Jean Godden, a member of the Seattle City Council and chair of its Budget and Finance Committee, writes about the Great Recession’s impact on Seattle’s arts organizations in a recent Crosscut column, “Struggling to keep the stage lights on.” Godden asks, “What can be done to keep the lights on, to preserve our rich cultural traditions?”
The Neighborhood & Community Arts program will provide $48,000 ($1,200 per organization) to public festivals and events taking place throughout the city this year. Fifteen of the 40 funded projects are first-time recipients, representing 37 percent of the awards.
The varied slate of events includes BeatWalk, Columbia City’s monthly music festival; a national film festival for youth; Honk! Fest West, roving street bands performing across the city; The Edible Book Festival; Sounds Outside, a creative music festival at Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill; and dozens of neighborhood festivals celebrating various cultures, including Hawaiian, Asian, African American and Latin art forms.
The program supports neighborhood groups that produce recurring festivals or events that promote arts and cultural participation, build community and enhance the visibility of neighborhoods through arts and culture.
Image: Mairi Rankin of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, dazzles the audience with Scottish and Cape Breton fiddle tunes at the Mastery of Scottish Arts Concert. Photo by Dr. Gary Brown.
We are accepting applications for our Youth Arts funding program which supports arts training for Seattle’s middle and high school youth beyond the regular school day.
Individual artists, artist teams, arts and cultural organizations, and/or youth and community service agencies with nonprofit status or fiscal sponsorship are eligible to apply. Priority is placed on serving youth or communities with limited access to arts and culture. Funding awards range from $1,500 to $10,000 for projects in all artistic disciplines that take place between September 2010 and September 2011. The application deadline is Feb. 23, 2010.
“Arts training nurtures the imagination, boosts confidence and opens pathways to success for young people,” said Michael Killoren, director of the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. “The arts inspire discipline, hard work and the joy of creative expression, all elements of a well-rounded education.”
For more information and to access the online application click here.
Image: Students rehearse for the Pat Graney Company’s House of Mind performance. Photo by Tim Summers.
Over the years, the city’s Neighborhood Matching Fund has invested in dozens of arts and cultural projects across Seattle, ranging from renovated cultural facilities to community festivals to public art.
Have a community arts project in mind but need some start-up cash? The Department of Neighborhoods is hosting free informational workshops that offer an overview of the fund. Participants will learn about revised 2010 guidelines and application forms, project proposal development and successful outreach strategies.
Neighborhoods staff will host two workshops next week: 6 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 1, at the Douglass Truth Library, 2300 E. Yesler Way, and 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center, 3515 S. Alaska St.
A required component of the program is its match provision. For most projects, the community is required to donate cash, volunteer labor or donated services or materials at least equal in value to the cash provided by the city.
The deadline for the Small and Simple Projects Fund is Jan. 11, 2010, and the Large Projects Fund Letter of Intent is due Feb. 8, 2010.
For more information or to RSVP to a workshop, contact Danielle Calloway, 206-733-9916.
This afternoon the Seattle City Council approved the city’s 2010 budget. View the major budget highlights here. I am pleased to report the package preserves funding for our core programs and underscores the importance of arts and culture in a healthy city.
The council unanimously voted to accept a key piece of legislation in Mayor Greg Nickels’ proposed budget to increase the annual percentage of city-admission-tax revenue dedicated for arts and culture from 20 percent to 75 percent. The city collects five percent on every dollar of ticket sales to entertainment and recreational events, including movies, rock concerts and UW football games.
The boost in admission-tax revenue not only provides a dedicated funding stream for the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, it helps to buffer us from the year-to-year variability of the general fund. This shift will allow us to maintain our current level of community investment in 2010. In other words, we will be able to hold the line across our funding programs for organizations, artists and community groups.
I’m often asked if more admission-tax dollars flowing to our office will result in cuts to other city programs. The answer is no, as our department will take an equivalent reduction in general-fund dollars. So from a dollars-and-cents stand point, the change is budget neutral.
And like other city departments, we are doing more with less. Our total budget for 2010 is just over $6 million down from $6.9 million in 2009. To help make up the difference, we shaved administrative and operational expenses, and staff will take 10 furlough days next year. A portion of the reduction is also due to changing capital budgets for public art projects.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge two City Councilmembers who are leaving office at the end of this year. Councilmember Jan Drago has been a longtime advocate for arts and culture, including helping to secure city funding for Benaroya Hall. Councilmember Richard McIver always asked the tough questions and made sure that our programs and services reached deep into the community.
Although it has been a challenging year economically, we have much to be thankful for in this budget and extend our thanks to the mayor and council for their support of arts and culture in Seattle.
The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs is pleased to announce $234,000 in awards to 48 individual artists working in the visual, literary and media arts. The city’s 2010 CityArtist Projects annual funding program supports the development and presentation of original work by individual artists based in Seattle. Funded projects must include a public presentation.
“While grants to individual artists are becoming increasingly scarce, we are committed to nourishing the work of independent artists,” said Michael Killoren, director of the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. “Artists are the heart and soul of Seattle, making important contributions to our quality of life and economic prosperity.”
The program received a record 189 applicants, a 12.5 percent increase in applications from the previous 2008 funding cycle for visual, literary and media arts. Twenty-six of the 48 funded artist projects are first-time recipients, representing 54 percent of the awards. The awards range from $1,500 to $10,000, with an average award of $4,875.
The CityArtists program provides funding to different artistic disciplines in alternating years. In 2009, the program awarded $225,000 to 39 artists working in the performing arts.
“The arts play an important role in our economy, boosting spending in other sectors and contributing to our quality of life,” Nickels said. “We are focused on protecting jobs in all areas of our local economy, and these dollars will help nonprofit arts organizations preserve jobs during difficult economic times.”
The federal funds will help organizations retain or restore salaried and contract jobs, ranging from performers to production staff to business managers and artistic directors. The dollars will support jobs at a range of organizations, including Maureen Whiting Dance, Seattle Chamber Players, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Center for Wooden Boats, Velocity Dance Center, Wing Luke Asian Museum and the Young Shakespeare Workshop. Click here for a complete list of funded city organizations.
The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs received the $250,000 award in July from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to re-grant to Seattle organizations to preserve arts jobs threatened by the economic downturn. The NEA had $50 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to distribute nationwide.
The Office awarded the stimulus dollars through a competitive application process. A peer panel reviewed more than 80 eligible Seattle arts and cultural organizations for one-time awards of either $5,000 or $15,000 to support staff salaries or contract fees incurred between fall 2009 and summer 2010.
Read the mayor’s full press release.