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Seattle Office of Arts & Culture hosts COVID-19 Webinar

Tuesday, March 17 at 2:30 – 3:30pm
COVID-19 Webinar for Artists and Arts & Cultural Organizations
A recording of the webinar is above.


See below for time codes in the video so you can jump to the section most relevant to you:

  • Welcome
  • Land acknowledgement, Randy Engstrom – 00:47
  • Overview – 3:59
  • Poem, Kathy Hsieh – 9:13
  • Public Health Guidance, Kate Becker – 11:18
  • Small business resource, Unemployment benefits, Utility relief, Domonique Meeks – 21:20
  • Direct artist support, Ijeoma Olua – 25:56
  • Direct artist support from Artist Trust, Brian McGuigan – 31:52
  • Rent relief, Matthew Richter – 36:17
  • Frame setting, Randy Engstrom – 39:35
  • Funding from Seattle Foundation, Jonathan Cunningham – 41:13
  • Organizational funding, Kathy Hsieh – 49:06
  • Q&A – 53:04
  • Additional City of Seattle resources – 56:11

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) hosted a webinar for arts and cultural organizations and individual artists to share information and resources from the City, the State and Public Health-Seattle & King County (PHSKC) regarding COVID-19.

ARTS knows that the entire region and especially the arts and cultural community are reeling right now. While the situation is evolving daily, we want to get information out to our community and sector that will help you understand the current situation, what resources are available, and hear from you on what your most urgent and pressing needs are. These are truly extraordinary times, but what gives all of us hope is that we know the ingenuity and resourcefulness of this sector will prevail.


  • Randy Engstrom, Director, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
  • Kate Becker, King County Creative Economy Strategist
  • Domonique Meeks, Small Business Team, Seattle Office of Economic Development
  • Ijeoma Olua, Seattle Artists Relief Fund Amid COVID-19
  • Brian McGuigan, Artist Trust
  • Matthew Richter, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
  • Jonathan Cunningham, Seattle Foundation
  • Kathy Hsieh, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
  • Jourdan Keith, Seattle Civic Poet (unable to read because of technical difficulties, but see below for her poems)

In addition to the above, Andrés Mantilla, Director, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Manny Cawaling, Executive Director, Inspire Washington, and Chris Swensen, Acting Director, Seattle Office of Film + Music, will be available for Q&A afterwards.

This is a quickly evolving situation and we will do our best to provide information and answers as much as we are able. We will also be collecting requests; your elevation of particular issues will help us prioritize policy and resources.

Thank you to our partners for helping pull this together: Artist Trust, Artists Up, ArtsFund, ArtsWA, Seattle Arts Commission, Theatre Puget Sound, Visit Seattle.

Poems from the Seattle Civic Poet

the sound of seeds

by Jourdan Imani Keith Ⓟ

listening to the same CD
over and over again
the sound of silver
spinning notes into the cooled office air
is the closest thing I can find
to ocean now.

repetition is necessary for safety
the waves laughing and breaking at
regular intervals hush
the sound of sand being pulled under.

life always comes in pairs.
two by two, joy and disaster. Maybe disaster isn’t.
we are just not use to the sound of seeds breaking.

death puts our ears so close to the soil.
the brown earth has gotten rich with the bodies and bones
of eyes that hunted through the night
before regurgitating sound into the stars.

Gravity has so many meanings, without it my feet would not make it to your door.


by Jourdan Imani Keith Ⓟ

that walk you’ve been meaning to take
that call you’ve been waiting to make
when was the last time you heard their voice?
that project in the drawer, the buttons, the beads, the paper, the saw
that prayer you’ve thought of praying
that guitar you’ve been wanting to play
that lover you need to talk with
that neighbor you’ve seen but not greeted
and what you do not want,
the questions you have asked yourself but not answered—
why have you been keeping those papers?
why is your peanut sauce not quite right?
why is your sweater on your rowing machine?
and your feet
haven’t they missed the view of the lake
and too many sunsets?
and now this…
all this this time to love
what matters to you
and now this…

Solomon and Rumi Walk Into a Bar

Seattle, March 16, 2020

by Jourdan Imani Keith Ⓟ

Solomon Says
In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hands be idle; for you do know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.

Rumi Responds
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.