Seattle Foundation Blog

Seattle Foundation Fosters Vibrant Communities through Arts Engagement

Collective fundraising effort raises $241,500 for 16 local arts nonprofits


August 06, 2015

This spring, Seattle Foundation partnered with community philanthropists and local nonprofits to build a successful GiveTogether effort around arts engagement. Seattle Foundation contributed an initial $130,500 and 18 individual philanthropists joined together to contribute an additional $111,000. These generous donors made it possible to fund a diverse collection of organizations creating immersive arts experiences—from contemporary dance to Asian history to creative writing—for residents across Greater Seattle.

The impetus for this focus on arts and culture—one of the key elements of Seattle Foundation’s Healthy Community Framework—was concern over equitable access to arts. Research reveals a disparity in access to meaningful arts experiences in our region, especially as the demographics of the area continue to evolve. Removing barriers to cultural resources results in broader, more diverse arts experiences, enriches perspectives and in turn strengthens the cultural vitality of the region. The philanthropic sector has a unique opportunity to support organizations that are creating vibrant arts experiences for all members of our community, and to help them build capacity for those initiatives so they may continue to thrive.

GiveTogether is a collective giving approach through which community philanthropists work with Seattle Foundation to learn about and fund local strategies that address significant community needs. The mission of the spring effort was to award grants to King County organizations whose missions and core programs center on arts and culture, and whose work provides integrative arts experiences through innovative initiatives, programs or partnerships.

The GiveTogether committee, comprised of Seattle Foundation staff and community philanthropists, spent three months exploring issues related to arts and culture and reviewing grant applications from a strong pool of 105 applicants. These 16 exciting local organizations were selected to receive funding:

--Wing Luke Museum ($30,000)

--Jack Straw Cultural Center ($25,000)

--Coyote Central ($20,000)

--La Sala ($20,000)

--Seattle Music Partners ($15,000)

--Pat Graney Company ($15,000)

--Velocity Dance Center ($16,000)

--Freehold Theatre Lab ($15,000)

--Arts Corps ($10,000)

--Pratt Fine Arts Center ($15,000)

--Theatre 22 ($10,000)

--Densho ($10,000)

--Azeotrope ($10,000)

--Pongo Publishing ($10,000)

--CIRCC: Coalition of Immigrants Refugees & Communities of Color ($10,000)

--Tasveer ($10,000)

 Grants are allocated to support general operating expenses as well as new and existing projects.

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