The Office of Arts & Culture supports and connects artists through a wide variety of opportunities including public art commissions, grants, professional development, artist rosters, and more.
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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.
- 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:
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:
Opportunities from other organizations
Five month residency opportunity at Recology's recycling facility
Seeking small exhibitions; $500 honorarium
The City of Kent seeks prints, photographs, paintings, works on paper and other types of artwork for the juried Kent Summer Art Exhibit.
Fifth Annual Jazz Contest for Women Composers is now accepting scores.
We are currently accepting applications for our 8th annual festival, to be held at the community-oriented, socially conscious Mokedo Art Gallery on April 22nd, 2017
Jazz Shout - An Evening of Protest Art by Women In Honor of Women's History Month A Fundraiser for Seattle Women in Jazz
27th International Sculpture Conference: Kansas City
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site is currently accepting proposals for its 2018 season of site-specific artist installations.
The Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) is seeking a qualified artist to create a permanent art work(s) for installation at Yesler Terrace as part of the Artists Works Program.
The Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) is seeking a qualified artist to participate in a One Year Artist Residency Program associated with the redevelopment of Yesler Terrace.
Submit your "short short" film by March 6 to be a part of the first ever Shoreline Short Short Film Festival.
The Sound Transit Art Program (STart) is developing a major artwork to screen the perimeter of a planned train yard in Bellevue, Washington
Seeking an artist to create glass sculpture inspired by jellyfish.
4Culture and King County Parks Division seek an artist to become part of the design team on the NE 8th Street Trail Crossing
The First Hill Improvement Association (FHIA), in partnership with the Seattle Office of Economic Development, seeks an artist or artist team to develop an art concept to be painted on the columns below Interstate 5 between Cherry and James Street.
Apply today to become one of the 80+ artists that make up the beating heart of the 2017 Shoreline Arts Festival!
Six-month exhibitions at Shoreline City Hall; $500 honorarium for curated group shows
Recognized as one of the top film festivals in North America, the Seattle International Film Festival is the largest, most highly-attended film festival in the United States reaching more than 150,000 annually. The 25-day festival is renowned for its wide-ranging and eclectic programming presenting over 260 features and 150 short films from over 85 countries in 2016. Consistently cited as one of the best “audience festivals” in the world, SIFF embraces Seattle’s love for film, making the city a perfect setting for new films to be seen, tested, and celebrated by everyone, film fan and filmmaker alike. While bringing the best in national and international film and talent to Seattle, SIFF also remains dedicated to fostering and providing a platform for the creative endeavors of those working and creating films in the Pacific Northwest. SIFF also exhibits premiere theatrical engagements, repertory, classic, and revival film showings year-round at three locations on 5 screens at the SIFF Cinema Egyptian, SIFF Cinema Uptown and the SIFF Film Center in addition to offering film educational programs for all audiences. SIFF is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
The Northwest Watercolor announces its 77th Annual International Open Exhibition
Pierce College Fort Steilacoom (Lakewood, WA) is seeking proposals from artists to purchase existing artwork or work(s) in progress for permanent display in the Pierce College Fort Steilacoom Library.
The Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts is a major regional arts event located in Lake Oswego, Oregon. It features over 6 art shows, including 3 juried exhibits.
Group Exhibition exploring African American History & Identity
$2,500 Artech services
Join us for the Spring 2017 Concert Season
NEW ARTIST RESIDENCY OPPORTUNITIES IN MINERAL, WA
The Amplifier Foundation, in partnership with the Women’s March on Washington and Seattle’s Center on Contemporary Art, is creating an open call for art to arm those gathered with visual messaging to amplify the voice of this monumental grassroots movement.
Seattle’s Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA) in collaboration with 1-World Globes & Maps (1-World), announces a call for artists to create original works of art depicting the world map, re-envisioned in light of changing physical and political landscapes.
We are pleased to announce that the call for artists for CoCA's Members' Exhibition, #MakeAmericaCreateAgain, is now open! The Members’ Show is open to all living, national and international contemporary artists, all ages, all mediums including 2D, 3D, multi-media, installation and ambient performance. We are thrilled to welcome Deborah Paine, Senior Curator for Seattle Office of Arts & Culture as Guest Juror for this year’s members’ show.
The call for artists for CoCA's Members' Exhibition, #MakeAmericaCreateAgain, is now open! The Members’ Show is open to all living, national and international contemporary artists, all ages, all mediums including 2D, 3D, multi-media, installation and ambient performance.
Artists, photographers, professionals, amateurs, teachers, students – everyone can participate. 42 artists will be selected and national and international submissions are encouraged. The exhibit will be displayed April and May 2017 in Sarasota, FL USA. Since 2004, the exhibits have been viewed by more than 2,200,000 visitors.
Exhibition Title & Theme: Drawing Practice The Whatcom Museum is seeking submissions by artists for whom drawing is an integral conceptual part of their practice. Submissions may be connected to ideas of language, writing, notation, mapping, movement, dance, performance, as well as connections to space and architecture. Drawing practices may involve traditional or non-traditional materials, and can include time-based and site-specific installations or performances.