4Culture Grants + Calls

Public Free Access

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

Update: 2025 guidelines are coming soon, pending final approval of the Doors Open Implementation Plan. Criteria and eligibility requirements will change somewhat for 2025, including the addition of Science & Technology applicants.

Steps to Apply

1 What Public Free Access Funds

1 What Public Free Access Funds

Our 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.

Grants may be used to support free and reduced cost participation in existing, new, or restarted arts, heritage, or preservation cultural experiences that meet the following criteria:

  • Mission-based and meaningfully engages the attendee in the mission.
  • Provides an identical experience to attendees paying a standard fee.
  • Produced by your organization.
  • Open and advertised to the general public without restriction or limitation by invitation, such that anyone who wishes to visit/attend/participate/purchase a ticket may do so.
  • In-person at venues in King County whereat head counts are taken and recorded.

Public Free Access grants will be based on the number of free and reduced cost attendance provided in the previous calendar year that meets the above criteria.

For this purpose, the following definitions apply:

  • Attendance is per visit rather than per individual, e.g., a person participating in programming for free on two separate days would count as two attendees.
  • Reduced cost attendance does not include participants paying fees more than 50% of the standard fee or more than $10 per person.
  • Standard fee means the advertised, one-time, per program cost (or most common, per program cost if fees vary by time of purchase) of general admission to access a cultural experience.
  • Attendance does not include participants at open air, ungated, and/or unmonitored venues whereat head counts are not taken and recorded.
  • Attendance does not include participants reported by another applicant for a Public Free Access grant.

Examples of attendance include: attending a performance in a theater, visiting an historic building, listening to a curator’s talk at a museum, touring a sculpture garden in which attendees are counted upon entry, taking a class on jewelry making, viewing a photography exhibit at a gallery.

Examples of attendance do not include: remote attendance, private event or other space rentals, hosted events for which your organization is not the producer, ungated festivals in which attendees are not individually counted upon entry, attendance at a 25% discount, fundraising events, web site visits, newsletter subscriptions.

In 2024, applicants will be required to attest to the accuracy of the reported 2023 free and reduced cost attendance numbers but will not be required to produce documentation.

To prepare for grants in 2025 and beyond, please note that applicants must have documented their free and reduced cost attendance in 2024 by some mechanism that records a head count, preserved the documentation in their records, and be prepared to produce the documentation if requested by 4Culture.

If you intend to apply for a Public Free Access grant in 2025, plan now to ensure your organization is collecting and preserving attendance documentation in 2024.+


Maintaining our focus on equitable access to funding, the Public Free Access program will minimize the burden of applying by automatically pre-qualifying current 4Culture Arts, Heritage, or Preservation Sustained Support grant recipients if they meet all other program eligibility requirements.

In addition, applicants located outside the City of Seattle, located in and primarily serving a King County Community of Opportunity (see the map below), and/or with the smallest operating budgets will receive an equity investment in the form of a grant multiplier, increasing the grant amount over and above what would have been awarded otherwise.

2 Are You Eligible?

2 Are You Eligible?

To be eligible to receive Public Free Access program funds in 2024, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Approved for current year funding in 4Culture’s Arts, Heritage, or Preservation Sustained Support programs at the time of the posted application deadline.
  • Provide mission-based, cultural experiences open to the public, King County residents and visitors, occurring between Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2024.
  • 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 an equity investment in 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.

Feb 23
Mar 4

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 Apply

4 After You Apply

Determining awards should take approximately one month 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 you are awarded a grant, 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 in 2024 is intended to place minimal burdens on applicants, having few narrative questions to answer.

  1. What free and reduced cost attendance was provided by your organization during calendar year 2023?
  2. How did you count the attendance reported?
  3. What documentation of the attendance reported, if any, do you have preserved in your records?
  4. What in-person arts, heritage, or preservation cultural experiences in 2024 will you provide in King Co. venues that will be open and advertised to the general public and at which you plan to offer free or reduced cost participation?
  5. How will your organization prioritize providing free or reduced cost access to cultural experiences for members of underserved communities?
  6. Will you require a fiscal sponsor for this grant? If so, name of fiscal sponsor?

You will also need to provide at least your latest fiscal year expenses 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.