COVID-19: 4Culture Responds

Like you, we are closely monitoring the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In this evolving situation, we see and are inspired by all the artists, organizations, and individuals finding new ways to be responsive. We thank Seattle and King County Public Health for their diligent work to keep us informed, and encourage you to check their webpage often. We’ve also compiled a resource list for cultural organizations and practitioners in our region, which we’ll continue to update regularly.

We want to keep you informed about the ongoing steps we are taking:

*Updated October 14, 2021.*

4Culture is pleased to announce that cultural producers residing in King County may be eligible to apply to the Individual Recovery Fund beginning on January 5, 2022.

*Updated September 23, 2021.*

King County cultural organizations can now apply to 4Culture Sustained Support, the 4Culture Recovery Fund, and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Recovery Fund through a single application. Grant guidelines, workshop dates, and the application are all available online now. The deadline to apply is November 5, 2021 at 5:00 pm PDT.

*Updated September 9, 2021.*

We’ve spent the past few months working with our partners at King County to build new COVID-19 relief programs for the cultural sector, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Thank you for your patience during this process. Our shared goal is to put these federal dollars to work supporting as many King County cultural organizations and producers as possible. Here’s what we have to share with you at this time:

For organizations with 2019 revenue over $1 million:
Today, King County Executive Dow Constantine shared information about Revive and Thrive Together. If you are an arts, heritage, or historic preservation organization with 2019 revenue of more than $1 million, please refer and apply to this program for disaster relief and business interruption funds.
For organizations with 2019 revenue of $1 million and under:
Later this month, 4Culture will open the first phase of our Recovery Fund. Cultural organizations with 2019 revenue of $1 million and below that experienced revenue loss between 2019 and 2020 will be eligible for this program. Using a single application, these organizations can apply for both ARPA disaster relief grants and 4Culture 2022 Sustained Support funds.Additionally, we’ve partnered with the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture to share this application process to better serve cultural organizations within Seattle. This will allow eligible organizations to submit one application to be considered for funding by both agencies.Full details about eligibility, federal grant contracting requirements, and more will be released when this grant opens on September 23. Some actions you can take in the meantime include:

  • Make sure you can access your account on our online grant portal. Request a new password on the sign-in page if needed.
  • Make sure that your organization’s demographic update is complete for 2021. You can find this in your account profile.

It’s important to note also that this organization-focused funding is the first phase of our full federal COVID-19 relief program. We will also offer support for individual cultural producers in early 2022; please stay tuned for more information by ensuring that you are subscribed to our enews.

Not sure where to apply?
Organizations are eligible for either King County’s Revive and Thrive Together program or 4Culture’s Recovery Fund, not both. If you need help figuring out where to apply, answer this short series of questions about your organization: ARPA Questionnaire for Organizations.

As always, we know navigating pandemic relief funding can be confusing and overwhelming! We’re here to help. Please contact us at or 206-296-7580, or check out our Staff page to find contact information for specific 4Culture grant managers.

This project was supported by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

*Updated May 25, 2021.*

Today, the King County Council passed its seventh emergency supplemental budget. In this budget, the council appropriated $9.4 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to 4Culture to support our ongoing response to COVID-19.

We are grateful to the Council and Executive Dow Constantine for this much-needed support for King County’s cultural workers and organizations, who continue to be deeply impacted by the pandemic. Details about the disbursal of these funds will be available shortly—please subscribe to our email list to be notified as soon as grant programs are open.

*Updated December 1, 2020.*

In November, the King County Council allocated an additional $350,000 of CARES Act funding to 4Culture for our ongoing COVID response to the cultural sector. This brings 4Culture’s total CARES Act funding to $4.35 million since March, supporting both our Reopen Fund and Cultural Relief Fund for individuals and organizations. We are grateful to have this support and we look forward to working with the Council and all our elected officials in 2021 to bring more federal relief to King County cultural workers and organizations.

*Updated September 28, 2020.*

Additional CARES Act funding from King County will provide $500,000 for ou relief program for King County cultural workers suffering financial losses due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. We are now accepting applications for grants of up to $2,000 to help cover costs of necessities, including housing, utilities, groceries, childcare, and transportation. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, October 21 at 11:59 PDT. If you are planning to apply, please read the guidelines carefully and in full and contact us with any questions!

*Updated September 1, 2020.*

Today, the King County Council voted to approve an additional $2 million towards our ongoing COVID-19 response efforts. We thank King County Executive Constantine and the Council for this critical support. These funds will help address already identified, unmet need demonstrated by applicants to our Cultural Relief and Reopen Funds. Please watch for more details about these additional funds as they are confirmed.

*Updated May 21, 2020.*

The COVID-19 crisis has deeply changed our world and been heartbreakingly hard on cultural workers and organizations. We’ve pivoted our funding focus to respond to the needs of our community. This strategy provides a framework for 4Culture’s programs and services moving forward, so we can respond to your needs as they emerge over the coming months:

  • Relief: Create and adapt programs that immediately respond to the crisis and provide relief for cultural workers and organizations.
  • Reopen: Offset the financial risks of restarting cultural activities while adapting to social distancing guidelines.
  • Recovery: Help cultural workers and organizations rebuild and withstand an economic downturn.

