City of Seattle Awards $650,700 for Community-based Projects

BF Day Elementary School PlaygroundMayor Ed Murray and the Seattle City Council awarded seven Seattle organizations a total of $650,741 to support neighborhood-initiated projects across the city. The awards are part of the City’s Neighborhood Matching Fund, which provides more than $3 million each year to local organizations.

“Through the Neighborhood Matching Fund, thousands of community organizations have completed a variety of projects that have made a difference in their neighborhood and community,” said Mayor Murray.  “From a performance series in the Central Area, to an open space plaza in Eastlake, to digital storytelling in Chinatown International District – these funds help to acknowledge the dedication of community volunteers to make their ideas become realities.”

“These projects are inspirational examples of neighbors working together to improve the lives of others and the health of their communities. I heard from many of the recipients at my Council committee in August, and look forward to seeing Neighborhood Matching Fund dollars put to great use across the city.”
– Councilmember Tim Burgess (Position 8, Citywide)

The Large Projects Fund, a program of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, provides awards of up to $100,000 to community organizations committed to fostering and building a better community. For this fund, two teams of community members from neighborhood districts selected the recipients through an extensive evaluation process. With the city’s investment of $650,741, these seven awardees will contribute $1,048,216 in locally raised money, donated materials and professional services and volunteer labor.

The Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) has two other funds: the Small and Simple Projects Fund which provides up to $25,000, and the Small Sparks Fund which provides up to $1,000 per project. For 28 years, 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 more information about all of the funds visit


2016 Large Projects Fund Awards

District 2

  • $100,000 to Mini Mart City Park to renovate a former gas station into a pocket park, arts center, and community gathering place in Georgetown. Community match: $265,010.
  • $100,000 to SouthEast Effective Development to build a professional broadcast studio for Rainier Valley Radio, a community production space, and other spaces to serve as a digital communications hub. Community match: $294,018.
  • $99,960 to the Beacon Food Forest for Phase II construction to include an outdoor educational space, additional P-Patch plots, a tool shed, and other improvements. Community match: $211,793.
  • $90,781 to OneAmerica to engage residents of Chinatown International District in digital storytelling through classes that teach English language and digital literacy skills. Community match: $47,345.


District 3

  • $60,000 to 206 Zulu to produce up to eight free public events while enabling Central District arts organizations free access to historic Washington Hall. Community match: $19,300.
  • $100,000 to The Friends of First Place Scholars to make facility improvements and plan for future repairs at the First Place School. Community match: $110,450.


District 4

  • $100,000 to Lake Union Neighbors to accomplish Phase I construction of an open space plaza in street right-of-way and complete a pedestrian corridor. Community match: $100,300.

Advancing Equitable Outreach and Engagement

Message from Kathy Nyland, Director

Mayor Murray recently issued an Executive Order directing the city to approach outreach and engagement in an equitable manner. Putting an equity lens on our approaches is bold and, yes, brave. It shows a commitment to practices that address accessibility and equity.

What does this mean?

  • We often hear that meetings can feel like we are “checking a box.” The Mayor’s action means we can create processes that are more relationship-based and build authentic partnerships.
  • It means that we can create plans that are culturally sensitive, which includes an emphasis on translated materials.
  • It means we broaden access points, identify obstacles and turn them into opportunities.

What else does this mean?

  • It means we have an opportunity to recreate, re-envision and reconcile many lingering issues, including defining the difference between neighborhoods and communities, providing clarity about roles, and creating a system of engagement that builds partnerships with, and between, communities throughout the city of Seattle.
  • It means that we will be working to expand choices and opportunities for community members throughout this city, recognizing a special responsibility to plan for the needs of those who face barriers to participation.
  • It means that we’ll work with city offices and departments on community involvement to ensure that they are effective and efficient through the wise use and management of all resources, including the community’s time.
  • And it means we will expand the toolbox and make some investments in digital engagement.


