Civic Partner Highlight and Workshops for 2015-16 application

Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture’s Civic Partner funding program invests in arts and cultural organizations to foster broad public access to a rich array of quality arts opportunities while promoting a healthy and diverse cultural community. On May 19th the 2015-16 two-year funding program will begin accepting applications and will award approximately $1.7M to arts and cultural organizations in the city.

photo credit: Colleen Cooke

One of our current Civic Partners is Khambatta Dance Company (KDC). Khambatta Dance Company is a six member dance group led by Cyrus Khambatta celebrating 25 years of making dance in 2015. It has consistently fulfilled its mission to bring communities together and to offer dance to the broadest possible audience by performing both regionally/internationally – in places such as Brazil, Mexico, India, Montana, Oregon and Eastern Washington in the last year alone- AND presenting hundreds of local, national and international artists to Seattle audiences of nearly 5,000 annually through The Seattle International Dance Festival.

The festival provides free outdoor programming open to all, partnering this year with The Mobile Food Rodeo, as well as more intimate theatrical performances in partnership with Cornish College of the Arts and Seattle Theater Group at Raisbeck Hall and The Moore Theater. For more information on the festival visit

You can see Khambatta Dance Company perform its latest piece Fear and Vulnerability at the Seattle International Dance Festival on June 12-13. According to Cyrus Khambatta, at KDC being a Civic Partner means: “The Office of Arts & Culture is not only a funding body, it is a support network. In my experience, everyone at ARTS is a passionate, dedicated advocate for the arts, making sure that the arts and audiences connect, that citizens recognize the value of having the arts in their communities and continually focusing on the enrichment, diversity, creativity and depth of relations that the arts espouse within our community. It is an invaluable entity that is intrinsic to the healthy cultural sustenance of this community and its overall vibrancy within the region and the nation.”

Eligible Seattle arts and culture, heritage, and arts service organizations of all sizes and disciplines need to have a minimum three-year history of serving Seattle residents and visitors. Applicants should also be not-for-profit (does not have to have 501(c) (301) tax-exempt status). The application closes on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. Online application and guidelines are available at Organizations are reviewed by a peer panel on public impact, artistic merit, and organizational strength.

Workshops: Get insider tips on how to submit a strong application. The Civic Partner Application has been updated significantly. We encourage ALL applicants to attend a workshop. With increasing numbers of applicants yet level funding, this program will be more competitive than ever before. These interactive question-and-answer sessions will cover specifics on eligibility and how to apply plus special focus on what’s new. The 3-hour sessions go in deeper depth about the new elements of the application process including an even deeper focus on racial equity. Please register by contacting Kathy Hsieh at or (206) 733-9926. Workshops will be held:

Tuesday, May 12 – 6 – 9 p.m.
El Centro de la Raza, Room 106
2524 16th Ave S., Seattle, WA 98144 on Seattle’s Beacon Hill

Tuesday, May 19 – 10 a.m. – 12 noon
Seattle City Hall, Room 370
600 4th Avenue in Downtown Seattle

Thursday, May 21 – 2 – 5 p.m.
Seattle City Hall, Room 370
600 4th Avenue in Downtown Seattle

Wednesday, June 3 – 6 – 8 p.m.
El Centro de la Raza, Room 106
2524 16th Ave S., Seattle, WA 98144 on Seattle’s Beacon Hill

In 2014, the Civic Partners program awarded $1.7 million to 158 Seattle-based arts, heritage and cultural organizations plus nine arts service organizations designated as Community Partners. These funded programs engaged more than 15,855 volunteer and paid artists serving an audience of almost 1.4 million people, including 168,272 students and youth, and provided 272,390 free admissions. Nearly 43 percent of the funded projects either involved artists of color or served communities of color at some level.

Jen Dixon selected to create artwork for Westlake Cycle Track

Artist: Jen Dixon

The Office of Arts & Culture in partnership with Seattle Department of Transportation has selected Seattle artist Jen Dixon to create a permanent, site-specific artwork along the Westlake Cycle Track route.

The Westlake Cycle Track Project will build a protected bicycle lane in the Westlake corridor and provide a direct connection between the Fremont Bridge and downtown Seattle/South Lake Union. The artwork Dixon has been commissioned to create is intended to address the functional aspects of the cycle track by including elements that may contribute to way-finding, lighting, or otherwise making the space more legible for cyclists and pedestrians.  Construction on the track will begin in late 2015.

Dixon was invited from a pre-selected roster of artists to apply for the commission. She is a cross-disciplinary artist whose work has been exhibited locally and nationally. Her art discipline includes small intimate objects, drawings, prints, and books and larger public artworks that reflect the communities they are call home.

Her process is close to that of an archaeologist ­–– uncovering and discovering hidden layers and piecing together a narrative from the remains. In addition, she is committed to projects that allow art to be made accessible to the public in ways that are both subtle and unexpected.

Dixon received an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Washington, a BFA in painting and drawing from Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and studied painting and drawing at the Leo Marchutz School in Aix-en-Provence, France. She has received a number of awards including Seattle Art Museum’s Betty Bowen Memorial Special Recognition Award in 1999.

