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Preserving arts jobs in tough times

Untitled-4Mayor Greg Nickels today announced the city of Seattle will award $250,000 in federal stimulus funds to help preserve dozens of jobs at 22 Seattle arts and cultural organizations.

“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.