Capital Funding, Film & Poetry

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Capital Funding for the Arts

Last fall, I blogged about the importance of the City doing more to support arts capital projects, noting that in 2011, King County’s program funded over $900,000 in arts-related capital projects, the State’s over $2,000,000, and the City’s? Oh, right…the City didn’t have a capital arts program in 2011.

In response, I sponsored the Council’s allocation of an additional $300,000 in the Mayor’s proposed budget for capital arts projects that year. The Mayor and the arts office formally established the City’s first formal program for arts-related capital projects the following year. The Mayor proposed $150,000 for 2013 and another $150,000 for 2014, which the Council increased for a total of $250,000 each year.



I’m pleased to report that the Office of Arts & Culture’s Cultural Facilities Funding Program, under the smart leadership of Randy Engstrom, is now accepting its first applications. Click here to apply by September 4th.

The program funds permanent facility improvements that address one or more of the following criteria:

  • A solution to an immediate need;
  • Improvements to a historic property;
  • Renovations to meet ADA or other building code-based requirements;
  • Broad community impact that reaches beyond a facilites’ own programming.

Awards will range between $5,000 & $10,000 and between $25,000 & $50,000, with a maximum funding of $50,000. Awards are for capital campaigns at least 50% complete.

Washington Filmworks Awards

I value how film both entertains and informs, which is why since 2010 I’ve invited local filmmakers to screen excerpts of their work at my Council committee meetings. Seattle filmmakers were rewarded in June by Washington Filmworks when they announced awards totaling $175,000 to from the Innovation Cycle of Filmworks’ Innovation Lab. 

filmStripWashington Filmworks is the non-profit 501(c)(6) organization that manages the State’s film and production incentive programs by offering comprehensive production support, financial incentives and funding to filmmakers. The City’s own Office of Film & Music works alongside Filmworks to strengthen Seattle’s film industry and the econimic engine driving it.

Part of a long term economic development strategy, the Innovation Cycle awards invest in the future of film by tapping into Washington’s creative community and encouraging original storytelling that capitalizes on new forms of production and technology. The Board of Directors of Washington Filmworks may allocate up to $350,000 per year in funding motion picture production. For this inaugural Innovation Cycle, Washington Filmworks allocated $175,000 to these five exceptional projects:

  • The Maury Island Incident – The incredible story of a UFO sighting over Puget Sound in 1947. The incident sparked a national obsession with ”flying saucers” and was personally investigated by J. Edgar Hoover.
  • Emerald City – A transmedia, neo-noir story experience, set in Seattle and based on The Wizard of Oz.
  • People of the Salish Sea – A feature length documentary about the tribal peoples of the Salish Sea, including underwater mapping and online environments documenting the Canoe Journey.
  • Rocketmen – A web serial, including deranged rocket adventures and delicious comedy that addresses the role of government and jobs programs.
  • Science-Trak – An educational app for tablets that helps kids engage with, and learn about the fascinating worlds of meteorology, astronomy, geology, and marine biology.


Since 1998, my Words’ Worth Poetry Program has hosted approximately 200 poets reading original works curated by twenty-four curators. The program’s newest curator is poet Judith Roche.

book with flowers

Judith is a practicing poet, has several books of poetry published and has been published widely in journals and magazines. For 20 years, she curated the Bumbershoot Literary Arts program, having retired from that postion a few years ago. In addition, she’s taught poetry from elementary to university levels at Cornish College of the Arts, Pacific Lutheran University, Seattle University and Hugo House. I feel Words’ Worth is lucky to have her.

Point to my website’s Words’ Worth webpage to learn more about the program and to watch videos of its many poetry readings. Words’ Worth is the only poetry program of its kind in the world, as far as I know.

Keep in touch…