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Guide to the Archives of the City of Seattle
Record Group 7400
The Seattle Arts Commission was established in 1971 to support public arts programs and promote public awareness of the performing and fine arts. Staff support was originally provided by the Seattle Center. In 1973, SAC began administering the City's One-Percent-for-Art Program. The fifteen-member Commission replaced a predecessor agency, the Municipal Arts Commission.
Minutes and agendas of Commission meetings, SAC director's files, newsletters and public relations files, project applications, and contract files. The records document the activities and programs of the department including its involvement with the Bumbershoot Festival and the development of the One Percent for Art Program. Special arts programs are also documented including Arts in Public Places, Neighborhood Arts Program, Artist-in-Residence Program, Arts in Education, and Independent Creative Artists Program.
Newsletters and brochures produced by the Commission.
Minutes from Commission meetings, including reports from subcommittees on public art, budgets, education, public information, neighborhood arts, and other issues. Minutes address various programs undertaken by the Commission as well as some developed by other groups that were of interest to the Commission.
In 1971, a city ordinance established the Seattle Arts Commission to promote development of and public interest in the arts, as well as to advise the city on cultural and artistic development. The Commission was given cabinet-level status in the city government in 1976. In 2002, the department’s name was changed to the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs (OACA), and it was brought into the Executive Department. There continues to be a 15-member advisory group called the Seattle Arts Commission.
The office supports arts groups, community festivals, and neighborhood arts councils; funds and promotes public art, and promotes Seattle as a cultural destination. It also oversees the One Percent for Art program (one of the nation’s first), where one percent of Seattle’s capital improvement project funds are reserved for public art. Since the program began in 1973, it has acquired nearly 3,000 artworks.
Promotional posters for festivals and exhibits sponsored on City-owned property including the Bumbershoot Festival and Public Art Space exhibitions.
Photographic documentation of public art throughout Seattle. Project locations vary from neighborhood streets to Seattle Center, from parks to utility substations. Also included in the collection is one box of proposals submitted by artists seeking support for public art projects as part of the "In Public: Seattle 1991" program.
Photographs of the 2006 Mayor's Awards for Excellence in Hip Hop. Performers include Reality Check, BriAnna Moore, DJ Mr. Supreme, King Khazm, Rodney Raccoon, and Komplex Kai. Mayor's Arts Awards celebrate other performance genres including reggae and gospel artists as well as the Seattle Symphony.
Two cds containing excerpts from music performed at the "Seattle Presents" concert series in City Hall for the 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 series. Copyright Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs.