4Culture Grants + Calls

Artist in Residence: King County Stormwater

Serve as a creative strategist and collaborator to increase public engagement with science and water quality, with a focus on Latino and Latinx communities.

1 About the Project

1 About the Project

  • Budget: $30,000 artist fee, $20,000 art material and production costs, $5,000 travel contingency (budgets are inclusive of Washington State Sales/Use Tax, as relevant).
  • Eligibility: Open to artists who (1) reside in WA, OR, or CA; (2) are fluent in Spanish and English or are Latino/Latinx identifying; and (3) have specialties in teaching, social engagement, or curatorial practice. Artists in all disciplines may apply, including performing, literary, visual, time-based media, and social practice.
  • Application: submission of an online application is required for this opportunity.
  • Deadline: Friday, June 8, 2018 by 4:00 pm PDT.


4Culture seeks an artist to serve as Artist in Residence (AiR) with the King County Water and Land Resources Division’s Stormwater Services Section (the Section) on a part-time basis for 13 months, September 5, 2018—September 28, 2019.

The AiR will work as a creative strategist and collaborator with Section staff to understand the significance of stormwater and produce art experiences that reveal its connections to water quality and public health and that foster a sense of personal connection and collective responsibility.

What is stormwater? In contrast to vegetated areas like forests, fields, and wetlands—where rain water seeps into the ground for use and natural filtration—rain in the urban landscape falls on non-absorbing surfaces like roofs and roads. Stormwater refers to rain that falls on paved and other hard, impervious surfaces and runs off, collecting pollutants as it travels to larger bodies of water. Stormwater runoff comes from small sources in all parts of the watershed; most of the four million people who live in the Puget Sound region contribute to stormwater pollution every day.

The AiR will work with and for two audiences: (1) Section staff, to offer new ways of thinking about strategic planning, communication and inclusive engagement; and (2) the general public, with a focus on how Latino and Latinx communities perceive and relate to stormwater and associated issues. In both cases, the AiR will center the role of art in fostering dialogue and social change.

The most common non-English language spoken in King County is Spanish, and translation of public communication materials by the County into the Spanish language is increasingly common. The Section seeks to move beyond language translation to cultural competence and responsiveness, and to build on national findings that Latinos are especially ready to take action for climate change.

The Residency will be structured in four phases:

  1. Immersion: a research phase inclusive of site visits, job shadowing, meetings, and review of existing Section strategies for public communication, inclusive engagement and events.
  2. Ideation + Prioritization: a planning phase to develop ideas to apply, enhance, and reinvent creative awareness strategies in general, and for Latino and Latinx communities in particular. Select ideas will be prioritized with the Section and 4Culture for implementation.
  3. Implementation: a production phase to bring the prioritized ideas to life by the AiR and the Section, and possibly other artists who may be overseen by the AiR.
  4. Documentation: a wrap-up phase to document the year’s activities and recommendations for future residencies and inclusive community outreach and engagement.

Areas of focus may include:

  • Puget Sound Starts Here, a regional campaign to raise awareness of how everyday actions impact the health of Puget Sound.
  • Stormfest, a multi-lingual youth environmental education program.
  • 1 Million Trees, a tree planting initiative in urban and rural King County.
  • Natural yard care and food production, recruitment, and training of community-based presenters for bilingual workshops.
  • Climate change, water quality, and children’s health.
  • Flood awareness and emergency preparedness.

The Residency deliverables include both fixed and flexible elements:

  • Artist office hours (average 48 hours a month).
  • Input on Section strategic planning, branding, and reporting.
  • Metrics for success co-developed with the Section and community members.
  • Latino and Latinx community surveys, focus groups, and workshops.
  • Artist-designed objects, experiences, or campaigns, with media to be determined*.


The AiR will be embedded in the Section, with a desk at King Street Center in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood, and will travel throughout King County over the course of the residency.

Client Background

King County Water and Land Resources Division
The mission of the Water and Land Resources Division is to protect King County’s water and lands so that residents can enjoy them safely today and for generations to come.

Stormwater Services Section
The Section stewards stormwater infrastructure and regulations with a focus on water quality and public health. The Section designs, builds, and maintains facilities to convey stormwater runoff, remove pollutants and control flow rates. The Section also collaborates with a regional network of cities, counties and nonprofits on education and outreach programs to communicate water quality issues and the important role every resident has to protect the health and integrity of King County’s lakes, wetlands, and streams.

4Culture Public Art
4Culture provides funding and support for the cultural work that makes King County, WA vibrant. Our four program areas – Arts, Heritage, Preservation, and Public Art – put public resources to use all over King County. We are actively working to become a more equitable agency to ensure access to cultural experiences for all, from museum collections to theater productions to artists showing work in our gallery.

Public Art 4Culture commissions artwork for shared public space throughout King County, stewards the King County Public Art Collection, and offers expertise to public and private developers through consulting. We work to ensure that the work and thinking of artists is reflected in our built environment, bringing art into everyday life.

