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Building for the future: Cultural Facilities Grants Available

Cultural Facilities Fund application now open

Closes Friday, September 4, 2015 at 11 p.m. PST

brick layerThe 2016 Cultural Facilities Fund is currently open and is designed to support capital projects that improve Seattle’s arts spaces in significant and lasting ways. Our goal is to help Seattle-based organizations build and improve their facilities in ways that will ultimately advance their missions and strengthen Seattle’s cultural scene. Grant requests can be made up to $50,000. The office of Arts & Culture has been providing grants for capital projects since 2012. For more information about the grant, workshops and the application visit

Cultural facilities, including performing arts centers, museums, cinemas, galleries, music venues, and workshop and rehearsal spaces, create visibility for the arts and function as community gathering places. They provide cultural opportunities for residents and visitors, economic vitality to neighborhoods and surrounding businesses, and homes for artists and arts groups. They are the anchors for our creative neighborhoods, the portals through which our neighbors engage with the arts.

Recipient Highlight:

A 2014 recipient of the Cultural Facilities Grant is Café Nordo.  Located in Pioneer Square, Café Nordo’s mission is to push the boundaries of theatrical storytelling by integrating the culinary, performing and visual arts. Café Nordo utilized funding from the grant program to implement phase 1 of their capital improvement plan, creating and renovating Nordo’s first permanent home and bringing theatre back to Pioneer Square.

Phase 1 improvements included a permanent tech booth, a retractable stage, front window signage, entryway curtains, back wall curtains and a bar. Accomplishing this work enabled Café Nordo to renovate and create Nordo’s Culinarium at 109 Main St. at the former Elliot Bay Book Company space, a new venue dedicated to integrating the performing and culinary arts for the community of Seattle.

The newly developed Nordo’s Culinarium includes:

  • A community gathering spot offering diverse entertainment and educational opportunities.
  • Extended feature productions that will run as long as there is audience demand.
  • Expanded arts and educational offerings such as:
    o Free admission to First Thursday cabaret-style performances
    o Guest Chef/Artist Series – Chefs & artists paired to create pop-up art & cuisine installments.
    o  A monthly Movie Night will showcase a food-focused film with a corresponding menu.
    o  Cooking Classes for youth and adults will engage topics such as food justice, locally sourced foods, and sustainable agriculture in an effort to improve how we eat.