June 11, 2014

Application Available

April 22, 2014

Information Sessions

Wednesday, April 30
3:00-4:30 p.m.

Seattle Municipal Tower

Tuesday, May 6
5:30-7:00 p.m.

Seattle Public Library - Douglass-Truth Branch

Monday, May 12
5:30-6:00 p.m.

Twitter Workshop - Join us on Twitter! #ArtsMeanBiz

Manage your award


Kathy Hsieh
Program Manager
(206) 733-9926

The Arts Mean Business funding program's purpose is to fund arts jobs crucial to the implementation of sustainable revenue strategies for Seattle arts, cultural and heritage organizations. The program will provide one-time funds for positions that will make a difference in each organization's ability to generate extra revenue to carry out its mission. The funding priority will be to increase the staff capacity of organizations that represent and serve historically underserved populations — communities of color, immigrant and refugee communities and those who are differently-abled.

Arts mean business. They are essential not only for positively engaging our youth and establishing a high quality of life, but for encouraging a flourishing economy. Arts and culture organizations comprise a vital business sector with significant impact in Seattle. The arts:

  • Create jobs. The nonprofit arts and culture industry in Seattle supports 10,807 full-time equivalent jobs.
  • Deliver a strong return on investment, generating $38.2 million in local and state government revenues.
  • Draw vital tourism into the region. Seattle is on many top ten lists as a favorite city to visit. What makes Seattle so appealing? According to Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureau, it's because of the "unlimited opportunities to experience art, heritage and culture, all in a setting of rare natural beauty."
  • Provide highly valued services for local residents. Nonprofit arts organizations in Seattle with a primary mission in the arts show per capita revenues over 3 times the national average.
  • Leverage additional event related spending by their audiences who contribute vital revenue into restaurants, hotels, retail, parking and other local businesses. The Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study shows that in Seattle, the typical attendee spends $29.79 per person, per event, to support local businesses in addition to the cost of admission.
  • Attract new business. International studies show that the communities offering an abundance of arts and culture opportunities are the most sought after for global businesses, new start-ups and the brightest professionals.

Investing in the arts is an investment in the cultural, social and economic good of the city.

Applicant Eligibility

Seattle-based organizations with at least a three-year operating history as a legally established not-for-profit organization; have as a primary purpose an arts, culture or heritage focus; and demonstrate a record of ongoing artistic or cultural accomplishments serving Seattle residents. Priority for this round will be given to arts, cultural and heritage organizations that represent and serve historically underserved populations--communities of color, immigrant and refugee communities, and those who are differently-abled, who use the arts as a way to serve these communities.

Funding Levels

Up to $25,000.

Funds may be applied to:

Salary support or contract fees, full or partial, for one position that is crucial to the implementation of sustainable revenue strategies that serve the organization's mission.


Program Manager
(206) 733-9926