Edmonds Arts Commission announces 2021 one-time grant awards

In response to the negative impact of the pandemic on the arts in Edmonds, the City of Edmonds Arts Commission has funded one-time grants for Edmonds-based non-profit arts organizations and artists in the 2021 budget.

According to a city announcement, the purpose of this new grant program was “to help build and reinforce a diverse, accessible and equitable cultural community in Edmonds, recognizing the uncertainty and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the necessity of changing strategies to create access for all to the arts.” 

Seeking to support creativity, diversity and inclusive access to arts in the community, two categories of grants were offered: small grants of up to $1,000 for individual artists and other smaller organizations, and large grants of up to $10,000, which required a local nonprofit — or a partnership with one — for eligibility. 

Grants in a literary, visual, media and performing arts were recommended for award at the Edmonds Arts Commission meeting on March 1. The selection committee included arts commissioners, a commission student representative, an Edmonds Diversity Commission member, and a member of the Creative District advisory committee and the Edmonds Economic Development Commission. Nine awards were recommended for funding.

Four small grant projects were approved by the arts commission for a total of $3,400: 

  • EPIC Writers Group received a grant in the Literary Arts for “Connecting Young Writers,” a project with interactive Zoom writing workshops for 30-plus students (15-24 yrs) to cover topics expanding diverse perspectives. 
  • Edmonds artist Minh Carrico received a grant in the Visual Arts for “Unseen Scenes,” presenting videos incorporating monologue and photographs based on their experience of growing up as an Asian American in the deep South. An online event will engage audience participation with specific focus on outreach to Edmonds BIPOC community and artists. 
  • Julie Perrine, an Edmonds artist, was awarded for her arts education project in Visual Arts, “Finding Joy Through Art,” a series of Zoom classes, with supplies, in two classrooms serving students at Chase Lake Elementary, including sessions on Themes of Emotions. 
  • Meadowdale High School’s Music Department received a grant in performing arts to create an “Original Arrangement for Graduation Performance” — a new work by composer Amanda Taylor who will work directly with students, to be performed by all 250 music students (half live in Edmonds) and combined on a video recording. 

Remaining funds of $1,600 will be offered in a second round of small grant funding in collaboration with the Diversity Commission later this year. 

Five large grants were also approved by the Arts Commission for a total of $33,500. The large grants, which required affiliation with a local non-profit entity, included three awards in performing arts and two in visual art. 

  • Edmonds Center for the Arts received a grant of $10,000 for increasing access to arts through online and distanced programs and for technology to support virtual access for smaller events. Three different programs in virtual format reach out to youth of all abilities and seniors, and include the celebration of diversity for youth. Two programs are free, with efforts to reach more diverse audiences. 
  • Cascade Symphony Orchestra was awarded $1,500 to work with celloist and composer Shanti Molina to create an original composition based on Latin American folksongs and create a video interview with the artist to enhance connection to Latinx community. The concert video and interview will be available free to the Edmonds School District along with free sheet music of the composition for use in music classes. 
  • Olympic Ballet Theatre was awarded $7,000 to support digital productions of their spring and summer performances. The productions will be filmed at the Edmonds Center of the Arts and presented on YouTube and Vimeo with free access, optional donation. Performances will be advertised on social media and email campaigns to bring in a wider audience. Outreach will focus on expanded diversity in audiences. 
  • Two grants were awarded in the visual arts. Cascadia Art Museum received funding of $10,000 for an exhibit of work by Asian American artist Kenjiro Nomura and a publication about the exhibit that expands knowledge about diverse artists and the stories associated with the history of Asian American artists in the Northwest. Discounted and free tickets will be available for outreach to maximize audience. A new Youth Advisory Committee is being established to ensure connections with youth and access for youth and more diverse audiences. 
  • Art Walk Edmonds received a grant of $5,000 for creation of a mural on the west side of 4th Avenue North commemorating the Sister City relationship with Hekinan, Japan. The focus is on bringing more attention to the cultural connection of the Sister City and cultural diversity with the Japanese presence in the Pacific Northwest. Videos interviewing the artist will include reference to the cultural context in our region and will be available on the Art Walk Edmonds website. QR codes on the mural will link to videos about how the mural was made. The project highlights cultural diversity and provides free access to videos on the website with more information. 

All programs funded by the EAC grant awards must be completed by the end of 2021. For information about City of Edmonds Arts Commission, visit www.edmondsartscommission.org or email eac@edmondswa.gov. 

  1. Congratulations to all the recipients of grants from the City of Edmonds Arts Commission and also to the Commission for their support of the arts in Edmonds.

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