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Interim Director Kayim’s Letter to the Seattle Arts and Culture Community

Dear Seattle Arts and Culture Community,

I write to you today with a deep sense of gratitude and responsibility as the newly appointed Interim Director of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. I am honored to be trusted with furthering Mayor Harrell’s One Seattle vision, knowing that our unity and strength will be vital in reviving and fortifying Seattle’s creative sector.

The last couple of years have presented unprecedented challenges for the community, as the pandemic has disrupted our lives and threatened the essence of our vibrant arts and culture scene. Yet, in the face of adversity, I have witnessed the resilience and determination of the Seattle community. The staff of the Office of Arts & Culture were undeterred in delivering service to the community. I am inspired by their and your unwavering commitment, passion, and belief in the importance and transformative power of our work.

As we look to the future, I want to assure you that the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is dedicated to supporting the thriving creative sector that defines this city. We recognize the pivotal role of arts and culture in supporting the economy, shaping our identity, fostering creativity, and building community cohesion. Together, we will rebuild and reinvigorate our sector, ensuring that Seattle continues to be a haven for artists, creative entrepreneurs, and a hub for cultural expression.

We will actively engage with our community, seeking to understand and respond to your needs and aspirations. I ask for your patience and grace as we work together to remove systemic barriers that may require time and resolve. But I promise you that together, we will forge a united path forward that ensures the creative sector remains at the heart of our city’s economy and identity.

In closing, I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as the Director of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and I am confident that by working together, we will overcome the challenges we face and emerge stronger than ever. Let us embrace the future with optimism, determination, and a steadfast commitment to each other.

Gülgün Kayim