31st Annual "East Meets West" Concert from the Chinese Arts & Music Association. Photo: Haibin Sun
31st Annual "East Meets West" Concert from the Chinese Arts & Music Association. Photo: Haibin Sun

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.

Information
Kathy Hsieh
Cultural Partnerships and Grants Manager
Kathy Hsieh

Application

Applications for the 2019-2020 cycle available in 2018

Deadline

2018
0 days left to apply

Eligibility

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.
Evaluation Criteria

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.

  1. Public Access and Benefit: Constituents, Community, Audience Served
  2. Merit and Impact of Program in Relation to a Stated Cultural Mission
  3. 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?

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

Calls for Artists

Center City Connector Project
The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), in partnership with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), seeks an artist or artist team to develop site-specific, permanent artworks for four (4) streetcar platform stations for the future Center City Connector Streetcar. The successful artwork will celebrate a sense of place, promote wayfinding, and create a visual identity for the Center City Connector. The selected artist(s) will work with SDOT and SDOT consultants from design through construction of the new streetcar line. 2/21/2017
Georgetown Steam Plant Graphic Novel
The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), in partnership with Seattle City Light (SCL), will commission one artist or artist team to research, write and illustrate a fictionalized historic graphic novel in relation to the history, story and significance of the Georgetown Steam Plant, a National Historic Landmark.8/15/2017
Public Art Boot Camp 2017
The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is invested in training the next generation of public artists who can create culturally relevant artworks that resonate with Seattle's diverse population. ARTS is offering a FREE two-day intensive training to artists who are ready to translate their exhibition experience to the public realm.12/15/2016
Salmon Bay Pump Station
The Office of Arts & Culture, in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), seeks to commission an artist or artist team to create a site integrated or site specific artwork that is reflective of Coast Salish historic and cultural connections to the Salmon Bay and Shilshole areas for SPU’s Ship Canal Water Quality Project (SCWQP) Pump Station.2/9/2017

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.
LHPAI Facility Grant
Aims to create community impact by broadening arts and culture participation at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, an historic landmark cultural facility in the heart of the Central Area neighborhood of Seattle.
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

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.
Seattle Arts Leadership Team (SALT)
The Seattle Arts Leadership Team (SALT) is a flexible and creative professional development program for artists and arts administrators. SALT combines the need for on-going professional development with the creativity of the sector by bringing interesting, challenging and thought provoking workshops, networking and training to the Seattle’s arts ecology.

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.
The Creative Advantage Community Arts Partner Roster now open<span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
The Office of Arts & Culture maintains an Arts Partner Roster of teaching artists and community arts and culture organizations for The Creative Advantage. The roster is a resource for schools seeking partners to meet their education and community goals. The application to the 2017 community arts partner roster is now open. Deadline: April 18, 20174/18/2017

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.
Seattle Arts Leadership Team (SALT)
The Seattle Arts Leadership Team (SALT) is a flexible and creative professional development program for artists and arts administrators. SALT combines the need for on-going professional development with the creativity of the sector by bringing interesting, challenging and thought provoking workshops, networking and training to the Seattle’s arts ecology.
Trainings available for teaching artists <span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
Join us to kick-off a new series of free Creative Advantage Arts Partner trainings.

Grants

Arts in Parks Program
Increasing arts and community events in parks throughout the city by investing in the vibrant cultural work being done in and by diverse communities throughout Seattle.
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.1/1/2016
Cultural Facilities Fund
Awarding grants to Seattle arts, heritage, cultural and arts service organizations with facility renovation like ADA access or new facility projects.
LHPAI Facility Grant
Aims to create community impact by broadening arts and culture participation at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, an historic landmark cultural facility in the heart of the Central Area neighborhood of Seattle.
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
This grant in collaboration with the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI), funded arts, cultural and community organizations providing programming that linked arts learning and work experiences for Seattle youth ages 12 to 18 years old. This program will not have an open application cycle in 2017.
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

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

Arts in Parks Program
Increasing arts and community events in parks throughout the city by investing in the vibrant cultural work being done in and by diverse communities throughout Seattle.
LHPAI Facility Grant
Aims to create community impact by broadening arts and culture participation at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, an historic landmark cultural facility in the heart of the Central Area neighborhood of Seattle.
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
This grant in collaboration with the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI), funded arts, cultural and community organizations providing programming that linked arts learning and work experiences for Seattle youth ages 12 to 18 years old. This program will not have an open application cycle in 2017.

Cultural Space

Arts & Cultural Districts
A program dedicated to nurturing and protecting the presence of arts and culture in our neighborhoods.
SpaceLab NW
From the largest to the smallest, we are counting every theater, gallery, arts office, rehearsal room, library, music club, museum, and cinema in town.

