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Mayor Murray announces an increased investment in youth arts programming and cultural space

On September 4, 2015, Mayor Edward B. Murray honored the 2015 recipients of the Mayor’s Arts Awards at the Seattle Center’s Mural Amphitheater. Presented in partnership with Bumbershoot, the awards ceremony is part of the official opening of Bumbershoot 2015, which runs through Monday. The 2015 honorees are: • Cultural Ambassador: Dr. Robin K. Wright • Arts & Innovation: Akio Takamori • Cultural Preservation: Densho • Future Focus: Seattle JazzED • Creative Industries: Daniel Brown Photo by Marcus R. Donner © 2015

Photo by Marcus R. Donner © 2015

Mayor Ed Murray delivered his 2016 Proposed Budget to the City Council today, and I am pleased to inform you that he has proposed increased investments in arts and culture.

The Office’s core programing is made possible through the 1% for Art ordinance and Admissions Tax allocation. With this proposed budget, Mayor Murray has outlined an increase to Admission Tax allocation, increasing investment in youth and in cultural space.

First, the Creative Advantage program, which is our investment in Seattle Public School’s arts education plan, will expand to an additional 10 schools this school year, increasing total reach to 23 schools. Through the initial phase of this program, the access gap was eliminated in schools in the Central pathway. The Creative Advantage program relies on a regional planning approach through learning pathways. The Central pathway includes Bailey Gatzert Elementary School, Lowell Elementary School, Stevens Elementary School, Washington Middle School and Garfield High School, among others. For more information visit The Creative Advantage.

Second, our career and job force readiness programming through the arts will be bolstered through new investments, increasing our capacity to grow our creative sector from the ground up.

And lastly, cultural space will receive increased capacity, including a focus on maintaining affordability in this time of growth and change for the City.

Please let the Councilmembers know that you support these budget changes by emailing the Council by using the Council website linked below or attending one of the two Council budget hearings scheduled for the following dates:

• October 6, 2015 @ 5:30pm, Seattle City Hall in Council Chambers; and
• October 20, 2015 @ 5:30pm, Seattle City Hall in Council Chambers.

Many thanks to you for your continued support of our city’s arts and cultural landscape, and to Mayor Murray for including these proposals as part of his 2016 Proposed Budget.

Thank you,

Randy Engstrom

Director, Office of Arts & Culture