ArtsFund Expanding Staff to Meet Increased Need

The pandemic has indisputably changed the cultural landscape, and many of the longer-term impacts have yet to fully reveal themselves. As our recent COVID Cultural Impact Study shows, cultural organizations are still far from recovery. As a result, the need for the services ArtsFund provides—grants and support programming for the arts and cultural sector—have increased dramatically over the past two years.

Thanks to a recent grant from M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, we are working to build internal capacity and increase community connections in the face of pandemic drains on sector. ArtsFund Trustees Carl Behnke and Mary Pigott, along with long-time supporter Ellen Ferguson, have stepped up to match the Murdock grant, exponentially multiplying its potential impact. We are grateful for these generous contributions!

The groundwork for this expansion was laid as the pandemic highlighted the need for new funding streams and infrastructure to support the cultural community. In the past two years, ArtsFund established a COVID Arts Emergency Relief Fund, embarked on a new partnership with The Washington State Department of Commerce to distribute public funding across the state, and produced a first-of-its-kind COVID Cultural Impact Study, while maintaining annual general operating grants for the sector and moving much-needed advocacy and leadership programs online.

These new funds will allow us to maintain and proactively build upon the recent advances we have made in response to the community’s needs. By making tangible investments in our own infrastructure and expanding our headcount with new job positions, we aim to multiply our impact and provide even greater resources and support for those we serve. We are building out a new grantmaking department that will enable us to be an even stronger partner for our grantees, provide more transparency, increase capacity for program evaluation, and dedicate even more time to trust and relationship building with our greater community.

At ArtsFund, deep passion for the arts and knowledge of the social and economic values that the cultural sector brings to the community guides everything that we do. We are grateful to Murdock Trust and the dedicated donors whose contributions will ensure we are able to grow at a pace to match emergent needs.

If you would like to join those who are generously supporting ArtsFund’s growth with a matching gift, please contact ArtsFund Vice President of Development, Sarah Friedman, at

Header image: photo courtesy of Seattle JazzED, Jazz Clinic Led by Trumpeter Terell Stafford.