King County Council backed up its commitment to arts and heritage institutions on Monday, Nov. 23 by awarding more than $2.8 million Building for Culture grants to several Eastside locations.
The largest of these grants went to the planned Tateuchi Center. The performing arts center designed for downtown Bellevue received $1.2 million to its capital campaign.
The grants are intended to maintain the cultural buildings and preserve the programs inside.
John Haynes, executive director of the Tateuchi Center, said the windfall was an unexpected delight.
“Anytime someone gives you $1.2 million it’s a good day,” he said. “That money will be used for construction. It really is beefing up our capital drive.”
102 arts, heritage and preservation projects in King County received more than $28 million.
Council vice-chair Jane Hague said smart planning allowed for the council to reinvest in arts and culture.
“Our commitment to sound financial policies has resulted in a surplus by paying off the Kingdome debt early,” she said. “County-wide, and on the Eastside, this partnership with 4Culture is supporting significant investment in local arts, cultural and historic preservation projects such as the Bellevue Youth Theater, KidsQuest Museum, Kirkland Arts Center and Performance Arts Center Eastside, among others.”
4Culture is King County’s cultural services agency. That agency and King County are using bonds backed by the hotel-motel tax to “build, maintain, expand, preserve and improve new and existing cultural facilities,” according to a press release.
Other amounts of the capital grant funds on the Eastside include $1 million for the KidsQuest Museum, $400,000 for the Pacific Northwest Ballet, $75,000 each for the Louis S. Marsh House in Kirkland, Bellevue Youth Theatre, and Kirkland Arts Center and $50,000 for Music Works Northwest.
Arts and culture facilities can apply for next year’s Building for Culture Program by contacting and applying with 4Culture. That organization then independently reviews applicants to make final selections.