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ARTS allocates $1.25M for cultural spaces through the Cultural Facilities Fund

Opening early 2018, expanded fund creates more opportunity for underserved organizations

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s (ARTS) Cultural Facilities Fund has expanded from $250,000 to $1,250,000 to better support capital projects for arts and cultural organizations in the City. The fund increase is in direct response to the needs to preserve cultural space and support affordability in a rapidly growing city.

The Cultural Facilities Fund started in 2012 and is designed to support capital projects that improve Seattle’s arts spaces in significant and lasting ways. The fund’s 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 by creating greater accessibility. In 2017 ARTS is undertaking a Racial Equity Toolkit for the Facilities Fund to ensure that the benefits it creates are shared equitably with communities of color, and that it helps vulnerable organizations fight growing displacement pressures.

“It’s vital for the City to invest in artists and cultural organizations of color to create an affordable and livable city,” says Randy Engstrom, director, Office of Arts & Culture. “A thriving city needs space where diverse artists and organizations can create and present their art.”

In addition to addressing the needs of the community through an increased facilities fund, ARTS’ Cultural Space program will host the annual Square Feet Seattle convening on October 16, 2017 at King Street Station to explore affordability and ownership models in the arts and cultural sector. Recommendations from the recently released “CAP Report: 30 Ideas for the Creation, Activation, and Preservation of Cultural Space,” will also be included. The CAP Report advances the city’s agenda of affordability and livability. The report seeks to define opportunities to increase cultural space, equitably support creative innovation, strengthen neighborhoods and preserve the culturally rich traditions of the city.

The Office of Arts & Culture’s Cultural Space program preserves, creates and activates Seattle’s cultural square footage. To achieve this goal ARTS works with artists and cultural organizations to strengthen their role in charting the future of their creative spaces; works with developers and builders to incorporate arts and culture into new projects; and works with property owners to incentivize the preservation and expansion of arts and culture uses.