4Culture Grants + Calls

Public Free Access

This pilot program helps reduce barriers to your organization's programming.

Steps to Apply

1 What Public Free Access Funds

1 What Public Free Access Funds

Our new Public Free Access program aims to reduce the significant barrier that admission fees pose to many King County residents— particularly underserved communities—and visitors in accessing quality, relevant, cultural experiences.

In 2023, this is an exploratory program. We are piloting this new funding effort in support of our mission and will use this first year to gather information about the best protocols for the program going forward. $50,000 in total funds are available in 2023 and will be allocated in three roughly equal award pools in quarterly application deadlines:

  • March 31, 2023
  • June 30, 2023
  • September 29, 2023

You may request awards of either $1,000 or $2,000 and may receive only one award during this first year. The amount requested is not a factor in whether an application is funded. Applications not funded in one round may be carried forward for a subsequent deadline in 2023 at your request.

Funds may be used to provide free or reduced cost admission to your cultural programs, events, venues, or activities—existing, new, or restarting in 2023—that are open to the public and publicized to residents and visitors to King County.


Maintaining our focus on equitable access to funding at 4Culture, this program minimizes the costs incurred in applying by pre-qualifying applications. This means that applications will be automatically pre-qualified if they meet all eligibility requirements and have been funded by 4Culture during the two most recent calendar years or the current calendar year for Sustained Support, Projects, Open, or any other 4Culture arts, heritage, or preservation funding program.

Applicants who have not been funded previously by 4Culture, but are otherwise eligible under the guidelines, will be screened for pre-qualification by 4Culture staff.

After an application is pre-qualified, all applications for a given round of funding will be ranked in a pool according to the following criteria:

  • Based in and primarily serving a King County Community of Opportunity (see the eligibility section below).
  • Organization mission explicitly mentions serving currently and historically underserved communities.
  • Smallest previous year total revenue.
  • Based outside the City of Seattle.

2 Are You Eligible?

2 Are You Eligible?

To be eligible to receive Public Free Access program funds in the 2023 exploratory year, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Provide cultural experiences open to the public, King County residents and visitors.
  • Be based in and primarily serving King County Communities of Opportunity.
  • Last completed fiscal year total revenue less than or equal to $50,000.
  • Have 501(c)(3) IRS determination or a fiscal sponsor.
  • Be a nongovernmental organization.

Communities Of Opportunity

The Communities of Opportunity (COO) index was first developed in 2012 and includes a set of health and socioeconomic indicators to gauge community health and well-being. 4Culture aligns our equity investments with the COO index to identify the areas of King County in greatest need of support.

View this Communities of Opportunity map to determine whether your organization or primary venue is located in a COO. COO areas eligible for the Public Free Access program are outlined and in purple.

3 Helping You Succeed

3 Helping You Succeed

Contact Us

We are available by email and phone to assist you! Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions.

Bart J. Cannon, PhD


Workshops provide an opportunity for you to meet staff, learn about the process, ask questions, and get application feedback. All workshops will be held online. Registration is required via the links provided.

Jun 6

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 Apply

4 After You Apply

Verifying application pre-qualification and award allocations should take approximately two to three weeks after the application deadline. Awards must be approved by the 4Culture Board of Directors, which may take up to two months after the deadline.

Contracts and Payment

If we select your application for funding, a program manager will work with you to create a contract outlining your payment and public benefits (the free or reduced cost access) to be provided.

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. We suggest you make certain you have an active account and that your organization profile is up to date. You’ll log in and be able to select the Public Free Access application.

Once you’ve started your application, it can be saved as a draft that you can continue to work on up until the deadline. Once you click “Submit,” your application is no longer editable. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions during the process.

What’s in the Application

The Public Free Access application is intended to place minimal burdens on applicants, having only two narrative questions to answer.

  1. Describe the cultural experiences to which the funds would be used to provide free or reduced cost access.
  2. Explain how your organization would prioritize providing free or reduced cost access to cultural experiences for members of underserved communities.

You will also need to provide at least your latest fiscal year Total Revenue in your organization’s profile.

Demographic Information

Your profile in our application portal must provide demographic information for the current year 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.