Where to Find Arts Grants in Seattle
Get that money 💰
March 9, 2023
Being an artist is hard! You’ve got to transform inspiration and passion into something you’re proud of and then present it to an audience. And then there’s the money part.
But here’s a little pro tip: The Seattle Office of Arts and Culture (ARTS) has several grants to make funding projects a lot easier for Seattle-based artists.
Here are a few you can consider for projects you’ve got brewing in that brain of yours. Note: Many of these application cycles are for projects taking place in 2024.
📸: Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture | The Creative Advantage Roster's teaching artist Antonio Gomez
Applications open March 28th - May 9th, 2023
The CityArtist 2024 grant is for Seattle-based artists and curators researching, developing, and presenting ideas or ventures. Specifically, artists and curators working in literary, media/digital/film (including screenwriting), and visual arts.
For the 2022 cycle of funding, artists received grants for live presentations, fashion films, spoken word performances, public readings, and screenings of multimedia videos. For the 2024 round, individuals can apply for up to $8,000 in funds for projects that connect residents throughout Seattle and are presented for public benefit. And if you don’t see your discipline represented this year, don’t worry. They rotate every grant cycle, meaning 2024 could be your year.
“Artists are the ultimate storytellers who create a universal language that we can all understand,” wrote acting ARTS director royal alley-barnes in a statement about this grant. “Their work and creativity impact our worldview, and forge relationships between communities, businesses, and organizations. It is imperative that we invest in artists through grants like CityArtists because artists everywhere is art everywhere.”
Artists at the Center
Applications open May 16th - June 27th, 2023
The Seattle Center is undoubtedly one of the best cultural spaces in the city. The Artists at the Center grant furthers its cultural tradition by allowing selected artists to organize pop-up music, dance, theatrical, and multi-disciplinary performances at Seattle Center. The Center chooses artists with “an equity and social justice lens,” emphasizing uplifting emerging and underserved artists. Now in its second year, for the 2022-2023 cycle, 26 awardees were given a total of $106,000 and received technical production support. Watch for the next cycle’s application window opening, and get your dance or music performance on.
Dot ur i’s, cross ur t’s 🖊️
These are all exciting opportunities! But make sure you do everything VERY carefully. Read the guidelines, triple-check your eligibility, ask questions, and be as clear and concise as possible. You don’t want a simple mistake to come between you and your grant.
Arts in Parks
Applications open September 26th - November 7th, 2023
Seattle is home to over 485 parks. Meaning, you’re just a hop, skip, and jump from a place to loll about with your friends. As such, parks also provide good opportunities for community gatherings, and the City’s Arts in Parks grant encourages just that.
Done in partnership with ARTS and Seattle Parks and Recreation, individual artists, community-based groups, and neighborhood councils interested in activating a city park with a free and accessible event can apply for this grant. The funding body is primarily interested in proposals in “underserved and economically constrained areas of the city” with a focus on uplifting new and established festivals or events that “celebrate diversity” and “build community connections.”
Basically, is there a cultural dance festival or music workshop you’ve always dreamed of putting together? Then this is your grant.
Each individual or group can apply for up to $7,800 in funding. Before you submit an application, cross reference the City’s preferred parks list and note the parks that are ineligible for this grant funding (like downtown and center city parks). Guidelines for the 2024 grant will drop on September 26th, when the application period begins.
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute Facility Grant
Making something that celebrates and preserves the Black American and African diasporic performing arts and cultural legacies? Need a giant space? And tons of seats? Then the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute Facility (LHPAI) Grant is for you, babe.
The LHPAI Grant is for individuals, groups, or communities making artistic or cultural projects that reach underserved audiences and “builds community through arts and culture.” But—important!—this grant does not have a monetary amount. Rather, the grant represents 40 hours of “staffed building use” at the LHPAI facility for your proposed art or cultural activity. It covers facility use and paid staff time.
The guidelines encourage you to start the process as early as possible. They recommend at least two months before the project starts or the event date. So get to it!
Artist-in-residency for Digital Artists
Applications deadline April 14th
Though this technically isn’t a grant, it is an excellent opportunity for artists to get significant support from the City.
ARTS and the Seattle Department of Transportation partnered to host a residency from June through December 2023 for two digital artists working in digital data visualization art. What’s unique about this residency, however, is that the studio/office space provided is inside the Fremont Bridge’s northwest tower and the University Bridge’s southeast tower.
The call and artistic discipline change every residency cycle. In 2020, two graphic novelists, Roger Fernandes and E.T. Russian, were tasked with creating graphic novels inspired by their respective experiences and reflections on the history of each bridge. And this year, the residency requires the two selected artists to make an “in-depth exploration” of data related to both bridges and then present those findings or information using “artistic digital data visualization.”
This residency is open to digital artists who call King, Snohomish, Pierce, or Kitsap counties home and who can travel to Seattle for the project’s duration. Each artist will receive $10,000, which is inclusive “of all residency time, costs, project, presentation, documentation of the work, and applicable taxes” with an application deadline of April 14. Nice!
Jas Keimig is an arts and culture writer in Seattle. Their work has previously appeared in The Stranger, i-D, Netflix, and Feast Portland. They won a game show once and have a thing for stickers.