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Gülgün Kayim Sworn In as Director of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture

Photo by Tim Durkan

Seattle, WA – Today, Gülgün Kayim was sworn in as the Director of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS).

ARTS staff, wearing Director Kayim’s favorite color as a surprise, crowded the chamber in shades of red, joking that they should arrange themselves from cool to warm tones. This close to Valentine’s Day and Lunar New Year, it was a festive, auspicious atmosphere, punctuated by a wooden train whistle (the ARTS office is at the top of King Street Station).

“Here in Seattle, we have our own vibe, rhythm and artistic culture that we take pride in – Gülgün Kayim is the right leader to support and cultivate a thriving and inclusive creative landscape everyone can participate in,” said Mayor Harrell. “Arts are the lifeblood of our community that tell new stories, spark enriching experiences, and unite neighbors through shared passions. The Office of Arts & Culture plays a crucial role in fostering this vibrant ecosystem, and I look forward to Director Kayim’s continued leadership for our city and diverse arts community.”

Gülgün and Mayor Bruce Harrell in front of the seal of the City of Seattle.
Photo by Tim Durkan

“The Office of Arts & Culture is known nationally for its forward-thinking public art programming, its equity-centered funding, innovative creative education programs, cultural space work, and thought leadership. I am honored to be its new Director. I come here having built a foundation on creative economy work, arts-focused race and social justice initiatives and arts-based community development. I am excited to join the City of Seattle at this transformative time as we look to the Seattle arts community to help us enrich downtown activation and showcase the values and cultures of this great city on the world stage,” said Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Director Gülgün Kayim.

Gülgün poses with her husband, Council Member Tanya Woo, and Mayor Bruce Harrell.
(l-r) Gülgün and her husband, David, Councilmember Tanya Woo, Mayor Bruce Harrell.
Photo by Tim Durkan.

“As Chair of the Sustainability, City Light, Arts & Culture Committee, I would like to congratulate Director Kayim. I bring my own sense of cultural awareness to Seattle City Council and understand how important it is not only to celebrate but nurture all the cultures that make Seattle such a great city,” said Seattle City Councilmember Tanya Woo, Citywide. “I look forward to partnering with the Office of Arts & Culture on this work.”