Cuong Vu performed at EMP Level 3 as part of the 2014 Earshot Jazz Festival, a 2014 Civic Partner. Photo by Daniel Sheehan.
Cuong Vu performed at EMP Level 3 as part of the 2014 Earshot Jazz Festival, a 2014 Civic Partner. Photo by Daniel Sheehan.

Civic Partners grant

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.

Our Office has long strived to serve all residents and communities in Seattle by partnering with arts and culture, heritage, and arts service organizations of all sizes and disciplines. And in order to create a more inclusive, vibrant and sustainable cultural sector, plus relevant arts opportunities for all the people who live in, work and visit Seattle, we prioritize support for partners that value, implement and uphold inclusive practices through a racial equity lens.

Organizations are reviewed by a peer panel on public impact, artistic merit, inclusive practices and organizational strength.

Information
Kathy Hsieh
Cultural Partnerships and Grants Manager

Application

Applications for the 2017-2018 cycle available in 2017

Deadline

2017

Eligibility

To apply for Civic Partner support, an organization must have its primary location in Seattle and have:

  • a mission and programs centered on arts and culture or the histories of Seattle's peoples and places;
  • a minimum three-year history of continuous operation and cultural accomplishment serving Seattle residents.
  • a not-for-profit business structure; and
  • at least one ongoing cultural program open to the public in Seattle.
Evaluation Criteria

The Civic Partner program invests in the broad cultural community, helping organizations make a rich variety of arts, heritage and culture opportunities accessible to Seattle residents and visitors. Through this and all our programs, we are committed to removing barriers to participation and involving diverse cultures and underserved audiences and artists.

In addition to the program goals of representing the diversity in the cultural community and the residents to be served, the following three core evaluation criteria are considered in the review of applications.

  1. Public Access and Benefit: Constituents, Community, Audience Served
  2. Quality and Impact of Program in Relation to a Stated Cultural Mission
  3. Organizational Soundness and Capacity
Funds may be used for

Civic Partner funds may be used to support annual operating and program costs (staff, artist and other professional fees, facilities, outreach, etc.) relating to an organization’s cultural services which are accessible to and provide public benefit to Seattle residents and visitors. These will be your core programs and services; they do not have to be new programs or projects. Civic Partner awards may NOT be used for

  • events not accessible to the public;
  • capital improvements or purchase of equipment;
  • school, college and university departments or programs which are part of regular or extra-curricular school programs;
  • religious services, or events or presentations in which fundraising is the primary purpose.

What am I eligible for?

See what opportunities and programs we have for you.
Show me

Calls for Artists

Seattle Public Utilities Residency
The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will commission one artist, or artist team of no more than two, for a six-month residency beginning in January 2016.

Grants/Funding

CityArtist Projects grant
Providing grants for Seattle-based individual artists to develop and present their work. The program focuses on different disciplines in alternating years.
smART ventures grant
Encouraging innovation and widening cultural participation, particularly by individuals, organizations and communities that may not qualify for other grant programs. Accepting applications year-round, smART ventures is flexible, inclusive and simple.
Youth Arts grant
Making a difference in the lives of Seattle middle and high school youth by providing arts education beyond the regular school day in neighborhoods throughout the city.

Artist Rosters

Community Arts Partner Roster <span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
The roster is a vetted list of teaching artists and community arts and culture organizations that have been approved to work in Seattle Public Schools through the Creative Advantage. The roster is a community resource, available to schools, and community agencies who seek partners to lead creative learning experiences within their programs.
Ethnic Artist Roster
The Ethnic Artist Roster is a diverse list of artists of color who were selected through a panel process for exhibition opportunities in city owned or affiliated galleries.

Professional Development

ARTISTS UP <span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
Supporting artists of color, including those from other countries or new to our region, with resources, services and programs.

Looking for Space?

Spacefinder Seattle <span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
Looking for rehearsal space by the hour, or an old warehouse for your new theater? Looking for studio space by the month, or an empty retail space for a gallery? Check out Spacefinder Seattle.

