Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce
Over 100 businesses and organizations will receive grants from the King County Arts & Culture Fund
December 13, 2021 - Executive Constantine announced today the award of $19.5 million from the Arts & Culture Fund to more than 100 businesses and organizations in the County’s creative sector. The creative sector has been greatly impacted by the pandemic over the last 20 months, with many businesses among the first to close their doors and the last to reopen as the economy recovers.
Executive Constantine launched the application process for these grants in September. The funding is part of a larger $34.4 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) COVID relief fund included in the emergency COVID supplemental budget approved by the King County Council in May.
Nearly $24.5 million is being administered by the Executive’s office to creative sector businesses and organizations. Today, $16.5 million of that total will be awarded to arts and culture organizations with pre-COVID annual operating budgets over $1 million as part of the County’s Revive & Thrive initiative. Additionally, King County is awarding $3 million to science organizations, independent live music venues, and independent movie theaters.
An additional $9.4 million for the cultural field will be distributed by 4Culture, King County’s cultural services agency, focused on organizations with pre-COVID annual operating budgets under $1 million.
“The health and vibrancy of our creative economy and entertainment venues is essential; people come from across the state, country, and the world to enjoy the broad and acclaimed culture King County has to offer,” said Executive Constantine. “Today’s announcement is an important milestone in the economic recovery of the cultural sector – one of the industries hit hardest by the pandemic.”
“Amidst the chaos of COVID, our arts and culture sector has adapted but also struggled to stay alive and thrive. As Budget Chair these past two years, I strived to support these organizations, knowing we need them as much as they need us,” said King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles. “To recover economically from the stresses of this pandemic, King County needs a vital and thriving arts and culture sector. Equally important are the jobs as well as the inspiration and joy the cultural sector brings to our King County kids, our families, to all of us. From visiting a museum, to attending a live performance, seeing a baby gorilla or sea otter, or the new hockey exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, with these grant awards our entire King County family will benefit.”
"I'm proud of our efforts at King County to make sure that our arts and cultural institutions got the help they needed to survive during these unprecedented times,” said King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski. “They are an essential part of our community fabric, and we are lucky to have such a wide array of outstanding organizations in our county. Around the country, the pandemic permanently closed many venues and seriously hurt the workers and performers who counted on them. While King County was not immune, our response has been robust. Our efforts insured that this critical part of our community will be able to thrive again."
The awardees were evaluated on several criteria and are all closely aligned to the arts, science, culture, heritage, independent music venue, or independent movie theater arenas, and their programs provide cultural benefits to King County residents. A list of award winners is available on the King County Creative website.