City of Seattle’s Neighborhood Matching Fund Invests $826,000 in 20 Community-initiated Projects

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The City of Seattle has awarded $826,841 to support 20 community-initiated projects through Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF). Twenty community groups received awards ranging from $8,550 to $50,000 and have pledged $1,725,350 to match their award through local cash donations, volunteer hours, donated materials, and in-kind professional services.

To ensure that more funds were prioritized for projects that serve or represent Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities, slight adjustments were made to the Neighborhood Matching Fund’s scoring criteria. Additional points were allocated to projects that intentionally serve BIPOC communities and to applicants whose mission is to serve BIPOC communities or have a leadership team comprised of majority-BIPOC community members.

“Our Neighborhood Matching Fund has been investing in the power of community-driven projects for more than 30 years,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. “And, with its ever-increasing focus on racial equity, it is building upon our citywide effort to continue making bold investments into Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities. The organizations receiving these matching funds are truly leading the way to creating a more inclusive and equitable city.”

“The funds we received from the Neighborhood Matching Fund will help our teaching garden reach its goals of teaching BIPOC youth about food justice and food sovereignty in Seattle. These issues are especially relevant as BIPOC communities continue to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

– Elisheba Johnson, Curator and Cofounder, Wa Na Wari

The Neighborhood Matching Fund offers grants to organizations committed to fostering and building our community. It has two funds: the Community Partnership Fund, which is currently offered twice a year with awards up to $50,000; and the Small Sparks Fund, which is offered on a rolling basis throughout most of the year with awards of up to $5,000.

Over its 33-year history, more than 5,000 projects have been funded in partnership with the NMF Program, and its investment in neighborhoods can be seen across the city. For information about NMF, visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/.

The following community organizations will receive Neighborhood Matching Fund awards for Round One of the 2021 funding cycle:

2021 Community Partnership Fund Awards – Round One

Citywide

  • $50,000 for Tasveer for Desi Girls Comedy Project, a four-week virtual workshop series focused on serving South Asian women in Seattle. The project will include one session per week and one-on-one mentoring to nurture participants’ confidence and skills. All events and sessions will be available for free online. (Community match: $25,000)
  • $8,550 for Black and Tan Hall for development of The Green Book Tour, an app that celebrates the historic local businesses that paved the way for the entrepreneurs of frontline communities living in Seattle today. A community outreach campaign will engage local artists, historians, community members, and businesses to expand the app’s features to include audio content, community input, enhanced accessibility options, and additional sites. (Community match: $8,550)
  • $50,000 for Seattle Repertory Theater for The Winter’s Tale Virtual Event, a virtual production that focuses on using theater as a tool for equity and inclusion and providing access to communities historically excluded from the arts. Working in collaboration with up to eight community partners, the project will showcase the talents of both community and professional actors, a professional design team, the theater’s leadership committee, and a professional theater director. The event will be free and open to the public. (Community match: $650,623)

District 1

  • $43,310 for Duwamish Tribal Services / Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center for Spirit Returns 2.0 to highlight the cultural and heritage achievements made in 20 years of progress.  Celebrations include a new exhibit featuring “Chief Seattle’s” hat and the unveiling of a 30ft Welcome Figure at the newly renamed Ha ah Poos Village Park. (Community match: $31,600)

District 2

  • $33,564 for Parents for Skateparks for a Rainier Beach Skatepark Feasibility Study to assess the Rainier Beach Playfield as a potential site for a District Skate Park. This project will perform a feasibility study and recommend specific direction for the design and build of a free, public skate park. (Community match: $16,900)
  • $50,000 for Bego, Inc for After COVID-19! 3rd Ethiopian Music Festival to celebrate Ethiopian heritage and the re-opening of public events with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. The event will feature live music and dance performances, pastry-cooking, coffee ceremony presentations, art, and deliciously prepared foods. (Community match: $59,500)
  • $50,000 for Friends of Little Saigon for Little Saigon 2030 Action Plan to engage the community and develop a ten-year vision for the area. Three community wide meetings will be organized to solicit feedback on the project process and deliverables, including a comprehensive literature review of previous neighborhood plans; creation of a GIS map to steer private and public investment; and the development of design and use guidelines to inspire businesses and developers. (Community match: $46,230)
  • $40,000 to Healthy Othello Safer Through Environmental Design (HOSTED) for Safety with Chief Sealth Trail and NewHolly Homezone to support community members’ efforts to promote healthy and safe activities for all neighbors. The community will celebrate the new speed humps and community approved crosswalk art that will be installed this summer. (Community match: $166,271)

