4Culture Grants + Calls

Building for Equity: Learning Circles and Cohort Program

Is your organization looking to secure, acquire, or improve your cultural space? Join like-minded individuals and learn what it takes to meet your long-term facility needs.

Steps to Apply

1 What is the Learning Circles + Cohort Program?

1 What is the Learning Circles + Cohort Program?

The Building for Equity Learning Circles are a monthly workshop series for community organizations that focuses on the skills and information needed to acquire, improve, and develop cultural facilities. Workshop topics include organizational readiness and leadership development, non-profit financials, fundraising, marketing, lease negotiations and tenant improvements, and a step-by-step review of a capital projects process.

To reach the broadest range of participation, workshop attendees will receive a stipend for their time. Sessions will be held at various King County locations and offered at varied evening and weekend times. The application also provides space to request reimbursement for childcare (up to $100) or other support that might remove barriers to participation. Organizations can participate in individual topic sessions or by being part of the year-long cohort.

Topic Session Participation

Organizations may choose to participate in one or more individual workshop sessions without committing to the entire series. Organizations will receive $150 per individual participating (maximum 2) per workshop.

Topic Sessions are currently planned to be as follows (this may be adjusted based on applicant interest):

  • Individual Leadership Development
  • Organizational Leadership Development
  • Building effective partnerships
  • Finance Fundamentals
  • Fundraising Fundamentals
  • Grant Writing
  • Major Gifts
  • Real Estate
  • Capital Projects
  • Marketing and Communications

Cohort Participation

Organizations may apply to participate as part of a Cohort that engages with the full year long workshop series. Participating organizations should commit one individual—board member, staff member, or volunteer—who will attend each topic session. A second participant per organization may also participate in each workshop. The second participant may be different for each workshop and should be selected based on the workshop topic. Organizations participating in the Cohort will receive $25,000 in funding to begin implementing the skills gained through the Learning Circles. The current program plan includes room for 15 organizations to participate in the Cohort.


Your application will be evaluated according to the following:

  • How well you demonstrate a community-driven need to secure access to a cultural facility through long-term lease or purchase, or a need to significantly improve your existing facility.
  • Applicants for the Cohort will also be evaluated on the public benefit provided by the organization and their ability to demonstrate adequate infrastructure to utilize this support to build organizational capacity or make a lasting impact to sustain their efforts.

The cohort is currently limited to 15 participating organizations. Should more than 15 organizations apply to participate, preference shall be given to qualifying organizations based on:

  • Organizations led by and serving Indigenous People residing in King County OR
  • Organizations that predominantly serve populations in King County’s Communities of Opportunity Partner Areas. These are approximately defined as Rainier Valley, White Center, SeaTac, Tukwila, Seattle’s Central District, Kent and Snoqualmie Valley (see map below) OR
  • Organizations primarily serving a community in transition due to displacement OR
  • Groups led by and predominately serving individuals from historically marginalized communities including: people with disabilities, people with low-incomes, residents in rural King County, the population in geographic areas or representative of cultures within county zip codes experiencing the most significant social inequities.

Public Benefit: Why It Matters

The Building for Equity initiative is funded through King County and requires participants of the Cohort to provide some sort of public benefit. Tell us exactly how your fellow King County residents will be able to learn from your work.

2 Are You Eligible?

2 Are You Eligible?

The following types of organizations may apply:

  • Federally-recognized 501(c)(3) arts, heritage, and historic preservation-focused organizations, public corporations, tribal governments or organizations fiscally-sponsored by a qualifying partner organization.
  • Your organization must have a two-year minimum operating history demonstrating arts and cultural contributions to the community with core staff, volunteers, or boards that reflect the community you serve.
  • Organizations with an annual operating budget between $25,000–$500,000 are being prioritzed for this program. If your organization’s budget falls outside of this range, please contact us to discuss eligibility.

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.

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. Please contact Eldon or Heidi if you have questions:


Heidi Jackson

Eldon Tam 


4 After You Submit

4 After You Submit


The originally posted deadline for this opportunity of Sunday, April 12 is currently postponed. The timeline will be updated upon a better understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on regular operations. There will be at least 30 days notice between the announcement of the revised timeline and the new deadline. Following the deadline, topic session applicants will be contacted by 4Culture staff with any follow-up questions relevant to confirming the workshop calendar. Cohort applicants new to 4Culture will be contacted to schedule a site visit.

Selection Process

Should we receive more eligible applications than the program can accommodate, participation will be determined by lottery.

Contracts and Payment

Learning Circles participants will be paid a $150 stipend for each session they attend. Paperwork for payment will be processed after completion of each Learning Circles workshop; and checks mailed within two weeks.

If your organization is selected to participate in the Cohort program, a contract outlining the scope of your participation and a payment schedule for the $25,000 grant will be issued before the Learning Circles workshops begin.

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 at apply.4culture.org. We suggest you make certain you have an active account and that your organization profile is up to date well before the deadline. You’ll need to be able to log in to access the Building for Equity Learning Circles 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.

What We Require

The application requires answering six basic questions about your organization, its activity, the community you serve, and your facility needs/plans. Applicants for cohort participation will be asked two additional narrative questions providing greater detail. The application will also gather information related to workshop locations and scheduling that will help create a Learning Circles calendar more accessible to participants.

Demographic Information

Your profile in our portal must provide demographic information for the current year, for yourself, and if you are applying as an organization, for your board and staff. 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.