Specturm Dance Theatre's "Carmina Burana" (2015). Photo by Tina Tran.
Specturm Dance Theatre's "Carmina Burana" (2015). Photo by Tina Tran.

Grants

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture's investments in the arts make our community more vibrant and spur economic growth. In alignment with the City's Race and Social Justice Initiative, we work to eliminate institutional racism in our programs, grants, policies and practices. 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, Art in Parks, Civic Partners, CityArtist Projects, Cultural Facilities, Neighborhood & Community Arts, smART ventures, Youth Arts and the Work Readiness Arts Program.

Information
Jennifer Frohwerk
Contracts Coordinator
Jennifer Frohwerk
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
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
Aims to create community impact by broadening arts and culture participation at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, an historic landmark cultural facility in the heart of the Central Area neighborhood of Seattle.

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

Jan. 2017

Closes

2017
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
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

2017

Closes

2017
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

2017

Closes

2017
Cultural Facilities Grant
Awarding grants to Seattle arts, heritage, cultural and arts service organizations with facility renovation or new facility projects.

Eligible

Opens

2017

Closes

2017
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

2017

Closes

2017
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.

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.
Show me

Calls for Artists

Aurora Ave N Corridor Improvements Project
The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), in partnership with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), seeks an artist to develop site-specific artwork and design elements for the Aurora-Licton Springs Corridor Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) Project. The selected artist will work with SDOT and SDOT consultants from design through construction developing art installations along Aurora Ave. N. between N. 85 St. and N. 105 St.2/7/2017
Center City Connector Project
The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), in partnership with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), seeks an artist or artist team to develop site-specific, permanent artworks for four (4) streetcar platform stations for the future Center City Connector Streetcar. The successful artwork will celebrate a sense of place, promote wayfinding, and create a visual identity for the Center City Connector. The selected artist(s) will work with SDOT and SDOT consultants from design through construction of the new streetcar line. 2/21/2017
Public Art Boot Camp 2017
The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is invested in training the next generation of public artists who can create culturally relevant artworks that resonate with Seattle's diverse population. ARTS is offering a FREE two-day intensive training to artists who are ready to translate their exhibition experience to the public realm.12/15/2016
Salmon Bay Pump Station
The Office of Arts & Culture, in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), seeks to commission an artist or artist team to create a site integrated or site specific artwork that is reflective of Coast Salish historic and cultural connections to the Salmon Bay and Shilshole areas for SPU’s Ship Canal Water Quality Project (SCWQP) Pump Station.1/26/2017

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.
LHPAI Facility Grant
Aims to create community impact by broadening arts and culture participation at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, an historic landmark cultural facility in the heart of the Central Area neighborhood of Seattle.
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

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.

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

Arts in Parks Program
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.
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.1/1/2016
Cultural Facilities Fund
Awarding grants to Seattle arts, heritage, cultural and arts service organizations with facility renovation like ADA access or new facility projects.
LHPAI Facility Grant
Aims to create community impact by broadening arts and culture participation at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, an historic landmark cultural facility in the heart of the Central Area neighborhood of Seattle.
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

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

Arts in Parks Program
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.
LHPAI Facility Grant
Aims to create community impact by broadening arts and culture participation at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, an historic landmark cultural facility in the heart of the Central Area neighborhood of Seattle.
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.

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

Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Arts Council
This workshop will cover telling your story, learning to listen, and artist etiquette in the arts festival environment.3/22/2017
Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Arts Council
This workshop will cover how to lay the groundwork for a great festival using social media & word of mouth to market your events, effective booth set-up & display, and proper equipment prep (money, packaging, emergencies).3/8/2017
Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Arts Council
This free workshop will cover where to find events, what to look for when choosing an event, and how to prepare applications and photos that impress juries. Plus, get tips on pre-show prep, equipment, and more.2/22/2017
The Morgan Fund
The Morgan Fund, a Family Foundation at Seattle Foundation, is proud to announce the 2016 round of the Puget Sound Initiative: a funding opportunity for small to mid-sized dance and theatre organizations located in Western Washington, Central Washington, and the Greater Portland area.9/30/2016
4Culture
4Culture and King County Parks Division seek an artist to become part of the design team on the NE 8th Street Trail Crossing1/30/2017
First Hill Improvement Association
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. 1/28/2017
Seattle Housing Authority
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. 2/8/2017
CoCA
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. 2/12/2017
Center of Contemporary Art
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. 2/12/2017
Seattle Housing Authority
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. 2/1/2017
Center on Contemporary Art
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.3/15/2017
Center on Contemporary Art and the Amplifier Foundation
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.1/8/2017
Mineral School
NEW ARTIST RESIDENCY OPPORTUNITIES IN MINERAL, WA2/16/2017
Northwest Chorale
Join us for the Spring 2017 Concert Season2/6/2017
Artech Fine Art Services
$2,500 Artech services 1/4/2017
City of Shoreline Public Art Program
Group Exhibition exploring African American History & Identity1/16/2017
The Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts
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.2/25/2017
Pierce College
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.1/10/2017
Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Arts Council
Apply today to become one of the 80+ artists that make up the beating heart of the 2017 Shoreline Arts Festival!2/28/2017
Northwest Watercolor Society
The Northwest Watercolor announces its 77th Annual International Open Exhibition1/23/2017
Seattle International Film Festibal
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.3/3/2017
City of Shoreline Public Art
Six-month exhibitions at Shoreline City Hall; $500 honorarium for curated group shows3/10/2017
Whatcom Museum
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.2/10/2017
Embracing Our Differences
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. 1/10/2017
Artists Up 2016 Grant LAB <span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
The collaborative program Artist Up is launching the Grant LAB, an experimental program that will test grant-making ideas and practices for greater equity and access throughout Seattle, King County and Washington State. Up to 18 artists will be selected with $3,000 awards each. Funds from the Grant LAB will support work by artists in all disciplines and in contemporary, traditional/cultural heritage, or other art forms. 9/28/2016
Poetry on Buses <span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
“Your Body of Water” Poetry on Buses 2016-2017, has expanded to offer community sourced poetry in nine languages on a broad range of bus, rail and station venues. Residents in King County, Washington is eligible to submit one poem up to 50 words in length on the theme of water online starting May 15 through September 30.9/30/2016

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