< Back To News

Click here to view or download a PDF of the release

For Immediate Release
October 15, 2019

Information: Sarah Sidman | 206-788-3051 | sarahsidman@artsfund.org
ArtsFund, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Communications


SEATTLE, WA — ArtsFund announces the launch of its 50th anniversary year with a proclamation from Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, City of Seattle, who has declared October 15, 2019 to be “ArtsFund Day“. Stating, “Whereas, the City of Seattle recognizes the work ArtsFund has been undertaking for the past 50 years and wishes them continued success”, the honor officially kicks off ArtsFund’s milestone year.  To view the full mayoral proclamation, click www.artsfund.org/proclamation.

Founded in October 1969, the Seattle-based nonprofit has been building community through the arts for 50 years. ArtsFund is one of the nation’s leading United Arts Funds, and has contributed to the vibrancy of the Central Puget Sound region by supporting the health and vitality of arts and cultural organizations and the individuals they serve.

ArtsFund Interim President & CEO Sue Coliton stated, “ArtsFund was founded 50 years ago to generate support for the arts from the business community.  Since then, it has evolved into a leader of the sector.  We work to ensure arts are accessible to all and valued as central and critical to a healthy society. A future for the arts is a future for community, and ArtsFund is uniquely positioned to help deliver on that promise.”

The celebration of 50 years of impact will complement ArtsFund’s annual fundraising campaign, which runs through May 31, 2020.  Each year, ArtsFund’s fundraising empowers companies, individuals, and community partners to make collective, regional, and significant impact strengthening the community through support of the arts. Revenues from ArtsFund’s annual drive will support grants and capacity building programs, as well as additional activities and services strengthening more than 120 organizations throughout the Central Puget Sound region.

ArtsFund Board Chair Anthony R. Miles added, “As we celebrate 50 years of impact, we remain focused on realizing ArtsFund’s unique potential to enhance the role of the arts and creativity in our region. In addition to grantmaking, ArtsFund’s research, programs, and advocacy contribute to a sustainable, collaborative, informed, equitable, and inclusive future. As the region has grown and evolved ArtsFund has been there every step of the way for the arts and cultural community. We are committed to empowering the sector in the years ahead.”

ArtsFund was originally founded as the United Arts Council of Puget Sound to bring corporate and civic leaders together to help establish and sustain our region’s arts and cultural institutions. Upon completion of its inaugural fundraising campaign, the first grant beneficiaries included ACT Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Opera, Seattle Symphony, and Seattle Repertory Theatre—all organizations still supported by ArtsFund today.  50 years and a few name changes later (to Corporate Council for the Arts in 1975 and to ArtsFund in 2003), ArtsFund has supported nearly 240 arts nonprofits with more than $84 million in grants, and by providing valuable leadership and advocacy.  For more on ArtsFund’s history, leadership, and milestones, visit http://www.artsfund.org/history.

Anniversary events will include a birthday edition of ArtsFund’s Celebration of the Arts Luncheon on March 20, 2020. Registration will open in February, 2020.

For more information about ArtsFund’s 50 years of impact and the plans for the year ahead, visit www.artsfund.org/50.

# # #

About ArtsFund:

ArtsFund’s Mission: ArtsFund strengthens the community by supporting the arts through leadership, advocacy, and grant making.

ArtsFund’s Vision: A community with a dynamic and world-class arts and cultural sector where the arts are accessible to all and valued as central and critical to a healthy society.