Grants

Youth Arts grant
Making a difference in the lives of Seattle middle and high school youth by providing arts education beyond the regular school day in neighborhoods throughout the city.

Artist Rosters

Community Arts Partner Roster <span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
The roster is a vetted list of teaching artists and community arts and culture organizations that have been approved to work in Seattle Public Schools through the Creative Advantage. The roster is a community resource, available to schools, and community agencies who seek partners to lead creative learning experiences within their programs.

Professional Development

ARTISTS UP <span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
Supporting artists of color, including those from other countries or new to our region, with resources, services and programs.

Grants

Civic Partners grant
Awarding two-year grants to Seattle arts and cultural organizations and investing in the broad cultural community, helping organizations make a rich variety of arts, heritage and culture opportunities accessible to Seattle residents and visitors.
Cultural Facilities Fund
Awarding grants to Seattle arts, heritage, cultural and arts service organizations with facility renovation like ADA access or new facility projects.
Neighborhood & Community Arts grant
Supporting Seattle's neighborhood arts councils and community groups that produce events to promote arts and cultural participation and build community.
smART ventures grant
Encouraging innovation and widening cultural participation, particularly by individuals, organizations and communities that may not qualify for other grant programs. Accepting applications year-round, smART ventures is flexible, inclusive and simple.
Work Readiness Arts Program grant
In collaboration with the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI), funds arts, cultural and community organizations in providing programming that links arts learning and work experiences for Seattle youth ages 12 to 18 years old.
Youth Arts grant
Making a difference in the lives of Seattle middle and high school youth by providing arts education beyond the regular school day in neighborhoods throughout the city.

Professional Development

Racial Equity
Resources and events related to the City of Seattle's Race and Social Justice Initiative.
Turning Commitment into Action
In conjunction with the Office for Civil Rights we are offering arts and cultural organizations the tools they need to turn their commitments to building racial equity – both within their organizations and through their work in and with community – into actions for tangible change.

Have rental space?

Spacefinder Seattle <span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
Looking for rehearsal space by the hour, or an old warehouse for your new theater? Looking for studio space by the month, or an empty retail space for a gallery? Check out Spacefinder Seattle.

Grants

Neighborhood & Community Arts grant
Supporting Seattle's neighborhood arts councils and community groups that produce events to promote arts and cultural participation and build community.
Work Readiness Arts Program grant
In collaboration with the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI), funds arts, cultural and community organizations in providing programming that links arts learning and work experiences for Seattle youth ages 12 to 18 years old.
Youth Arts grant
Making a difference in the lives of Seattle middle and high school youth by providing arts education beyond the regular school day in neighborhoods throughout the city.

Cultural Space

Spacefinder Seattle <span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
Looking for rehearsal space by the hour, or an old warehouse for your new theater? Looking for studio space by the month, or an empty retail space for a gallery? Check out Spacefinder Seattle.

Close

Manage your Award

Want to get the word out about your arts or cultural event or exhibit? Here are some tips on sending out information to the public and local media.

Step 1. Gather all the details: who, what, where, when and why.

Step 2. Gather graphics for publicity. Gather photos, create a logo if necessary, work with a designer on the look and any printed materials.

Step 3. Write a press release and/or prepare a press kit and send to the media.


The Press Release

Press releases inform the media about your event and can inspire the media to publish a calendar listing or even cover the event. Click here for a description and example of the anatomy of a press release.

  • Try to let the media know what makes your event unique or relevant.
  • Be genuine. Exaggeration or inaccuracy will only hurt your chances of being a reliable media source. The more a press release reads like an actual news article, the better. Many smaller publications love releases they can print verbatim.
  • Press releases should look professional and be easy to read. Type double-spaced.
  • Make sure the organization's name, address, website and contact information is visible.
  • Include the media contact's name, direct phone line and e-mail address near the top of the first page.
  • Include a "pull date" (the last date of the event) near the top of the first page.
  • Include a headline that summarizes the event and invites people to read the details.
  • All the most pertinent information should be included in the first paragraph - the five W's. Who is presenting what, where and when? Why should people attend? Include information on how people can attend or buy tickets, locations of ticket venues or website, e-mail and/or box office phone-line information.
  • Additional paragraphs can provide more descriptive information about the event, artists involved and quotes.
  • Use your mission statement or general description of the organization at the end of the press release.
  • If the press release is longer than one page, write "-More-" at the bottom of each page. At the end of the last page, include "# # #" to indicate the end of the release.

