Allied Arts Foundation Programs
AAF is authorized by the U.S. Internal revenue Service as a Section 501(c)(3) organization. This means we can provide a fiscal sponsorship "umbrella" that enables our sponsored artists, arts organizations, and special projects to offer tax benefits (to the extent allowed by law) to their donors who make contributions of money, goods and/or services. We offer sponsorship to artists in a variety of situations including those who want it only for the duration of a particular project, those who need it as a "bridge" between the time they apply for and receive their own 501(c)(3) status, and those requesting it for a long-term time period. Although the majority of our sponsorees come from the Pacific Northwest, we also sponsor artists from across the United States. Most of our sponsorships are helping actors, dancers, choreographers and musicians; sculptors, painters, poets, writers, filmmakers, and mixed-media projects. Additionally, we are sponsoring artists who apply their expertise to environmental, historic preservation and urban-design projects. Our past experience gives us the necessary expertise to meet the needs of our present-day artists; we provide the framework they need to proceed with their projects and transform them from conception to completion.
The "Allied Arts Foundation Grants" program serves the local arts community by helping artists present their creativity to the community-at-large. In order to maximize our arts outreach, we give small grants to many artists rather than large awards to just a few, and limits grants to applicants whose work is exhibited or performed within the Greater Seattle area. Over the years, artists receiving Foundation grants have spanned the gamut from well-known to undiscovered. . .mainstream to experimental. And their imaginative and meaningful concepts have included everything from gallery exhibits to book publications; stage and street performances to providing art-cart programs in local hospitals.
High School Awards
Every year AAF presents the "Robert Jackson Block Awards for Excellence in the Arts" to three outstanding arts students at each Seattle public high school. These monetary awards are given to recognize each school's top talent in the fields of music, drama, and the visual arts. Additionally, a stipend is given to those high schools that still provide an arts program. The Foundation established these awards in 1998 to memorialize Robert Block (1916-1996), a dedicated civic leader and arts patron who also was a co-founder and long-time president of the Allied Arts Foundation. At a time when traditional donor sources have diminished, and school arts programs are being increasingly curtailed or dismantled, we believe this Foundation must support our schools and their promising young talent through today's difficulties to ensure the arts flourish far into the future.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
AAF's founding members were instrumental in establishing many of the arts and cultural institutions, projects and programs that help define our region's heritage. Their accomplishments range from helping create the first Seattle Arts Commission and successful One Percent For The Arts Program, to promoting legislation to restrict billboards and plant more street trees, to lobbying for affordable artist live/work space, to rallying the public to save Pioneer Square and the Pike Place Market from being completely demolished. The purpose of AAF's History Project is to compile oral/written testimony from our founders, archive material describing their activities, and provide a formal record of the Foundation's four-decade-plus history. As an added benefit, our heritage also provides historical references to many other prominent local individuals and organizatons with whom our founders have worked over the years. The Project's initial phase describes events that led to the founding of AAF, and focuses on a time- frame from the mid-1950s through the mid-1980s. This stage is nearly complete: The written materials have all been collected and sorted by professional archivists, and now reside in the University of Washington's Special Collections section of the library. All oral interviews are completed, and a video trailer providing a sample of how the finished DVD portion of the project will look is currently available for viewing. Eventually, AAF's history will also be included on a web site and in hard-copy versions.
In order to complete our History Project in particular, and continue our day-to-day work in general, the Foundation needs:
- funding (especially to complete the History Project DVD and design a web site)
- a single-sheet scanner
- a new laptop
Thanks in advance to anyone who can help!