Find Posts By Topic

2023 Year in Review

As we pause to reflect on the events and work of the last year, I am incredibly grateful to be directing Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture and to be surrounded by a dynamic and inspiring team. Despite many challenges and a tremendous amount of change, I’m proud of the progress we have made in celebrating and supporting Seattle’s creative community.

From expanding The Creative Advantage arts education programming to 10 new schools, to investing $1.13 million awarded to more than 75 local artists and organizations through the Hope Corps Downtown Seattle and Seattle Parks and Recreation Mural Projects, Artists At The Center, and Youth Arts grants, I’m proud of all we have accomplished in the last year. By collaborating with the artists and culture bearers who shape our identity and build community cohesion, we make space for creation and experimentation while we strengthen our city, contribute to our economic growth, and forge the path forward.

Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, we are excited by the potential of Mayor Harrell’s Downtown Activation Plan and the physical space our office inhabits at King Street Station, including the creative neighbors who join us at Station Space. These are community assets that provide a strong base from which to develop and grow, enriching Seattle and the artists who work here.

I continue to be honored and humbled working with this community. Together, we will build on our successes and learn from each other in the process of creating One Seattle.

Gülgün Kayim
Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Director

black and white headshot of Gülgün Kayim

Watch Director Kayim’s confirmation video

  1. We welcomed our new Director, Gülgün Kayim!
  2. 6,759 visitors came through the doors of ARTS at King Street Station.
  3. Over 8,000 community members attended events at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute.
  4. All of our 2023 grants were translated into Seattle’s top seven languages and prioritized communities most impacted by structural oppression.
  5. Our Public Art program celebrated 50 years of giving people opportunities to encounter art in their daily lives and public venues.
  6. 8,314 art and cultural events were open to over 3.5 million community members through our C.A.R.E. grant (Centering Art and Racial Equity).
  7. 1,675,532 free tickets to those events were given to community, including 499,325 youth.
  8. 25,145 artists were involved in programming we funded, including 9,721 paid artists.
  9. The Creative Advantage and Artists Up both celebrated 10 years of serving students and individual artists respectively.
  10. We presented the Arts Recovery Through Anti-Racist Action video series, highlighting initiatives and strategies on what it means to be more inclusive and anti-racist.
group photo of The Creative Advantage Implementation Team
The Creative Advantage Implementation Team

The Creative Advantage program expands to Nine New Seattle Schools

Headshot of Shin Yu Pai
2023-2024 Seattle Civic Poet Shin Yu Pai; Photo by James McDaniel
Man crouched outside getting something handed to him
Hai! Japantown, Neighborhood Recovery Program Recipient
  • The Neighborhood Recovery program allocates $1.1 Million to 14 organizations across the city
  • Va’Eomatoka Valu commissioned as the artist for the Alaskan Way Protected Bike Lane artwork project
  • Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute hosts the 20th Annual Seattle Black Film Festival
  • Two exhibitions open at KSS: Spotted in Seattle and The First 50 Years: Highlights from the Civic Collection, 1973-2023
  • Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute hosts ACES: Artists of Color Expo and Symposium
five people standing in gallery looking at art on walls
Spotted in Seattle opening, ARTS at King Street Station
Two people sit holding hands in front of artwork in gallery
Artist Robert “Running Fisher” Upham (right) with his piece Bolt 40 Ledger in The First 50 Years: Highlights from the Civic Collection, 1973-2023
Woman standing with arms outstretched in front of a chain link fence with green, yellow, blue, red, and orange artwork. artwork are rectangles with shapes cut out.
Flow Mosaic by June Sekiguchi

Temporary artwork from emerging artists in our Public Art Boot Camp is installed along the Beacon Hill Greenway and inside Seattle Center campus

  • Two exhibitions open at KSS: Places Between and Make it. Make Sense.
  • ARTS and SDOT celebrated with community members from the Highland Park neighborhood to welcome a new addition to the city’s Civic Art Collection, Where’s the Party created by artist Matthew Mazotta, 
  • RYAN! Feddersen commissioned for the Chief Sealth Trail artwork project 
Artwork in Gallery. Red and white teepee and standing white posts with red images of faces on the top
Tammie Dupuis artwork at ARTS at King Street Station, Photo by Alex Garland working for SKL Architecture
Hope Corps 2023 Exhibition Artists at Cornish Playhouse, Photo by Elaine Ikoma Ko