Announcing 2016 Projects Grant Recipients

Merna Ann Hecht, Stories of Arrival, 2015. Photo courtesy of Jack Straw Cultural Center, photographer Sherwin Eng.

We kick off every year with our Projects grants. They fund a staggering range of work by individuals and organizations in arts, heritage, and historic preservation, and they set in motion a lot of fantastic King County cultural experiences for the upcoming year! The February and March deadlines brought almost 500 applications, with a large percentage of first-time applicants—something we’re especially excited about. Across all three disciplines, we funded 171 projects, for a total of just over $1 million. Here are just a few projects to keep an eye out for this year:

In the Individual Arts category, Merna Ann Hecht received funding for her project Stories of Arrival, which brings the poetic voices of high school age refugees and immigrants—all of whom are English Language Learners—to the wider community. Look for an anthology release celebration and poetry reading as part of Tukwila’s annual Cultural Heritage Festival.

As part of this year’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, Mikala Woodward was awarded funding for her Heritage project Drawing the Line: Lake Washington’s Historic Shoreline, a temporary outdoor installation marking Lake Washington’s historic shoreline. The installation will stretch about 2.5 miles along Lake Washington Boulevard in Southeast Seattle, and will happen on a Bicycle Sunday in July, when the street is closed to car traffic and many people are out on foot, bicycles, and skates.

North porch roof repair, Kirkland Womans Club © 2012, courtesy of Kirkland Woman's Club
North porch roof repair, Kirkland Womans Club © 2012, courtesy of Kirkland Woman’s Club.

With the funding they received this year through Preservation, the Kirkland Woman’s Club will conduct a Needs Assessment of their nearly-100-year-old building. Built in 1924, the KWC building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is in need of both functional and aesthetic updates. A professional Needs Assessment will ensure that the club’s members have a thorough understanding of the building’s structural and mechanical systems as they begin this ambitious project.

From the Group Arts pool, Longhouse Media will launch an expanded iteration of their hugely successful project, YOU ARE ON INDIGENOUS LAND. Mark your calendar now for Georgetown’s Art Attack on Saturday, October 12, when they’ll offer a gallery show of new work, a Native Art Market, and cross-community dialogue opportunities throughout the month. A broad range of art will be offered, including prints, murals, traditional Tlingit stick ‘n’ poke tattoos, Náakw Dancers and coastal jams with hand drums, and more.

And, a bonus, just because we’re so excited about this year’s projects—check out the trailer for Ruben Perez Rodriguez’s film Fight Fam, which received Art Projects for Individuals funding:

Head to our website to see the full lists of Projects grant recipients in Arts, Heritage, and Historic Preservation. Thank you to all who applied—the size and variety of this year’s applicant pool are a testament to the strength of the cultural work being done in King County. To those who did not receive funding this year, we strongly encourage you to keep applying!

We also thank those who served on grant review panels for their dedication, wisdom, and ability to make difficult decisions. Our 2016 Projects Grant panelists were:
Tarik Abouzied, Michael Blum, Sheila Coppola, Jonathan Cunningham, Savvy Dani, Jason Everett, Dr. David Francis, Gabriela Denise Frank, Jessica Kottke, Alexandra Madera, Dr. Natalie Martinez, Julie LaRue, Richard Nelson, Michael Owcharuk, Darby Riley, Samuella Samaniego, Sarah Samudre, June Sekiguchi, Suzanne Simmons, Tyler S. Sprague, Zachary Stocks, Dani Tirrell, Mary Jane Topash, Aimee van Roekel, Danielle Villegas, Inye Wokoma, and Eugenia Woo.