Announcing 2015 Heritage Projects Awards

We are excited to announce the 4Culture Board unanimously approved funding for thirty-one heritage projects totaling $199,963 in grant funding for both local organizations and individuals throughout King County. This year, we are pleased to support a high number of projects chronicling aspects of county history that have not been well documented and that highlight the county’s multicultural heritage – both high priorities of the Heritage Projects program.

Located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle, El Centro de la Raza has provided community programming, support and educational opportunities for under-served populations in King County, particularly the Latino community, for over 40 years. A number of murals, historic photographs, and other community work in El Centro’s building reflects this local history, and with funding from 4Culture’s Heritage Projects program, the organization will now be able to share those stories. Their project, entitled Nuestra Historia, Nuestra Comunidad, will identify these points of historical interest and communicate their significance through a cohesive narrative, which will include a self-guided audio tour, printed brochure, and permanent wall markers. These materials will be accessible to the thousands of visitors El Centro hosts each year within the building, and will be referenced online through the organization’s website.

Frank Waldron with trumpet, Wang Doodle Orchestra, Seattle, ca. 1925, image #2001.14.2.16E, courtesy of the Black Heritage Society

Frank Waldron with trumpet, Wang Doodle Orchestra, Seattle, ca. 1925, image #2001.14.2.16E, courtesy of the Black Heritage Society

Local musician, Greg Ruby applied and received funding through this year’s program to research, write and present compositions of Seattle jazz musician Frank D. Waldron. Waldron, a saxophonist, cornetist, composer, bandleader and teacher, is an important, but not well known, figure in early Seattle jazz history. He settled in Seattle following his service in World War I and in 1919, established the Waldron School of Trumpet and Saxophone at 1242 Jackson Street. There he taught generations of Seattle’s young musicians including Quincy Jones and Buddy Catlett. Throughout the 1920s, Waldron fronted racially-integrated bands, playing segregated venues, at a time in the U.S. when both were rare. In 1924, he self-published a 32-page book for jazz saxophone students titled, “Frank D. Waldron’s Syncopated Classic”. Waldron used nine of his original compositions in this book as a vehicle to demonstrate the “latest techniques.” The original copy has unfortunately been lost, however, as part of Ruby’s project, Waldron’s original musical compositions will be professionally notated and digitally engraved to preserve his important work. Ruby will present his research on Mr. Waldron’s legacy and music at free public presentations, so stay tuned to find out when and where.

Sarah Samudre was awarded funding to acquire copies and licensing fees for historic photos and documents from local repositories to illustrate her documentary PROMISED LAND, which focuses on the Duwamish Tribe and their history in the area. Spanning a territory that includes Kent, Renton, Tukwila, Seattle, Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland and parts of Vashon Island, the film delves into the Duwamish involvement with settling Seattle and who they are today. Samudre states, “Through talking to historians, descendants of pioneers, and Duwamish leaders, the film will draw a sharp contrast between history that many have forgotten and the reality that these people are still very alive and active in our community today.” With funding from 4culture, the film will be completed and begin touring in late fall of 2015, with a special free presentation and public screening at the Duwamish Longhouse in the summer of 2016.

For a full list of funded projects, visit 4Culture’s Heritage Projects program page and click on the “Recipients” tab. This is an annual program supported by revenues from the King County Lodging Tax. For more information about the program or these individual projects, contact Program Manager Brandi Link at (206) 296-1593.