Mayor Murray Announces $1.8 million investment in Seattle art organizations

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Today Mayor Ed Murray announced a $1.8 million investment in Seattle-based arts and cultural organizations through the Office of Arts & Culture’s Civic Partners program – the largest award ever under the program. The City will invest in 160 arts and cultural organizations to create broad public access to a rich array of quality arts opportunities, while fostering a healthy and diverse cultural community.

“The City knows that arts and culture thrive when you have a diverse and multicultural array of arts organizations,” said Mayor Murray. “Today’s announcement is a significant investment in our support of diversity in the arts. A healthy, equitable arts ecology is one where many organizations, such as the Seattle Symphony, Northwest African Art Museum, Seattle Repertory Theater, Path with Art, Spectrum Dance Theatre, The Wing Luke Memorial Foundation and Youth in Focus thrive and provide a wide variety of resources for our community.”

The Civic Partners Program makes community investments every two years in the broad cultural community, helping emerging and established organizations produce a rich variety of arts, heritage and cultural opportunities for Seattle residents and visitors. This year’s Civic Partners awardees completed a Racial Equity Assessment for the program, which is aimed at evaluating and supporting efforts to address racial and cultural barriers to success.

“Investing in the arts is one of the most important ways we foster a vibrant city,” said Randy Engstrom, director Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. “The arts help create community, provide inspiration and creativity, and promote cross-culture understanding. These organizations confront challenging issues and create meaningful dialogue that helps move our city forward.”

Funded groups for the 2016-2017 Civic Partners program represent the wealth of Seattle’s arts and cultural organizations large and small, across multiple disciplines: ArtsWest, Burke Museum Association, Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas, Copper Canyon West, Seattle JazzED, Seattle Opera, SEEDArts and The Vera Project.

In addition, eight organizations are designated community partners – arts service organizations that enhance the capacity of artists and arts groups: Artist Trust, Teen Tix and Theatre Puget Sound.

In the last funding cycle in 2014, the Civic Partners program awarded $1.7 million to 158 Seattle-based arts, heritage and cultural organizations, plus nine arts service organizations. These funded programs engaged more than 15,855 volunteer and paid artists serving an audience of almost 1.4 million people, including 168,272 students and youth, and provided 272,390 free admissions. Nearly 43 percent of the funded projects either involved artists of color or served communities of color at some level.

For a complete list of organizations through the 2016-2017 grants, visit the website: http://www.seattle.gov/arts/civic-partners

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