Arts programs in Renton will benefit from funds approved by the County Council.
Metropolitan King County Councilmembers Reagan Dunn and Dave Upthegrove announced today that two arts programs in Renton will benefit from funds approved by the County Council as part of the Building for Culture program.
Building for Culture provides funds for renovations to existing cultural facilities in King County, and provides an opportunity to create new ones.
“The arts are fundamental to the culture in King County,” said Dunn. “Too often these facilities are seen as non-essential when they are anything but. I am glad these deserving candidates are receiving the funds they need to upgrade their institutions.”
The Renton Civic Theater and the Renton Historical Society will receive funding for facility improvements. The Renton Civic Theater, a restored 1920s movie theatre that has become Renton’s primary downtown performing-arts venue, will use the $78,245 they received to restore their decades old seating and make it more accessible for mobility-impaired attendees.
“Supporting cultural institutions is an important part of creating communities where people want to live,” said Councilmember Upthegrove. “I’m excited for the ways these county funds will be used in Renton.”
The Renton Historical Society, which received $23,116, will use their funding to help the Renton History Museum. The museum, which is dedicated to documenting, preserving, exhibiting, and educating about Renton’s history in ways that are accessible to people of all ages, will use the money to install new exterior signage for the museum.
“We’re very appreciative to the members of the King County Council for this Building for Culture grant,” said Renton Mayor Denis Law. “These funds will allow us to further showcase the emerging arts scene in Renton.”
Building for Culture is a partnership between King County and 4Culture, King County’s cultural services agency, using bonds backed by the hotel-motel tax to build, maintain, expand, preserve, and build new and improve existing cultural facilities.
In Newcastle, $10,000 has been given to the Newcastle Community Activities Commission. They will use the money to create a park-like setting around an elaborate brick sign, which doubles as a piece of public art, that was made from bricks fabricated at the plant previously located within the Newcastle Commons development.
“The Newcastle brick monument is a cherished piece of public art in our city,” said Newcastle City Manager Rob Wyman. “It serves as an important reminder of our rich, coal mining history and simultaneously pays homage to the former Mutual Materials brick plant. The sign’s new location at the Newcastle Commons gives passersby a much closer view at the ornate details carved into the structure. This grant will really make a difference in transforming that spot into a welcoming space where the community can gather and learn more about Newcastle history.”
Carvings located on the outward facing side of each leg portray the early mining history of Newcastle and gold lettering spells out “Newcastle.” The funding will be used to place two interpretive signs next to the installment; one that will highlight the artist, Mara Smith, and the historical aspect of the carving, and one that will focus on the history of the Mutual Materials brick plant. Two benches, a walkway, landscaping and lighting will also be installed to create the desired park-like atmosphere.