by Madeline Anderson
SANCA Development Assistant
Social Circus Director Ian Jagel works with a group of teens from Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative
Voter ballots were mailed today for the August King County Election! We are really excited about the prospects of the upcoming election here at SANCA because Proposition 1 on the ballot could provide up to $65 million annually in funding for the arts county-wide, and represents a significant boost in funding for SANCA’s circus arts programs.
This August, King County voters will have the opportunity to increase public access for arts and cultural organizations, like ours. Proposition 1 proposes a 0.1% increase in our current sales tax to fund a grant pool to be distributed to arts and culture organizations in King County. Funds would be directed toward programs that increase access to geographically or economically disadvantaged youth. The program is estimated to cost the average family only $30/year, and will dramatically increase the availability of equitable cultural and arts programming in King County. We believe this is a cause everyone in our community can rally behind.
All organizations that receive grant funds will be held accountable in their pursuit of providing equitable and accessible programs. Granted organizations are responsible for maintaining accurate documentation measuring program benchmarks, visitors served, and community impact. Funds will be distributed through 4Culture, a trusted, well-grounded arts and culture funding organization which has been granting funds and providing contract oversight for more than 40 years.
What this means for SANCA
A child from Helper Hands learns to balance while taking an Every Body’s Circus camp.
At SANCA, we have always believed that every child deserves the right to access arts education. Arts and culture programming focused on access and equity bring an important value to the community. We know, for example, that if youth currently experiencing homelessness have the opportunity to express themselves through art and build community, the impact can be life changing. If passed, Proposition 1 may provide a huge opportunity to increase our Social Circus outreach programs, giving even more youth the opportunity to experience the joy of circus, reduce isolation, build community, and develop healthy life habits.
The proposition includes the stipulation that 20% of granted funds go toward “Public School Access.” What this means is that granted organizations must partner with local schools to ensure equitable access to programs. This is something near and dear to our mission at SANCA, where we have already partnered with more than 30 local schools and community centers in our Social Circus programs. An increase in funding directed to these programs would expand our reach and allow us to work with even more youth.
Stable funding for our Social Circus and Every Body’s Circus programs will also give us the opportunity to do things like offer paid internships for older youth, give staff the opportunity to participate in race and equity training, and provide specialized training for working with students with disabilities. Proposition 1 funding would even help pay for bus fare so that transportation isn’t a barrier to accessing cultural and arts institutions like SANCA. These improvements would help us better serve our community and expand access to programs, all good things!
What you can do
Talk to your friends about what being a part of the SANCA community (or any other community arts organization) has meant for you and your family. Share your experiences and talk to your friends about the impact of expanding access for our community.
If you have a SANCA story you’d like to share with us, we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And most importantly, don’t forget to vote in the August election!
For more information about Proposition 1, check out their website at www.culturalaccesswa.org. If you are interested in volunteering, visit https://accessforallwa.org/get-involved/volunteer.