Open 4Culture
Deadline: ongoing  
Melissa Newbill 206 263.1603


Research Planning Team
Space Rental Photography
Materials Installation
Repairs Dancers
Framing Editor
Security Printing
Surveyor Shipping
Translation Web Design
Poets Tools
Musicians Legal Fees
Consultant Intern
Intern Street Permits
Actors Truck Rental
Equipment Fabrication
Videography and more

Guidelines | Deadline: Ongoing

What is Open 4Culture?

  • Open 4Culture is a grant program that reaches people new to 4Culture’s programs by awarding up to $1,500 for arts, historic preservation or King County Heritage projects.
  • Projects must provide "public benefit" by offering an arts, heritage or preservation event or presentation that is open and accessible to the public (see Frequently Asked Questions below for an explanation).
  • Heritage and preservation applicants and projects may be in Seattle and throughout King County. Open 4Culture funds art projects that are presented outside of Seattle. If you are an artist or arts group from Seattle, and have an art project based in the City of Seattle, see SmART Ventures, a grant offered by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.
  • Open 4Culture project activities must occur after the project has been selected for a grant and a contract has been signed.

WHO Open 4Culture Funds

  • Individuals who are 18 years of age or older (or youth with adult representation);
  • Arts projects in King County including White Center & Skyway (Unincorporated King County) but outside of Seattle.
  • Heritage and Preservation projects based anywhere in King County.

Who Open 4Culture Does NOT Fund

  • Artists, Arts Groups and Organizations doing projects in the City of Seattle;
  • Individuals, Groups and Organizations who have been funded by 4Culture;
  • Individuals who are current staff, board or Advisory Committee member of 4Culture;
  • City, County and other public agencies.

When to Apply for Open 4Culture

Open 4Culture has no deadline, but you must submit your application at least six-weeks before your public event/presentation in order for us to process and review your application.

More Information

How Projects are Selected:

Applications to Open 4Culture are first reviewed by 4Culture staff for eligibility, accuracy, and completeness. If approved, 4Culture staff then reviews the application based upon the discipline area (arts, heritage or preservation). 4Culture will select and recommend the most highly qualified, eligible projects for funding based on the following criteria:

  • The project is created by or for audiences of underserved communities; or offers an innovative approach to the arts, historic preservation or King County heritage.
  • The project is accessible and offers public benefit to King County residents.
  • The project is feasible and the applicant has demonstrated the ability to accomplish the project.
  • The project funding request makes sense. The way 4Culture money will be used is clearly explained in the budget.

Funding Preferences:

Because we have limited funds, we do have a preference for how money from 4Culture is spent within a project. Applying to pay for preferred items will make your application its most competitive. We like to pay for the following (not in preferred order):

  • Materials
  • Professional fees (example: appraiser)
  • Artist fees (example: musicians and dancers)
  • Equipment rental
  • Documentation
  • Facility rental
  • Permits/insurance
  • Promotion/outreach/advocacy
  • Technical fees (example: sound technician)

Sample Project Ideas

  • To pay for the street closure permit, liability insurance and sound equipment rental for a festival to celebrate the history of farming in Carnation.
  • To pay three Latino dancers, to present a full-length evening concert, at the American Legion in Kent.
  • To hire a historian to work with K-8 students, who will map out a farm that once stood on their school grounds on Vashon, by creating drawings and writing stories about the farm, based on historical research.
  • To fund the planning phase of a garden project in a location of significance to the Japanese community in the International District in Seattle.

If Selected

If selected, applicants must sign a letter of agreement with 4Culture, which may include requirements for insurance, acknowledgement of 4Culture's support and project evaluation and a Social Security Number or Tax Payer ID Number for payment. Generally, you will claim your award after your event/presentation is complete. However, if your event/presentation cannot happen without some advance funds, we can provide 50% of your award before your event/presentation, and 50% after it is complete.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does "Public Benefit" mean?