Photo credit: Jennifer Dixon, FlipBooks, 2008. LOCATION; Interurban Trail, Between North 110th Street and North 128th Street at Linden Avenue North. FUNDING SOURCE; Seattle Department of Transportation’s 1% for Art Funds. Jim Tillman Photography


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.

Police Precinct Art Tour


Seattle Police Precincts art tour

This month on our city art tour we will visit all of the Police precincts and headquarters. Whether you are there for work, fun or other reasons, the city’s police precincts serve as an in important hub in our community and the art work commissioned for the buildings reflect the police officer’s commitment and neighborhoods they serve.

For the uninitiated there are five police precincts in the city in addition to the downtown headquarters and each has its own unique character. The precincts cover anywhere between seven and 24 neighborhoods and each one has its own captain.

Seattle Justice Center, Seattle Police Department Headquarters, Lobby Artist Design Team

Codes & Protocols, 2002
610 Fifth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98124
Fleets and Facilities Department 1% for Art

Photo credit: Tom Colicott

Description: Seattle’s Justice Center is home to the city’s Municipal Court and Seattle Police Department Headquarters. The major artwork for the Justice Center was developed collaboratively by the team of Pam Beyette, lead artist, and Michael Davis, Norie Sato and Richard Turner. Early in the design process the artists agreed the artwork would engage community members in thoughts about the nature of the justice system and the roles of the police and the courts in their lives. A primary metaphor that developed was the “ripple effect” of an individual’s actions on society at large. A single act against the law affects not only the perpetrator and victim, but also families and friends of these people, sometimes unintended strangers and ultimately the judicial system.

Codes & Protocols is a series of installations located on the north and south walls of the police headquarters lobby. Two stone benches at either end of the lobby convey a sense of permanence, weight and stability. At one end, a cast police hat and keys represent service. The basket weave of police belts and holsters inspired the bronze sculptural panels. Together, the bronze and stone elements speak to the everyday reliability that citizens expect from the police.

North Police Precinct Neighborhoods Served: Aurora, Ballard, Bitter Lake, Broadview, Carkeek, Crown Hill, Fremont, Green Lake, Greenwood, Lake City, Laurelhurst, Licton Springs, Loyal Heights, Maple Leaf, Northgate, Phinney Ridge, Ravenna Bryant, Roosevelt, Sand Point, Sunset Hill, University District, View Ridge, Wallingford, Wedgwood
Paul Marioni
Khadi, 1984
10049 College Way N.
Seattle, WA 98133
Seattle Police Precincts Bond Issue 1% for Art funds

Detail image courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Description: Khadi is comprised of nearly 500 iridescent glass blocks that form a larger-than-life interwoven pattern on a curving wall that separates the North Police Precinct’s lobby from its community meeting room. Artist Paul Marioni designed the wall with assistance from precinct architect Shavey, Degrasse, Shavey. The wall represents the weaving exercise called khadi that Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian political and spiritual leader, practiced as a form of meditation. The calming repetition of the warp and weft of cloth is elegantly reproduced by the identical glass blocks that Marioni rotated 90 degrees at a time in order to replicate the distinctive pattern. His work creates a soothing pattern that carefully unites qualities of light, color and texture in an interesting interplay that engages the eye and distracts the mind from the pressures of the moment.

East Police Precinct, Lobby Neighborhoods Served: Capitol Hill, Central Area, First Hill, Judkins Park, Madison Park, Montlake, upper Pike/Pine neighborhood
Diane Katsiaficas
Neighbors, 1986
1519 12th Ave. E.
Seattle, WA 98102
Seattle Police Precincts Bond Issue 1% for Art funds

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Description: Ceramic artist Diane Katsiaficas designed the artwork for the East Police Precinct Lobby creating a mixed-media environment referencing the diverse Capitol Hill neighborhood where the station is located. Textured wall and floor mosaics composed of hundreds of glazed ceramic “people” fill a free-form design that cuts through the basic grid pattern of the precinct’s tile floor. Framing the large front window are two walls on which mosaics of figures have been arranged — in a ray-like pattern on the south wall, and along the basic outline of a house on the north wall. Below the window runs a curved bench backed by colorfully edged wood cutouts of nearby buildings and houses, forming a Capitol Hill skyline. A set of stairs near the wall references a front stoop and adds to the sense of community the space evokes.

Katsiaficas invited fellow ceramic artists Margi Beyer and Maggie Smith to partner on the project. The team also worked in partnership with local students from University Heights Elementary School and Sharples Alternative High School who helped create the myriad of ceramic figures. This spirit of collaboration works well with the themes of cooperation and relationship-building inherent in the piece, qualities that remind visitors of the important function the local police play in their neighborhood on a daily basis.

