Heritage Facilities
Deadline: February 22, 2017 5pm PST
Contact: Brian Carter 206 263.1586
Tudgboat Arthur Foss 2015, courtesy of Northwest Seaport

Tudgboat Arthur Foss © 2015, courtesy of Northwest Seaport

4Culture's Heritage Cultural Facilities program plays an important part in assisting the heritage community with critical work that enhances the quality of life in King County, and creates a unique and authentic sense of place for residents and visitors in this rapidly changing region.

This annual program funds the purchase, design, construction, and remodeling of heritage facilities throughout the county.

In 2015, 4Culture partnered with King County Executive Dow Constantine and the King County Council to make a historic, one-time $28 million investment in our region’s cultural infrastructure. Read more about these funds and where you can see them at work in your community on our blog.

Updated Guidelines and Application for 2017 will be posted 6 weeks before the deadline

Who Can Apply

Nonprofit organizations may submit one application annually to the Heritage Cultural Facilities program.

Eligible Applicants Are King County-Based:

  • Nonprofit heritage and cultural organizations, and public agencies, other than K-12 schools or school districts, with at least a two-year operating history, tax-exempt status, and demonstrated long-term site control

Note: All applicants must be able to demonstrate that they provide programmatic activities focused on the identification, collection, evaluation, preservation, restoration, exhibition, and/or interpretation of King County heritage.

Requirements for Applicant Organizations:

  • A legally-constituted and working board of directors
  • A record of providing heritage programs and services, or detailed plans for future public benefits to be provided by new heritage facilities
  • At least a two-year operating history as a legally constituted entity. Organizations may not apply under another organization's umbrella.
  • Tax exempt status, preferably 501(c)(3)
  • If an applicant's tax-exempt eligibility is "pending," but the application is recommended for funding, no contract will be negotiated until nonprofit status has been confirmed. Contact staff to discuss your organization's status, if you are unsure.
  • Ability to maintain net current liabilities at less than thirty percent of general operating expenses
  • Ability to sustain operational capacity beyond the completion of the facility as evidenced by project and operating budgets
  • A strategic plan for the organization, the facility, and its programming or content is required for all facility applications
  • Control of the site through ownership or a long-term lease (10 years; five years w/5 year option to extend) for all facility proposals
  • The ability to enter into a contract that requires your organization to provide proof of nonprofit status and a W-9 form; 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

Facilities Funding May Be Used for:

  • Capital projects, including purchase, construction and/or remodeling of heritage facilities, that can utilize awarded funds within 36 months of the final funding approval
  • A portion of awards may be used for architectural/engineering design fees, testing, site analysis and/or construction documents
  • Building projects that bring facilities into compliance with Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Preservation and restoration of cultural facilities to be used for heritage interpretive purposes
  • The purchase, design, construction and remodeling of heritage facilities
  • Preservation and restoration of cultural facilities to be used for heritage interpretive purposes that are designated as landmarks by a Certified Local Government or listed on the National Register
  • Compliance with Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act

Facilities Funding May Not Be Used:

  • For stand-alone general feasibility studies at the outset of a project
  • To purchase equipment or fixed assets (See Heritage Equipment program)
  • For general facility maintenance, or to make repairs to buildings or equipment
  • To purchase consumable items (i.e.light bulbs, small tools)
  • To cover operating expenses, regular salaries or program expenses
  • To pay for elements of a project completed before the award of funds
  • To pay for fundraising costs associated with a capital project
  • To preserve or restore a facility not used for heritage interpretation
Confused by language we use? Check out our glossary of terms


2017 Application Deadline: February 22, 2017 5pm PST


Applications to the Heritage Cultural Facilities program are reviewed by staff for eligibility, accuracy, and completeness. An independent peer review panel, composed of heritage specialists, museum professionals, and other community representatives, meet to review applications. All applicants must appear before this panel for a 10-minute interview. Be sure to send representatives who can answer questions regarding project budget, financial statements, and project goals and timelines.

Note: 4Culture has instituted a two-stage review process for Cultural Facilities requests over $30,000.