District 3

  • $49,982 to Wa Na Wari for The BLOOM Food Justice Series to promote food justice and sovereignty in BIPOC communities. The project will recruit 12 BIPOC youth to participate in workshops and trainings with a curriculum spanning Indigenous knowledge systems, Black Liberation, urban farming practices, plant medicines, the healing arts, ways to combat environmental racism, and much more. BLOOM workshops, virtual talks, and public programs will be free and open to community. (Community match: $43,840)
  • $49,867 for Estelita’s Library for the Grand Opening and Expansion to their new location in the Central District. The project will focus on community engagement activities; a new deck and ADA public restroom expansion; landscape design and native plant installation; and creative programming including art curation, events and workshops on themes of social justice and community organizing. All programs will be offered free-of-cost to the community. (Community match: $53,660)
  • $45,022 for Multimedia Resources and Training Institute for Digital Storytelling in the Time of COVID-19 to capture and document the local COVID-19 pandemic experience. The project will engage eight youth interns and professional instructors to produce a documentary featuring stories from local underserved and underrepresented communities. The production process will also include facilitated panel discussions where community members can share their own stories and make connections with one another. (Community match: $28,850)
  • $50,000 for Ethiopian Women, Mothers, and Family for Women Coming OUT: A Post COVID-19 Celebration to recognize the resilience of Ethiopian women during the uncertainty of the pandemic and honor loved ones lost. The all-day event will celebrate the opportunity to gather again and will be held at the Powell S. Barnett Park on Sunday, July 18, 2021. (Community match: $54,075)

District 4

  • $50,000 to Greenlake Elementary PTA for Playground ADA Ramp and Hillside Improvements to make the playground more equitable, inclusive, and enjoyable. Project improvements include the installation of a new ADA accessible ramp from the school to the playground; development of a hillside play space with play features, seating areas, and accessible slides; and replacement of wood chips with wheelchair accessible artificial turf surface. The new features will eliminate physical barriers between school buildings and the playground for wheelchair enabled students. (Community match: $351,241)
  • $17,803 to Friends of Magnuson Park for Building 41 Teen Mural Project to tell the history of aviation at the park through the installation of colorful murals over 17 windows of a highly visible, unused building within the Sand Point Naval Air Station Historic District. The project is a collaboration between SPACE Art Gallery, Mercy Magnuson Housing, Solid Ground Housing, Conservation Corps and Friends of Magnuson Park, all of which are housed on the Magnuson Park grounds. (Community match: $6,500)

District 5

  • $15,000 to Think Big, Wedgwood for Business District Banners & Posters for Wedgwood to create a sense of neighborhood unity through art that communicates a welcoming message for all. Roughly 25 banners will be created through a public design process and hung on light poles along the 35th Ave business district between 75th & 95th in Wedgwood. (Community match: $9,500)
  • $44,588 for Friends of Maple Leaf Reservoir Park for Maple Leaf Reservoir Park Landscaping to increase the park’s biodiversity. The project aims to create a space for native plants and animals and create a more enjoyable recreation space for community members. Work will include removing invasive weeds, expanding tall grass meadow prairie plantings, planting shrubs and flowering plants in two rain gardens, improving the drainage of flooded walkways, and adding accessible benches and picnic tables. (Community match: $27,350)

District 6

  • $35,800 for Friends of Latinx Essential Workers for Celebrating Seattle’s Latinx Essential Workers to produce weekly online radio shows recognizing the contributions of Latinx essential works during the COVID-19 pandemic. The productions will feature the stories of local Latinx essential workers – especially healthcare workers, retail cashiers, food service, and construction workers – and include presentations by Latinx guest artists and speakers. (Community match: $18,400)
  • $50,000 to Phinney Neighborhood Association for Phinney-Greenwood Holiday Lighting Project to create an inclusive, fun, secular, business-district-focused lighting tradition that represents the community. The décor will include lighted animals to complement the WildLights installment at the Woodland Park Zoo and draw visitors to the neighborhood. (Community match: $26,700)

District 7

  • $50,000 to Northwest Folklife for Through the Living Legacies: Cultural & Creative Youth Development Project to engage young people in examining the history of cultural impact and the preservation of our collective narrative of roots, re-imagining, and resilience. Northwest Folklife is working with community organizations, artists, and creative industry entrepreneurs to provide paid internships focused on the collection, curation, and presentation of the stories, songs, artifacts, teachings, and artistic expressions of their focus communities. (Community match: $63,900)
  • $43,355 to Magnolia Chamber of Commerce for W. McGraw St. Improvements Magnolia-Phases II/III to add chairs, tables, benches, and bike racks to outdoor gathering spaces developed during Phase I of the project on the 3300 and 3400 blocks of W. McGraw Street. The streetscape improvements are aimed at supporting the local businesses in the area by increasing foot traffic and attracting more customers. (Community match: $36,660)

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