2 Timeline

2 Timeline

Timeline for Selection

Application deadline: Friday, June 8, 2018, 4:00 pm PDT
Selection panel meeting: Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Finalist notification: Thursday, June 21, 2018
Finalist orientation: Thursday, June 28, 2018**
Finalist interviews: Friday, June 29, 2018**

Project Timeline

Artist selection and contracting: June 2018
Soft launch—preliminary orientation and team meeting: July/August 2018
Research: September—November 2018
Planning: December 2018—February 2019
Production: March—August 2019
Documentation: September 2019

3 Are You Eligible?

3 Are You Eligible?


This project is open to artists who (1) reside in WA, OR, or CA; (2) are fluent in English and Spanish or are Latino/Latinx identifying; and (3) have specialties in teaching, social engagement, or curatorial practice.

Selection Criteria

Finalists will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Artistic merit and professional qualifications as demonstrated in past work.
  • Demonstrated strength in verbal and written communication skills.
  • Experience in active listening and learning, with documented ability to synthesize and simplify complex ideas.
  • Experience translating ideas into tangible actions via experimental and relevant art works and experiences.
  • Perceived ability and interest in bilingual and bicultural advocacy, and comfort being a “bridge” between community members and institutions.
  • Perceived ability and interest to convey scientific and social information in innovative artistic forms to engage the public, and Latino/Latinx communities in particular.
  • Availability to work in King County, WA, on a part-time basis for 13 months.

Selection Process

A five-person selection panel will review the applications, select finalists for orientation and interview, and recommend one finalist for the residency opportunity. The panelists reflect a range of artistic disciplines, scientific knowledge, and Latino/Latinx community involvement.

4 How to Apply

4 How to Apply

Applicants must submit the following materials via online application. The Public Art application system is being used for this process. You may be required to create a new account. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions.


Your contact information.


Two-page (maximum) current professional résumé plus one additional page with references (see instructions below). Keep the formatting as simple as possible. PDF is preferred; text (.txt) files will also be accepted. Teams should upload one document with two-page résumés for each team member, plus one additional page of references.


Please attach one page to your résumé that lists the name, email address, and phone number of up to three references who can speak to your professional history and community involvement. Briefly note how you know the person. Teams should include no more than three references combined.

Statement of Interest

Write a statement (500 words or less) that addresses the above Selection Criteria and responds to the following questions:

  1. Why are you interested in this opportunity?
  2. How does this opportunity relate to your past work? How might it be different?
  3. How do you approach connecting communities that speak different languages—whether they be spoken, cultural, technical, or otherwise?

Work Samples

You must submit work samples to be eligible for consideration. Requirements vary by discipline. You are encouraged to submit work samples that best illustrate your qualifications for this opportunity. If you have questions about which category fits you best, please contact us.

    • Visual Artists may submit a minimum of 8 and up to 10 digital images (no composites) of past work. If applying as a team, the team submits no more than 10 images. Upload JPG files only; images must be 1920 pixels on the longest side, at least 72 dpi, and less than 2 MB in size. Artists whose primary practice includes multi-disciplinary elements may follow the instructions for “Multi-Media/Transdisciplinary Artists” below.
    • Musicians/Sound Artists may submit up to 5 audio samples with a total cumulative run time of up to 5 minutes via SoundCloud, noting the specific URL (e.g. www.soundcloud.com/2992575) on the corresponding Work Sample Upload page of the application. Timed excerpts are preferred, but longer samples may be submitted with specific notation of start and stop times included in the Work Sample Description.
    • Filmmakers/Video Artists/Performers may submit up to 5 video samples with a total cumulative run time of up to 5 minutes via Vimeo or YouTube, noting the specific URL (e.g. www.vimeo.com/2992575) on the corresponding Work Sample Upload page of the application. Timed excerpts are preferred, but longer samples may be submitted with specific notation of start and stop times included in the Work Sample Description.
    • Writers/Literary Artists may attach one document—in the Supplement section of the online application—with one or more writing samples totaling 2,000 words or less. PDF (.pdf) format is preferred; Text (.txt) files will also be accepted. Files must be less than 2 MB. 1 video and/or audio sample with a total cumulative run time of up to 1 minute may also be included per the instructions for audio and video samples detailed above.
    • Multimedia/Transdisciplinary Artists may submit up to 10 total work samples. Up to 3 of the work samples may be audio/video (3 minutes cumulative run-time maximum), while the remaining must be digital images. Instructions for submitting digital images and audio/video work samples can be found in the categories above.

All applicants will be required to list the title, date of completion, medium, and dimensions/duration along with a brief description (75 words or less) of each work sample. Applicants are encouraged to fill out the optional fields that include commissioning entity, budget, project partners, photo credit, and copyright owner.

5 Help

5 Help


Join us for this free, drop-in workshop!

May 19
Studio Lazo, 1614 S Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98144
1614 S Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98144


If you have questions regarding the application, please contact:

Brennan Jernigan

If you have project-related questions, please contact

Tamar Benzikry

Deadline: Applications must be received no later than Friday, June 8, 2018 at 4:00 pm PDT