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Nature Consortium 

Description

Nature Consortium creates opportunities for all of our West Seattle community to connect to themselves, to each other and the natural world. We foster a journey of discovery for people to find empowerment and action in a way that is unique from any other local organization. We believe that access to art and nature can incite individuals to alter their behavior and affect the future of their community. 

Mission Statement
Nature Consortium is a West Seattle community-enhancing organization whose mission is to connect people, arts and nature. We believe that arts and nature are essential to a healthy community, a bright future and should be accessible to everyone. 
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Nature Consortium
4408 Delridge Way SW Ste 107 
Seattle 
WA
98106-1348 
(206) 923-0853 

Merica Whitehall 
Executive Director 

Programs

Nature Consortium Programs

Urban Forest Restoration: All year round, 2-4 times a week, staff and volunteers, of all ages, install native trees and plants, pull out invasive species and lay mulch in this increasingly important forest. The Arts in Nature Festival: A 2-day outdoor event, averaging 3000 attendees each year. This festival features performance, installation and interactive arts alongside hiking trails and youth activities. EcoArts: Free art instruction that goes beyond simple technique, demonstrating how the arts can be a conduit of 21st century skill building and environmental education. Together, these programs:
  • Foster a sustainable environment in unique ways
  • Build community through education and creative place-making 
  • Create and demonstrate access to the arts and nature for youth and adults of all backgrounds

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

In 2014, our Urban Forest Restoration Program installed 5280 new native plants into the West Duwamish Greenbelt, pushing 8.5 acres of this forest into active restoration! This was made possible by the hard work and dedication of 2,937 community and corporate volunteers, who came from all over King County, Washington, the U.S and even New Zealand! Our Youth Art Program became the EcoARTS program and engaged 158 of Seattle's least resourced youth in arts and environmental education. Our teaching artists provided 274 hours of instruction. Our gardening arts program at Pathfinder K-8 school served the entire student body (appx 500 students).

The introduction of the EcoARTS program requires a progressive year round curriculum that is 100% free to afterschool youth. However, a core value of Nature Consortium is to pay artists a fair wage for performance or instruction. In order to meet our goal of enrolling 300 youth in the EcoARTS program, we must maintain a budget for our teaching artists' fees. Our teaching artists are professional Seattle area artists with significant experience teaching youth and developing curriculum.


Evaluation


As an environmental arts organization, the Nature Consortium (NC) connects community residents to each other, to their neighborhoods, and to the natural world through a multi-pronged approach. They offer over 300 days of programming a year through three programs: the Youth Art Program, the Urban Forest Restoration Project and the annual Arts in Nature Festival.

Collaboration
NC’s Youth Art Program collaborates with numerous schools, districts and nonprofit organizations. Classes are held out-of-school time, year-round, at multiple low-income and public housing community locations throughout Seattle and King County as well as during in-school time at partner schools in Seattle and Highline school districts. They have designated sites at the Yesler Community Center and the Rainier Vista community, partially supported through a contract with the Seattle Housing Authority.

Accessibility and Cultural Competency
NC programs have significant reach, serving thousands of youth and adults each year in neighborhood-based settings like community centers, public libraries, and other nonprofit organizations. They particularly focus on low-income, underserved communities, exposing them to a wide range of cultural art forms, artistic mediums and environmental learning. New and repeat participant numbers continue to grow.

Leadership
NC is led by a committed founding Executive Director and a growing working Board. They have been intentional in their growth of Board members, finding people with particular skills and connections, while the Board as a whole takes on a greater focus in fundraising, marketing and outreach.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
6/10/2014 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
10/1/2008 $15,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/21/2006 $20,000.00support general operating expenses.

Financials

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