  • Heritage and Arts proposals over that threshold amount will be reviewed by a combined panel of heritage and arts specialists.
  • Heritage proposals not recommended for funding by the first panel will then be submitted, along with proposals under $30,000, to the Heritage Cultural Facilities panel for an additional review.
  • In the event they are not recommended for funding in the first panel, applicants requesting over $30,000 should be prepared to submit an alternative project budget, addressing how their proposal would be scaled to accommodate a lower funding limit.
  • In addition, applicants requesting over $30,000 must contact staff in advance of the deadline to determine if additional material, such as drawings, purchase agreements or other documents, should be submitted with their proposals.
Review Criteria

Review panels will select and recommend funding for the most highly qualified proposals based on the overarching criteria of excellence, feasibility and community impact. In addition, the panels will consider a project’s ability to leverage additional funding and to generate economic opportunities, including tourism. A guiding principle of the selection process will be to support a range of projects that reflect diversity in geography, discipline, budget size and ethnicity.

Quality and Qualifications
  • Clarity of proposed project description, including goals, timeline for completion, and significance
  • Thoroughness and completeness of responses to application queries, and quality of writing
  • Quality of proposal, including its alignment with professional standards, best practices, and methodologies for ensuring successful implementation
  • Quality of existing and proposed programming, and the relationship of the programming to the mission and goals of the organization
  • Quality of the proposed project with respect to its intended use [The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Historic Vessel Preservation Projects will be used to evaluate projects involving historic properties and vessels.]
  • Qualifications and experience of staff and personnel working on the proposed project
  • Applicant's preparedness to develop, administer, and complete proposed activities within budgetary, logistical and time constraints described in the application
  • Appropriateness of overall budget and request, including applicant's ability to use 4Culture funds to leverage private or other public funding and support for the proposal
  • Applicant's presentation of a well-developed plan for raising funds needed to complete the proposed activities
  • Financial stability of the applicant as evidenced by the operating budget and financial statements
  • Organization's ability to operate and use the facility as intended, including the organization's ability to secure appropriate leases, agreements, or permits
  • 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
  • Timeliness of the request: Applicants to Heritage Cultural Facilities must expect to begin project implementation within 18 months of application submittal.
Impact and Public Benefit
  • Ability to generate broad and/or lasting public benefit
  • Impact of the project on attaining programming, service, or organizational goals
  • Project's contribution to the preservation, conservation or interpretation of King County’s heritage resources
  • Project's contribution to the protection and preservation of endangered historic resources
  • Project's contribution to the interpretation and/or exhibition of resources which represent threatened or neglected aspects of King County heritage, such as those defined by theme, ethnicity or geography
  • Project's contribution to increasing public access to historic resources
  • Impact of the project on the community, county or region including number of people served and projected to be served ("community" includes, but is not limited to, a geographic, cultural, ethnic or specific heritage community)

Remember: Because of their different areas of expertise and geographic diversity, it is unlikely that every panelist will be familiar with your organization’s work. Keep that in mind as you draft your narrative responses to application questions.

Questions about your proposal or its eligibility? Contact Brian Carter at 206 263.1586.

Funding from 4Culture programs is awarded on a competitive basis. The following opportunities are available to help applicants plan projects and prepare applications:

Free workshops are presented by program staff to identify the types of projects eligible for funding, explain how funding decisions are made, provide a step-by-step review of the application, and offer tips for preparing your proposal.

Applications from previous years are available for review at the 4Culture offices.

Requirements and appeals

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


What are the number and size of awards made each cycle?

Funding awards have ranged from $5,000 to $125,000 over the past 5 years. This year’s maximum awards will be substantially higher, because of 4Culture’s partnership with King County’s issuance of bonds. Generally, around 40% of facilities proposals receive some funding. The joint Arts and Heritage panel will make a limited number of recommendations for larger awards.

Do you make partial awards?

Yes. Less than 1/4 of applicants receive full funding in each cycle; most successful applicants receive a portion of requested funds.

Will 4Culture staff help me with my application?

Yes! Give us a call, send an email, or attend a free workshop. This year, we are requiring all applicants to contact program staff through one of more of these methods prior to applying. We are happy to answer questions and give pointers. We want to help you submit the best-possible application. Brian Carter is the primary contact for the Heritage Cultural Facilities program. You can contact Brian Carter at 206 263.1586.

If my facilities project has received prior funding from 4Culture, may I apply for another award for continuation of the project?

Yes, you may apply and receive funds more than once, as long as you can demonstrate that your project is moving forward and meeting your established goals and timeline.

If I don't currently have site control or I need to apply under the umbrella of another organization could I still be eligible?

Call Brian Carter to talk about your project if you are looking at new space, have a lease with less than 5 years remaining, or do not have your own 501c(3) status.

Ready to Apply

How to prepare your application 

STEP 1 - Read all of the above sections
STEP 2 - Gather and prepare your information

You are required to submit your application using the online form. In this section, you will find information on how to prepare your application and submit support materials.

At the end of this section, a link will be provided to the Online Application.

Support Materials (Required)

You will be asked to submit the following 5 items in the "upload" step of the online application:
Project Budget (Required Upload)
Download the 4Culture project budget form provided here. Enter your estimated project costs in the Expenses column, and sources of income for the project in the Income column.

acrobat icon   Project Budget

Operating Budget (Required Upload)
You may use 4Culture's form provided here, or upload your organization's own multi-year operating budget that delineates Expenses and Income in the same categories as 4Culture's form. Please limit to one page budget; one page notes, Excel or PDF file formats only.

acrobat icon   3 Year Operating Budget

Balance Sheet (Required Upload)
You may use 4Culture's form provided here, or upload your organization's own balance sheet in the same categories as 4Culture's form. Please limit to one page, Excel or PDF file formats only

acrobat icon   Balance Sheet

Board List (Required Upload)
Submit a one page list of your organization's board members, their term limits and affiliations. Word or PDF file formats only.
Program/Event List (Required Upload)
Submit a one page list of your organization's events, programs, and/or primary activities from the last 12 months (include date or date range, location, and estimated attendance). Word or PDF file formats only.

Note: The online application system will not allow uploads of files larger than 2MB.


Additional Support Materials (Optional)

You may choose to mail or deliver any of the following items in support of your application:
Long Range Plan
Portion of a long range plan that references this project in the larger context of your organizational priorities
Resumé(s) of Project Personnel
Resumé(s) of key project personnel, including professional consultants
Project Planning Documents
Project feasibility studies and cost estimates
General plan and timeline for implementation of the proposed project
Project Images
Renderings, architectural drawings, photos, etc., to illustrate the project
Mail/Deliver Instructions

Any additional support materials you submit must be mailed to, or dropped off at, 4Culture offices by the deadline date. Include two copies of all additional support materials. Address the envelope to:

Brian Carter / 2015 Heritage Cultural Facilities application
101 Prefontaine Place S
Seattle, WA 98104

Staff WILL NOT ACCEPT any application materials via email, or allow changes after the deadline.


STEP 3 - Sign in to begin your application

Note: Once you have started the process of applying online, you can hit "save" after each completed step in the application, sign out, and your application will remain saved as a draft. You can then return to your application any time before the deadline to continue working or to make changes by signing in with the username and password you created. Once you hit "submit," you will still be able to read, save and print your application, but you will not be able to make any changes.

For technical questions about the online application system, contact staff member Brian Carter at 206 263.1586.

This funding opportunity is currently closed. We will reopen the application for this opportunity at least 6 weeks before the next deadline.

Upcoming Workshops

All applicants are required to attend a workshop prior to submitting your application. These free workshops provide you an opportunity to ask questions, understand specific guidelines, and be taken through a step-by-step review of the application process. No RSVP is required.


There are no scheduled workshops at this time. Check back 6 weeks before the deadline.

