Intermediate dancers perform Shannon Stewart's choreography in the Strictly Seattle performances at Velocity. Photo: Tim Summers
Intermediate dancers perform Shannon Stewart's choreography in the Strictly Seattle performances at Velocity. Photo: Tim Summers

Grants

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture's investments in the arts make our community more vibrant, spur economic growth, and help further our ongoing pursuits of social and racial justice. These grants make meaningful impacts in our communities by expanding access to arts and culture for residents and visitors throughout our city. Our grant programs include Arts Mean Business, Civic Partners, CityArtist Projects, Cultural Facilities, Neighborhood & Community Arts, smART Ventures, Youth Arts and Work Readiness Arts Program.

Information
Amanda Standley
Operations Coordinator
Our Grant Opportunities
Cultural Facilities Grant
Awarding grants to Seattle arts, heritage, cultural and arts service organizations with facility renovation or new facility projects.

Eligible

Opens

Closes

Sept. 4, 2015
smART ventures
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.

Eligible

Opens

Closes

Ongoing
Neighborhood & Community Arts
Supporting Seattle's neighborhood arts councils and community groups that produce events to promote arts and cultural participation and build community.

Eligible

Opens

Sept. 10, 2015

Closes

Oct. 21, 2015
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.

Opens

Dec.
2015

Closes

2016
Work Readiness Arts Program
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.

Eligible

Opens

2016

Closes

2016
CityArtist Projects
Providing grants for Seattle-based individual artists to develop and present their work. The program focuses on different disciplines in alternating years.

Eligible

Opens

2016

Closes

2016
Civic Partners
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.

Eligible

Opens

2017

Closes

2017
Work Readiness Arts Program
This pilot program created greater equity and inclusiveness in Seattle by funding pivotal arts jobs for arts, cultural and heritage organizations that serve under-represented communities. This program will not have an open application cycle in 2016.

What am I eligible for?

See what opportunities and programs we have for you.
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Calls for Artists

Seattle Public Utilities portable works call
The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will purchase artworks that represent the experience of communities of color, and of immigrant and refugee communities for SPU's Portable Works Collection. We invite artists to submit images of available work for direct purchase. All types of 2D artworks will be considered: abstract, pictorial, figurative, representational, etc. The artwork may also reflect social issues: environmental, ecological, and cultural heritage.
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

Opportunities from other organizations

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
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
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

Resources

Grants are cash support given for arts projects, programs and organizations by government agencies, foundations, corporations, individuals and private arts organizations. You most often need to fill out an application and submit it to the grant-making organization for consideration. If you are looking for funding for a particular art project or organization, here are a few tips and resources to help guide you.

Basic tips:

  • Think about your project or organization in the future. Start with the end in mind. Look at your project or organization's big picture. Who are you? What are your strengths and priorities?
  • Create a plan, not just a proposal.
  • Do your homework. Research prospective funders. Search locally first. Target funding sources that have an interest in your organization, program or project.
  • Make sure the priorities of the foundation, corporation or government agency you're applying to are the best match for your work or organization. Go to their website. See who they've funded in the past. Review their eligibility requirements. Make sure you or your organization fits who they fund.
  • Quality writing counts. A clear, concise, well-written proposal makes a difference. If you don't have much experience writing grants, or don't feel confident in your writing skills, find someone who does to review your grant before you submit it. Always proof your application.
  • Get help if you need it. Take a grant-writing workshop.
  • Get face-to-face time. Meet with the program officer for the grant you are applying to. Many funders have staff available to help answer questions or review draft proposals. Making a personal connection with funders before submitting an application can be invaluable in putting together the strongest application possible.

Tips for Individual Artists

  • Have a well-written artist statement (half-page version, one-page version and a two-page version). Do not overuse "art speak" terms/language. Write for an audience who has never interacted with/seen your work. Keep it simple, clear and straight-forward. The committee reviewing your proposal needs to understand the proposal the first time they read it.
  • Have good documentation/support materials of your work. Photographs and video documentation need to be done well. Save articles and reviews of your work. Project your images to make sure they project well. Check the viewing order of the visual support materials you are submitting carefully. Make sure the order makes visual sense to viewers. For example, if you are submitting a diptych, submit an image of the entire diptych first, followed by the details of the piece.
  • Have two copies of the grant guidelines/form on hand (or make copies). Use one of the forms as your working document. Follow the directions/guidelines closely.
  • Start the grant well ahead of the deadline and have someone proofread your proposal.
  • Do not send extra materials that aren't asked for.
  • Do not make lots of calls to the organization about the grant. Be organized with all your questions. They should be asked in one or two phone calls.
  • For the budget, factor in your labor time as well as the cost of your materials. Make a list of things you'll need and their price. When you look for in-kind donations you will have a better idea of what you need.
  • Organize a group of artists to research grant opportunities. It will take you much less time to research grants with more people looking and you can proofread each other's grant proposals.

Additional resources for grant writing tips and information are:

Artist Trust
Puget Sound Grantwriters Association
Non-Profit Guides

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:

4Culture
4Culture works to enhance the quality of life in King County by providing residents and visitors with a broad range of programs and services in the arts, heritage, historic preservation and public art. Find current funding opportunities for artists and organizations.

Artist Trust
Artist Trust provides grants, resources and career training to musicians, visual artists, writers, dancers, craft artists, filmmakers, cross-disciplinary artists and more. The organization also provides free resources for artists, including a wealth of services, artist opportunities, calls for artists, funding sources and much more.

Washington State Arts Commission (WSAC)
WSAC is charged with the growth and development of the arts throughout Washington state offers grants for artists and performers, organizations and schools.

Western State Arts Federation (WESTAF)
WESTAF offers grants and fellowships for artists and arts organizations.

Humanities Washington
Humanities Washington supports non-profit organizations, agencies and groups that produce programs and projects related to the humanities.

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
NEH is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. NEH grants typically go to cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television, and radio stations, and to individual scholars.

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
The NEA offers grants to individuals and non-profit organizations to advance artistic excellence, creativity and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA funds the visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, folk and traditional arts, museums, arts education and arts agencies.


Get updates about grants