Open 4Culture is funded by public taxes, lodging tax revenues collected in King County. Since the program is funded by public dollars, it’s important that your project benefits the public and is accessible to King County residents and tourists. As you think about applying for an Open 4Culture grant, consider what you will offer the public. Here are some examples:

  • Free/low cost tickets to one or more project performances, exhibitions, workshops, screenings, readings, etc.
  • Presenting a project-related event in suburban or rural King County.
  • Presenting a project-related event to diverse or underserved communities.
  • Create free, electronically accessible materials, including literary publications, audio or video recordings.
  • What do you consider to be an underserved community in King County?
  • We consider an underserved community in King County to be groups that may not have equitable access to the arts, King County heritage or historic preservation opportunities.
  • My project will take place in Seattle, why can't I apply to Open 4Culture for an art project?
  • The Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs offers smART ventures, which served as the inspiration for this program. By offering our program for art projects outside of Seattle, we can serve more people and communities with limited funds.
  • If I have submitted my project idea to another 4Culture program, may I apply to Open 4Culture?
  • You may not receive funding from more than one program of 4Culture for the same project. You may elect to apply to another 4Culture program for the same project, but you will have to choose one award if you are selected as a recipient of more than one program.
  • May I apply if I am under the age of 18?
  • Yes, but you will need an adult who can sign the contracts and receive the funds on your behalf.
  • Can my organization apply for a project, if we receive Sustained Support from 4Culture?
  • No, Open 4Culture is for individuals, groups and organizations that are new to 4Culture
  • If I've received funding from Open 4Culture may I apply again?
  • No. Applicants who have already submitted successful applications are encouraged to seek out other funding opportunities available to them. Open 4Culture is meant to open the door to new applicants to 4Culture. We welcome our Open recipients to apply to our other funding programs.
  • What if my art project takes place outside of the Seattle City Limits, but I or my group is based in Seattle?
  • If your project will benefit King County residents and visitors in underserved areas of King County, you may still be eligible to apply. Please discuss this with the Coordinator.
  • Can I apply to create a permanent artwork, in a public place, outside of Seattle?
  • No. Due to engineering and liability concerns, we cannot support permanent public art projects through this program. We may be able to support temporary art works in suburban and rural King County. We also have specific requirements for mural projects. Please discuss this with the Coordinator.
  • I'm an artist manager/gallery manager/fiscal sponsor/community service organization, may I apply on behalf of an individual or groups I represent, who meet the eligibility requirements?
  • Yes, you may apply on behalf of the individual, group or organization. However, we must have documentation that you are representing the individual, group or organization and, contracts will not be transferred or reassigned, from one party to another after signing. This exception may not be used to circumvent residency requirements.
  • Are these funds taxable if I/we receive an award?
  • Yes, 4Culture must report all awarded funds to the IRS.

How To Apply for Open 4Culture

You must first contact our Open 4Culture Coordinator, who will ask you some additional questions to ensure this program is right for you and will give you tips on how to complete your application. Then, you will complete a simple Open 4Culture Application and submit it, at least six-weeks prior to your project. All applicants will be notified if they were awarded funding or not.

