Civic Partners grant
The Civic Partners 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 aim to be antiracist organizations and value, implement and uphold inclusive practices through a lens of equity.
Organizations are reviewed by a peer panel on public impact through inclusive practices, artistic merit, and organizational strength.
Cultural Partnerships and Grants Manager
To apply for Civic Partners 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.
The Civic Partners 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.
- Public Access and Benefit: Constituents, Community, Audience Served
- Merit and Impact of Program in Relation to a Stated Cultural Mission
- Organizational Soundness and Capacity
Funds may be used for
Civic Partners 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 Partners 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?
Calls for Artists
Looking for Space?
Have rental space?
Civic Partners 2017 funding award amounts determined. Recipients notified.
March 31, 2017
Pre-contract worksheets are due. Instructions will be sent in early February to individuals each organization has set-up as their primary contact in their Profile in the online granting system. Submitted worksheets are your notification to us that you accept our grant and they also identify the project you want to apply your funds to in calendar year 2017. IF your project or dates change, please contact Kathy.Hsieh@seattle.gov as soon as possible to discuss options.
At Least Two Weeks BEFORE Your Contract Expiration Date
Or by December 22, 2017, whichever is sooner, we need to receive your Final Evaluation on-line and Invoice plus documentation in-hand. The same person who signed the contract needs to sign the invoice. IF this will not be the case, contact Kathy.Hsieh@seattle.gov before you submit your invoice.
An extended year of your Civic Partners funding award amounts are determined. Recipients are notified and contracting begins. The same timeline and process as 2016 and 2017 recommences.
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.
There are numerous websites with online events calendars to use to publicize your event. Here are few:
- City of Seattle
- Craig's List
You must be an individual or organizational member of Theatre Puget Sound to post listings.
Presented by Seattle's destination marketing organization.
Daily and weekly papers
Send your press releases to local newspapers. Here are some of the dailies and weekly papers to begin with.
- International Examiner - Contact
- Northwest Asian Weekly - Contact
- Pacific Publishing's papers serve the University District, Ravenna, Roosevelt, Laurelhurst, Sand Point, Wedgewood, Wallingford, Fremont, Phinney Ridge, Green Lake, Greenwood, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Madison Park, Broadmoor, Washington Park, Madrona, Madison Valley, Leschi, Capitol Hill, First Hill, Beacon Hill, Mt. Baker, South Hill, International District and Kirkland. Contact
- Robinson News publishes Ballard News Tribune, West Seattle Herald, White Center News, The Highline Times
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.
Local television stations are:
In 2016, the Civic Partners program awarded $1.79 million to 158 Seattle-based arts, heritage and cultural organizations including seven arts service organizations designated as Community Partners. These funded programs engaged more than 19,000 volunteer and paid artists serving an audience of almost 2 million people, including 271,878 students and youth, and provided 323,360 free admissions. Nearly 30 percent of the funded projects either involved artists of color or served communities of color at some level.
2016 - 2017 Community Partners
Seven of the 159 funded organizations are designated community partners, which are defined as arts service organizations that serve and enhance the capacity of artists and arts groups.
2016 - 2017 Civic Partners
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.
2014 - 2015 Civic Partners
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 provides individual artists of all creative disciplines the necessary support to launch and sustain successful careers, through financial grants, career training and professional resources.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2012 - 2013 Civic Partners
** Funded only in 2012
2011 Civic Partners
2009 - 2010 Civic Partners
2007 - 2008 Civic Partners
Current Grants for Organizations
Have/Need Rental Space
More Grant/Funding Opportunities
This free workshop will cover where to find events, what to look for when choosing an event, and how to prepare applications and photos that impress juries. Plus, get tips on pre-show prep, equipment, and more.
This workshop will cover how to lay the groundwork for a great festival using social media & word of mouth to market your events, effective booth set-up & display, and proper equipment prep (money, packaging, emergencies).
This workshop will cover telling your story, learning to listen, and artist etiquette in the arts festival environment.
The Morgan Fund, a Family Foundation at Seattle Foundation, is proud to announce the 2016 round of the Puget Sound Initiative: a funding opportunity for small to mid-sized dance and theatre organizations located in Western Washington, Central Washington, and the Greater Portland area.