4Culture Grants + Calls

West Duwamish Wet Weather Storage Facility

Up to two artists or artist-led teams from King County, WA will work with 4Culture and King County Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) to create innovative, new work that creates an emotional connection to one of the most important resources of our world: water.

1 About the Project

1 About the Project

  • Budget: $40,000 each ($8,000 fee, up to $32,000 for implementation). Budgets are inclusive of artist fee, and implementation.
    Washington State Sales/Use Tax may apply depending on the artist work.
  • Eligibility: open to artists residing in King County, WA. Artists in a range of disciplines may apply, including performing, literary, visual, time-based media, and social practice. Up to two artists will be commissioned. The artistic outcome may include performances, publications, films or videos, events, installations, as well as temporary interventions or artist-initiated actions.
  • Application: submission of an online application is required for this opportunity.
  • Deadline: Wednesday, December 8, 2022 by 4:00 pm PST. Please allow ample time to complete and upload your application; applications will not be accepted after the deadline.


4Culture and King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) will commission two artists or artist-led teams to create intrigue and stimulate curiosity, raise awareness, and foster an emotional connection to the largely invisible Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) system.

This exciting opportunity is connected to a new project site, the West Duwamish Wet Weather Storage Facility located in West Seattle. The artists selected for this project will have the opportunity to create meaningful artwork that engages issues of social, economic, and environmental relevance. We encourage collaboration with communities in the area throughout the project duration. Over the course of the project, the selected artist will be in close dialogue with 4Culture and the WTD staff.

Considering the West Duwamish site, the selected artists will be asked to consider the following topic and opportunity as outlined in the CSO Art Master Plan (more information below):

Topic, The End of the Line – The end of the line is where the built system meets the natural one at our regional bodies of water. This topic considers our relationship and connection to the system & where it connects to these bodies of water. How do we relate to these bodies of water? How can this topic connect us directly to these waters, like built tributaries to a river?

Project Duration, Short-Term – The artistic outcome may include a performance, publication, film or video, event, installation, as well as a temporary intervention or artist-initiated action. The outcome will likely happen in the surrounding communities and in connection with community partners.

Project Location

The civic scale of the CSO system necessitates the “site” to be the city, the audience, the location of the project or the people it is engaging and serving. The West Duwamish site is the second phase of development in the CSO Art Plan. It is located near SR 509 and the 1st Avenue Bridge, between the West Duwamish Greenbelt and Duwamish Waterway on the industrial land of West Seattle. The South Park and Highland neighborhoods are adjacent to the site.


In the 1950s, over 20 billion gallons of untreated or poorly treated wastewater flowed from combined sewers into major Seattle lakes, the Duwamish River, and Puget Sound. The CSO Program began in the 1970s to address this problem. King County is committed to limiting combined sewer overflows to one per year at each outfall by 2030 through its adopted policies and control plan, per an agreement with the U.S. Departments of Ecology and Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency.

King County’s CSO control plan in Seattle is a complex network of facilities, treatment, and conveyance. Seven projects will be built throughout the city’s diverse neighborhoods—including Montlake, University, Beacon Hill/Rainier, Georgetown, Pioneer Square, and SODO—and within the industrial lands along the Duwamish corridor.

Understanding and caring about the CSO system and its impact on water quality and public health is important. Since the beginning of public art programs in this area, artists and their works and ideas have been incorporated into the planning and design of regional transportation and water infrastructure systems to help engage the public and to express these systems as a unique part of civic life. As part of an art program that will span 15+ years and at least 7 projects, we want to enhance awareness and understanding of the Seattle-area CSO system and increase a sense of ownership and connection to the system for the public at large. Instead of commissioning unrelated and isolated artworks and amenities, this system-based approach requires a comprehensive vision and a conceptual framework that brings both broad artistic thinking and solid understanding of the physical, social, economic, and environmental context to ensure continuity over a multi-year implementation process.

In 2014, 4Culture and King County hired artist team Sans façon (Charles Blanc and Tristan Surtees) to create the CSO Art Master Plan. The plan articulates the context of the system, a curatorial framework, and a process that focuses on topics and the nature of the whole CSO system. It creates opportunities for the artist and client (WTD) to have ongoing dialogue and for artists to work deep in context and in relation to one another. All the commissions are cumulative, connected to, and built upon each other. As there will be commissions taking place simultaneously and addressing the same topic, it is intended that there be a relationship between the Associate Artists and their research, ideas, and responses. This dialogue and exchange will provide a richness and depth to the experience of each project and of the art program. It will nurture a stronger, more impactful outcome.

The CSO Art Master Plan describes five topics in the curatorial framework. The topics were chosen in relation to specific projects in the system and their unique context and treatment options, as well as timeline.

Currently the first cohort of CSO Artists have already been selected and are working to create new, commissioned work centered on this curatorial framework of topics developed by lead planning artists Sans façon. These works and experiences are being created for two sites already in progress, Georgetown and Rainier CSO, and all consider art experiences in relation to water, infrastructure, society, the environment and are currently addressing the following topics:

  • The Weather – the CSO system is directly connected to the weather system. Unlike other parts of the water management system that respond to use and demand, the CSO responds directly to our wider environment and the weather conditions.
  • Hidden Rivers \ Invisible Architecture – the miles of pipes, tanks, and tunnels that keep the system running but are largely unseen; contemporary understanding as well as historical perspectives are desired.
  • The Intangible – the scientific data: the graphs, numbers, charts, and spreadsheets that provide so much information and control on the system.
  • The Magicians – the 500+ people that keep the system running day-in and day-out.

