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:

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.


Mayor Murray Announces $1.8 million investment in Seattle art organizations



For Immediate Release
Contact:                Erika Lindsay, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, (206) 684-4337
Calandra Childers, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, (206) 684-7306


Mayor Murray Announces $1.8 million investment in Seattle art organizations
Civic Partners is the City’s largest investment in arts, heritage and cultural organizations

 SEATTLE (Feb. 23, 2016) – Today Mayor Ed Murray announced a $1.8 million investment in Seattle-based arts and cultural organizations through the Office of Arts & Culture’s Civic Partners program – the largest award ever under the program. The City will invest in 160 arts and cultural organizations to create broad public access to a rich array of quality arts opportunities, while fostering a healthy and diverse cultural community.

“The City knows that arts and culture thrive when you have a diverse and multicultural array of arts organizations,” said Mayor Murray. “Today’s announcement is a significant investment in our support of diversity in the arts. A healthy, equitable arts ecology is one where many organizations, such as the Seattle Symphony, Northwest African Art Museum, Seattle Repertory Theater, Path with Art, Spectrum Dance Theatre, The Wing Luke Memorial Foundation and Youth in Focus thrive and provide a wide variety of resources for our community.”

The Civic Partners Program makes community investments every two years in the broad cultural community, helping emerging and established organizations produce a rich variety of arts, heritage and cultural opportunities for Seattle residents and visitors. This year’s Civic Partners awardees completed a Racial Equity Assessment for the program, which is aimed at evaluating and supporting efforts to address racial and cultural barriers to success.

“Investing in the arts is one of the most important ways we foster a vibrant city,” said Randy Engstrom, director Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. “The arts help create community, provide inspiration and creativity, and promote cross-culture understanding. These organizations confront challenging issues and create meaningful dialogue that helps move our city forward.”

Funded groups for the 2016-2017 Civic Partners program represent the wealth of Seattle’s arts and cultural organizations large and small, across multiple disciplines: ArtsWest, Burke Museum Association, Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas, Copper Canyon West, Seattle JazzED, Seattle Opera, SEEDArts and The Vera Project.

In addition, eight organizations are designated community partners – arts service organizations that enhance the capacity of artists and arts groups: Artist Trust, Teen Tix and Theatre Puget Sound.

In the last funding cycle in 2014, the Civic Partners program awarded $1.7 million to 158 Seattle-based arts, heritage and cultural organizations, plus nine arts service organizations. 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.

For a complete list of organizations through the 2016-2017 grants, visit the website:

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Office of Arts & Culture | Seattle The Office of Arts & Culture envisions a city driven by creativity that provides the opportunity for everyone to engage in diverse arts and cultural experiences. The Office is supported by the 16-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council. Find out more at


Only in Seattle RFA Public Meeting Presentation

Did you miss the Only in Seattle Initiative Request for Application Information Sessions? Please review the PowerPoint presentation below that provides a brief review of the program.

To learn more about the initiative and to apply, please visit our Bottom line blog post with more information.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Only in Seattle Team:

Theresa Barreras at or 206-684-4505

Heidi Hall at or 206.733.9967

Mikel Davila at or 206.386.9748

Only in Seattle Initiative Request for Applications Available Now

The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED) is partnering with Seattle Investment Fund, LLC, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON), and the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture (ARTS) to make approximately $1,600,000 available for the Only in Seattle Initiative in 2016. The Initiative provides grant funding and staff support to foster neighborhood business districts that allow small businesses to grow and flourish, make a positive contribution to the city’s economic health, reflect the unique character of the neighborhoods where they are located, contribute to their vitality, and empower business owners to organize around a common vision and attract investment.

Applications are due 11:59 pm PST on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 via the online grant system. Late applications and paper copies will not be accepted.

Review the links below to apply:

Apply today!

Public Meetings
Two public meetings will be held to answer questions about the program and RFA. All interested applicants are encouraged to attend at least one session. If you are unable to attend and have questions about the RFA, please contact the Only in Seattle team directly.

Wednesday, October 7 at 10 am
Seattle Municipal Tower
700 5th Ave Floor 60, Room 6070
Seattle, WA 98124
Register here

Wednesday, October 14 at 4 pm
2100 Building
2100 24th Ave S, The Board Room
Seattle, WA 98144
Register here

For more information, contact:

Theresa Barreras, Business Districts Manager at (206) 684-4505 or

Heidi Hall, Business Districts Advocate at (206) 733-9967 or

Mikel Davila, Business Districts Advocate at (206) 386-9748 or

2016 Neighborhood & Community Arts and Put the Arts in Parks grants open

This fall the Office of Arts & Culture is opening the 2016 Neighborhood & Community Arts program in conjunction with a new pilot program created in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation, Put the Arts in Parks. Both grant programs support and encourage the vibrant cultural work being done in and by communities throughout Seattle.

Neighborhood & Community Arts grant 2016 (NCA) NCA supports neighborhood arts councils and community-based groups that have established a track record for producing recurring festivals or events that promote arts and cultural participation, celebrates our diversity, builds community connections, and enhances the visibility of neighborhoods through arts and culture.

Put the Arts in Parks grant 2016 (PAP) This pilot program supports 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, celebrate our diversity and build community connections through arts and culture while connecting with underserved communities. The funds for this program are contingent on the passing of the Parks District budget.

Deadline The deadline for both NCA and PAP grant programs is 11 p.m., Friday, October 30, 2015.

Application and guidelines Find the guidelines for NCA here, PAP here and the application for both here. Guidelines for PAP have been translated into Mandarin, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese.

Free Information Session Learn what makes a strong application, including information about other funding programs. This interactive question-and-answer session will cover specifics on eligibility and how to apply. First time applicants are encouraged to attend. Please register for the session by contacting Jenny Crooks at (206) 684-7084 or e-mail at

Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 6:30 – 8 p.m. 2100 Building, 2100 24th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98144

Saturday, October 3, 2015, 10:15 – 11:45 a.m. Lake City Branch Library, 12501 28th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98125

Info Jenny Crooks at (206) 684-7084 or e-mail at

Image by Jenny Crooks.