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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Executive Constantine announces $1.9 million in awards supporting creative economy recovery for over 180 King County events and festivals

Summary

185 festival and event producers will receive awards from the $1.9 million Festival & Event Restart Fund as part of King County’s Revive & Thrive initiative to support the economic recovery of the creative sector.

Story

Executive Constantine announced $1.9 million in awards from the Festival & Event Restart Fund to 185 festivals and events, important contributors to the County’s creative economy. Small businesses and nonprofits have been greatly impacted by the pandemic over the last 22 months, and many events and festivals were unable to operate for two full event seasons. These community productions provide arts and cultural celebrations, as well as employ many gig economy professionals, including artists, stagehands, technicians, and vendors, and trigger a supply chain of small businesses in King County hired by events and festivals.

“These events and festivals bring art, culture, culinary arts, heritage, and engagement to communities across King County. In a diverse and dynamic region like King County, it’s critical that arts and cultural organizations be part of our COVID recovery,” said Executive Constantine. “As we move through this pandemic and get to a place where folks can safely gather in groups again, we want to make sure our communities come back to life with events and festivals.”

“Festivals showcase some of the most incredible talent, art, music, dancing, and food that the Northwest has to offer and bring people together to celebrate,” said Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles. “Though the past two years have often not felt celebratory, it is vital that these community cornerstones continue into the future, as we are able to gather freely and safely together again. I’m very pleased that we were able to provide these award recipients with the funds and support that they need in order to continue their work and elevate our spirits in the coming months and years.”

The Executive’s office is administering nearly $24.5 million to creative sector businesses and organizations. Last month, Executive Constantine announced the award of $19.5 million to arts and culture organizations with pre-COVID operating budgets over $1 million, science organizations, independent movie theaters, and live music venues.

The funding is part of a larger $34.4 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) COVID relief fund, focused on the King County creative sector, and included in the emergency COVID supplemental budget approved by the King County Council last year. Executive Constantine launched the application process for these grants in October 2021.

The awardees were evaluated on multiple criteria including employment of local festival and event workers, contractors, and small businesses, as well as their provision of creative and cultural benefits to King County residents. A list of award winners is available on the King County Creative website.

An additional $9.4 million for the cultural field will be distributed by 4Culture, King County’s cultural services agency, focused on cultural organizations with pre-COVID annual operating budgets under $1 million and support for cultural workers.


Relevant links


Quotes

These events and festivals bring art, culture, culinary arts, heritage, and engagement to communities across King County. In a diverse and dynamic region like King County, it’s critical that arts and cultural organizations be part of our COVID recovery. As we move through this pandemic and get to a place where folks can safely gather in groups again, we want to make sure our communities come back to life with events and festivals.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

Festivals showcase some of the most incredible talent, art, music, dancing, and food that the Northwest has to offer and bring people together to celebrate. Though the past two years have often not felt celebratory, it is vital that these community cornerstones continue into the future, as we are able to gather freely and safely together again. I’m very pleased that we were able to provide these award recipients with the funds and support that they need in order to continue their work and elevate our spirits in the coming months and years.

Jeanne Kohl-Welles, King County Councilmember

For more information, contact:

Chase Gallagher, Executive Office, 206-263-8537


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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