4Culture Grants + Calls

Building for Equity: Cultural Facilities

Our Building for Equity: Cultural Facilities grants help organizations acquire, build, or renovate the bricks and mortar buildings and spaces that make cultural experiences possible.

Update: in 2024, 4Culture is offering a one-time investment in cultural facilities tied to the passage of the Doors Open legislation that was passed by King County Council in December 2023. Learn more about Doors Open Facilities grants here. 4Culture’s Building for Equity Program will reopen in 2025.

Steps to Apply

1 What Building for Equity: Cultural Facilities Funds

1 What Building for Equity: Cultural Facilities Funds

Building for Equity: Cultural Facilities grants provide funding for building, remodeling, and buying specialized space that houses and facilitates cultural work in King County. A total of $1,100,000 is available in the funding pool.

This grant is a part of 4Culture and King County’s Building for Equity initiative to support cultural building projects and create a pathway to racial equity in cultural facilities funding. To help us achieve this goal, applicants must show an ongoing commitment to a racial equity practice, fill out the Equity in Development and Construction Assessment, and projects receiving $100,000 will be required to meet a Cultural Space Contribution Requirement.

Learn more about the Building for Equity program.

Why Racial Equity?

With a focus on racial equity, 4Culture funds, supports, and advocates for culture to enhance the quality of life in King County. We acknowledge that systematic inequity takes many forms—racism, sexism, ableism, transphobia, heterosexism, and more. Our focus on racial equity provides us with the tools we use to dismantle all oppressions.

By centering communities that have historically faced barriers to purchasing and stewarding cultural space, Building for Equity is modeling a new facilities funding program. The goal of this program is to create pathways toward a racially equitable cultural landscape in King County.

To read more visit:
Racial Equity at 4Culture
Mission, Vision, Values


We fund all of our grants through a competitive process, carefully evaluating each application.

For this particular grant, we’ll look to see how well your project shows the following for a total of 30 points:

  • Quality and Qualifications (6 points): the thought and reasoning you have put into your project’s planning and how this facility project will help your organization fulfill its mission.
  • Feasibility (6 points): your organization’s ability to develop, administer, and complete the project within the budgetary, logistical, and time constraints described in your application. 4Culture does not provide 100% of a facility project’s cost, so other support must be shown and a reasonable plan and timeline for raising all the funds needed is an essential part of your request. You must be able to start your project within 24 months of the award date. Your organization’s financial stability, demonstrated by the financial information you provide, and the qualifications of those who will be involved in the project.
  • Project Impact and Public Benefit (6 points): the demonstrated community support for your organization and project, which may include community involvement, endorsements, and in-kind services in addition to support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and other government sources. The impact of this specific project on your organization and how your community will benefit.
  • Advancing Equity (6 points): your organization or facility project’s focus on historically marginalized communities, especially communities that are disproportionately impacted by structural racism. This is not a requirement for funding.
  • Equity in Development and Construction Practices (6 points): the internal and external approaches and practices your project is undertaking to ensure project leadership, financial investments, decision-making, and community input reflect the voices in the communities around the project site and BIPOC and/or historically marginalized populations in King County. See sample assessment for terms, definitions, resources and questions.

Projects located in a 4Culture Equity Investment area shall receive additional consideration during the grant evaluation and awards process. Projects qualify as being in an Equity Investment area by meeting one or more of the following requirements. Your project does not need to meet one of these to qualify; these only give certain projects priority:

      • The project is outside of the City of Seattle.
      • The project is located in geographic areas within King County zip codes experiencing the most significant social inequities as per a Community of Opportunity designation. These designated areas are shown in purple on this map:

    *The Community of Opportunity index is used to identify areas in King County experiencing the highest levels of need. Learn more about King County’s Community of Opportunity index.


    Firefox users may find it easier to view the map using this link.

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. Read about public benefit more in depth here. 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.
      • Free use of your facility or low-cost rental to other cultural groups. If you receive an award, your organization is committing to provide up to six hours of time towards 4Culture’s Building for Equity program. You may be asked to participate in a focus group, interviews with 4Culture staff or to present at a 4Culture workshop. Projects receiving $100,000 or more will be required to meet a Cultural Space Contribution Requirement, by providing cultural access through free facility use to smaller organizations organizations that are BIPOC-led or serving. The required contribution is equivalent to 100-hours of conference room use per $100,000 of awarded funds. Use of other space types will be calculated by 4Culture and the grantee to provide an equivalent relative value (example: free use of a large performance space would be valued at a higher rate than a conference room).
      • Alternate types of support can be used if providing free space use is impractical for an organization.

2 Are You Eligible?

2 Are You Eligible?

Cultural Facilities grants are available to King County-based nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, and public agencies with at least a two-year operating history, nonprofit status, and demonstrated long-term control of your physical site.


  • Your organization is a federally recognized arts, heritage, or historic preservation-focused public corporation, tribal government, nonprofit organization, or an organization that is fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) partner organization.
  • Your organization must show an ongoing commitment to advancing racial equity, with anti-racism efforts planned for 2023. Examples may include training, programming, internal systems and processes, or an alternative appropriate for the cultural context of your organization. Your organization is eligible even if you are just beginning these efforts, as long as you make a commitment for 2023. Please contact us for more information if needed.
  • You must have a legally constituted and working board of directors, a proven two-year record of providing arts or cultural services, and the ability to sustain operations after the completion of this facility project.
  • Your organization’s current liabilities can’t be more than 30% of your operating expenses over time. For purposes of evaluating this eligibility requirement, 4Culture will evaluate your financial performance prior to July 2023. Organizations will not be deemed ineligible solely due to the financial impacts of COVID-19. Public agencies are exempt from this requirement.
  • If funded, you’ll be required to provide a W-9 form, sign a contract that limits 4Culture’s liability, and provide proof of liability insurance that names 4Culture as additional insured.
  • Your organization must have site control. This can mean property ownership or a long-term lease (10-years minimum or 5-years with an option to renew). This can include projects planning to purchase property with these funds.
  • This grant is not available to K-12 schools or school districts.
  • If you are using a fiscal sponsor to apply for this grant, you must have prior approval by 4Culture staff.

Your Project

    • This grant funds building, remodeling, and buying facilities—the permanent structure that houses your organization’s cultural activities.
    • Funding requests are limited to $100,000 for 2023.
    • Only project budgets of $10 million and under are eligible for 2023. If your project budget is more than $10 million, contact Maya Santos, Building for Equity Program Manager, at maya.santos@4culture.org.
    • If your organization is looking for funding for equipment, we encourage you to check out our Equipment grant.
      Projects that consist of general maintenance and repairs, the purchase of consumable items like light bulbs and tools, regular staff salaries, or program expenses are not eligible for Cultural Facilities funding.
    • Feasibility studies and other early project planning are also not eligible for this funding but are eligible for Building for Equity: Capacity Building grants.

If your organization or project does not fit into one or more of the above eligibility requirements, please contact Maya Santos, Building for Equity Program Manager, at maya.santos@4culture.org.

3 Helping You Succeed

3 Helping You Succeed


Workshops can make a big difference in the success of your application—each year, we find that the strongest applications come from people who have attended a workshop.

All workshops will be virtual and have captioning available. You’ll need a Zoom account to join.

This grant is currently closed. Workshops will be posted 6-8 weeks before the next deadline date.

Workshop Recording

If you were unable to make the Zoom workshop, you can view this recorded version instead:


The review process for this grant includes a 10-minute interviews with the Building for Equity: Cultural Facilities panel to answer any questions that panelists might have after reading your proposal. The interviews will happen via Zoom and your organization can include one to three representatives who have solid knowledge about the project. We will set the schedule for this process after you have submitted your eligible application.

Contact Us

We’re here to help! Please contact us if you have a question about this program. We can provide guidance as you work through your application. We look forward to getting to know you and your cultural facility project!

You can contact us about:

  • The grant application, panel review process, award notifications, eligible expenses, contracting, and reimbursement/payments.
  • Review grant application drafts.
  • Scheduling a site visit or a meeting.