Seattle is a unique city, and we are fortunate to have so many valuable partners currently at the proverbial table. Those partners play an important role and that role will continue. While we are appreciative of the countless hours our volunteers spend making our city better, we recognize and acknowledge there are barriers to participation. There are communities who cannot be at the table, while there are some communities who don’t even know there is a table. This is where the Department of Neighborhoods comes in.

This is not a power grab. It is a power share. At the heart of this Executive Order is a commitment to advance the effective deployment of equitable and inclusive community engagement strategies across all city departments. This is about making information and opportunities for participation more accessible to communities throughout the city.


“This is not about silencing voices. It’s the exact opposite. It’s about bringing more people into the conversations or at least creating opportunities for people to participate so they can be heard.”

Face-to-face meetings are incredibly important and those are not going away. But not every person can attend a community meeting, and the ability to do so should not determine who gets to participate and who gets to be heard.

We’d love to hear what tools YOU need to be successful and how WE can help you. Share your ideas with us:

  • Send an email to
  • Share your comments below.
  • Contact us at 206-684-0464 or mail us at P.O. Box 94649, Seattle, WA 98124-4649.
  • Join and follow the conversation online using #AdvancingEquitySEA at:

Facebook – @SeattleNeighborhoods
Twitter – @SeaNeighborhood

This is about making things easier and less exhaustive. This is about connecting communities to government and to one another. This is about moving forward.

Kathy Nyland, Director
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods

People’s Academy for Community Engagement Now Accepting Applications

People's Academy for Community EngagementSeattle Department of Neighborhoods is accepting applications to the People’s Academy for Community Engagement (PACE), our civic leadership development program for the next wave of community leaders. The fall session begins September 27 and runs through December 6.

During the 10-week program, 25-30 emerging leaders (18 years and up) will learn hands-on strategies for community building, accessing government, and inclusive engagement from experts in the field. PACE has a strong focus on Seattle’s community and neighborhood organizations and the city’s governmental structure and processes.

Fall sessions will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Miller Community Center. Topics include: Approaches to Leadership, Government 101, Community Organizing, Inclusive Outreach and Public Engagement, Meeting Facilitation, Public Speaking, Conflict Resolution, and Sustaining Involvement.

Tuition for the 10-week program is $100. Tuition assistance is available. To apply, visit The application deadline is Friday, August 12 at 5:00 p.m.

Given the popularity of the program, PACE will be offered three times a year: winter, spring and fall. The winter session will begin in January of 2017. For more information, visit our webpage and for questions, email

Deadline Approaches for Matching Funds to Support your Neighborhood Project

Othello+Intl+music+nwlrSeptember 2 workshop for interested applicants
Application deadline is October 5

If your group needs funds to do a neighborhood project, our Neighborhood Matching Fund may be able to help. However, you’ll need to be quick because the application deadline for the Small and Simple Projects Fund is Monday, October 5 at 5:00 p.m. This fund provides awards of up to $25,000 to for community-building projects that are matched by community contributions.

To learn about the Small and Simple Projects Fund, visit This is the last opportunity in 2015 to apply to this fund.

The final workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at University Heights Community Center (Room 209), 5031 University Way NE. The workshop provides an overview of the Neighborhood Matching Fund, the qualities of a good project, and the application process and requirements. To RSVP, go online at or call  206-233-0093. The workshop is open to all.

Our Neighborhood Matching Fund staff is available to advise groups on ways to develop successful applications and projects. You are strongly encouraged to call 206.233.0093 or email to discuss your project idea with one of our project managers.

The Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) Program awards matching funds for projects initiated, planned, and implemented by community members. Its goal is to build stronger and healthier neighborhoods through community involvement and engagement. Every award is matched by a neighborhood’s contribution of volunteer labor, donated materials, in-kind professional services, or cash.

Beacon Hill Meaningful Movies Back for 2015

Finland PhenomenonBeacon Hill Meaningful Movies is back for another year due to popular demand! As always, free movie, free popcorn for all.  Doors open at 6:15 for neighbors to meet and chat.

