4Culture

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4Culture Offices, Historic Tashiro Kaplan Building, Pioneer Square, Seattle Historic photograph of Tashiro Kaplan building, courtesy of Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Regional Branch 4Culture Offices, Historic Tashiro Kaplan Building, Pioneer Square, Seattle e4c, First Thursday event 2009, Photo by Michael Young Peter Bonde Becker Nelson,
Former Best Friends Forever

Advancing Community Through Culture

4Culture, the cultural services agency for King County, Washington is committed to making our region stronger by supporting citizens and groups who preserve our shared heritage, and create arts and cultural opportunities for residents and visitors.

4Culture is a tax-exempt public development authority (PDA), with a fifteen member Board of Directors, who are nominated by the King County Executive and confirmed by the King County Council. A Public Development Authority is a public entity created by cities or counties to provide public services with the agility and flexibility of the private sector; to provide services more efficiently than an agency of government; and administer federal and state funds.

Mission: Advancing Community Through Culture

DEVELOPING AND PROTECTING RESOURCES

Advance and safeguard resources for culture throughout King County

By providing advocacy, developing partners, conducting outreach, and strengthening government relations while responsibly managing current resources

BUILDING WITH DISTINCTION

Facilitate the countywide development and preservation of unique, innovative, publicly-accessible built environments

By producing and maintaining a dynamic public art collection, sustaining and contributing to cultural development and shared public space and cultural landscapes, funding for preservation and cultural facilities, and landmark advocacy

CULTIVATING CREATIVE EXPRESSION, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND CULTURAL EXCHANGE

Encourage all King County residents to express, share and learn various cultural traditions and perspectives

By offering broadly accessible art, heritage and preservation funding and outreach programs, as well as supporting events that are made available to a wide spectrum of individuals, organizations and communities (including and not limited to people of color, English language learners, youth, seniors, low-income individuals, and a variety of creative/cultural disciplines)

ADVANCING COMMUNITY

Lead regional cultural development and support artists and cultural workers to effectively communicate and innovate solutions to social and civic issues

By developing, partnering, funding and promoting cultural projects and programs that aide in civic priorities and cultural development like: suburban, rural and urban development, education, environmental awareness, economic development, and social safety nets

PROMOTING TOURISM AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Align with and stimulate regional efforts to foster and promote cultural tourism

By building organizational partnerships, offering funding programs, promotional opportunities, creating online resources and developing world-class public artwork, historic districts, and participatory events

Vision

To serve as an innovative, inspirational, effective, adaptable model for successfully facilitating cultural development on a regional scale.

Values

  • We highly value innovation and creativity by our constituent communities, our Staff, Board and Advisory Committees.
  • We believe that bold risktaking as well as fiscal responsibility are important in serving our mission.
  • We believe that our best work grows out of the complementary skills, knowledge and commitment of Staff, Board and Advisory Committees.
  • We seek to be responsive and flexible to changing needs and unexpected issues in the cultural community.
  • We are dedicated to being leaders in each of our program fields and as an organization.
  • We value, and seek to include, representation of a broad range of voices from the geographic and diverse ethnic communities that reside in King County.
  • We seek to cultivate and encourage mutually respectful dialogue in non-hierarchical settings.
  • We support a decentralized internal structure based on independent work that is driven by overarching values and mission.
  • We hire excellent Staff and place our trust in their abilities.
  • We believe that decision making should be a transparent process involving the voices of peers from each discipline we serve.
  • We are open to change.
  • We seek to develop partnerships, when appropriate, to achieve our goals.
  • We seek to face future challenges through effective planning infused with these values.

The History of 4Culture

4Culture evolved from the Office of Cultural Resources, a department of King County government, which housed King County's arts, heritage, preservation and public art office. In 2001, in reaction to the post-9/11 economic recession and subsequent elimination of its Current Expense (CX) funding, the Office of Cultural Resources staff proposed to the King County Executive and Council that they transition the office to a Public Development Authority (PDA). This structure would allow dedicated public funds to be stretched further through business innovations and allow access to other revenues, including grants and earned income through consulting services, that are traditionally beyond the reach of a government agency. The County Executive agreed and the County Council adopted an Ordinance approving the establishment of the Cultural Development Authority of King County in September of 2002, effective January 1, 2003.
Read a bulleted history of the evolution of 4Culture