Contact Us to Get Started

Contact: Melissa Newbill, Open 4Culture Coordinator, 206 263.1603


Applicant Project Location Award
Coco SpadoniAdapting Loves: A traveling art exhibit for queer youthWoodinville, Redmond, Bothell$1,500
Discover Your NorthwestGo Klondike Legacy CelebrationSeattle$1,000
Duvall Foundation for the ArtsSandBlast Festival of the ArtsDuvall$1,500
Kimberly EwingSwing Rock: Snoqualmie River Valley Women in Arts TourSnoqualmie$1,500
Finn Hill Neighborhood AllianceAfter Oso: Can Landslides Be Prevented in Slide-hazard Areas Like Finn Hill?Kirkland$1,500
Friends of the Ballard LocksLake Washington Ship Canal Centennial CommemorationSeattle$1,500
Friendship AdventuresFriendship FolliesShoreline$1,500
Iraqi Community CenterIraqi Art DayKent$1,500
Irfan MirzaPhotography Exhibit: Bosnia-Herzegovina 1992-1993Shoreline$1,000
Jordan AlamOur Own Reflections: Writing Complex Characters of ColorSeattle$1,500
Joy HagenThe Trees of the WoodSammamish$1,500
Latino Theater ProjectsMariela in the DesertWhite Center$1,500
Melissa Ponderin - dig - e - nizeAuburn$1,000
Merna HechtStories of Arrival: Refugee and Immigrant Youth Voices Poetry ProjectTukwila$1,500
Plateau Area Writers' AssociationRegional Writer's ConferenceAuburn$800
Redmond Association of the Spoken WordPoets in the ParkRedmond$500
Redmond ChoraleGloria! Gloria!Kirkland$1,500
Seattle Chinese Chorus2015 Annual ConcertBellevue$1,500
Skyway SolutionsDiversity Makes Us Beautiful muralSkyway$1,500
Somali Family Safety Task ForceSomali Cultural Arts AfternoonWhite Center$750
Technology Access Foundation Gallery at Back-To-School BarbecueWhite Center$1,500
Van WolfeVanFest FiveMaple Valley$1,500


Applicant Project Location Award
Arts for Hearts "Princess Pastry" Theater Production Redmond $1,500.00
Arts for Life Taiwan Folk Song Carnival Concert Bellevue $1,500.00
Black Dog Arts Coalition CD Production of Live Performances Snoqualmie $1,500.00
Bojia, Yadesa Completion of CD "Yaddi Bojia Featuring Iré" Shoreline $1,500.00
Btown Beat Signage for Artwalk Burien $1,500.00
City Farm Seattle University Artist-lead temporary mural/signage at CitySoil Farm Renton $1,500.00
Cambodian Cultural Alliance of Washington (CCAW) Cambodian New Year Street Festival White Center $1,500.00
Datina Folk Ensemble Performance at Redmond Senior Ctr Redmond $1,500.00
Decorative Design Salon Musicians for National Design conference Union Station $1,500.00
Discover Burien Dia de Los Muertos Burien $1,500.00
Earth Pearl Collective Body Embodied Seattle $850.00
Friends of the Klondike Go Klondike Legacy Day Seattle $1,500.00
Friendship Adventures Choral and Music Performances Shoreline $1,500.00
Lutheran Community Services NW Artwalk Sea Tac $1,300.00
Mister E Productions O-Asis: A Night of Middle Eastern Dance and Music Vashon $1,500.00
Nrityalaya Dance The Five Great Elements of Hindu Philosophy - 'Pancha Mahabutha' Kirkland $1,500.00
Para Los Niños Descubriendo Nuestra Cultura/Discovering our Culture Burien $1,500.00
Radio Variedad Annual Festival Performances Renton $1,500.00
Rong Rong Chinese Folk Choir Annual concert production Bellevue $1,500.00
Transition Snoqualmie Valley 4th Annual Snoqualmie Valley Seed Exchange Carnation $1,500.00
We-App Youth Presentation/Performance event White Center $1,000.00
Williams, Keith Pictoral history publication of Seattle's Black Community events Seattle $1,500.00


Applicant Project Location Award
Cheryll Leo Gwin Bringing Chinese Master Artists to exhibit/present
in King County
Sammamish $1,500
Eunice Kim Free Collagraph Workshop Kent $1,500
Tim Hickey Tap and Kathak dance jam Redmond $1,500
Iranian American Community Alliance Persian Poetry and Music Workshop Bellevue $1,000
Kubota Garden Foundation Restoration of finials on bridge Seattle $712
Yadesa Bojia Visual art exhibition/education program for Ethiopian community South Seattle $1,500