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ARTISTS UP Grant LAB awards support vision and inspiration for 18 Washington artists

New Grant LAB program shaped by artists for artists

SEATTLE, (December 13, 2016) — Eighteen artists from Washington State were awarded funds from Grant LAB, an experimental program designed to remove barriers for historically under-represented artists and increase racial equity in grant making programs. Inspired by qualitative research with artists, Grant LAB aligned the grant selection process with how and why artists work and create. Each artist will receive $3,000 to support their artistic vision.

“By engaging artists as allies and dismantling barriers, the Grant LAB is advocating for an inclusive future in the arts,” says Marilyn Montufar, artist and photographer. “I am honored to be a recipient of the Grant LAB, a grant that advocates for change and greater equity in the arts.”

Grant LAB is an experimental program created to test grant making ideas, approaches and practices for greater and equitable access to opportunities. Applicants were evaluated on one of three different criteria; potential or demonstrated skill, innovation/experimentation, and community engagement. This grant puts into action the goals of ARTISTS UP, a collaborative effort by 4Culture, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and Artist Trust to improve and expand capacity and networks for under-supported artists in Seattle, King County and Washington State. The Grant LAB funds artists working in all disciplines.

“The application process felt like I was actually being given a chance” says Kamari Bright, a writer, filmmaker and musician. “Although credentials are important, they don’t dictate the level of passion or capacity for impact my work will have.”

2016 Grant LAB funded artists:

Kamari Bright, John Bunkley, Danielle Christian, Alex Crozier, Lynn DeBeal, Rome Esmaili, Kiana Harris, Sarah León Moreno, Emma Levitt, Xavier Lopez Jr., Sarah Maria Medina, Marilyn Montufar, Tamiko Nimura, Sandra Pressley, Gabriel Teodros, David Tucker, Gordon Wood, and Miriam Zmiewski-Angelova.

For more information about ARTISTS UP:

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Office of Arts & Culture | Seattle The Office of Arts & Culture envisions a city driven by creativity that provides the opportunity for everyone to engage in diverse arts and cultural experiences. The Office is supported by the 16-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council. Find out more at Follow @SeattleArts or


 As the cultural funding agency for King County, 4Culture works to make our region vibrant. Using Lodging Tax and 1% for Art funds, our team of grant-makers, cultural advocates, advisory committees, and volunteer review panelists support a diverse array of cultural endeavors.

About Artist Trust

Artist Trust is a not-for-profit organization whose sole mission is to support and encourage individual artists working in all disciplines in order to enrich community life throughout Washington State. Since its founding in 1986, Artist Trust has invested over $10 million in Washington State artists through cash grants and professional development resources to help artists achieve their career goals. In 2016, the organization unveiled a new strategic plan and made a public commitment to racial equity.  Find out more