Arts Mean Business grant


The Arts Mean Business grant is not open in 2023.


The purpose of Arts Mean Business 2.0 grants is to create greater equity and inclusiveness in Seattle by funding pivotal arts jobs for arts, cultural and heritage organizations that serve under-represented communities. The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture provides one-time funding to Seattle arts, heritage, cultural and arts-service organizations for pivotal arts jobs that will make a difference in each organization's ability to sustainably carry out its mission in serving under-represented communities-communities of color, immigrant and refugee communities, or those who are differently-abled. Investing in the arts is an investment in the cultural, social and economic good of the city.

Our Office has long strived to serve all residents and communities in Seattle by partnering with artists, community groups and arts and cultural and heritage organizations of all sizes and demographics. Inclusive practices and working through an equity lens is a value we strive to uphold. And while our Office is often held up as a model for race and social justice and implementing programs and policies to achieve more equity in all that we do, disparities still exist.

Communities of color represent 30% of the population in Seattle, but the majority of local arts funding does not yet reflect that diversity. In order to truly create a more inclusive and dynamic cultural sector and stay relevant to all the people who live in, work and visit Seattle, we need to evolve our investments in a meaningful way. Arts Mean Business 2.0 aims to address these current inequities.


Eligible organizations must be Seattle-based with at least a three-year operating history as a legally established, not-for-profit organization; have as a primary purpose an arts, culture or heritage focus; and demonstrate a record of ongoing artistic or cultural accomplishments serving Seattle residents. Priority will be given to organizations that represent, reflect and serve under-represented populations—communities of color, immigrant and refugee communities, or those who are differently-abled—and who use the arts as a way to serve these communities in the City of Seattle.

Organizations receiving funding through any of our programs are eligible to apply as long as the position covered does not overlap with positions already being funded through the Office. Previous recipients to this program may apply again.

Funding Levels

Up to $25,000.

Funds may be used for

Salary support or contract fees, full or partial, for one position (employee or contract) that is pivotal to the sustainability of the organization in serving an under-represented community.

Manage your award

Getting the word out

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 it to the media.

Social Media

  1. Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Also, be sure you’re signed up for our email newsletter.
  2. Post about your grant/event/program, and tag us! On Twitter, tag us by typing “@SeattleArts”. On Instagram, tag us by typing “@SeaOfficeofArts”. When you tag us, we get notified and can respond. On your Facebook post, type in “@Seattle Office of Arts & Culture”, and select our office’s page from the drop-down menu.
  3. The sooner you tell your Project Manager about your event, the more likely we’ll be able to fit it into our social media calendar. We have a lot of news and events, and schedule posts and activities weeks out.
  4. If you have promo materials, please remember to send anything you have produced (press releases, postcards, brochures, etc.) to your Project Manager. These items should include the Office of Arts & Culture name and/or logo. We rebranded our Office in 2013, so if you’ve been funded before, please make sure to update our logo.

We recommend circulating these items at least two weeks prior to your event to increase awareness and attendance.

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 are 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 a 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


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.


Seattle Channel, the city's municipal television channel, is committed to covering local arts and culture. Art Zone with Nancy Guppy on the Seattle Channel specifically covers the local art scene.

Local television stations are:

Funded Partners

2014 Arts Mean Business Partners

Deaf Spotlight Executive Director
First paid staff position to provide direction and leadership toward the achievement of the organization's mission and program strategies to inspire, encourage, and showcase creative works of, by, and for Deaf people in the Pacific Northwest through events that celebrate Deaf culture and American Sign Language.