The Press Kit

Press kits provide useful background information for members of the press writing previews or reviews of your arts or cultural event. A press kit should be organized in a folder and generally includes:

1) Organization Information (front to back on the left side of the folder)

  • Mission statement
  • Brief organizational history
  • Organizational brochure
  • Feature articles on the organization or lead staff
  • Board list
  • Business card for media contact

2) Specific Event Information (front to back on the right side of the folder)

  • Press release for the event
  • Photos or artwork related to the event
  • Event postcard or flyer
  • Event program
  • Artists' bios, if not in the program
  • Preview articles about the event

Note: Do not include reviews of the event or previous events in the press packet. Most reviewers do not want to be influenced by the opinions of others.


Online calendars

There are numerous websites with online events calendars to use to publicize your event. Here are few:


Daily and weekly papers

Send your press releases to local newspapers. Here are some of the dailies and weekly papers to begin with.


Neighborhood newspapers


Radio

Most radio stations accept a written public service announcement (PSA). Some will take a pre-recorded PSA. Check the website of the radio station you think best matches your audience. Many stations belong to the Puget Sound Broadcasters Association or Washington State Association of Broadcasters . Both organizations list links to their members.


Television

Seattle Channel , the city's municipal television channel, is committed to covering local arts and culture. Art Zone with Nancy Guppy on Seattle channel specifically covers the local art scene.

Local television stations are:


Funded Partners

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.

2014 - 2015

2014 - 2015 Community Partners

Nine of the 168 funded organizations are designated community partners, which are defined as arts service organizations that serve and enhance the capacity of artists and arts groups.

$10,000
$15,000
$12,000

 

2014 - 2015 Civic Partners

$1,208
$6,565
Balagan Theatre
$1,688*
$29,086
$6,000
$1,425
$3,550
$23,630
$2,475
$25,745
$152,003
$6,000
$45,000
$1,613
$1,744
* Funded in 2014 only

2012 - 2013

2012 - 2013 Community Partners

Nine of the 137 funded organizations are designated community partners, which are defined as arts service organizations that serve and enhance the capacity of artists and arts groups.

Artist Trust
Artist Trust provides individual artists of all creative disciplines the necessary support to launch and sustain successful careers, through financial grants, career training and professional resources.
$9,000
Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences
AVIA (Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences) provides audio-description of live arts performances, and other services to create access for those who are visually impaired.
$3,200
ArtsEd Washington
ArtsEd Washington works to advance arts education for all Washington students by creating systemic change in how arts education is perceived, funded, and taught in the schools.
$2,000
Shunpike
Shunpike's Storefronts Seattle promotes neighborhood vitality by bringing temporary art and creative enterprise to available retail storefront spaces and the Arts Business Clinic offers affordable consultation, training workshops and information resources for artists and arts groups in navigating business issues, management tactics and strategic priorities.
$15,000
Springboard (501 Commons)
Springboard vaults a cohort of small to mid-sized arts and cultural organizations towards greater sustainability by guiding them through an in-depth assessment and planning process.
$4,000
Teaching Artist Training Lab (ArtsWA)
The Washington State Teaching Artist Training Lab is an eight-month professional development program for teaching artists working in all artistic disciplines. The Lab supports artists' ability to partner effectively with K-12 schools and teachers, to develop strong arts learning plans, to create safe and inclusive learning environments, and to develop creative and collaborative arts learning experiences for their students.
$3,000
TeenTix (Seattle Center Foundation)
TeenTix facilitates arts encounters for teenagers aged 13-19, while empowering them to design and initiate those experiences. TeenTix makes Seattle's cultural life affordable and accessible to teens while developing an engaged community of young patrons for the arts.
$6,000
Theatre Puget Sound (Arts Crush)
Theatre Puget Sound's Arts Crush is a multi-disciplinary annual festival encouraging active participation in the arts by unifying the regional arts community around four overarching goals: Engaging Community, Creating Access, Inspiring Creativity and Building Arts Participation.
$5,000
Washington State Cultural Congress (WA State Arts Alliance Foundation)
Cultural Congress is a collaborative conference bringing together a diverse group of cultural leaders to increase their knowledge of the field, strengthen skills and cultivate partnerships through intensive workshops, peer dialogue, and dynamic speakers.
$4,000

