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
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
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

Closes

Feb. 10, 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

Feb. 16, 2016

Closes

March 31, 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

May 25, 2016

Closes

July 20, 2016
Cultural Facilities Grant
Awarding grants to Seattle arts, heritage, cultural and arts service organizations with facility renovation or new facility projects.

Eligible

Opens

June 20, 2016

Closes

Sept. 1, 2016
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

Aug. 16, 2016

Closes

Oct. 19, 2016
Neighborhood & Community Arts
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.

Eligible

Opens

Aug. 16, 2016

Closes

Oct. 19, 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

Center City Art Plan
UPDATED CALL: The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, (ARTS) in partnership with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will commission one artist, or artist team of no more than two, to work with SDOT and ARTS staff to research, develop, and create a Public Art Plan for downtown Seattle based on current capital projects in Seattle’s downtown core.2/9/2016
Lighting artist residency
The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), in partnership with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) seeks a lighting artist or lighting artist team for a unique project-based artist residency in the southwest tower on the University Bridge. The selected lighting artist(s) will undertake an in-depth exploration of Seattle’s three historic bascule bridges: the University, Fremont, and Ballard bridges, and create a conceptual plan for lighting each bridge. 2/16/2016
Writer/poet residency
The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), in partnership with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) seeks a practicing, published poet, fiction, or creative non-fiction writer for a unique project-based artist residency in the northwest tower of the Fremont Bridge. The selected writer will undertake an in-depth exploration of the bridge and write a piece in response to the experience. 2/16/2016

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. 2/10/2016

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. 2/10/2016

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.
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

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.10/30/2015
Put the Arts in Parks grant
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.10/30/2015
Racial Equity Fund <span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
Grants to Seattle's community-based organizations to build capacity in the community to address structural racism. 8/25/2016
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. 2/10/2016

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

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.10/30/2015
Put the Arts in Parks grant
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.10/30/2015
Racial Equity Fund <span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
Grants to Seattle's community-based organizations to build capacity in the community to address structural racism. 8/25/2016
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.

Cultural Space

Arts & Cultural Districts
A program dedicated to nurturing and protecting the presence of arts and culture in our neighborhoods.
Cultural Space Inventory
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

Other Opportunities

apexart
Propose an exhibition to take place anywhere in the world besides NYC 3/1/2016
Spaceworks Tacoma
Artscapes temporarily places 2-dimensional, 3-dimensional, mural, or multi-media art installations in storefront windows, outdoor spaces, and an outdoor video gallery in the City of Tacoma. The program offers an artist stipend to support the creation of new work and site-specific projects, or the installation of existing work. Since launching in 2010, Spaceworks has commissioned 125 art installations!3/22/2016
4Culture
Grants for Artists and Arts Groups in King County3/9/2016
Moorlands Elementary
Seeking Artist in Residence at Moorlands Elementary1/15/2016
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site is currently accepting proposals for its 2017 season of site-specific artist installations.6/15/2016
City of Shoreline Public Art Program
The Art Gallery at City Hall Shoreline is currently seeking proposals from independent curators for exhibitions of 2-D and 3-D artwork (including fiber, sound, flat panel video, and unobstructive, wall-mounted sculpture) on the 4th floor of City Hall. 4/10/2016
Collective of Geniuses
dancers/movement2/6/2015
Ardor Creative Media
Film Cmpetition2/5/2016
Seattle Public Library
Seattle Writes invites writers to submit a work of flash fiction to the Door to a Pink Universe competition in honor of science fiction writer and Seattle resident Octavia Butler, who heralded libraries for their contribution to her development as a writer2/29/2016
ArtsWA
Provides funding to arts organizations, schools, nonprofits, and government agencies committed to building community partnerships that improve the quality and quantity of arts education for K-12 students in public schools in Washington State. 3/22/2016
National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in the nation’s only arts funder to award grants in all 50 states and U.S. jurisdictions. As the first step in its funding process, the NEA has posted application guidelines for the Art Works and Challenge America categories for art projects anticipated to take place in 2017. New in this fiscal year is a pilot grant opportunity that is part of the NEA’s 50th anniversary initiative, Creativity Connects.*2/12/2016
Hi-life
THE HI-LIFE IS SEEKING NEW ART: SPRING SETTINGS2/20/2016
Washington Lawyers for the Arts
Our workshop will give all artists a better understanding of how to protect creative work.12/15/2015
John Michael Kohler Arts Center
16 artists are accepted for 2–6 month residencies and receive studio space, materials, use of equipment, housing, round-trip transportation, technical assistance, and photographic services.4/1/2016
CVA
need a commercial artist/painter to paint butterflies3/1/2016

You may be aware that the Hill-Snowdon Foundation recently launched our Making Black Lives Matter Initiative (MBLM)- a three year, $900,000 grantmaking and strategic co-funding initiative that seeks to support Black-led organizing as a means of building the infrastructure for Black institutional and political power for social change and racial justice.11/23/2015
Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists' Residency
Ox-Bow, School of Art and Artists' Residency, located in Saugatuck, MI, offers courses, workshops, and artist residencies for students and artists at all stages in their career. In the summer MFA candidates and recent graduates and Arts Faculty residents can take advantage of the Ox-Bow community, which includes faculty, visiting artists and students.2/5/2016
Mineral School
Residency near Mt. Rainier2/16/2016
Mukilteo Arts Guild
Open Call for the Mukilteo Art Festival 2/26/2016
North Seattle College and the campus Arts Council are seeking an artist to design a dynamic, innovative mural on the exterior surface of a wall facing the northeast entrance to campus. 2/17/2016
Racial Equity Fund <span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
Grants to Seattle's community-based organizations to build capacity in the community to address structural racism. 8/25/2016
Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists' Residency
Ox-Bow’s LeRoy Neiman Foundation Fellowship program welcomes twelve fellowship students from schools all over the nation the opportunity to focus on their work, meet with renowned artists, and grow as a member of this unique community. These students live on campus in Saugatuck, MI for 13 weeks, where they participate in campus life as both staff members and artists.2/22/2016
The New Foundation Seattle
Residency Program Funds (RPF) are for Seattle-based contemporary visual artists, curators, and arts writers who have opportunities to attend residencies out-of-state and need assistance to cover tuition, fees, and travel expenses.11/29/2015
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. 2/10/2016

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