South Police Precinct, Lobby Neighborhoods served: Beacon Hill, Mount Baker, Columbia City Hillman City, Genesee, Georgetown, Rainier Vista, Lockmore, New Holly, Othello Park, Othello Station, Brighton, Dunlap, Rainier Beach, Upper Rainier Beach, Rainier View, Seward Park, SODO, Pritchard Beach
Liza Halvorsen
Salmon, 1983
3001 S. Myrtle St.
Seattle, WA 98108
Seattle Police Precincts Bond Issue 1% for Art funds

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Description: Multitudes of ceramic salmon, glistening in subtly iridescent shades of pink, green and brown, swim and leap throughout the South Police Precinct lobby. Artist Liza Halvorsen used 12 different molds and approximately 350 tiles to create this collection of fish shown in various stages of their life cycle. To make the tiles, Halvorsen employed the time-intensive raku firing process that gives the tiles their distinctive colors and crackled surfaces.

A 225-square-foot mural is the centerpiece of the work. Spanning the length of the wall over the reception desk, the mural depicts salmon swimming through ceramic tile water past stylized island forms, a vista reminiscent of the San Juan Islands where Halvorsen makes her home. Other salmon appear throughout the station, populating the walls at the front of the reception desk and the bathrooms. The mural also includes several whimsical touches including a whole group of salmon that leap over a water fountain set into the lobby wall. A hardier variety of brick salmon inhabit the exterior of the building as well, lining the entryway and stairs.

Swimming salmon create a soothing atmosphere for the police station lobby, a space generally characterized by the comings and goings of busy officers and harried visitors. For Halvorsen, who spent time observing salmon at the Ballard Locks, watching them swim by was “calming,” an effect she thought “would work for other people, to see them swimming by and see how beautiful they are.”

Southwest Police Precinct Neighborhoods Served: Admiral, Alki, Arbor Heights, Beach Drive, California Junction, Delridge, Morgan Junction, Gatewood, Endolyne, Fauntleroy, Pigeon Point, High Point, Harbor Island, Delridge, Westwood Village, South Park.

Kay Kirkpatrick Streambed Memories, 2003; Sanctuary Grove, 2003; Dream Forest, 2003; Waterprints, 2003
2300 S.W. Webster
Seattle, WA 98106
Fleets and Facilities Department 1% for Art

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Description: The Southwest Precinct is home to multiple installations by Kay Kirkpatrick; from the entrance to the interior walls, artwork is embedded throughout the building. Streambed Memories, a vertical wall, serves as a signpost for the building and memory marker for officers lost in the line of duty. The scattered leaves derive from the officers’ existing tree memorializing a fallen comrade at their old precinct.

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Sanctuary Grove, a wall-mounted sculpture of stripped ash branches, forms a shelter-like opening and represents the building as a sanctuary for police, as well as citizens seeking aid.

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Dream Forest features the image of a forest cast onto the east exterior wall of the facility using projected light. As if in a dream, the forest appears and disappears with the time of day.

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Waterprints, comprised of etchings in the windows, casts changing patterns on walls. The etchings appear to glow when seen from the outside. Text embedded in the etched pattern and translated into several languages spoken in the Delridge neighborhood, reinforces the police department’s mission to the public.


West Police Precinct Neighborhoods Served: Downtown Business District, Waterfront, International District, Pioneer Square, Belltown, Queen Anne, West Edge, SoDo, Westlake, Eastlake, Seattle Center, Denny Triangle, Magnolia, South Lake Union
Elizabeth Conner and Design Team (Benson Shaw, David Lilienthanl and Steve Marks)
24-Hour Street Grid, 1999; Plaza Seat Cubes, 1999; Lockers (lobby), 1999; Lockers (hallway), 1999; 911 “History Wall”, 1999; 911 Benches, 1999
810 Virginia St.
Seattle, WA 98101
Department of Finance and Administrative Services 1% for Art Funds

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Description: 24-Hour Street Grid, suspended above the front lobby, is a glowing fiber-optic grid structure that symbolizes the network of urban streets patrolled by West Precinct officers. The cables slowly change color over time as a reminder of the force’s around-the-clock watch.

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Plaza Seat Cubes.  A pattern of 2′ x 2′ squares enhances the plaza and stairs in front of the precinct. Cast concrete cubes placed across the pattern bear marks and geometrical indentations that mimic urban motifs such as hatchcovers and footprints commonly seen by offices on foot patrol.

Detail, courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Lockers (lobby), two free standing Plexiglas lockers act as silent sentries on either side of the lobby door. A light illuminates the contents of each locker revealing artifacts contributed by officers and the Seattle Police Department archive. Acting as a compact police museum, the old-style locker cases display public safety relics made accessible to current officers and the general public.

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Lockers (hallway), 27 “lockers” depicted on several colors of plastic laminate continue, with slight alteration, the standard wainscot treatment that is found throughout the West Precinct halls. This long row of lockers also alludes to officers lined up in traditional watch photographs. Four of the lockers are open, displaying police artifacts contributed by officers and borrowed from the Seattle Police Department.

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

911 “History Wall”, a transparent wall, viewable from both sides, contains miles of recycled cables, photographs and artifacts that reflect the recent history of “911” and the call-takers, dispatchers and other staff members that help run this service. End-lit fiber optic cables deliver pulses of light that represent the rapidly changing communications technology that drives the “911” system.

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

911 Benches, constructed out of cherry wood and steel, these benches provide sleek but utilitarian seating for visitors. Their uniform appearance, each a variation on the same geometrical theme, works to tie each element of the facility together.

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.