4Culture’s funding source has been extended into the foreseeable future with the Washington State Legislature’s passage of ESSB 5834. Governor Gregoire has signed the bill into law and it takes effect on August 24, 2011. Passage of the bill was the result of a seven year bipartisan effort by King County, the arts & heritage community, and thousands of cultural patrons. It was passed in the toughest legislative session in recent memory.
4Culture is the public face of the King County Cultural Development Authority and is the latest iteration of a lengthy history of support for culture. Today, 4Culture receives and distributes a portion of lodging tax funds to cultural organizations using a variety of competitive grant programs. The Northwest Railway Museum has received dozens of grants from 4Culture to support a wide range of initiatives including the new Train Shed exhibit building, exhibits such as Wellington Remembered, landmark rehabilitation work such as Chapel Car 5 Messenger of Peace, and collections care efforts such as the recent purchase and installation of temperature and humidity monitors.
4Culture is not the Museum’s largest funder but it is its most diverse funder. It is often a first funder that demonstrates the efficacy of a proposal because of a widely respected rigorous and transparent vetting & adjudication process. It is also a consistent funder that understands the unique challenges of operating a museum.
So it is rather appropriate to acknowledge 4Culture’s success on Independence Day. Culture defines our Nation, but in a much broader fashion than what network television, professional sport, or iconic brands of popular culture so narrowly defines. It is local and regional history, architecture and historic preservation, visual and performing arts, public art, literature, and so much more. 4Culture provides initiatives to preserve, interpret, develop, perform, market, and perpetuate culture that is relevant and important to King County and its citizens. It is hugely important to the success of local and regional tourism. It also represents more than 30,000 full time jobs in King County.
So on this July 4th, a huge thanks to everyone that played a role in securing 4Culture’s future funding needs. Kudos to those that made this almost an obsession: King County Executive Dow Constantine; Senator Hunter; Senator Murray; Speaker Chopp; Advocate4Culture; Louise Miller, Dale Smith, & the 4Culture Board (Museum Executive Director Richard Anderson is a member of 4Culture's Historic Preservation Advisory Committee); and 4Culture Executive Director Jim Kelly. And a special thanks to 5th District Representative Glenn Anderson for recognizing the importance of 4Culture to the upper Snoqualmie Valley and the Northwest Railway Museum by supporting ESSB 5834.