Facility Emergencies and Opportunities
Deadline: Open   
Debra Twersky 206 263.1610
Flood, Snoqualmie © 2009, courtesy of Northwest Railway Museum

Flood, Snoqualmie © 2009, courtesy of Northwest Railway Museum

Each of 4Culture's three facility program areas, Arts, Heritage and Historic Preservation, has the ability to provide limited support for Out-of-Cycle Emergency or Unforeseen Opportunity projects.

Building damage from a severe storm, fire, or imminent danger from a structural failure are critical issues to facility managers and landmark owners, demanding immediate action. An opportunity to secure below-market long-term lease space requiring renovation, or a chance to acquire property, can allow a cultural organization to significantly expand its mission.

Whether emergency or unforeseen opportunity, both situations require the same short-turnaround response, and are worthy of consideration for 4Culture support.

Funds are set aside specifically for this program each year. Applicants go through rigorous scrutiny, and eligible projects are reviewed and acted upon in about 30 days. Every proposal must begin with a conversation with the appropriate staff person, and is evaluated by one of 4Culture's Advisory Committees. In the twenty years since its inception, 4Culture has provided over $2 million responding to more than 90 emergencies and opportunities in King County. 4Culture is proud to have earned the reputation as a responsive partner in addressing the best and worst circumstances facing cultural properties in King County.

A portion of Lodging Tax revenues collected in King County provides all of the funding for this program.

Guidelines and Process Below  |  Deadline: Open

Who Can Apply

King County nonprofit arts, heritage and preservation organizations, public agencies, and landmark owners

Eligible applicants include King County-based:

  • Not-for-profit arts, heritage and preservation organizations
  • Public agencies other than K-12 schools or school districts
  • Any owners of designated County or City landmark properties (note: PRIVATE landmark owners may apply for Emergency projects only)

Requirements for Organizations:

  • legally-constituted and working board of directors
  • The ability to demonstrate a record of arts/preservation/heritage services in King County
  • At least a two-year operating history as a legally constituted entity
  • Tax exempt status, preferably 501(c)(3)
  • Control of the site through ownership (executed purchase agreement) or a long-term lease (at least 10 years; five years with five year option to extend)
  • The ability to enter into a contract that requires your organization to provide proof of nonprofit status; complete an ADA status review; have liability insurance that names 4Culture as additional insured; and provide other information as required by King County statutes

What Gets Funded

Emergency repairs, acquisitions, renovations that occur outside regular annual funding cycles and cannot wait until the next cycle deadline. All applicants must contact staff to initiate this process.

Out-of-Cycle Funding May Be Used For:

  • Emergency repairs
  • Purchase, remodeling
  • Architectural/engineering design fees, testing, etc.

Out-of-Cycle Funding May Not Be Used For:

  • Moving costs
  • Paying staff salaries or occupancy costs
  • Compensating for lost business income
  • General maintenance and repairs
Confused by language we use? Definitions:


  • A pressing situation that would cause a facility or landmark to be threatened or suffer severe economic consequences due to conditions outside of the applicant's control
  • A threat to the safety of patrons or staff
  • A catastrophic event or natural disaster


  • Presents an occasion to significantly advance an organization's goals and mission
  • Must be an opportunity that was not available at the time of the last regular facilities funding cycle and that will no longer be available to the applicant by the next application cycle


OPEN: This program is responsive to unforeseen circumstances, and the evaluation process usually takes around 30 days.

HOW Awards Are Made

Review criteria and competitive selection process

Every award starts with a conversation with staff, and we keep in touch as you prepare your proposal. Each project is different, and the kind of documents you submit is different. If you are funded, you will enter into a contract with 4Culture that calls for you to provide public benefit to the people of King County as part of 4Culture support.

Review Criteria

  • Importance of the proposed project: if an emergency, the immediacy of need and clear plan for resolving the crisis; if an opportunity, the ability of this project to further the organization's mission
  • Ability of the applicant to successfully manage this project
  • Ability of the applicant to manage the change in operating scope and impact of the project when completed, as evidenced by the operating budget and financial statements
  • Qualifications of those who will be involved in executing the project
  • Extent of community support, which may include, but is not limited to, community involvement, endorsements, and in-kind or cash donations from individuals, foundations, corporations, or other government sources
  • Impact of the project on an applicant's ability to serve the community ("community" includes, but is not limited to, geographic, cultural, ethnic, heritage or artistic definitions)
  • If the project involves a landmark, the extent to which the project will aid in the long-term preservation and continued use of the property
  • Geographic location and audience
  • If an opportunity, the project's ability to create access to cultural experiences for underserved populations

The Review Process

  • Your application will be reviewed by 4Culture staff and the appropriate Advisory Committee. 4Culture’s Arts, Heritage and Preservation committees are made up of cultural administrators and community representatives from all over King County who know the local community and cultural organizations.
  • You will meet with the appropriate committee for a brief conversation about your project.
  • Each committee member receives your application in advance for review.
  • Applicants must contact staff in advance to discuss what additional information, repair estimates, purchase agreements or other documents should be submitted with the proposal.

Requirements and appeals

Learn about the legal requirements of award recipients, and about the process for appeal of a 4Culture award here.