2015 - Building for Culture

Organization Project Title Award
Burke Museum AssociationThe New Burke$1,400,000
Center for Wooden BoatsThe Wagner Education Center$300,000
City of Tukwila Parks and Recreation DepartmentDuwamish Hill Preserve - Puget Sound Salish Cultural Garden$200,000
Highline Historical SocietyHighline Heritage Museum Building Renovation$1,000,000
Holocaust Center for HumanityNew Holocaust Center for Humanity Exhibit$150,000
Japanese Cultural and Community Center of WashingtonPhase II Facilities Preservation and Long Term Operations Plan$32,500
Museum of FlightMuseum of Flight Aviation Pavilion$650,000
Museum of History and IndustryRegional Heritage Collection Preservation Center$100,000
Nordic Heritage MuseumThe New Nordic Museum$1,000,000
Northwest African American MuseumStrength and Security: Floor and Door Replacement at NAAM$75,000
Northwest Railway MuseumRailway Education Center$150,000
Renton Historical SocietyRenovate Renton History Museum Lobby$20,500
Sea Mar Community Health CentersSea Mar Latino History and Cultural Center$220,000
Shoreline Historical MuseumNew Collections Facility and Research Center$250,000
Town of SkykomishSkykomish Depot Rehabilitation$48,000
Vashon-Maury Island Heritage AssociationFoundation Replacement and Seismic Mitigation$20,000
Washington State Jewish Historical SocietyExhibit Gallery$7,500
Washington State Labor CouncilJackson Street Workers' Mural$69,345
White River Valley MuseumRenovating a Community Museum to Enhance Interest and Accessibility$175,000
Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American ExperienceStorage System, Safekeeping The Wing’s Collections$20,000


Organization Project Title Award
Center for Wooden Boats Education Center in Lake Union Park $50,000
Lake Wilderness Citizen Advisory Committee Lake Wilderness Park Interpretive Signs Phase II $6,680
Museum of Flight Red Barn HVAC System Renovation Phase 2 $25,000
Neely Mansion Association Water System and ADA Restroom Upgrade $5,500
Northwest African American Museum NAAM HVAC and Electrical Upgrade Phase II $25,000
Sea Mar Community Health Centers Sea Mar Latino Cultural Museum $40,000
Shoreline Historical Museum Shoreline Historical Museum Collections and Archives Facility $40,000
Steamer Virginia V Foundation Virginia V Skylight $25,000
Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center New Holocaust & Human Rights Center in Downtown Seattle $80,000
Washington Trust for Historic Preservation Stimson-Green Mansion Interior Rehabilitation Project - Phase II $16,000
White River Valley Museum Making a Community Museum More Relevant to Families with Children $16,500


Organization Project Title Award
Camp Korey at Carnation Farms ADA & Public Access Improvement to Great Barn $35,000
Center for Wooden Boats Building Safe Experiences for Public Access to Historic Boats and Boating $27,500
City of Tukwila Parks and Recreation Department Duwamish Hill Preserve: Phase II Archaeological Survey $10,000
Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project New Air Conditioner to Protect Digital Collections $5,000
Eastside Heritage Center Interpreting 100 Years of Coal Mining History $20,000
Filipino American National Historical Society FAHNS Digitalization Project $4,000
Highline Historical Society Increasing Digital Operating and Storage Capacity $1,650
James and Janie Washington Foundation Heating and Insulation Project $11,000
Kenmore Heritage Society KHS Program Equipment Grant $1,000
Kirkland Heritage Society History Month $500
Museum of History and Industry Upgrading Storage for MOHAI's Costume Collection $4,940
Neely Mansion Association Neely Mansion Porch Renovation Project $20,000
Northwest African American Museum NAAM HVAC and Electrical Upgrade Phase I $20,000
Northwest Railway Museum Rehabilitation of a wooden coach to serve its second century $29,990
Sammamish Heritage Society Jacob and Emma Reard House $20,420
Sea Mar Community Health Centers Latino History & Cultural Center $30,000
Town of Skykomish Revitalizing the Skykomish Depot $30,000
Washington State Jewish Historical Society Portable Museum Facilities Grant $2,000
White River Valley Museum Programming Infrastructure and Water System Improvements for Historic Mary Olson Farm $30,000
Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience Yee Goon Co. Historic Storefront Project $27,000


