4Culture Grants + Calls

Heritage Projects

Through Heritage Projects we support the people and organizations making history relevant and provocative through exhibits, publications, oral histories, and more.

Steps to Apply

1 What Heritage Projects Funds

1 What Heritage Projects Funds

4Culture’s Heritage Projects funding program promotes the identification, documentation, exhibition, and interpretation of historic and cultural materials exploring the heritage and historical record in King County, Washington. Awards range from $1,000 to $7,000.

Update for 2021: Heritage Projects funding is offered every year, but the 2021 program allocation has been reduced to support ongoing COVID-19 response for Heritage organizations and due to reduction in the projected revenue from lodging tax. Learn more about our 2021 budget from our Executive Director, Brian J. Carter.

Due to reduced available funding, Heritage Projects this year will support projects that are time-sensitive and must begin work in 2021. We will prioritize work with heritage resources, narratives, and collections in immediate danger of being permanently lost and projects related to preserving, analyzing, and sharing immediate past happenings of 2020 and 2021. If you have projects that are not time-sensitive, please consider waiting to apply next year.

Sample time-sensitive projects:

  • Work with individuals, material culture, historic landscapes, intangible cultural heritage, and heritage resources that might not be accessible after 2021.
  • Collections development or community engagement around 2020 issues that impacted King County, including impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. presidential election, Black Lives Matter activism, climate change, etc.
  • Projects that combat cultural racism, xenophobia, and monolithic historical narratives.

You can use this grant to:

  • Create heritage resources including, but not limited to, books, guides, brochures, research projects, digital projects, oral, visual, or audio recordings, museum exhibits and programs, and education curriculum.
  • Preservation of material cultural related to heritage in King County (please note there will not be a collections care program in 2021).
  • Produce special events and programs that highlight our region’s heritage including, but not limited to: conferences, workshops, technical assistance programs, apprenticeship or training opportunities, historic walking, cycling, or driving tours, field schools, skill demonstrations, and programs that facilitate collaboration between heritage organizations.
  • Provide opportunities for populations underrepresented in mainstream heritage organizations including people of color, LGBTQ communities, youth, people with disabilities, and gender variant communities to work firsthand with heritage resources.
  • Pay for materials and consumable supplies used for your project, transportation, documentation, and compensation for professional consultants, heritage specialists, trainees, or staff time if work on the project is outside their regular work duties and payment is beyond their regular compensation structure.

You cannot use this grant for:

  • Major equipment purchases, construction or fabrication projects, general operating support, overhead costs and fees, employee benefits or any regular staff salaries (we offer separate grants for these).
  • Elements of your project completed before funds are awarded: June 30, 2021.
  • Projects for which fundraising is the primary purpose, direct marketing or advertising costs, and projects that do not focus on heritage in King County as a foundational element.
  • Support for services and programs to be provided by the King County Landmarks Commission for land use regulation and archaeological resource management purposes, as described in K.C.C. chapter 20.62 (King County Code 4.42.125H).


For this grant, panelists will use the below criteria to score each application:

  • Project impact and public benefit: how well your project helps develop the historical record in King County, particularly related to time-sensitive issues and narratives, its potential to raise the visibility of heritage work, and its ability to increase public access to heritage resources and programs. This might include free performances, exhibitions, workshops, screenings, or readings, as well as free, electronically accessible materials, including literary publications, audio, or video recordings.
  • Quality and qualifications: how well your project aligns with professional standards and best practices, the qualifications of you and your project team, and how your project meets the goals of your organization’s mission or needs in the community. Qualifications can be skill, experience, training, or knowledge-based.
  • Feasibility: clearly state why and how this project must start in 2021, the ability to complete your project within 18 months. This is demonstrated through the qualifications of you and your project team, your budget—including your ability to raise additional funding—and your ability to fund the project on a reimbursement basis.
  • Advancing Equity: how your project focuses on telling the story of marginalized communities and provides opportunities for underserved populations, including people of color, LGBTQ communities, youth, and people with disabilities, to tell their own stories and/or work firsthand with heritage resources. Is your project led by or does it center marginalized communities or audiences in its development and implementation.

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.

Equity Investments

In order to combat inequities in our grantmaking, 4Culture is introducing Equity Investments. This practice will incorporate indicators of structural inequity into our panel process, including geographic location, income, operating budget, audiences served, and project focus. By prioritizing these factors, we intend to more equitably distribute funds to communities that have historically been excluded from cultural funding.

Each of our grant programs will implement an Equity Investment system tailored to the specific needs of its applicants; please read the After You Submit section of this page for details on how Equity Investments will function for this grant. This organization-wide change—and what we learn about its impact—is an important step towards more equitable funding at 4Culture and throughout the King County cultural sector.

2 Are You and Your Project Eligible?

2 Are You and Your Project Eligible?


  • You must be at least 18 years old and a resident of King County when you apply, through the completion of your project.
  • If you receive funding, you’ll need to provide us with your Social Security number in order to receive payment. Organizations, community groups, and public agencies must operate within King County, and will need to provide us with a Tax ID or EIN in order to receive grant funds.
  • We do not fund K-12 schools, school districts, or religious institutions.
  • If you are an organization, you must not be a current Heritage Sustained Support recipient.

