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City of Seattle

February 7, 1:18 PM click here to comment > 3

Announcing our $1.6 million investment in Seattle arts organizations

Mayor Mike McGinn today announced more than $1.6 million in investments to Seattle-based arts, heritage and cultural organizations through the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs’ Civic Partners program. The program will provide funding to 137 organizations in 2012.

Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs Director Vincent Kitch with Mayor McGinn, Councilmember Nick Licata and David Armstrong, Artistic Director of the 5th Avenue Theatre

“The strong relationship between art and the strength of our local economy is a part of why Seattle is an attractive place to live. The City’s investment provides vital working capital to help groups produce and present a variety of arts and cultural opportunities,” said McGinn. “By supporting creative work throughout the city, we improve our economy and help keep the arts affordable and accessible to thousands of residents and visitors.”

Tom Ikeda, Executive Director of the Japanese American Legacy Project

Representatives from funded organizations and City Councilmember Nick Licata joined in the announcement at The 5th Avenue Theatre, where Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! – featuring a collaboration with choreographer Donald Byrd and his acclaimed Spectrum Dance Theater – is playing. Spectrum and The 5th Avenue Theatre each will receive funding in 2012.

“These funds from the City are invaluable to The 5th and to arts organizations around Seattle. They enable The 5th to provide jobs for 800 people a year, reach 60,000 adults and students through our education programs, and bring tens of millions of dollars in cultural tourism to our local community by attracting 300,00 people a year to downtown,” said David Armstrong, artistic director and executive producer at The 5th Avenue Theatre. “There are three great theater towns in the U.S.: New York City, Chicago and Seattle. The support from the City is essential in allowing us to carry on this great theater tradition in our community.”

The Civic Partners program awards funding to a full spectrum of Seattle arts, heritage and cultural groups – ranging from established organizations to small and emerging groups – with a minimum three-year history of serving Seattle residents and visitors. Funding supports organizations’ core programs and operations, aids in planning and attracting other supporters, and helps underwrite public access to a wide variety of quality arts and cultural opportunities.

“This moment is a truly exciting time for dance and all the arts in Seattle,” said Byrd. “Everyone who lives here can be proud and feel a part of what our arts community achieves because our City government, through its direct support of the arts, helps create a climate of creativity. The City of Seattle understands the value of helping the arts to thrive.”

Funded groups in 2012 represent a wide range of organization sizes, missions, disciplines and audiences served. They include heritage organizations such as the Northwest African American Museum, Historic Seattle, and Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project; youth-oriented groups such as The Talented Youth, Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras, and School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts; and diverse arts and cultural groups such as The Ethnic Heritage Council, Raven Chronicles and Chinese Arts & Music Association.

“With this funding, Densho engages in classroom discussions about making Seattle a more accepting place to live,” said Tom Ikeda, executive director of Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project, which later this month will mark the 70th anniversary of the incarceration of 6,500 innocent Japanese Americans from Seattle. “We share the personal stories of Japanese Americans from Seattle who were unjustly incarcerated during World War II so that students today can identify and help prevent similar mistakes from happening again.”

Nine of the 137 funded organizations are designated community partners, which are defined as arts service organizations that serve and enhance the capacity of artists and arts groups. Community partners include Artist Trust, ArtsEd Washington and Teen Tix.

For a complete list of funded organizations, visit OACA’s website.

Posted by: Words: April Thomas, Pictures: Jen Nance


Comment from Jean A. Roth
Time February 10, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I am surprised that the funding does not seem to have been publicized to established heritage organizations in a way that we could have applied. As an officer in the 88 year-old 501 C3 non profit Seattle Genealogical Society – we wish we had been offered a chance for a grant also.. We have supported the preservation of the city’s pioneer heritage and ethnic settlement for decades since 1923. We did not receive any notice. What a shame. We maintain a library on Sand Point and publish historical information.

Comment from Leo Kabigting
Time February 13, 2012 at 11:31 am

I sure cannot understand why in the face of large budget deficit the Mayor and the Council can find money for the arts. Let’s take care of the essential services first – the police and fire departments, for example. The city should look to the private sector (and there’s plenty of Microsofts and Vulcans) with money in their pockets to do that. Stop taxpayers from giving money to artists and musicians who cannot produce income on their own talents. Enough is enough!

Comment from Marsha Evans
Time February 20, 2012 at 8:24 pm

What a shame and take care of essential services. WHAT? The shame is that schools and community programs around the nation have cut out extra-curricula activities altogether. No funding. These services are essential. Students who once participated in school or stayed after school to participate in band, art, cheer-leading, or other sports no longer have that option.

Thus, many become involved in gang activity, become pregnant, acquire STD’s, create graffiti to express themselves artistically, get high, etc. and no don’t put all the blame on the parent. Informed parents want their children involved in creative arts and the like. When children can explore and be part of meritorious activities (i.e., ART) they learn.

Essential services are those who help people become self-sufficient. The arts support this idea. I’d rather see money well spent to keep people active in supportive arts programs than commit crimes and/or become a burden to society. The arts are not just about painting pictures, but about all types of creativity that can be transferred into higher levels of cognitive thinking that results in socially consensus citizens that can an do make valuable contributions to all. The police and fire department may have less work to do if they can keep students engaged in meaningful activities. Sorry I just burned down your house, but I was bored, and damned angry. Allow me to express myself positively and i can show you great things. Just another way to see. I can agree to disagree. Just re/consider your viewpoints. My feedback is not meant to be offensive rather another viewpoint to consider. Thanks! Peace!