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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Office of Arts & Culture receives $50K National Endowment for the Arts grant for cultural space work

7/21/2014  1:00:00 PM

Office of Arts & Culture receives $50K National Endowment for the Arts grant for cultural space work
Project will create a suite of tools for activating neighborhoods with the arts

SEATTLE (July 21, 2014) — The City of Seattle is pleased to announce that the National Endowment for the Arts has selected the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture for an Our Town grant to support cultural space work in 2015 and 2016. The $50,000 grant will be applied to creating a Cultural Space Toolkit, which will be available to neighborhoods across the city by end of 2014. The grant was one of only 66 the NEA awarded this year.

The Cultural Space Toolkit will include programs such as pop-up space activations, wayfinding, parklets, historic markers, pole banners and busking programs that may be applied to neighborhoods as desired by the residents. These resources are part of a cohesive strategy for placemaking and neighborhood engagement, and have been designed for improving walkability, marketing, right-of-way improvements, wayfinding, preservation, and fostering an increased density of arts projects throughout Seattle, in order to best support artists, art spaces and cultural vibrancy.

Mayor Ed Murray hailed the news by saying, "We are honored to be receiving this prestigious NEA Our Town grant, and I look forward to the development of the cultural space program with these new resources. There's no doubt that the arts are a key way to invest in our neighborhoods, and these tools will ensure our city remains vibrant."

City of Seattle Cultural Space Liaison Matthew Richter said, "We're America's fastest-growing large city, and we're digging in to protect and enhance the arts and cultural neighborhoods that have made us so strong. This funding, and these tools, acknowledge arts and cultural districts' function as a driver of economic development, a leader of neighborhood improvement, and as essential to the fabric of urban life. This is going to make 2015 a really interesting year for cultural space and cultural districts in Seattle."

NEA Chairman Jane Chu announced that 66 Our Town applicants will receive grants this year, totaling $5.073 million and reaching 38 states. The NEA received 275 applications; recommended grant amounts ranged from $25,000 to $200,000.This is the fourth year of the program.

"Seattle's Office of Arts & Culture's cultural space work demonstrates the best in creative community development. Their work will have a valuable impact on the community," said Chairman Chu. "Through Our Town funding, the arts continue to spark vitality that support neighborhoods and public spaces, enhancing a sense of place for residents and visitors alike."

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Our Town grant support, please visit the NEA web site at Project descriptions, grants listed by state and by project type, and resources are available as well.

The Twitter hashtag is #NEAOurTown14

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