  • What size of awards have been made from this program?
  • Awards have ranged from $5,000 to over $50,000 during the past 5 years.
  • Do you make partial awards?
  • Yes. 4Culture is often unable to fund a request fully.
  • If my organization is collaborating with other organizations to share ownership of a facility, can we submit a joint application?
  • Yes, we encourage creative uses of every facility so that cultural spaces are active 24/7!
  • Will 4Culture staff help me with my application?
  • Yes! Call us as soon as possible. Debra Twersky is your primary contact for the Cultural Facilities program. You can contact Deb at 206 263.1610.
  • If I don't currently have site control or I need to apply under the umbrella of another organization could I still be eligible?
  • Talk with staff first about your project, if you are not sure you are eligible!
  • Can I receive funds for an equipment emergency through this program?
  • Yes. If an equipment failure threatens an organization's operations, 4Culture may consider the request. Unforeseen opportunities to purchase equipment cannot be supported through this program.
  • Are there any restrictions on private landmark owners?
  • Yes. Private landmark owners may only apply for Emergency projects. They are not eligible for Unforeseen Opportunity or equipment repairs or purchases.

Ready to Apply

How to prepare your ONLINE application 

STEP 1 - Read all of the above sections
STEP 2 - CONTACT STAFF TO DISCUSS YOUR PROJECT. If your project is eligible for this program, staff will send you a link to the online application.
STEP 3 - Gather and prepare your information

Below are the primary support materials you are required to submit with your application.

Support Materials Guide

The following support materials must be submitted online as a part of your application for Emergency/Unforeseen Opportunity funds:
  • Project Budget (one page) - submit in your own format. Make certain that you show to the best of your ability the total cost of your emergency or opportunity and any other sources of support.
  • Organization Operating Budget - submit in your own format
  • Board of Directors List (one page) - submit in your own format.
If any additional support materials need to be included with your application, staff will discuss those with you at the time you apply. If staff agrees to allow certain support materials to be mailed/delivered, please send to:
Mail/Deliver Instructions

4Culture Emergency/Out of Cycle Request
[Your staff contact name]
101 Prefontaine Place S
Seattle, WA 98104


STEP 4 - Use the link staff provide you to sign in and fill out your application

Note: Once you have submitted your application, you will still be able to print and save it for your files, but you will not be able to edit it. Please let staff know once you have submitted your application so that we may begin the review process.

For technical questions about the online application system, contact staff member Deb Twersky by email or at 206 263.1610.


Organization Project Summary Award
Burien Actors Theatre Burien Annex Theater Repair and Eqiuipment Replacement $25,000.00
Music Works Northwest Music Works Facility Improvement Project $30,000.00
SEED Abatement for artist studio facility $13,600.00
Somali Community Services Community remodal Project $5,000.00
Southwest Seattle Historical Society Log House Museum railing repair $5,334.00
Town Hall Association Hearing Loop Installation at Town Hall Seattle $10,000.00
Transpacific Emergency shoring for fire debris removal $15,000.00
Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Association Acquisition of historically paired adjacent real estate $40,000.00
Youngstown Cultural Arts Center Repair cracked beam in movement studio $5,000.00
Youth Theatre Northwest Staging materials for interim home $15,000.00


Organization Project Summary Award
Ballet Bellevue HVAC replacement $5,000
Vashon Allied Arts Front Door replacement $1,600
Studio East Van replacement $5,000
Puget Sound Access Carco Theatre renovations $25,000
Northwest Seaport/Lightship Number 83 Haul out-hull restoration $23,000
Steamer Virginia V Foundation Haul out-hull restoration $23,000
Kirkland Womens Club South Wall masonry Restoration $6,000


Organization Project Summary Award
Academy of Music Northwest New furnishings and pianos for space after emergency relocation $5,000
Valley Center Stage Soundproofing/remodeling emergency repairs to theatre space $8,000
On the Boards Emergency - failed dimmer packs $5,100


Organization Project Summary Award
Seattle Theatre Group Opportunity/Emerg - Neptune Theater lease/unexpected expenses (Arts) $50,000
Capitol Hill Housing Group Opportunity - 12th Avenue Lofts Project (Arts) $80,000
Center for Wooden Boats Opportunity - Lease of North Lake Union facility (Heritage) $75,000
Reard House Opportunity/Emergency - (HP) $9,200
Historic Seattle Washington Hall - support for capital campaign study – (HP) $2,500


Organization Project Summary Award
Studio East Second half Opportunity - Relocation new facility (Arts) $25,000
Coyote Central Opportunity - purchase of a facility (Arts) $50,000
KC Parks Emergency - Marymoor stage electrical repairs (Arts) $10,000
Vashon Parks Emergency - new stage construction (Arts) $2,300
Taproot Theatre Emergency - Building reconstruction after fire (Arts) $50,000
New City Theatre Opportunity - expanding facility (Arts) $8,000
ArtEast Opportunity - relocating/expansion (Arts) $10,000
Artspace Projects Emergency - Mt Baker lofts preconstruction costs (Arts) $15,000
Shoreline Historical Museum Emergency/Unforeseen - need to move/purchase of land (Heritage) $125,000
SW Seattle Hist Soc Emergency - Shoring up beams in Log House Museum (HP) $3,235
Historic Seattle Emergency - Structural Assessment of Alki Homestead (HP) $15,000
Cascade Land Conservancy Mukai House and Garden - planning work towards possible purchase by non-profit groups (Heritage/HP) $8,000