In August 2009, the Office of Arts & Culture distributed $250,000 in federal stimulus funds to help preserve dozens of jobs at 22 Seattle arts and cultural organizations. The one-time federal funding supports jobs in the nonprofit arts sector threatened by the economic downturn.

The Office received the $250,000 award in July 2009 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to re-grant to Seattle organizations. The NEA had $50 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to distribute nationwide.

The federal funds will help organizations retain or restore salaried and contract jobs, ranging from performers to production staff to business managers and artistic directors.

The Office awarded the stimulus dollars through a competitive application process. A peer panel reviewed more than 80 eligible Seattle arts and cultural organizations for one-time awards of either $5,000 or $15,000 to support staff salaries or contract fees incurred between fall 2009 and summer 2010.

Additionally, the Washington State Arts Commission invested its $285,000 in federal stimulus funding in 24 nonprofit cultural organizations across the state, including five Seattle organizations. 4Culture, King County's cultural services agency, will also re-grant $250,000 to county arts organizations in September 2009.

In all, more than $1.2 million will flow to city and county organizations to protect arts jobs. In addition to state, county and city awards, the NEA made public in July 2009 direct allocations totaling $450,000 in federal stimulus funds to support jobs at 12 Seattle nonprofit arts organizations.