Close
Manage your award

Funding Timeline

February 2017
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.

February 2018
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.


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 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.

$10,600
Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences
$3,200
$15,300
$12,000

 

2016 - 2017 Civic Partners

$1,430
AGAINST THE GRAIN/Men in Dance
$1,295
$938
$1,220
$6,696
$30,831
$2,680
$2,760
$3,000
$7,543
$610
$16,430
$1,454
$3,763
$25,048
$6,000
$2,723
$16,642
$24,715
$3,300
$147,443
$6,500
$610
$1,003
$1,629
$3,852
$1,224
$1,779

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
Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences
$3,200
$15,000
$12,000

 

2014 - 2015 Civic Partners

AGAINST THE GRAIN/Men in Dance
$1,378
$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 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

Against the Grain / Men in Dance
$1,450
$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*
Seattle Dance Project
$1,825
$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 Civic Partners

$2,300
$1,775
$9,000
Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences
$3,200
$7,275
Blue Earth Alliance
$1,000
$2,700
$3,975
Giant Magnet
$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 Civic Partners

$2,300
$1,815
$9,323
Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences
$3,328
$7,502
$2,783
Blue Earth Alliance
$1,000
d9 Dance Collective
$1,573
$2,750
$4,114
$850
$52,635
$8,470
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center
$6,958
$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 Civic Partners

$1,500
$7,600
Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences
$2,750
$6,200
$2,300
d9 Dance Collective
$1,300
$3,400
$43,500
$7,000
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center
$5,750
$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
LHPAI Facility Grant
Aims to create community impact by broadening arts and culture participation at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, an historic landmark cultural facility in the heart of the Central Area neighborhood of Seattle.
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
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
Built in 1915, the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute is an historic landmark and the perfect venue for your special event. Designed by B. Marcus Priteca, and formerly the Jewish Synagogue of Chevra Biku Cholim, the building became a community center and part of the City of Seattle’s facilities in 1972. It underwent extensive renovations in 2011 to preserve its architectural character and update the facilities.
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
Georgetown Steam Plant Graphic Novel
The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), in partnership with Seattle City Light (SCL), will commission one artist or artist team to research, write and illustrate a fictionalized historic graphic novel in relation to the history, story and significance of the Georgetown Steam Plant, a National Historic Landmark.8/15/2017
Seattle is seeking the next Civic Poet
The Civic Poet Program supports an established poet with a two-year City residency as literary ambassador. In addition to annual City events, the Civic Poet will foster community dialogue and engagement between the public and artists, while celebrating the literary arts. The program emerged from the earlier Poet Populist program and invests in the future of literary arts through community connections.5/8/2017
The Creative Advantage Community Arts Partner Roster now open<span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
The Office of Arts & Culture maintains an Arts Partner Roster of teaching artists and community arts and culture organizations for The Creative Advantage. The roster is a resource for schools seeking partners to meet their education and community goals. The application to the 2017 community arts partner roster is now open. Deadline: April 18, 20174/18/2017
Public Art Boot Camp 2017
The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is invested in training the next generation of public artists who can create culturally relevant artworks that resonate with Seattle's diverse population. ARTS is offering a FREE two-day intensive training to artists who are ready to translate their exhibition experience to the public realm.12/15/2016
Outreach & Communications Intern <span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
Seeking an undergraduate student to intern with the Communications and Outreach team. The Communications and Outreach Team is responsible for office communications (including printed materials, website, blog and social media), outreach efforts and events (internal and external), as well as working with the press and partnering with other organizations to activate and sustain Seattle through arts and culture..2/7/2017
Salmon Bay Pump Station
The Office of Arts & Culture, in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), seeks to commission an artist or artist team to create a site integrated or site specific artwork that is reflective of Coast Salish historic and cultural connections to the Salmon Bay and Shilshole areas for SPU’s Ship Canal Water Quality Project (SCWQP) Pump Station.2/9/2017
LHPAI Facility Grant
Aims to create community impact by broadening arts and culture participation at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, an historic landmark cultural facility in the heart of the Central Area neighborhood of Seattle.
Center City Connector Project
The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), in partnership with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), seeks an artist or artist team to develop site-specific, permanent artworks for four (4) streetcar platform stations for the future Center City Connector Streetcar. The successful artwork will celebrate a sense of place, promote wayfinding, and create a visual identity for the Center City Connector. The selected artist(s) will work with SDOT and SDOT consultants from design through construction of the new streetcar line. 2/21/2017
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.

Get updates about grants