4Culture Grants + Calls

Reopen Fund: Organizations + Landmarks

The Reopen fund provides support for the training, protective equipment, infrastructure improvements, systems upgrades, additional personnel and other measures needed for cultural organizations and the owners/stewards of designated landmarks to provide programming under and to adapt to COVID-19 public health restrictions. You are encouraged to apply whether or not you operate out of a permanent facility.

Steps to Apply

1 About the Reopen Fund

1 About the Reopen Fund

4Culture, through an allocation by the King County Council, has committed a total of $1.4 million to support King County cultural organizations and historic properties in their efforts to reopen their programs to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants must be cultural organizations, municipalities, or owners/stewards of historic properties in King County. Cultural organizations applying for these funds must have a primary mission related to one or more of 4Culture’s funding areas: arts, heritage, and preservation.

If you qualify, you may apply under one, and only one, of the following three application categories:

    • Easy Application for Facilities offers awards of up to $9,900 to cover expenses for reopening the facility you use or historic property you steward, even if you do not own the facility. Examples of permitted use of these funds include, but are not limited to:
      • PPE (personal protective equipment such as masks) for staff and volunteers. PPE for patrons may only be included if it is specifically required based on the programming you provide.
      • Installation of Plexiglass barriers to comply with safe distancing requirements.
      • Sanitizing stations for staff, volunteers and patrons.
      • Sanitizing products and equipment to maintain your facility.
      • Signage to communicate safe distancing and sanitizing requirements.
      • Training for front-line staff for managing patrons, adhering to public health guidelines, and de-escalation.
      • Software upgrades to allow for timed ticketing or other systems to control visitorship. Subscription-based software expenses are eligible only if they were incurred as a direct response to COVID-19. Only subscription fees for services from March 1, 2020 to December 15, 2020 are eligible.
      • Design and construction to adapt historic buildings, districts, and spaces to social distancing requirements, while following historic preservation guidelines and regulations
      • Marketing and advertising specifically to announce your reopening and/or to share the steps your organization is taking to allow for the safe return of patrons.
      • Other expenses required to respond to COVID-19 public health restrictions that could not have been foreseen prior to the public health emergency.
  • Full Application for Facilities covers the same types of expenses as above, with an increased maximum award of $24,000. This application requires additional information, offers fewer awards, and will be more competitive than the Easy application. Grantees awarded $10,000 and more will be required to attend an online training and submit additional documentation when requesting reimbursement to comply with Federal guidelines.
  • Alternate Application for awards up to $7,500 to organizations that have COVID-19 related expenses but who do not use a facility for public programs that is forecasted to reopen before June 2021.

Reimbursement Restrictions for All Reopen Grants

Only expenses incurred from March 1 to December 15, 2020 as a direct result of the COVID-19 mandated business closures may be reimbursed with this grant. Expenses that have been funded by other Federal, State and Local government programs cannot be reimbursed using this grant.

Example: If your April payroll was covered under the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), you cannot submit April payroll for reimbursement under this grant. You may, however, submit for reimbursement for payroll in other months if they were not covered by PPP or other government programs.

Taxes may not be reimbursed under this fund. This includes sales tax, property tax, and payroll taxes.

The program utilizes Federal funds. 4Culture may request additional information from grantees to comply with 2 CFR 200 (Code of Federal Regulations).

Public Benefit: Why It Matters

Our funding comes from public Lodging Taxes, and our mission is to reinvest these into the community. If awarded funds, you will sign an agreement with 4Culture requiring that you indicate the public benefit of your work to the residents of King County. For 4Culture’s purposes, public benefit describes efforts to make your events, activities, historic property or programs more accessible to King County residents, particularly underserved communities. Examples include, but are not limited to: free or discounted tickets for students/seniors, scholarships to educational programs or free/discounted educational programs, outreach efforts to young audiences, seniors, communities of color, communities of disability, or non-English speakers, free or pay-what-you-can performances, and more.

2 Are You Eligible?

2 Are You Eligible?

To be eligible for this program, your organization must meet these requirements:

  • For organizations: Your organization’s primary mission must relate to the arts, heritage, or preservation. If you are awarded funds and your organization is not a nonprofit, municipality, or public development authority, you must find a fiscal sponsor before you can claim your award.
  • For landmarks: You are an individual, businesses, organization, or local government that is either the owner or long-term leaseholder of a historic property in King County. Your property must be designated as an official landmark at the city or county level, or a contributing building within a locally designated historic district. Properties listed in the National Register of Historic Place are eligible only in jurisdictions without a local historic preservation ordinance.
  • You must have a minimum 2-year track record of programming or activity.
  • You must be located in and serve the residents of King County, Washington.
  • You must not be a 4Culture staff member or a 4Culture Reopen Fund panelist during the period of review.
  • You must not be a K-12 school, a school district, or a religious institution.

