Public Benefit

With a focus on racial equity, 4Culture’s mission is to fund, support, and advocate for culture to enhance the quality of life in King County.

4Culture is a public agency supporting the cultural sector through revenue from Lodging Tax, 1% for Art, and Doors Open funding sources. Core to our work and defined in our Charter is a requirement that everything we fund serves the public interest, enriching communities throughout King County.

We define Public Benefit as the opportunity for King County residents and visitors to access and engage in arts, science, and other cultural activities, events, communities of practice, historic and cultural spaces, and works of public art related to our program areas. It is also a service requirement for all recipients of funding from 4Culture. Public benefit makes it easier to experience culture.

If you receive funding from us, your contract will include a public benefit statement explaining how your work impacts the local community. This statement will describe the way you plan to provide access to the cultural work that you do.

Depending on your grant or project, your public benefit might show up in various ways. Your grant manager will work with you to create a public benefit commitment that works for you.

As the cultural development authority of King County, we have a responsibility to steward public funds equitably. In partnership with our award recipients, we do our best to secure access to art and culture for all residents and visitors of King County.

What Public Benefit Can Be

What Public Benefit Can Be

  • Providing the public with access to your creative work, project, or program for free or at a reduced rate.
  • Providing educational programs and experiences at cultural organizations, schools, or other venues accessible to the public.
  • Exploring ways to expand and broaden your creative work and activities for the education and entertainment of the public.
  • Participating in collaborative relationships with other cultural organizations, individuals, and groups to extend the reach and impact of a project or program for the benefit of the public.
  • Organizational or individual capacity-building projects or activities that provide meaningful public benefits not otherwise achievable.
  • For cultural organizations: providing, through technological and other means, services or programs in locations other than an organization’s own facilities.




Arts Sustained Support recipient Seattle Indies is a small organization dedicated to supporting experimental game developers and serving BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ affinity groups. With support from 4Culture grants, they’re able to make most of their events free to the public, including their annual Seattle Indies Expo.

Sarah Bassingthwaighte received an Arts Project grant to commission young composers to create music for the flute choir Sarahbande. Free performances of the works will take place at several King County parks, including Lakeview Park in Burien.


In 2023, Wa Na Wari received a Heritage Projects Grant to run the Seattle Black Spatial Histories Institute, an eight-person cohort exploring community-based oral history and Black memory work. Working with the Black Heritage Society of Washington State and the Seattle Public Library, Wa Na Wari then made the recorded oral histories available to the public digitally.

Mutesi Divine received a Heritage Project grant to implement a free immersive workshop in traditional East African dance and drum for South King County-based women and young adults.


In 2022, The Wing Luke Museum received a Preservation Special Projects grant to partner with the Filipino American National Historical Society to further deepen the understanding of the Filipino American presence in the Seattle Chinatown-International District, a locally designated and nationally recognized historic district. The grant supported research on five properties to document their history and cultural significance, resulting in recommendations for the long-term preservation and care of these historic places.

The Neely Mansion Association’s 2021 Landmarks Capital grant supported the restoration of the exterior architectural features of the building, a designated King County Landmark. The Neely Mansion Association agreed to maintain the property as a designated landmark in perpetuity and to maintain the property in good condition for a minimum of 10 years.

Public Art

Science, art, design, and ecology come together at Brightwater, one of the largest wastewater treatment facilities in the world. Located north of Woodinville, WA, Brightwater comprises a park, a community gathering space, an exhibition hall, and a scientific learning laboratory in addition to the structures that house technical operations. Throughout the site, artworks highlight the science of wastewater treatment processes, illuminate the history of the place, and reveal the role of people in the lifecycle of water.