The Work You Do to Create Equity

Choreographer Dani Tirrell received an Art Projects grant for Black Bois, a new dance piece based on the stories of black male bodies traumatized by living in the United States.

Recently we shared some of the work we are doing to become a more equitable agency. Now, we are highlighting you—the individuals and organizations throughout King County who put their 4Culture grants to work centering the stories of those who have been excluded from the narrative.

That’s a lot of grant recipients! The projects, people, and organizations doing this hard but invaluable work are numerous and wide-ranging, and this represents just a small sampling. We encourage you to spend some time exploring our Past Grants page, where you can see everyone we’ve funded over the last three years. In addition to including the King County Public Art Collection and Gallery 4Culture, we’ve divided this list up by King County legislative district—who is doing equity work in your community?


District 1

Percussionist and Master Drummer, Charles Armah received a Community 4Culture Individual Fellowship to share the music of West Africa with North King County neighborhoods in Shoreline and Lake Forest Park.

Mercy Housing NW is turning former Navy barracks at the Sand Point Naval Air Station Historic District into 149 affordable housing units with help from a Landmarks Capital grant

The Arab Center of Washington used their Equipment grant to purchase Arabic Darbukah drums, so they can offer hands-on classes for youth.

The Bataan, Corregidor Survivor’s Association + Their Families organization received an Open 4Culture grant to produce a Filipino-American World War II museum inside the Filipino Community Center of Seattle.

Yadesa Bojia’s Truth Be Told exhibition, funded through Art Projects, grappled with the stereotypes that people of color have to fight against in our society.


District 2

SEED Arts received a Facilities grant to fabricate and install an antenna for KVRU 105.7, their low power FM radio station serving the diverse communities of Southeast Seattle.

Onyx Fine Arts Collective celebrates work of artists of African descent from the Pacific Northwest, and recently openedGallery Onyx in Downtown Seattle with support from a Community4Culture grant.

The Eritrean Association In Greater Seattle received a Facilities grant to create an outdoor gathering space at the Eritrean Community Center, increasing the Center’s capacity to provide event space for Eritreans and other immigrant groups.

The Refugee Women’s Alliance used Heritage Project funds to produce Their Very Existence, a documentary telling the stories of four refugee and immigrant women resettling in King County as they try to understand life in the U.S. while preserving their cultural heritage and identity.

Choreographer Dani Tirrell received an Art Projects grant for Black Bois, a new dance piece based on the stories of black male bodies traumatized by living in the United States.


District 3

Tasveer’s mission is to inspire social change through thought-provoking South Asian films, art, and storytelling—they received an Art Project grant for the 12th Annual South Asian Film Festival.

As a first time applicant, the Seattle Chinese Chorus received an Open 4Culture grant for a Chinese language performance of Where Am I?, going on to receive Art Sustained Support funding.

Art Project funds are at work in the Vedic Cultural Center’s annual Ananda Mela—the Joyful Festival of India—presenting the arts and cultural traditions of India for multicultural audiences.

Ananda Mela festival © 2012, Photo by Vedic Cultural Center.

District 4

Anna Maria Campoy received an Art Projects grant to stage a bilingual Spanish/English production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Proof on front porches across King County.

Garinaga Houngua, an organization set up to preserve and promote the Garifuna culture, utilized Community 4Culture funds to pay teaching artists to offer free, dance and language workshops.

Arts Sustained Support recipient The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas provides literacy classes serving low-income, minority, and immigrant youth.

The Bailadores de Bronce’s Heritage Projects grant helped produce A Cultural Treasure, a film documenting the organization’s 35-year history, as an outreach tool to youth.


District 5

Sabori Mohammad received an Open 4Culture grant to use his jewelry making skills to teach immigrant women from Afghanistan a traditional art form that they can use to generate income.

Des Moines-based graffiti and hip-hop artist Sneke received an Art Projects grant for Murals Masters III, where he worked with youth to make murals on a temporary wall space in Burien’s Art Alley.

Circle of Indigenous People received Community 4Culture funding to advance their work bringing Native and non-Native people together through a cultural gathering at Northwest Folklife Festival.

An Art Projects grant helped fund Sharon WilliamsThe Consciousness of Love: A Maze in Me, a short documentary about navigating depression as a black person.


District 6

Published Taiwan-born author Vanya Wu received a community 4Culture grant to support her work as a Chinese language novelist.

After receiving an Open 4Culture grant to frame paintings for his exhibit Birds in Flight at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center, José Orantes went on to receive a Community 4Culture fellowship.

Srivani Jade received Art Projects funding for Soul Raga, four new multi-part compositions combining Indian raga vocals with Greek clarinet, Latin piano, Senegalese drums. and Tabla to create a new sound.


District 7

The Federal Way-based Korean Music Association received a Community 4Culture grant that will help support their mission of healing, entertaining, and empowering a wider immigrant community through musical events.

Open 4Culture support helped the Filipino Cultural Dance Group of the Filipino American Community of Puget Sound pay for dancers to participate in the Algona Days Festival.

An Open4Culture grant led the Iraqi Women Association to apply for and receive Arts Projects funding to participate in the Kent International Festival, celebrating the cultural diversity of South King County.


District 8

The Friends of Mukai received Preservation funding to save and restore the Mukai Farmstead, the historic home and strawberry farm of B.D. and Kuni Mukai, Japanese immigrants who overcame adversity and discrimination.

With support from a Community4Culture grant, Latino Theatre Projects worked to engage Latino audiences in theatre activities, going on receive Arts Sustained Support funding.

After receiving an Open 4Culture grant to screen The Lobby, her film about a woman wearing a hijab, Faria Absie went on to receive a Heritage Projects grant for her collaboration with Eat with Muslims, a project to document the lives of King County Muslims

Duwamish Tribal Services are the recipients of Heritage Sustained Support funding, advocating for the survival of the Duwamish Tribe and sharing their history and culture with all peoples.

Johnny Moses sharing songs of Chief Seattle’s extended family at Duwamish Longhouse © 2014, courtesy of Duwamish Tribal Services.

District 9

The Filipino Cultural Dance Group of the Filipino American Community of Puget Sound received Open 4Culture support to pay for dancers to participate in the Algona Days Festival.

Eunice Kim is a printmaker living and working in Ravensdalewho received a Tech Specific grant for her Nontoxic Printmaking workshop at Cedar River Watershed.

Maria Louisa Batayola received an Open 4Culture grant for a film project about Filipino and Latino farmworker history.


King County Public Art Collection

The Cultural Heritage Collection is a component of the King County Public Art Program at Harborview Medical Center. The Collection features artists from across the United States who explore their own cultural traditions through art-making. King County artists represented in the collection include Akio Takamori, Connie Watts, and Donald Varnell.

In 1976, King County instituted the Honors Program which recognizes visual artists who have made significant contributions to our region through the sustained production of high-quality artwork. As budget allows, new pieces are purchased for the King County Public Art Collection. Artists in the collection include George Tsutakawa, Patti Warashina, and Jacob Lawrence.

Poet Chenxi Liu hosted a bilingual Community Poetry Workshop at the Redmond Senior Center and Chinese Information Services Center as part of our Poetry on Buses public art program.

David Jaewon Oh’s January 2017 Gallery 4Culture exhibition Combatants captured the strength, honesty, and endurance of women in combat sports.

Gallery 4Culture

Gallery 4Culture has a thirty-five year history of presenting innovative and underrepresented artists and art forms. Artists who have recently exhibited their work include David Jaewon Oh, Satpreet Kahlon, Francisco Guerrero, and Marilyn Montufar.