Organization Project Title Award
Center for Wooden Boats Education Center at Lake Union Park $100,000
Northwest Railway Museum Train Shed Completion $100,000
City of Tukwila Parks & Recreation Department Duwamish Hill Preserve - Acqusition of West Parcel $50,000
Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Association Renovation of the Gordon Building at the
Island Heritage Museum
White River Valley Museum Security & Programming Infrastructure for
Mary Olson Farm
Washington Trust for Historic Preservation Stimson-Green Mansion Interior Rehabilitation Project $30,000
Northwest African American Museum Integrating NAAM's Museum Education Shop $29,650
Sammamish Heritage Society Reard House Framing Repair, Site Excavation and
Foundation Construction
Museum of History and Industry Art Racks for MOHAI Framed Art Collection $21,437
Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center Preserving and Displaying King County's Holocaust Artifacts $20,000
Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society Storage System for Maritime Flag Collection $13,707
Eastside Heritage Center Technology Infrastructure Upgrade $10,227
Issaquah Historical Society Maintaining Climate Control for Auxiliary Collections Storage $5,000
Seattle Center Foundation Purchase of AV Equipment for Staged Readings $4,075
South King County Genealogical Society Saar Pioneer Cemetery Monument Project $3,642


Organization Project Title Award
Cascade Land Conservancy Duwamish Hill Preserve Phase II $3,600
City of Snoqualmie Centennial Log Pavilion Preservation $7,000
Densho-The Japanese American Legacy Project Replacement of Aging Video Production Equipment $19,159
Dunn Gardens Dunn Gardens Resource Center $15,000
Highline Historical Society Replacement tables and chairs $4,000
Historical Society of Federal Way Denny Cabin Restoration Phase 2 $15,000
Jack Straw Productions Community Heritage Media Preservation $7,000
Museum of Flight Red Barn HVAC System Renovation $10,000
Northwest Railway Museum ADA access for historic rail cars $20,000
Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society Permanent Exhibition Casework For Maritime Gallery $3,600
Seattle Genealogical Society Publishing Equipment Replacement $13,677
Vashon Park District Pt. Robinson Lightstation Boathouse Reconstruction $10,000
Washington State Jewish Historical Society Storyboard Access Units $2,000
White River Valley Museum Restoring the Cultural Landscape of a Landmark Family Farm $19,930


Organization Project Title Award
The Center for Wooden Boats Preserving Access to the Water-front and Historic Small Craft $44,440
Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project Visual History Preservation & Delivery Infrastructure $35,000
Historic Seattle Preservation and Development Authority Washington Hall Rehabilitation $40,000
Issaquah History Museum Rehabilitating the Weyerhaeuser Caboose $18,000
The Museum of Flight Museum Physical Security Facility Improvements $8,000
Northwest African American Museum Legacy Gallery Phase II Upgrade $36,395
The Northwest Railway Museum Train Shed exhibit building $40,000
Southwest Seattle Historical Society/Log House Museum Oral history equipment $3,000
Vashon Park District Pt. Robinson Lighthouse Window Restoration $24,000
White River Valley Museum Utility Improvements for Mary Olson Farm $50,000
Wing Luke Asian Museum Collections Preservation System $30,000


Organization Project Title Award
Greater Kent Historical Society Shelving for collection storage $1,120
Historical Society of Federal Way Permanent signage $2,660
Highline Historical Society Making professional signs in-house $4,745
Duwamish Tribal Services Duwamish Longhouse furnishings $4,970
Nordic Heritage Museum "Nordic Spirit" exterior display unit $9,850
Wing Luke Asian Museum Story Theatre and Community Hall improvements $14,000
Museum of History & Industry Arts & Crafts Movement of the Pacific Northwest Exhibit $17,000
Enumclaw Plateau Historical Society EPHS museum building rehabilitation $25,000
Renton Historical Society Renovation of building for off-site collection storage $26,504
White River Valley Museum Interior barn rehabilitation and site utility improvements at Mary Olson Farm $38,000
Cascade Land Conservancy Duwamish Riverbend Hill - construction of benches and kiosks $39,375
Northwest Railway Museum Railway History Center - train shed $50,000
Center for Wooden Boats Maritime heritage education facilities $50,000
Historic Seattle Good Shepherd Center veranda restoration project $50,000

If You've been approved to receive 4Culture funding for your project.   What now?  Here's what to expect


4Culture will send a letter to notify you of your award when it has been approved by our Board of Directors.


