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$782M Allocation Passed for Cultural Growth in King County

$782M Allocation Passed for Cultural Growth in King County

Seattle, Washington: A new levy that is expected to provide access to science, history, and the arts in King County with funding of nearly $800 million over the next seven years was approved by the King County Council on December 5.

Through a 0.1% sales tax, the Doors Open science, heritage, and arts levy will bolster public school programming, promote fair access, boost tourism and revenue, and feed the talent pipeline into the arts and culture industry.
The Doors Open program, co-sponsored by Councilmembers Claudia Balducci and Sarah Perry, is a component of an endeavor that has been underway for more than ten years to support the stability and expansion of the cultural industry. It appears after the pandemic’s severe economic effects on the arts and culture sector.

Companies and businesses in the county rely on organizations promoting the arts and culture to increase tourism and income. The arts and culture industry generates roughly $72.8 billion, or 10.8% of the state’s GDP. According to the county, funding for Doors Open will directly boost the local economy.

The program’s funding, according to the county, will be allocated for geographic equity, helping the most disadvantaged and marginalized communities affected by the pandemic and its repercussions. It will also serve as a seed for future funding to establish more cultural centers throughout King County.

“The Council’s overwhelming support speaks to the legislation’s countrywide benefits and resounding focus on equity. It will live up to its name by ensuring the new start-up organizations will receive opportunities for essential funding to open their doors, and that more than 500 arts, science, and heritage organizations will have the resources they need to keep their doors open.” This statement was made by Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles. He is the primary sponsor and advocate of this astounding measure.

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