Mayor Ed Murray today announced nearly $1.7 million in investments to Seattle-based arts, heritage and cultural organizations through the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. The Office’s Civic Partners program will provide funding to nearly 170 organizations in 2014 with the intention of creating broad public access to a rich array of quality arts opportunities while promoting a healthy and diverse cultural community.
“Seattle is a desirable place to live because of our robust cultural community,” said Mayor Murray. “The arts make our city vibrant and connect our communities. This investment ensures that our cultural organizations can remain innovative while providing opportunities for residents and visitors to experience a broad array of offerings.”
“The Civic Partner grant helps us to offer programs in young artist development and community engagement, and opens our doors to local artists,” said, Josh LaBelle, executive director of Seattle Theatre Group, the organization that operates the historic Paramount, Moore and Neptune Theatres. “Last season Seattle Theatre Group welcomed over half a million people through our doors through over 500 events. Nearly 900 professional artists worked with our Education Department and nearly the same number of youth participated in artist training programs. The economic impact to Seattle is extensive.”
The Civic Partners program awards funding to a full spectrum of Seattle arts, heritage and cultural groups – ranging from established organizations to small and emerging groups – with a minimum three-year history of serving Seattle residents and visitors. Funding supports organizations’ core programs and operations, and helps underwrite public access to a wide variety of quality arts and cultural opportunities. Funded partners include heritage organizations such as Historic Seattle and Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project; youth-oriented groups such as Teen Tix, Talented Youth and Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras; and diverse arts and cultural groups such as The Central District Forum, Raven Chronicles and Bailadores de Bronce.
“Civic Partners helps us ensure there are no gaps in service to our youth,” explains Daniel Pak, co-director of Totem Star, a music, mentorship, and social justice education organization that is a first-time grantee this year. “Totem Star uses music production as a conduit to empower youth with life skills to help them navigate the system. These funds directly impact underserved youth in Seattle.”
In 2013, the Civic Partners program engaged more than 18,263 volunteer and paid artists serving an audience of over 1.3 million people, including 244,303 students and youth, and provided 233,908 free admissions. Nearly 29 percent of funded projects either involved artists of color or served communities of color. The Office of Arts & Culture activates and sustains Seattle through arts and culture, and are supported by the 16-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council.
For a complete list of funded organizations, visit the website: http://www.seattle.gov/arts/funding/org_partners.asp.