In order to receive your funds, you must sign a Contract or Letter of Agreement with 4Culture, making your organization the "Contractor." The contract spells out the services and the public benefits your organization will provide, as described in your application.

In an effort to make our contract process simpler and reduce our impact on the environment, 4Culture will now provide your contract documents electronically.

Once your grant’s Scope of Service and Public Benefit have been developed, 4Culture prepares a contract for your review and signature. When it is ready, you will receive an e-mail from us through DocuSign. This email will contain a link to your documents, and you can review and electronically sign your contract. You will not be able to make changes to the contract, but if there is an error or you need to request changes, please contact Brian Carter.

After you have electronically signed your contract, and have returned any requested forms (such as a completed W-9 Form), 4Culture will also electronically sign your contract. Then, DocuSign will automatically e-mail you a signed, digital copy of your contract to keep for your permanent records. You’ll be ready to move ahead with your project.

If we ask for a Certificate of Liability Insurance (COLI): You can request this Certificate from your agent, and it can be e-mailed, mailed, or faxed to 4Culture. We require "4Culture, Its Officers, Officials, Employees and Agents" be listed as Additional Insured on the certificate. Contact Brian Carter if you have questions or problems with the Certificate of Liability Insurance.

Getting Paid

Once your 4Culture contract is signed by both you and 4Culture, your new grant will be listed in your account at apply.4Culture.org under the Manage Awards section along with any prior awards. To be reimbursed for your project expenses, follow the “Request Payment” button link next to the relevant contract and complete the Payment Request form.

You may submit a request for either a partial payment or final payment. It is up to you to track the remaining balance in a grant. You will not see it listed in this system. If you need that information, please contact Deb Twersky.

Provide a brief description of the work done under this invoice and how it relates to the facilities project, or if a final request, how the project is impacting your organization, under the “public benefit” section of the invoice form. Provide dates that the work took place. That information is the only narrative report you’ll provide.

You must upload these required attachments for a Cultural Facilities invoice:
  • Receipt(s) for all work done as part of this payment request that equal or exceed the total amount you are requesting. If you have a lengthy list of PDFs please include an excel or adding machine tape totaling the receipts and gang together receipts whenever possible
  • One or two photographs of the equipment purchased

If you were asked for a W-9 Form and/or were asked to provide a Certificate of Liability naming 4Culture as additional insured when you signed your contract, you should have sent those in already. If you have not done so, you will need to do so before we can make a payment.

Once you have submitted your Payment Request electronically, your program manager is notified by the system – you do not need to email us. He or she will review and approve the invoice, and we will send you a check (usually within 14 days). If any of the forms are filled out incorrectly, we will contact you.

Finishing the Contract

  • Please acknowledge 4Culture funding to help ensure that funds will continue to be available in the future! You must include this logo on project acknowledgements, brochures, press releases, programs, posters, flyers, advertisements, signage, etc.
  • Send Information about your project, including public openings or events, to Brandi Link. We may be able to post information about your project on our blog and assist with promotion.
  • Image documentation - 5-8 images of your project (digital on DVD or CD-ROM), along with a Word document giving 4Culture permission, including parental, to publish the images. Please include captions and credit information. For more information on our image criteria, please review our Photo Documentation Guidelines.

Best Practices

Let us know if we can provide you with any of the following
  • Sample press releases
  • Referrals for other people, places, organizations or services
  • Tips on contacting your legislators and King County Council members. Your elected officials should know that your organization makes an impact!

Stay in touch throughout this process

Let us know if your plans change or if you have any questions or concerns along the way. We are proud to support your organization, and we hope we can assist you in making your project a success! If needed, please contact us for assistance.