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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Executive thanks Legislature for providing tools to expand access to arts and culture in King County

Summary

A bill passed by the Legislature grants new voter-approved sales tax authority to King County to create a fund that provides local services, including access to arts and culture, increasing capacity for mental-health treatment, and expanding affordable-housing options.

Story

King County Executive Dow Constantine thanked the Legislature for passing House Bill 2263, which grants new voter-approved sales tax authority to King County to create a fund that provides local services, including access to arts and culture, increasing capacity for mental-health treatment, and expanding affordable-housing options.

"Supporting arts, heritage, and culture strengthens our region's economy. Arts and culture help make King County a vibrant, desirable place to live - which helps attract and retain the talented workforce that high-paying, innovative companies must have to compete in the global market," said Executive Constantine. "This program would also expand opportunities for children in lower-income communities to experience visual and performing arts."

If King County voters approve a 7-year, 0.1 percent sales tax, it would support cultural organizations providing programming or experiences for the public. The primary purpose of the organization receiving funding must be the advancement or preservation of science or technology, the visual or performing arts, zoology, botany, anthropology, heritage, or natural history. The funding must be used for a public benefit that generally relates to increasing access, outreach, and opportunities to the public.

Quotes

Supporting arts, heritage and culture strengthens our region's economy. Arts and culture help make King County a vibrant, desirable place to live - which helps attract and retain the talented workforce that high-paying, innovative companies must have to compete in the global market. This program would also expand opportunities for children in lower-income communities to experience visual and performing arts.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

This legislation has the potential to provide a significant boost to our local arts community, cultural heritage and scientific institutions. The arts are a major economic driver in our city and we benefit greatly from our public investments into them. This bill will also provide students around the region opportunities to visit these institutions that they might not otherwise be able to.

Ed Murray, Seattle Mayor

I could not be more thrilled at the prospect of increased access to our state's cultural treasures for students, seniors, families, and young professionals in King County and around the state. From museums to science centers, from theaters to historic homes, and from Anacortes to Zillah, voters will be able to determine how their communities can support local access to cultural experiences. In King County, Cultural Access means organizations like KidsQuest Museum may be able to remove the financial barrier for families in greatest need and it means that students in historically underserved areas may soon have the opportunity to appreciate music, museums, science, and heritage often reserved for students in more affluent school districts. At the Seattle Opera, we look forward to expanding our Opera Goes to School and Experience Opera Programs in communities across King County and beyond. We sincerely thank our state legislature for their support of arts and culture in our state.

Joy Langley, Communications Co-Chair, Cultural Access Coalition

FOR MORE INFORMATION: CONTACT:
Chad Lewis, Executive Office, 206-263-1250

King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography