback on the Draft EIS:

  • Visit our online open house to learn about the findings of the Draft EIS and take the online survey
  • Attend the public hearing and open house on May 27, from 6 – 8 p.m. at City Hall in the Bertha Knight Landes Room (600 4th Avenue).
  • Submit comments on the Draft EIS online, via email to, or in writing to:

City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development

Attn: Gordon Clowers
700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000
PO Box 34019, Seattle, WA 98124

Comments must be postmarked no later than June 18, 2015.

Square Feet 2015: Where Next?

June 1, 2015, 1 – 6 p.m.
Mad Art, South Lake Union
325 Westlake Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

A half-day exploration of cultural space issues: Where is Seattle’s Next Arts Neighborhood?

Seattle’s arts-rich neighborhoods are changing. New developments are increasing occupancy costs and decreasing the portfolio of older, smaller, more eccentric spaces. Multiple changes – in zoning, demographics, development potential, and the collective surfing of the largest, longest, broadest development wave this town has ever seen – have resulted in a potential for cultural displacement that will change the face of Seattle. Again.

Artists and arts organizations find affordable, hip, often forgotten creative new spaces in new neighborhoods, and when they do so in significant numbers The Next Arts Neighborhood is born. The City has an interest in assisting them in that search. Additionally, there is a desire to get out in front of The next arts neighborhood with tools that could assist those artists and groups, many years down the road, in resisting the displacement pressure that their own success could bring.

Where are the arts going next in Seattle? This half-day forum will attempt to find out. We’ll hear from planners, demographers, transit experts, and neighborhood representatives, in addition to commercial property brokers, artists, and arts organizations on the move. Yet again, the arts need a new neighborhood. It feels like in the past 30 years we’ve been through Pioneer Square, through Belltown, through South Lake Union, and through Capitol Hill. Where next? Come and be a part of the conversation, REGISTER HERE by Tuesday, May 26

From the creative workspace of Matthew Richter, Cultural Space Liason.

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:

Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture launches Spacefinder Seattle website

On February 12, 2015 the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture will officially launch Spacefinder Seattle, a new website designed to connect artists and artspaces. Spacefinder Seattle is a database that will eventually include every rental space in the region that’s available to artists, and arts and cultural organizations. Spacefinder Seattle can be found online at

The site’s database includes presentation spaces, such as theaters, galleries, cinemas, and museums, and the relatively invisible artists’ creative spaces, such as studios, rehearsal rooms, and offices. There will be event spaces, meetings spaces, and even raw retail and warehouse spaces for lease. The site is launching with approximately 200 spaces, and will grow over time. Spacefinder Seattle allows artists to search the database by dozens of variables, including price and availability. There are no fees associated with using the site, which is underwritten by the City’s Office of Arts & Culture. It is envisioned as a tool to connect artists and arts organizations to available spaces for development, rehearsal, or presentation of their work, and encourage the regional artspace marketplace.

Spacefinder Seattle was created under the aegis of the Cultural Space Agency in the city’s Office of Arts & Culture. Through this program, the Office of Arts & Culture’s goal is to support, strengthen, and expand cultural square footage in the city of Seattle. To achieve this goal they work with artists and arts organizations to strengthen their role in charting the future of their creative spaces, work with developers and builders to incorporate arts and culture into new projects, and work with property owners to incentivize the preservation and expansion of arts and culture uses. The Office of Arts & Culture also promotes the economic activity generated by arts and cultural activities, and educates citizens, property owners, and developers on the importance of the arts to property values and neighborhood character.


Arts District forum in Capitol Hill

Each spring, Capitol Hill Housing hosts a public forum for the community to discuss an issue relevant to the neighborhood.  Returning May 20, the focus will be on forming an Arts District on Capitol Hill, and speakers include Seattle Arts Commission chair, Michael Seiwerath and Office of arts & Culture cultural space liaison, Matthew Richter.

Capitol Hill Housing’s 9th Annual Community Forum: Launching a Capitol Hill Arts District

Tuesday, May 20 5:30 pm

Oddfellows Building – 2nd Floor West Hall – 915 E. Pine St.


  • 5:00 Doors
  • 5:30 Vibrant and Engaged Communities: Capitol Hill Housing’s vision
  • 5:45 Arts Districts and the city of Seattle: Councilmember Nick Licata
  • 5:50 Arts District Intro:  Michael Seiwerath
  • 6:00 Successful Case Study:  Greg Esser, Roosevelt Row Arts District Phoenix, AZ
  • 6:20 Discussion: What does Capitol Hill want out of an arts district?
  • 120 second speed round featuring Matthew Richter, City of Seattle Cultural Space Liaison; Tonya Lockyer, Executive Director, Velocity Dance Center; Leslie Bain, Frameworks Cultural Placemaking; Jason Plourde, Three Dollar Bill Cinema; and others
  • 6:35 Facilitated discussion, moderated by Andy Fife
  • 7:00  Program ends, bar opens, opportunity for socializing

As a recent map and study from the city of Seattle shows, there are 28 arts spaces on Capitol Hill.  It’s a neighborhood with a long, proud tradition as an arts destination.  But real estate development pressures are increasing, and citywide five arts organizations rent for every one that owns.

Creating an arts district will bring attention to the many arts companies and venues on Capitol Hill, and will help build a case for tools to preserve them.  Building on successful arts districts in other cities, a Capitol Hill Arts District could bring shared marketing plans, pole banners and wayfinding, and developer’s tools for preserving and creating arts spaces.

We look forward to seeing you at the event!