Marketing Manager
New position to develop and implement marketing outreach programs that will engage the general public with personal video testimonies, historic photographs and documents, online history courses, and an online encyclopedia about the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans.
Eritrean Association in Greater Seattle Facilities Manager
Expansion of existing position from 16 hours/week to 40 hours/week to supervise and coordinate the use of the Eritrean Association Community Center facilities including booking events, handling logistics, doing maintenance work, and being on-site during events in order to increase the capacity of the Association to better address the needs of both Eritrean families and the broader immigrant/refugee community.
Northwest African American Museum Visitor Services and Volunteer Manager
New position responsible for serving as an advocate for the visitor while simultaneously promoting the welfare of the Museum and resolving visitor concerns and complaints to their satisfaction and the Museum's. They are also responsible for managing guest service operations, volunteer management, and serving as the lead staff person for the Museum gift shop.
United Indians of All Tribes Foundation Gallery Manager and Visual Arts Curator
New position to provide overall direction and management, as well as the artistic vision for curating Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center's Sacred Circle Gallery and Gift Shop, providing a showcase for local Native American art and culture, consignment sales of Native American art to support the artists, as well as providing business skills to local Native American Artists.
Wing Luke Asian Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience Education and Tours Director
Expansion of previously vacated Education Manager position to provide leadership and oversight of The Wing's expanding education and tours programs, including a redesign of a new business model for tours to better serve the International District and connect everyone with the communities' stories.

2012 Arts Mean Business Partners

Arts Corps — Program and Social Justice Training Coordinator
Create an arts-based social justice professional development earned revenue program.
ArtsEd Washington — Deputy Director
Refine fiscal planning, put in place strong operational systems, and develop new earned revenue streams to sustain core programs and finance the development of emerging program ideas.
Center on Contemporary Art — Outreach Director
Expand membership by creating new benefits and opportunities for artists and patrons; develop existing partnerships with Seattle Parks, Carkeek Park Advisory Council; and develop new partnerships with public schools.
Duwamish Tribal Services — Rental Marketer
Duwamish Longhouse Actively market availability and coordinate rentals of the longhouse as a cultural and event space.
Gage Academy of Art — Education Specialist
Support the development of a sequential pre-school to teen art curriculum; develop a GAP year Foundation Art curriculum for high school graduates, and develop summer educator workshops for high school art teachers.
On the Boards — & Media Manager
Oversee the day-to-day management of the program initiative as well as OtB's website and media content.
Pottery Northwest — Development Liaison
Convene and lead a task force group dedicated to audience development.
Pratt Fine Arts Center — Marketing Director
Develop and oversee all marketing, public relations, social networking & advertising related to Pratt's programs: courses, studio rentals, exhibitions, and events.
Ripple Productions — Marketing Associate and Graphic Designer
Manage and facilitate all marketing endeavors including merchandise creation and advertisements as well as design all graphic materials for ads and merchandise.
ROCKiT Community Arts — Director
Act as business & community liaison to build on existing partnerships and sponsorships and direct all ROCKiT programs.
Sanctuary Art Center — Print Manager
Supervise interns as a youth Employment Internship program alumnus and manage aspects of the print shop and retail space.
Seattle Men's Chorus and Seattle Women's Chorus — Marketing and Outreach Associate
Assist in all aspects of marketing, primarily implementing social media strategies, developing outreach projects, and providing back-up support to the box office manager.
Seattle Shakespeare Company — Education Associate/Tour Coordinator
Help facilitate the education and touring programs.
Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra — Director of Composition Contest
Develop and implement an annual Women's Jazz Composition Contest.
SEEDArts — SEEDArts Program Developer
Design and implement new film programs and services that will advance SEEDArts' audience development goals.
Shunpike — Arts Business Clinic Manager
Expand the capacity, reach and scope of the current program by scaling up successful pilot activities, increasing outreach, and broadening the network of experts providing the services.
Simple Measures — Artistic Director
Conceive and create core programming, cultivate major donors and Board, steer the organization's direction and vision.
Theatre Off Jackson — Marketing & Branding Coordinator
Build a public profile and increase ticket sales for productions and events at TOJ.
Unified Outreach — Computer Lab Attendant
Manage drop-in hours for clients interested in Arts & Tech job training, music & video production and cartoon animation.
Washington State Jewish Historical Society — Social Media Coordinator
Establish, curate, and maintain an interactive treasury of audio, video, text- and image-based content, in the form of a blog, to promote engagement with Washington's Jewish history and culture.

Arts & Culture

Gülgün Kayim, Director
Address: 303 S. Jackson Street, Top Floor, Seattle, WA , 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94748, Seattle, WA , 98124-4748
Phone: (206) 684-7171
Fax: (206) 684-7172

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The Office of Arts & Culture promotes the value of arts and culture in, and of, communities throughout Seattle. It strives to ensure that a wide range of high-quality artistic experiences are available to everyone, encourage artist-friendly arts and cultural policy.