Member Spotlight: 4Culture

For the months of December and January, GIA’s photo banner features work supported by 4Culture.

As a multi-disciplinary public development authority, 4Culture represents a unique model of funding, tackling “culture” via a four-pronged approach: arts, heritage, preservation, and public art. Chartered by the King County Council in Washington State, the agency invests public dollars into the area’s cultural ecosystem, which is home to Seattle, that state’s largest city.

Project managers are passionate advocates who come straight out of the fields they support, offering expert technical assistance along with funding. Advisory committees and peer review panels uphold a public voice. And, as longtime leaders have retired in recent months, 4Culture’s new leadership has stepped up with a bold new vision for the agency.

“We’re excited by the opportunity of this moment,” says Brian J. Carter, executive director. “Thanks to the foundation that our previous leadership built over decades, we find ourselves in a position to take risks.” Joshua Heim, who joined 4Culture as deputy director in September, is already making big plans: “I want to see us build an equitable cultural system, delivering opportunities and experiences to people where they are.”

At 4Culture, this vision is taking shape in a variety of ways: the formation of a staff Racial Equity Team, new mission and vision statements that center racial equity, and agency-wide strategic planning.

In July 2019, 4Culture partnered with the King County Council and Executive to launch Building for Equity, a $20 million investment in the space needs of historically underfunded cultural organizations. Carter calls it “…a blueprint for action.” As King County grapples with change, 4Culture is putting equity in arts and culture at the center of solutions.

4Culture has been a member of Grantmakers in the Arts since 2003.

You can also visit 4Culture's photo gallery on GIA’s Photo Credits page.

Image: Jason Tang
Naomi Wachira performing at the Neptune Theatre, Seattle, WA.