 

2012 - 2013 Civic Partners

$6,910
$2,145
$1,500**
$4,480
$8,000
$2,080
$10,000
$1,140
$2,840
$15,245
$5,600
$1,000
$15,700
$19,070*
$161,705
$166,950
$4,895
$1,745
$3,975
$1,660
* Funds for these contracts may differ from 2012 to 2013
** Funded only in 2012

2011

2011 Civic Partners

$2,300
$1,775
$9,000
$7,275
Blue Earth Alliance
$1,000
$2,700
$3,975
$15,700
$850
$48,250
$8,470
$1,415
$4,225
$15,700
$7,260
Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival
$4,300
$169,500
$1,000
$1,000

2009 - 2010

2009 - 2010 Civic Partners

$2,300
$1,815
$9,323
$7,502
$2,783
Blue Earth Alliance
$1,000
d9 Dance Collective
$1,573
$2,750
$4,114
$850
$52,635
$8,470
$1,452
$4,356
$16,698
$7,260
Prabha Rustagi Memorial Trust
$1,800
Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival
$4,356
$188,912
$1,000
$1,000

2007 - 2008

2007 - 2008 Civic Partners

$1,500
$7,600
$6,200
$2,300
d9 Dance Collective
$1,300
$3,400
$43,500
$7,000
$1,200
$3,600
Next Stage Dance Theatre
$1,500
$13,800
$6,000
Prabha Rustagi Memorial Trust
$1,500
Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival
$3,600
$154,000
$159,000
$3,500
Current Grants for Organizations
Cultural Facilities Fund
Awarding grants to Seattle arts, heritage, cultural and arts service organizations with facility renovation like ADA access or new facility projects.
smART ventures grant
Encouraging innovation and widening cultural participation, particularly by individuals, organizations and communities that may not qualify for other grant programs. Accepting applications year-round, smART ventures is flexible, inclusive and simple.
Professional Development
Turning Commitment into Action
In conjunction with the Office for Civil Rights we are offering arts and cultural organizations the tools they need to turn their commitments to building racial equity – both within their organizations and through their work in and with community – into actions for tangible change.
Have/Need Rental Space
Spacefinder Seattle <span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
Looking for rehearsal space by the hour, or an old warehouse for your new theater? Looking for studio space by the month, or an empty retail space for a gallery? Check out Spacefinder Seattle.
More Grant/Funding Opportunities
The Clark Hulings Fund For Visual Artists
The fund offers targeted financial assistance and business support to professional visual artists to help them boost their careers and succeed as managers of their art businesses. 9/30/2015
4Culture
The purpose of the Tech-Specific initiative is to encourage the innovative use of technology in the creation and presentation of original performance work, two/three dimensional installation or sculpture, broadcast media or exhibition, and to foster new partnerships and collaborations between individuals and various sectors of the public and private arenas.10/15/2015
4Culture
King County and 4Culture are partnering to make a momentous investment in regional cultural infrastructure with a one-time program called Building for Culture. $20 million will support jobs to create large, small, urban and rural arts and heritage facilities, with a dedicated percentage directed towards Saving Landmarks, a program to preserve historic properties throughout King County. This is the largest capital program 4Culture has ever implemented, and is the first major investment in decades to support cultural infrastructure in Seattle and across the county.9/9/2015

Get updates about grants