Economics News USA

Seattle’s lifeline for non-profit arts jobs

City-funded programme aims to distribute $250,000 to institutions for money-making positions

Seattle is investing in art jobs (Photo: flickr user infomatique/William Murphy)

Seattle has launched a new programme, Arts Mean Business, which aims to distribute $250,000 to jobs that keep Seattle’s arts and cultural organisations financially afloat.

Non-profit institutions can apply to the city’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs until 10 September for up to $25,000 in funds for jobs that have a “strategic importance” in generating revenue for their organisation.

A spokeswoman for the programme says that funds will likely go to administrative jobs in, for example, museum workshops or education curriculum. To qualify, an arts institution must be based in Seattle and have been in operation for at least three years.

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3 Sep 12
4:18 CET


Great. More money for development staff. These are exactly the people who do not get laid off when arts orgs feel the pinch. Meanwhile no one will fund salaries for the programming, curatorial and education staff who generate the content that ostensibly drives arts fundraising, and grants these institutions any redeeming social value to justify their non-profit status. When will Americans figure out that their non-profits need to be sustainable but non-profitable? $250k is a laughably small amount - the equivalent of 10 administrative assistants - and it's not even going to the right place.

27 Aug 12
22:45 CET


A wise investment, those dollars spent on a marketing person, or fund raiser will really help any arts organizaion. Investements in the arts pay off with a returns anywhere from $3.00 for every dollar invested here in Yukon to close to $100 dollars for every dollar invested in cities in California.

27 Aug 12
16:0 CET


This is a wonderful gesture in the right direction, but $250. K is barely a museum director's salary. More funds are needed to support realistic salaries for artists, curators, conservators, and other serious professionals in arts services. Really!

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