Your Project

  • Must be able to start work on your project in 2021.
  • Must focus primarily on heritage and historical themes in King County through identification, documentation, exhibition and/or interpretation. Heritage and historical themes can include people, memories, places, communities, and events.
  • Must be accessible to and provide public benefit to King County residents and visitors.
  • If your project involves multiple disciplines—heritage, preservation, and/or arts—it may be eligible for consideration under more than one 4Culture projects funding program. You may request funding for different elements of your project through the separate funding programs, but must disclose in your application what other 4Culture funding you have requested or will request. Contact Chieko Phillips to discuss your project’s eligibility before applying.

You can only submit one application for the Heritage Projects program. We’ll consider your application complete once you’ve filled out all sections, and provided all of our required materials, listed in the Apply section of this page. It’s a good idea to put all of these together before you login and begin your application.

3 Helping You Succeed

3 Helping You Succeed


Workshops can make a real difference in the success of your application. They’re an opportunity for you to get your questions answered by a 4Culture grant manager and learn from other applicants. All workshops will be held remotely in 2021. Please register via the links provided to receive Zoom meeting information. If you are unable to attend, a recording of the workshop will be available.

Mar 29
Mar 30
Mar 31
Apr 7
Apr 14

If you are unable to join us for a workshop, this workshop recording is available for you to watch. The video is captioned.



The total available funding for Heritage projects in 2021 is $77,500. In 2020, 41 projects received funding, totaling $272,276 in support of Heritage projects throughout King County. Awards range from $1,084 to $10,000. Read a sample application that successfully received funding. View a list of last year’s recipients on our Awardees page.

See the Heritage Projects one-pager for quick tips.

You can also read through the application questions before getting started:

  • Project Description: describe the heritage content (people, places, events, themes, trends) of your project and its historical significance to your community. What makes your subject time-sensitive? What do you propose to do?
  • Project Impact and Public Benefit: describe the intended audience for this project and goals for your intended audience. Please briefly explain your history with working with the intended audience. What resources, programs, or tangible products will result from project activities? How will you provide public access to resources, programs, or tangible products developed as a result of project activities? In this program, public benefit should be activities that are made available for the enjoyment, education, and expression of King County residents and visitors.
  • Advancing Equity:
    Organizations: please explain if your organization has a primary mission focus to serve historically marginalized peoples or communities in King County. Will your project intentionally center marginalized histories? If so, how? Will the project be led by underrepresented communities?
    Individuals: please explain if your individual practice or way you approach your work centers historically marginalized peoples and/or communities in King County. Will your project intentionally center marginalized histories? If so, how? Will the project be led by underrepresented communities?
  • Relevant Expertise/Experience/Accomplishments: describe the project team. Who will plan, implement, and manage your project? Cite the experiences and skills of the identified project team (staff, project partners, consultants, and volunteers) that are necessary to complete the work successfully. If you are working with heritage or historical record from another culture or community, how are members of that community involved in this project?
  • Project Implementation: provide a timeline and a work plan for this project. How do you plan to implement the project given the constraints of COVID-19? The work plan could include phases for planning, bidding process, fundraising, publicity, execution, and evaluation of the intended goals identified in Project Impact section. Remember, projects funded through this program should start in 2021 and be completed within 18 months.
  • Budget: provide a breakdown of how you intend to use the 4Culture funding.

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。


Chieko Phillips
(206) 477-6811

4 After You Submit

4 After You Submit


The deadline for this grant is April 28, 2021 at 5:00 pm PST. Most 4Culture grants take approximately three months from application deadline to when we announce our funding decisions. You can start your project—or the portion of your project described in your application—no earlier than June 30, 2021, and you must complete it by January 1, 2023.

Panel Process

We make all of our funding decisions through a panel process, in which a group of peers working in heritage assesses your application. 4Culture staff facilitates the panel process, but does not score applications or try to influence the outcome.

This program has two major changes towards advancing equity. First, there is a new question specifically asking if the applicant or the project has a primary focus to center and serve historically marginalized people or communities in King County. The answer to this question will be scored against the Advancing Equity criterion, formerly the Heritage Priorities criterion, which holds the same weight as the other three criteria for this program, five points.

Second, applicants that are located within a 4Culture Equity Investment area will receive an equity investment. 4Culture recognizes that where an organization or cultural worker is based or provides its services can affect access to funding and other resources. Many cultural organizations and cultural workers 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, projects located in a 4Culture Equity Investment area will receive additional consideration during the grant evaluation and awards process. Projects qualify as being in an Equity Investment area by meeting one of the following requirements:

  • The applicant or project site is located outside of the City of Seattle.
  • The project is located Seattle but is also in a 2010 US Census tract area with a Communities of Opportunity index percentile of 60% or greater.

Please contact Chieko Phillips if you have any questions

Contracts and Payment

If we select your project for funding, your grant manager will work with you to create a contract outlining the scope of your project and a payment schedule. You’ll receive your funds once you have completed the public benefit component of your project—that’s why it’s so important to come up with a feasible way to share your project with the public.

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

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’s in the Application?

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 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 paid staff. We use this information to help us understand how well we are doing in our efforts to reach all communities in King County.

Grant budget

Use the budget form embedded in the application to record how you intend to use the funds you’re requesting from 4Culture.


You may submit up to three images, estimates, and/or other support documents. Accepted file types are .doc, .docx, .pdf, .jpg, and .gif. Individual files must be less than 2 MB. Attachments may include photos, bids, estimates, letters of support, drawings, maps, copies of media coverage, previous research, studies, or reports to help illustrate your proposal.