Seattle Foundation Blog

Proposition 1 Expands Access to the Arts for All

The ballot measure increases equity in the arts and makes our region more vibrant


July 19, 2017

By Lauren Domino

Long before coming to work for Seattle Foundation when I was fresh out of college, I worked as a theatre teaching artist. Every day, I had the joy of seeing children’s eyes light up in wonder as thrilling events unfolded in front of them. The adventures they experienced on-stage during performances and off-stage through classroom workshops opened a new world of possibilities to them, sparking their imaginations and fostering their courage and empathy.  

But the reality was – and still is – that not every child in our region has access to these inspiring cultural and experiential learning opportunities. Now, King County voters have the power to change this.

Seattle Foundation supports Proposition 1, Access for All, for the August 1 election. This initiative benefits our region by expanding equitable access to the arts and arts education, a priority under our Healthy Community framework.

What is it? Prop 1 asks voters to approve a 0.1% sales tax increase — one penny on every $10 — to support increased access to the hundreds of nonprofit arts heritage, and scientific organizations in our region. At only $30 per year for the average household, this measure will have a transformative effect on our schools, families and communities.

What are the benefits of Prop 1?

Education for Kids: Public school students in all 19 King County school districts will see a dramatic increase in free access to curriculum-related arts, science and heritage programs through in-class experiences and field trips to our world-class cultural institutions. Research shows that higher levels of arts and culture participation support student success, improve graduation rates, and increase civic engagement.  

Equity and Inclusion: Nearly 40 major regional arts, science and heritage organizations, including the Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Aquarium, Pacific Science Center and Museum of Flight, will offer free admission for low-income families and seniors and increase free days for all who wish to attend.

Investing in Local Communities: Funds will go toward expanding community programs and festivals and developing new cultural spaces throughout the county. As our friends at ArtsFund have found in their research, thriving cultural organizations support significant economic activity for local communities. 

Through my decade of work in the local arts community and in my role as a Philanthropic Advisor, I see the critical role that our arts, culture and heritage organizations play in improving the health and vibrancy of our community. I also see the gaps in those services and the opportunity we have to touch the lives of so many more kids, families and residents. That is why we as a Foundation support this important initiative.


Learn more about Seattle Foundation's Arts and Culture element of a healthy community.

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