Project Collaborators and Program Information

King County Wastewater Treatment Division
West Duwamish Wet Weather Storage Facility
West Duwamish Wet Weather Storage Facility Online Open House
The history of our mission
Protecting Our Waters (CSO control)
Wastewater Services Education programs
4Culture King County Public Art Collection:

2 Are You Eligible?

2 Are You Eligible?


This project is open to artists working in a range of disciplines who reside in King County, WA.

Artistic disciplines may include, performing, literary, visual, time-based media, and social practice. The artistic outcome may include a performance, publication, film or video, event, installation, as well as temporary interventions or artist-initiated actions.

4Culture and Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) employees, selection panel members, PAAC members, project personnel including design consultants, and immediate family members of all the above are not eligible to apply.

Selection Criteria

Finalists will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Quality and strength of past work as demonstrated in submitted application materials.
  • Ability to realize innovative, artist-initiated, community-based artwork that engages the public.
  • Specificity of Statement of Interest, which should include the applicants desire to explore the CSO-themed topic, End of the Line.
  • Interest to create a work that addresses the project duration; defined as short term, as it relates to the applicant’s body of work.
  • Expressed interest to engage in issues of social, economic and/or environmental relevance.
  • The desire to work with 4Culture and WTD on the commissioned project.

Selection Process

A selection panel consisting of WTD staff, community and arts representatives will meet for two panels to review the applications and select finalists.

Finalists will meet for a remote orientation and remote interview with the goal to recommend up to two (2) artists for the commission.

Finalists will participate in an orientation of the Seattle-area CSO system and West Duwamish project to prepare for the interview. All artists will interview with up to two artists being selected for the project.

3 Helping You Succeed

3 Helping You Succeed

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。

Information Session

This free, virtual workshop is a great place to get all your questions answered before applying!

Please be sure you have a Zoom account and register in advance via the link below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. We will be recording the session, so if you are unable to attend and would like to view the recording, please contact Andy Le at andy.le@4culture.org.

Captioning will be available; if you have any other access needs, please contact Jackie Mixon at jackie.mixon@4culture.org at least 48 hours prior to the session.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022
12:00–1:00 pm PST



If you have questions about the application, please contact:

Andy Le

If you have questions related to the project, please contact:

Kelly Pajek

4 Timeline

4 Timeline

Selection Timeline*

Application deadline: 4:00 pm PST, Thursday, December 8, 2022
Informational presentation (online): 12:00–1:00 pm PST Wednesday, November 9, 2022
Selection panel meeting: week of January 2, 2023
Finalist orientation: week of January 9, 2023**
Finalist interviews: week of January 16 or 23, 2023**

Project Timeline*

60% CSO design: December 2022
100% CSO design: Spring 2023
Construction starts: 2025
Project completion: 2027

5 How to Apply

5 How to Apply

Interested artists must submit an online application. The 4Culture application system is being used for this process. You may be required to create a new account. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions. We encourage applicants to start their application early.


Contact information for yourself or all members of your team if applying as a team.

Demographic Information

Your profile in our portal must provide demographic information for the current year. We use this information to help us understand how well we are doing in our efforts to reach all communities in King County.

Statement of Interest

Write a statement (500 words or less) explaining why you are interested in working on this project within the context of the CSO system, CSO Art Plan topic (End of the Line), project duration (short term) and how you would approach this commission opportunity considering your past work. If there are multiple artists or collaborators as part of your team, please explain how you work together. Consider the selection criteria as it relates to this opportunity. Applicants are NOT asked to submit a proposal as part of the application.


Two-page (maximum) current professional résumé plus one additional page with references (see instructions below). Keep the formatting as simple as possible. PDF is preferred; text (.txt) files will also be accepted. Artist teams should upload one document with two-page résumés for each team member, plus one additional page of references.


Please attach one page to your résumé that lists the name, email address, and phone number of up to three references who can speak to your professional history and community involvement. Briefly note how you know the person. Teams should include no more than three references combined.

Work Samples

Applicants must submit a total of 8 work sample digital images to be eligible. If your work is best experienced through time-based media, work samples 7-8 may include URLs to audio/video files, with a cumulative run time of up to 3 minutes. You are encouraged to submit samples of past work that best illustrate your qualifications for this opportunity. If applying as a team, the team may submit no more than 8 work samples as described above.

Each work sample requires a brief description (75 words or less) that includes the following information, if applicable: project location, commissioning agency, budget, project partners, photo credit, copyright owner, summary of the project scope, intention, and outcome.

    • Digital images: upload JPG files only; 1920 pixels on the longest side (suggested), at least 72 dpi, and less than 2 MB in size.
    • Audio and video files: you may include links to up to 2 audio/video files if this media relates to your art practice (i.e. sound or media-based art, etc.). Audio samples must be submitted via Soundcloud, with the specific URL (e.g., soundcloud.com/29523) noted in the URL field. Video samples must be submitted via Vimeo and/or YouTube with the specific URL (e.g. vimeo.com/2992575) noted in the URL field. All submissions must be publicly accessible (password protected files will not be accepted). Timed excerpts are preferred, but longer samples may be submitted with notation in the description field of specific start and stop time for a cumulative run time of up to 3 minutes. Please include the start and stop times for excerpted audio or video samples at the beginning of the descriptive text. Audio and video samples in excess of 3 cumulative minutes will not be reviewed
    • Writers/literary artists: all writers/literary artists should contact either Andy Le or Kelly Pajek (information above) before starting your application so we can clarify details about submission requirements. You must submit 2 written work samples. In the URL field, provide a link where the entire document can be accessed. Please ensure that visibility settings are set so that anyone with the link can view and share.

Applications must be received no later than 4:00 pm PST on Wednesday, December 8, 2022.