4Culture Grants + Calls

Arts Sustained Support

Sustained Support assists with the day-to-day needs of arts organizations over two-year cycles—this reliable, consistent support lets creativity flourish in the places that make King County a cultural hub.

Steps to Apply

1 What Sustained Support Funds

1 What Sustained Support Funds

Arts organizations and Local Arts Agencies all over King County use Sustained Support funding as a modest but dependable building block in their annual budgets. Sustained Support provides operational funding that organizations and agencies receive for the robustness, creativity, and quality of the overall artistic services they provide to King County residents and visitors.


We fund all of our grants through a competitive process, carefully evaluating each application. For this particular grant, we focus on different criteria depending on how your organization is structured and what type of work you do. Below we outline all the different types of organizations that can apply, and what we’ll look for—please contact us if you’re unsure of what category you fit into.

NOTE: as stated above, in 2020, Sustained Support will not be taking new applicants due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and the difficulty of making plans for 2021. Assuming these circumstance improve, Sustained Support will take new applicants in the fall of 2021.

For arts organizations:
  • Clarity and achievement of your organization’s mission and goals.
  • Community impact and support, achieved through a consistent level of programming and accessibility for audiences.
  • Active role of artists in your organization’s mission and activities, and the continuity of artistic, management, and board personnel.
  • Financial accountability as demonstrated through board oversight, audience revenue, and contributed income.
For local arts agencies (LAAs):
  • Quality, scope, diversity, and impact of your annual programming.
  • Commitment of local government through dedicated staff, commission structure, and annual financial investment in cultural programming.
  • Responsiveness to community needs—including diverse populations—through strategic planning, programming, funding, collaboration, technical assistance, convening, and communications.
  • Growth and development of resources, scope, impact, and community participation.

Geographic Equity Enhancement

4Culture recognizes that where an organization is based or provides its services can affect access to funding and other resources. Many cultural organizations in greater King County have less access to public and private support than those located in Seattle. To take a step towards balancing these disparities, 4Culture will give a modest award increase to the 2021 Sustained Support awards for organizations located outside the City of Seattle, and for organizations located in Seattle in a 2010 US Census tract area with a Communities of Opportunity index percentile of 60% or greater.

Communities of Opportunity (COO) is a partnership and initiative of the Seattle Foundation and King County, whose purpose is to direct resources where they can have the greatest impact while overcome ongoing patterns of underfunding. Annual measures of life and health indicators by census tract are averaged over multiple years and combined to create a single index. 4Culture will use this index for the 2021 Sustained Support cycle to guide award increases toward applicants located in Communities of Opportunity.

For 2021 Sustained Support awards, Geographic Equity Enhancements will be provided to:

  • Organizations, or the historic resources they steward, that are located within King County but outside the City of Seattle.
  • Organizations, or the historic resources they steward, located in Seattle, but within a Community of Opportunity.
  • Organizations with an annual budget over $3.5 million do not qualify for this enhancement.

On-Site Reviews

Organizations that apply for our Sustained Support and Cultural Facilities grants are evaluated by teams of on-site reviewers, who attend a scheduled event or open hours and provide written comments for use by grant review panels. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the On-Site Review program is on hiatus for 2020. We aim to resume the program in January of 2021, reviewing both online/virtual programming as well as whatever in-person programming can be resumed over the year. At that time, organizations that intend to apply in the fall of 2021 are encouraged to contact Bret Fetzer at bret.fetzer@4culture.org to arrange for an On-Site Review.

Public Benefit: Why It Matters

Every time a visitor to Washington State stays in a hotel, they pay a Lodging Tax—this is where our funding comes from, and our mission is to put it back into the community. As you work through your application, tell us exactly how your fellow King County residents will be able to enjoy and learn from your work. Here are some ways you can provide public benefit:

  • Free performances, exhibitions, workshops, screenings, or readings.
  • Events in the often under-served areas of suburban or rural King County, to low-income, youth and senior groups, individuals with limited physical abilities, recent immigrants, or residents from minority races or ethnicities.
  • Free, electronically accessible materials, including literary publications, audio, or video recordings.

2 Are You Eligible?

2 Are You Eligible?

NOTE: as stated above, 4Culture will be continuing 2019-2020 Sustained Support awards through 2021. The information below will apply to the application process that will occur in the fall of 2021 for the calendar year of 2022.