Maya Santos, Building for Equity Program Manager 
(206) 263-0691

Lauren Miles, Building for Equity Support Specialist lauren.miles@4culture.org

Translation and Assistance

The guidelines, a detailed explanation of how to apply, and the application are in English. If this is a barrier that stops you from understanding the grant or applying due to limited English writing ability, visual impairment, or you would like to request assistance to create an application, please contact hello@4culture.org or call (206) 296-7580 or TTY 711, and we will make sure you get the support you need.
Las pautas, la explicación detallada de cómo enviar la solicitud y la solicitud están en inglés. Si esto le impide comprender la información relacionada con la beca o enviar una solicitud debido a una limitación en la capacidad para escribir en inglés, si tiene una discapacidad visual o si desea recibir asistencia para crear una solicitud, escriba a hello@4culture.org o llame al (206) 296-7580 o TTY 711, y nos aseguraremos de que obtenga la ayuda que necesita.
详细说明如何申请的指南以及申请本身均使用英文。如果由于英语写作能力有限、视力障碍而妨碍您对本资助的了解或申请,或者您希望请求协助来完成申请,请发送电子邮件至 hello@4culture.org 或致电 (206) 296-7580 或 TTY (听障专线) 711 联系,我们会确保您获得所需的支持
Руководство, подробная инструкция и форма заявки на английском языке. Если вам сложно разобраться в процедуре получения грантов или подачи заявок из-за ограниченных навыков письменного английского языка либо нарушений зрения, а также если вы бы хотели обратиться за помощью при составлении заявки, отправьте письмо на адрес электронной почты hello@4culture.org или позвоните по номеру (206) 296-7580 или 711 (телетайп), и мы позаботимся о том, чтобы вы получили необходимую помощь.
Hướng dẫn, giải thích chi tiết về cách nộp đơn va tài liệu áp dụng tất cả đều bằng Tiếng Anh. Nếu đây là rào cản khiến quý vị không hiểu được khoản trợ cấp hoặc cách nộp đơn do khả năng viết tiếng Anh hạn chế, do quý vị bị suy giảm thị lực hoặc muốn yêu cầu hỗ trợ để tạo đơn đăng ký, làm ơn liên hệ hello@4culture.org hoặc gọi (206) 296-7580 hay TTY 711 và chúng tôi sẽ hỗ trợ những gì quý vị cần.
Tilmaamaha, sharaxaadda faahfaahsan ee ku saabsan sida loo codsado, iyo waraaqda codsiga waxa ay dhammaan ku qoran yihiin Af-Ingiriisi. Haddii ay arrintani tahay caqabad kaa hor istaageysa fahamka deeqda ama codsashada oo ay sabab u tahay awoodda qorista Af-Ingiriisiga oo xadidan, araggaaga oo liita, ama aad jeclaan lahayd inaad codsato in lagaa caawiyo in aad codsi sameyso, fadlan la xiriir hello@4culture.org ama wac (206) 296-7580 ama TTY 711, waxaana xaqiijin doonnaa inaad hesho taageerada aad u baahan tahay.

4 After You Submit

4 After You Submit


The deadline for this grant is July 28, 2023 at 5:00 pm PDT. Most 4Culture grants take approximately three months from the 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.

Contracts and Payment

If we select your project for funding, a 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

You will apply through our online grant portal system. We suggest you make certain you have an active account and that your organization profile is up to date now. You’ll log in and be able to select the Cultural Facilities application.

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 click “Submit,” your application is final. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions during the process.

Need help? Watch this video on how to access your 4Culture account and application.

What’s in the Application?

We strongly recommend assembling the following materials before you begin your application so you can cut and paste the information into your application. Feel free to call or email us with any questions as you work on preparing this information in advance.

Equity in Development and Construction Assessment

You must complete an assessment that asks questions related to the racial equity focused efforts, strategies and processes within your organization and your project. You may preview the assessment questions here including terms, definitions and resources.

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. Read our privacy policy for information about how we protect your information. Your application is not complete if your demographic information is not updated for the current year.

Project budget

Use our Budget Form in the online application—you only need to fill out the line items that pertain to your project.

Financial information

Please check your organization’s most recent fiscal year information from your 990 or 1040 in our grant application portal as part of your organization’s profile. Make certain it is up-to-date! If you have never provided us with this information we want your 3 most recent years.

Activities list

The panel will review your list of events and primary activities from the last 24-months to better understand your organization and how it serves the public. Please include location and audience sizes—be as specific as possible. You can cut and paste from a Word document into the application section or enter information directly.

Board list

Submit a list of your organization’s board members, their terms and occupations in this section of the application. You can cut and paste from a Word document or enter information directly.

Balance sheet

Upload your organization’s most current year-end balance sheet, in whatever format you present it in your financials. Valid document file types are Word (.doc, .docx), Excel (.xls, xlsx), and PDF.

Rendering/plan/illustration (optional)

You may submit a PDF of up to 2 pages that help to show the panel your project—this is not required, but can help to explain a remodel plan or complex project budget.

Important reminders:

  • We recommend drafting your application offline before entering your final content on your application in the portal and save your work often.
  • Attend an information workshop or view the workshop recording.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute. Start your application early.
  • If you have trouble uploading documents or saving/submitting your application, please contact us immediately.