Seattle Foundation Blog

Second Creative Equity Fund Cohort Announced

Seattle Foundation proudly announces the latest round of Creative Equity Fund grant recipients. The newest cohort represents the latest round of funding for organizations in King County who will be advancing racial justice work through arts and culture.


August 26, 2021

Creative Equity Fund was launched in 2018 as a funder collaborative and is made possible thanks to several generous donors including ArtsFund, 4Culture, Macklemore, Microsoft, Satterberg Foundation, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Seattle Foundation, The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, and individual philanthropists. Their active involvement and belief in collective, community change makes it possible for Seattle Foundation to administer the Fund. While originally envisioned as a program to support BIPOC-led and serving organizations broadly, based on internal assessments from the funders, direct feedback from the previous cohort of grantees, and the chronic underinvestment in Black and Indigenous-led nonprofits from the philanthropic sector, this round of funding is focused entirely on supporting Black and Indigenous-led organizations in King County.

Several grant recipients shared their excitement after the announcement, expressing what they look forward to and how this funding will allow them to continue to do great work in their communities.

woman in a red outfit standing outside with a drum, singing into a microphone, with the blue sky above her

"Red Eagle Soaring is excited and honored to join in the Creative Equity Fund cohort, as this amazing opportunity will deepen our relationships with of fellow community members and organizations as we plot a more equitable future together, while funding the work we have always been about,” said Russell Brooks, Executive Director, Red Eagle Soaring. “This will lift our Native voices and experiences, as we empower new generations of Native youth through the performing arts. We are grateful to the Seattle Foundation for making this time together possible!"

 

Group of musicians playing music on a stage, all wearing white outfits

“We at LANGSTON are grateful for this opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with Indigenous and fellow Black organizations,” said Tim Lennon, Executive Director, LANGSTON. “Working together across our organizations will amplify our collective power. Thanks to Seattle Foundation for recognizing that the best practice to advance equity is to follow the lead of the folks out here doing the work, listen, and learn.”

 

3 women and 1 man are smiling with a mask on, standing outside

“The grant application process was a very enriching process. We felt heard and seen, [and] we did not have to translate our work into a business language or justify the value of the work we are doing, thanks to the fact that it was reviewed by Black and Indigenous community members who understand our needs in a profound way,” said Milvia Berenice Pacheco Salvatierra, President, Movimiento Afrolatino Seattle.

 

A total of $720,000 will be granted out to 14 organizations for the 2021-2022 cohort. Consistent with the way Creative Equity Fund was designed, the incoming grantees were chosen by a community review panel. Because the focus of this round of funding is to support Black and Indigenous-led and serving organizations, a cross-sector group of Black and Indigenous community members were hired as reviewers and made all grant decisions. It remains an intentional decision to not have funders included in the grant selection process and truly model giving up our institutional power to honor the knowledge and power of communities most impacted by structural racism.

“With 14 organizations selected, we actually have an even split of Black and Indigenous-led and serving organizations participating in the new cohort,” says Jonathan Cunningham, Senior Program Officer at Seattle Foundation. “We’re really excited to bring together leaders from across the Black and Indigenous diasporas for the next two years as they will have the opportunity to learn from each other’s histories, find opportunities to collaborate and imagine a just and liberated world together while using arts & culture as a tool for systems and policy change work.” 

The full list of grant recipients is listed below:

 

Creative Equity partners are proud to support these organizations in their mission to achieve substantive change. Doing so requires funding, which is why we found it imperative to increase financial support for this round. However, there is still substantial unmet need across the arts & culture sector and we encourage more funders and philanthropists to join us in this effort. Read more about the Creative Equity Fund and how to contribute to its impact here. For direct inquiries please contact Jonathan Cunningham j.cunningham@seattlefoundation.org.

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