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Agency overview
JurisdictionKing County, Washington state
Headquarters101 Prefontaine Place SouthSeattle WA 98104
Annual budgetUS$8,213,436 (2012)
Agency executive
  • Brian Carter, Executive Director

4Culture is a tax-exempt public development authority (PDA), with a fifteen member Board of Directors, who are nominated by the King County Executive and confirmed by the King County Council. A Public Development Authority is a public entity created by cities or counties to accomplish public purpose activities without assuming them into the regular functions of County government.


4Culture's offices are located in Seattle's historic Tashiro Kaplan building

4Culture evolved from the Office of Cultural Resources, a department of King County government, which housed King County's arts, heritage, preservation and public art office. In 2001, in reaction to the post-9/11 economic recession and subsequent elimination of its Current Expense (CX) funding, the Office of Cultural Resources staff proposed to the King County Executive and Council that they transition the office to a Public Development Authority (PDA). This structure would allow dedicated public funds to be stretched further through business innovations and allow access to other revenues, including grants and earned income through consulting services, that are traditionally beyond the reach of a government agency. The County Executive agreed and the County Council adopted an Ordinance approving the establishment of the Cultural Development Authority of King County in September 2002, effective January 1, 2003.


The work of 4Culture is accomplished by over 150 individuals each year. 4Culture is governed by a fifteen member Board of Directors, who are nominated by the King County Executive and confirmed by the King County Council. Additionally over 20 citizen volunteers in the fields of arts, heritage, preservation and public art serve on 4Culture Advisory Committees that contribute to program and policy development. Every year, over 100 citizen panelists review applications to competitive funding programs and calls for artists.

Programs and grants[edit]

Through the integration of four program areas — arts, heritage, preservation and public art — 4Culture works to: identify the needs of local King County communities and create programs that meet these needs; champion individual expression and community engagement; create and support a distinctive built environment; and work with artists and cultural organizations to offer culturally relevant solutions for the region.


  • Washington State Auditors Report (November 21, 2012) [Reissued January 3, 2013]. Audit Summary for Public Development Authorities and Public Facilities Districts (Report). Washington State Auditors Office. Report No. 1008676.
  • Public Corporations/Public Development Authorities (PDA) (RCW 35.21.730 - 35.21.755), Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC) of Washington. Accessed 14 January 2014.
  • The Seattle Times (2011). "State Senate passes arts bill without controversial stadium tax extensions". Seattle, WA.
  • The Stranger (2011). "The Sound of Indifference". Seattle, WA.
  • King County Office of Cultural Resources, Feasibility Study Report: A Public Development Authority for Culture, April 26, 2002; Proposed King County Ordinance 2002-0365 and staff report, September 5, 2002

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]