All eligible applications will be reviewed using the following selection criteria:

Proposed programs and public benefit

  • The applicant demonstrates that the funds requested will allow it to provide a cultural experience to King County audiences.
  • The proposed activities will either have a deep impact on a specific community, or will have a wide reach throughout the county with effective marketing to publicize the program.
  • The proposed public benefit meets a community need and is proportionate with the level of funding requested.
  • The organization can reach its intended audience as demonstrated through its 2019 program attendance or an alternate quantitative measure.

COVID-19 impact

  • The funds requested will go directly to expenses that were not foreseen before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Priority factors

  • Priority will be given to organizations/landmarks that have a track record serving a community disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
  • Priority will be given to organizations/landmarks that have not yet received COVID-19 related funding from 4Culture.
  • Priority will be given to organizations/landmarks located in, or that provide a majority of their public programs or services within, a census tract designated as “40% highest need” by the 2018 Communities of Opportunity Composite Index. Managed through the Prevention Division of King County Public Health, Communities of Opportunity is a partnership and initiative of the Seattle Foundation and King County. It is used to identify areas in King County experiencing the highest levels of need. Organizations with an annual budget over $3.5 million do not qualify for this priority category.
  • Priority will be given to organizations/landmarks located within King County but outside the City of Seattle.
  • Priority will be given to organizations/landmarks that primarily serve tribal members or county residents with a disability.

3 Helping You Succeed

3 Helping You Succeed


Workshops provide an opportunity for you to meet staff, learn about the process, ask questions, and meet other artists and arts groups. They are informal and drop-in based. Take advantage of this opportunity to strengthen your application! All workshops for this grant will take place on Zoom—register here:


Jul 16
Aug 4

Workshop Recording

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

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。

Personal Support

We will make every effort to ensure equal access to services for all applicants. If you need assistance or require different forms of access, please contact us.

The application must be filled out online. We are available by email and phone to assist you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

You may find it helpful to review the narrative questions and other requirements. See the “Apply” section below to familiarize yourself with the questions you will be asked.


For general and technical support:
Jackie Mixon

Bret Fetzer

Megumi Nagata

Dana Phelan

4 After You Submit

4 After You Submit


Applications for the Reopen fund are due at 5:00 pm on August 17, 2020. You will receive an email regarding the status of your application within six weeks of the deadline.

Selection Process

4Culture will first review all applications to ensure eligibility. We then will facilitate a panel review process of eligible applications. The panel, comprised of independent professionals and citizen representatives, will review and score applications for funding recommendations.

Contracts and Payment

If your application is awarded funding, a grant manager will ensure you receive a contract and they will help you access payment. Grantees agree to supply any additional documentation required to ensure compliance with these guidelines and to comply with Federal, State or County COVID-19 legislation (ex: Payroll Protection Program, CARES Act, etc.).

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. Once you click “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?

  • Please make sure that your Account Profile is up-to-date, especially contact information, as well as demographic information for your organization. The demographic information is optional—we use this to help us understand how well we are doing in our efforts to serve all communities in King County. This demographic information will not be used to determine awards for this program.
  • The application requires answering basic questions about your organization, your work in the cultural field, and the communities you work within and/or support.
  • You will be asked to answer the following questions in the application narrative:
    • What activities will this funding allow you to do in the next year? Who will these activities reach? What public benefit will you provide along with these activities?
    • How many visitors/patrons did your organization/landmark serve in 2019? An estimate is acceptable.
    • Do you primarily serve a community that has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19? If yes, briefly explain your history working with/in this community.
    • You’ll be asked to select which categories of expenses you plan to submit for reimbursement if you receive an award.
    • What was your total annual operating budget for the fiscal year ending in 2019? An estimate is acceptable.
    • What date did your facility close to public visitors, or if you do not have a public facility, what date did you begin experiencing COVID-related disruptions to your operations? What is your estimated economic loss your organization experienced from March 1 through July 31 of this year?
    • If you are applying for more than $9,900 in funding, attach your written reopening plan. Your plan should detail, at minimum, how you are preparing your facility, staff, and volunteers to reopen your facility. Also, share how you are communicating COVID-19-related measures with your patrons. All information sent to 4Culture is subject to public disclosure laws.

This project was supported by a grant awarded by the US Department of the Treasury. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of the Treasury.