To support this new focus, we are re-allocating funds from some programs, while continuing to offer the remainder of 4Culture’s 2020 grant roster:

Help Shape Our Response
In partnership with regional funders, we will be launching a survey in June to find out what your issues and needs are as you look to resume cultural activities. This information will guide us as we develop plans for the Reopen and Recovery phases.

*Updated March 25, 2020. Please read entire post.*

As closures, cancellations, and loss of work due to COVID-19 impact the King County cultural sector, our Cultural Relief Fund will distribute $1 million over the coming months. The first round of funding will be distributed beginning April 1 through May 15; apply at any time within that time frame. You’ll apply through a simple application that will take about 15-30 minutes to complete. Applications will be reviewed by a panel weekly and we will notify you within 10 business days about the status of your application.

Projects grant applicants (deadline: March 4, 2020)
Our review process will continue as planned, with necessary modifications. As always, our panelists will be asked to assess your projects in accordance with the criteria outlined in the guidelines. we understand the dates of your project and events will likely change. Program Managers will work with you if your project is selected for funding to accommodate those changes. The Board’s final approval and contracting will still take place on the dates indicated in the guidelines of the program you applied to.

All other current  awardees
Artists and cultural practitioners are experiencing postponements and cancellations of performances, exhibitions, screenings, and readings which we are currently supporting. Let us work with you to come up with creative updates that allow you the flexibility you need during this stressful time. Please email your Program Manager or contact Jackie Mixon at for assistance.

4Culture Public Art, ongoing work, upcoming commissions and calls
Ongoing public art projects are being coordinated remotely via phone and Skype. Artists should communicate directly with their public art team contact. Upcoming panels for the Jameson Project with King County Wastewater Treatment Division have been delayed—artist applicants and panelists will be notified with specifics. The South County Recycling + Transfer Station deadlines have been moved to Thursday, April 30. Questions or concerns about artworks in the King County Public Art Collection can be directed to collection staff.

Public events and livestreaming:
The cultural community has had to immediately respond to COVID-19 by postponing or canceling public events. Artists and arts groups have creatively responded by modifying their events, educational offerings, and other public events through live-streaming, radio broadcasting, webinars, and social-distance activities. We honor this crucial effort to support public health. If you are adapting your event and you need assistance spreading the word, please let us know. We will do what we can to assist in connecting with our community. Contact your program manager or reach out to Jackie Mixon at

*Updated March 17, 2020. Please read entire post.*

Deadlines Extended
The following deadlines have been extended:

Deadlines Postponed
To allow cultural organizations time and resources to focus on immediate concerns related to COVID-19, the following application deadlines are on hold until further notice. New deadlines will be announced on our website, via email, and on social media channels when they are rescheduled.

Cultural Relief Fund
We’ve pivoted our funding focus and will be offering a Cultural Relief Fund of $1 million. Full details and timeline are not yet finalized, but here’s what we can share at this time:

  • Funds will be available for cultural organizations and practitioners affected by COVID-19 closures and cancellations.
  • Deadlines will be rolling; funding rounds will take place multiple times throughout the year with simplified application processes.
  • Stay tuned via email, our website, and social media channels for information on how to apply for the Cultural Relief Fund once it is launched.
Apply for a Small Business Loan
Most non-profits are eligible for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s low-interest loans that are part of a coronavirus relief package announced last week and available as of March 16.

  • Read the overview and apply online.
  • Wondering whether your organization is eligible? Contact the SBA’s customer service center at (800) 659-2955.


*Posted March 11, 2020. Please read entire post.*

Invoice Early for Sustained Support Funds

  • We are adjusting the timeline of our Sustained Support grant payments in an effort to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19 on our region’s cultural organizations. Sustained Support recipients for the 2018-20 cycle may request payment now.
  • Please contact your grant manager to discuss this option:
  • At this time, we are only able to offer early invoicing for recipients of our Sustained Support grant, NOT all grants. We thank you for your patience.

Other Grant Contracts

  • The State of Washington and King County have prohibited large gatherings and restricted smaller gatherings. If you are a grant recipient and need to cancel or postpone a 4Culture-funded event: please prioritize your health and the health of your community and know that we are happy to be flexible in adjusting your contract.
  • If you cancel or postpone an event, please contact your grant manager as soon as possible so that we can best assist you. Not sure who your grant manager is? Call us at 206-296-7580 and we’ll direct you to the right person.
  • 4Culture staff are currently reviewing possibilities for emergency funding to help provide relief for cultural organizations and practitioners. We will share more information as soon as it is available.

Meetings, Events, and Workshops

    • Starting March 16, all 4Culture staff will be working remotely, and all essential business meetings will take place via teleconference. This includes board and advisory committee meetings and grant panels. If you are scheduled to participate in a 4Culture business meeting, you will receive teleconference details via email shortly.
    • Starting March 16, Gallery 4Culture is closed through April 30. Watch our website for updates past that date.
    • All currently-scheduled public events are canceled. This includes:

Supporting Community

      • This is an extremely difficult time for the cultural sector. Cancelling events, refunding tickets, and closing doors all have major repercussions for our region’s cultural organizations and practitioners—please consider supporting them in whatever way or amount you can.
      • In addition to staying up-to-date on KCPH’s public health recommendations, we also urge you to review their resources on fighting racial discrimination and upholding workplace rights in the wake of COVID-19.


Thank you for your patience and flexibility during this time. We will announce any further updates on our website, via email, and on social media channels. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.