KEXP New Home Interior, 2015. Photo by Sellen Construction.

KEXP New Home Interior, 2015. Photo by Sellen Construction.

In July of this year, we announced a joint effort between 4Culture, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and the King County Council to make a historic investment in the cultural landscape of King County. Now, after six months of workshops, applications, interviews, and tough decisions—read more about that process here—we’re thrilled to announce that 102 arts, heritage, and preservation projects have received funding for cultural facilities from this unprecedented $28 million fund.

For many organizations, Building for Culture will be a game-changer, making the completion of new cultural destinations throughout the County possible for the first time, or accelerating construction for projects that have been in the planning stages for many years. As we learn more and more about the tremendous impact arts and culture has on our economy—ArtsFund just released a 2014 Economic Impact Study that shows our industry bringing $2.4 billion to our region—the importance of supporting infrastructure for these projects is clear.  As King County grows, our cultural landscape must grow with it.

Curious how Building for Culture funds will be put to work in your community? Here are some highlights, and make sure to take a look at the full lists of recipients in arts, heritage, and preservation on our website.

  • The Duvall Foundation for the Arts will take initial steps towards turning the historic Thayer barn into a Community Arts Center, allowing them to provide indoor programming all year round.
  • Bob’s Quality Meats, a three generation-run butcher shop in Columbia City, will restore a historic building devastated by fire. Originally built in 1892, it is one of the oldest in that historic neighborhood.
  • Funding will allow the Nordic Heritage Museum to meet project deadlines for the construction of a new 52,000 sq. ft. facility located on Market Street in the heart of Ballard. This will increase public access to the only Nordic museum in the U.S., with opening targeted for January 2018.
  • Funds will allow the Burke Museum to completely transform itself—with a projected completion of 2019, exhibit galleries will be integrated with a native arts workshop, conservation labs, and hands-on learning spaces.
  • A new Performing Arts and Event Center will bring cultural experiences to the citizens of Federal Way. A new 700-seat theatre will draw touring acts, the Federal Way symphony, choral groups, and other musical and theatrical organizations.

These five examples are just a glimpse at the impact of Building for Culture. As every one of the 102 projects that received funding gets underway over the next year, look for all the ways in which access to creativity, inspiration and educational experiences is expanding County-wide.