Sustained Support is available for King County-based non-profit organizations, local arts agencies, municipalities, and tribal governments. We award these funds based on an organization’s overall mission and accomplishments—this grant is not project-based.

The following types of organizations may apply:

Local arts agencies (LAAs) and arts organizations with a 3-year minimum operating history and a record of artistic or cultural accomplishment.

  • LAAs are designated municipal agencies or nonprofit organizations that provide a range of arts services for a specific King County community (for example, the Kent Arts Commission or the Maple Valley Creative Arts Council).
  • Arts organizations are nonprofit entities that provide arts programming to the public and/or that provide services—training, administrative support, technical assistance, and more—to arts professionals (for example, Seattle Art Museum, Annex Theatre, or Washington Lawyers for the Arts).
  • Arts organizations that do not have 501(c)(3) non-profit status may apply, but if they are selected for funding they will need the fiscal sponsorship of another 501(c)(3) “umbrella” organization in order to claim their awards. If your organization is not a non-profit, please contact 4Culture staff for advice or recommendations for fiscal sponsorship.

3 Helping you succeed

3 Helping you succeed

Tutorial Video

Watch this step-by-step application tutorial video to assist you through the process of creating an account, starting your application, and saving it for later.

View last cycle’s Arts Sustained Support recipients on our Past Grants page.


Bret Fetzer
(206) 263-1599

Translation and Assistance

If you anticipate a barrier to your participation due to limited English writing ability, visual impairment, or would like to request assistance to access this application, please contact us at hello@4culture.org or 206-296-7580 or TTY 711.
Si anticipa una barrera para su participación debido a la capacidad limitada de escritura en inglés, discapacidad visual, o desea solicitar asistencia para acceder a esta aplicación, contáctenos en hello@4culture.org o 206-296-7580 o TTY 711.
如果您由于英语写作能力有限,视力障碍而希望参加比赛,或者希望获得协助来访问此应用程序,请通过hello@4culture.org或206-296-7580或TTY 711与我们联系。

4 After You Submit

4 After You Submit


The next application deadline for this grant will be in the fall of 2021. Most 4Culture grants take approximately three to four months from application deadline to when we announce our funding decisions.

Panel Process

We make all of our funding decisions through a panel process, in which a group of peers assesses your application. 4Culture staff facilitates the panel process, but does not vote or try to influence the outcome. This grant also includes an on-site review component—please contact 4Culture staff to set up an appointment.

Contracts and Payment

If we select your organization for funding, your grant manager will work with you to create a contract outlining a payment schedule.

Requirements and Appeals

Learn about what will be required if you are awarded a grant, and about the process for appeal of a 4Culture decision.

5 Apply

5 Apply

NOTE: as stated above, 4Culture will be continuing 2019-2020 Sustained Support awards through 2021. However, the instructions below describe the application process that will be followed in the fall of 2021 for the calendar year of 2022.

Once you’ve started your application, you can save after each step and sign out—your application will be saved as a draft that you can continue to work on up to the deadline. Once you hit “Submit,” your application is final. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions during the process.

What We Require

We will not consider your application without the materials listed here. We strongly recommend assembling them before you login and begin your application, and encourage you to call or email us with any questions as you work on these materials.

Demographic Information

Your organization profile in our portal must provide demographic information for your board and staff for the current year. We use this information to help us understand how well we are doing in our efforts to reach all communities in King County.

For nonprofit organizations:

  • Operating budget, formatted in 4Culture forms.
  • List of programs in the most the most recently completed program year, including the date or date range, number of occurrences, location, and estimated attendance.
  • Board or staff list, with titles.

For Local Arts Agencies:

  • List of staff dedicated to arts programming and the percentage of time allocated.
  • List of commissioners and board members.
  • List of annual arts programming for the most recently completed program year. Include date or date range, number of occurrences, location, and estimated attendance.
  • List of arts program related expenditures and income. The most recently completed cultural plan, if applicable.

Note: Municipalities may submit an application to both Arts and Preservation Sustained Support, if that municipality meets the separate Arts and Preservation funding criteria. All other organizations must choose the one funding program that best fits their mission and goals—either Arts, Heritage or Preservation—and submit only one application for this round.