The next film will be “The Finland Phenomenon” on January 16 at the Garden House, 2336 15th Ave S.

Next Matching Fund Supported Beacon Hill Meaningful Movie “Nothing Like Chocolate” December 19

Nothing Like ChocolateNothing Like Chocolate is a film that brings together themes we explored in our season’s films; the environment, fair trade, fair wages, dignity of all work. Follow the efforts of a determined young man to produce slave free, locally sourced, organic, cooperatively produced bean to bar chocolate from a small solar powered factory on the island of Grenada.  Winner of many film festival awards.  A film with heart. Narrated by Susan Sarandon.  Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is proud to help support this series through our Neighborhood Matching Fund.

Beacon Hill Meaningful Movies—Free movie, free popcorn.
The Garden House, 2336 15th Ave. S (across from the Shell station)
Friday Dec. 19, 7pm. Doors open at 6:15.
ADA parking and ramp access from the alley
METRO #60 and #36. one block north of Beacon Light Rail station.

This is our season finale and we will have some delicious door prizes!

Click here to watch trailer

Bayview Triangle Planting Party this Saturday!

Bayview Triangle Planting PartyCome work on Beacon Hill’s newest restored landscape! Join Seattle Tree Ambassadors, Beacon Hill Garden Club, Beacon Merchant’s Association and Beacon Arts to weed, plant new understory plants, and mulch this Saturday, November 22 from 9 a.m. to noon. We’ll provide tools, gloves, safety vests, and snacks. Come enjoy brisk weather, hot cocoa, and setting the stage for  beautiful spring and summer landscaping! This is a family friendly event and a service learning opportunity for school students that need volunteer credit. Questions? Email  Marina at  or

Meet at the Shell Station at Beacon Ave S & 15th Ave S, Beacon Hill.

This project is supported by a Neighborhood Matching Fund Small Sparks award!


This Month’s Beacon Hill Meaningful Movies – It’s Free and so is the Popcorn!

Beacon Arts presents November’s Meaningful Movie, “Princess Angeline.” It will show on Friday, November 21 at 7:00 p.m. at The Garden House at 2336 15th Ave S (across from the Shell station). “Princess Angeline” is a film which tells the history of the Duwamish Tribe, Seattle’s first people. It uses the life of the daughter of Chief Seattle to examine the treatment and ultimate displacement of many of the tribes members from our city. More recent history of the tribe and their struggle for federal recognition of their tribal status is also examined. Film makers Yasu an Sandra Osawa will attend and have copies of the film for sale at a reduced price. Discussion with the Osawas will follow the screening. Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is proud to help support this series through our Neighborhood Matching Fund.

Filipino Chamber of Commerce Hosts Two Workshops for Businesses on November 6

Filipino Chamber flierThe Filipino Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest invites owners and managers of Filipino-owned/managed businesses and businesses serving the Filipino community to two workshops sharing topics of interest to businesses. The workshops are on Thursday, November 6 at Beacon Hill Library, 2821 Beacon Avenue South. The topic of the first workshop at 6:00 p.m. is regarding the legal requirements in the implementation of Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage Law. Then beginning at 7:15 p.m., Chamber leaders will present information on its recent grant from the Neighborhood Matching Fund to study the development of a Filipino Business Plaza. The workshops will be followed by a light dinner and networking.

Limited seating is available for both workshops. Call 206-227-3349 by October 25 to reserve your seat.

Beacon Bluff P-Patch Community Gathering Sunday, July 20

Beacon Bluff P-PatchCome join your neighbors  at the Beacon Bluff P-Patch for the 3rd annual Community Gathering on Sunday. July 20 from 3:30-7:00 p.m. Beacon Bluff is located between 14th & 15th Avenues S at Massachusetts.  There will be light refreshments, tours of the garden, and you can join in a little singalong!