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Guide to the Archives of the City of Seattle

Record Group 7400
Seattle Arts Commission

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 Subject Files

87.4 cubic feet

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.



0.2 cubic foot

Newsletters and brochures produced by the Commission.

Folder List


0.2 cubic foot

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.


7401-00: Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs

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.


35 items

Promotional posters for festivals and exhibits sponsored on City-owned property including the Bumbershoot Festival and Public Art Space exhibitions.


Public Art Photographs

Circa 1980-1991
2 cubic feet

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.

Finding Aid

Digital Photographs

165 digital image files

Images depict the 2006 Mayor's Awards for Excellence in Hip Hop as well musical performances at the the Bumbershoot music festival and Seattle Presents city hall lobby and plaza concerts. Performers include: Alice Stuart, Andre Feriante, Arghavan, Arlie Neskahi & Danny Godinez of Eagle's Jump, Balkan Cabaret, Bill Horist, BriAnna Moore, Century Masters of Lindy Hop & Tap, Choklate, Clinton Fearon and the Boogie Brown Band, Cristina Orbe, Dark Divas, DJ Mr. Supreme , Dusty 45s, Edwardo Mendonca, Eyvind Kang, Farmaish, Gamelan Pacifica, Global Drum Masters, Gordon Curvey, Handful of Luvin', Heather Carman, Holly Figueroa O'Reilly, Hot Club Sandwich, Jessika Kenney, Jherek Bischoff, Jovino Santos Neto, King Khazm , Kobe City Philanthropic Chorus, Komplex Kai , The Kora Band, Larry Murante, Latin Expression, Mark Cardenas, Mark Oi, Medieval Women's Choir, Naby, Camara Quartet, Neil Hubbard, Orville Johnson and Friends, Pearl Django, Quinton I. Morris & Friends, Reality Check, Reggie Watts, Rodney Raccoon, The Tallboys, Taylor Mosely, Tingstad and Rumbel, Whozyamama, Wu Ziying, and The Young Eight.

7406-03 in Photograph Index
Finding Aid

Audio Recordings


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.