Creative Consultancies

Creative Consultancies

City of Redmond

District 3

Engage and get input from trusted cultural community leaders and their constituents on how art can be used to promote and encourage participation in the Census Count.

Project Description

The Redmond Arts Program is situated in the Parks Planning and Cultural Arts Division of the Parks and Recreation Department and staff include a Cultural Arts Administrator (1 FTE) and Arts Coordinator (1FTE). The Cultural Arts Administrator is the City’s liaison with the Redmond Arts and Culture Commission who advises the City on arts and cultural initiatives. The Cultural Arts Administrator also manages the budget for public art, administers programming and grants, manages visual public art projects, and collaborates with internal and external partners. The Arts Coordinator grows and expands our public programs including providing technical assistance to the community organizations we fund and work with, manage the art collection and marketing, and oversee the programming of arts camps and classes offered by the City of Redmond. Staff members have strong collaborative relationships with the Community Events team, Economic Development Division, and Public Works and Planning Departments.

We have a strong track record of fostering cultural partnerships across sectors. Through a grant program called the Redmond Arts Season, the Arts Program provides funding and technical assistance to organizations such as the Seattle South Asian Film Festival produced by Tasveer, Second Story Repertory Theater, Vedic Cultural Center and Venues for Artists in the Local Area (VALA). Since 2007, we have partnered with the Microsoft Art Collection to display artworks from their collection at Redmond City Hall. Staff also collaborates with other cities and arts administrators in sharing best practices and supporting regional policy goals.

Redmond is becoming a global village with two developing urban centers, charming neighborhoods and a strong employment base in the tech sector. Over the last 20 years, the City has doubled in size, become younger and more educated. The largest demographic are people aged 25-45 who constitute 39% of the population as compared to the national average of 26%. Of people over the age of 25, 61% hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, over double the state and national average.

Another significant change in our community is the rise of a more urban lifestyle, particularly in our Downtown and Overlake Village urban centers. More people work in Redmond (77,000) than live in Redmond (56,526); 45% of households are renter-occupied and 38% of households are non-family households. In Downtown, Redmond has 6,900 residents and 11,000 workers. Overlake is the employment hub of the eastside, with more than 45,000 jobs. By 2030, the Overlake Village will have more than 9,000 residents living in multi-family homes, making Overlake neighborhood the most populated residential neighborhood in Redmond.

Finally, Redmond has become more diverse and international. People of color comprise 38 percent of the population, with Asians and Asian Americans making up 28 percent of the population and Hispanics comprising 10 percent of the population. A quarter of residents are foreign-born and three out of every ten residents speak a language other than English at home. Chinese, Spanish, Russian and Hindi are the most commonly spoken languages other than English in Redmond.

Department(s) to be engaged in project planning:
Planning Department – Human Services Division
Parks and Recreation Department – Arts Program

Anticipated time commitment/length of engagement:
6 months, with anticipated project start date in January

Area(s) of interest or project focus:
We are seeking a Creative Consultant who can engage and get input from trusted cultural community leaders and their “constituents” on how art can be used to promote and encourage participation in the Census Count, as an immediate outcome but also is responsive to Council’s vision for Cultural Inclusion – A Redmond in which all residents can fully and effectively access city services, influence city policy and direction, and feel a sense of belonging and safety. This community engagement process will be used to inform the direction and approach for the design and development of either a social practice or visual art piece(s).

Background
The next decennial census will begin in Washington on April 1, 2020. Census data is used in many ways, including:
• Informing the allocation of more than $675 billion annually in federal funds;
• Distribution of Congressional seats;
• Informing federal, state, and local government programs, policies and planning,

Current Challenges and Opportunities for Our Community
The federal budget dedicated to completing the Census Count was cut by $2B raising significant concern about the accuracy of and participation in the count. Hard to count groups include: renters, non-English speakers, homeless individuals, undocumented immigrants, new parents, and people with mental or physical disabilities. In addition, the current levels of distrust in government caused by national policies means that messages delivered by “government” voices will be less trusted and effective than “community” voices. The City of Redmond has two of the hardest-to-count census tracts in the nation, #1, and #2, as they have a high concentration of non-English speakers and renters.

Cultural Inclusion emerged as a Council priority for the 2020 work plan. Having a complete count of our diverse population and providing unique opportunities to connect and build relationships with our broad community is an important step in meeting this goal. The City is committed to dedicating necessary resources to ensure an accurate, fair, and inclusive U.S. Census count in 2020.

Proposed Timeline and Deliverables
January – March
• Meet with City Staff to gain project context, background and goals
• Identify community partners and audience, and design public outreach process
• Outreach to Community groups
• Project Design & Development
April – June
• Implementation of Project
• Final Report
• Potential Engagement Opportunity or final project at the 80th annual Redmond Derby Days festival in July.