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Neighborhood Matching Fund Invests $891,410 in 21 Community-initiated Projects

The Eli's Park Project Teen Advisory Team stands in front of a mural they painted at the park

The City of Seattle has awarded $891,410 to support 21 community-initiated projects through Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF). Twenty-one community groups received awards ranging from $18,900 to $50,000 and have pledged $707,755 to match their award through local cash donations, volunteer hours, donated materials, and in-kind professional services.

“We do not live as individuals we live as a community. A community has a past, a present and a vision for its future. The Honoring Community Health & History project in the Central District [funded by the Neighborhood Matching Fund] will build upon each of these historical moments in the visualization of our collective strengths during each period to shape our vision for a collective future.”

Dian Ferguson, Executive Director of the Central Area Senior Center and SHARP Seattle planning team member

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

“Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center is thrilled to partner with the Department of Neighborhoods to produce the first annual Emerge Arts Cohort and Showcase, a program for BIPOC LGBTQ+ performing artists that offers production support, artistic mentorship, and business and sustainability training. The City’s investment in supporting BIPOC LGBTQ artistic voices in this holistic way is directly responsive to the needs of BIPOC LGBTQ artists, who continue to be disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.”

Bekah Telew, Director of Development at Gay City

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

2021 Community Partnership Fund Awards – Round Two


  • $50,000 to Brothers United in Leadership Development for BUILD 2022, a series of community-building events to create leadership opportunities for Black men to positively impact, heal, unite, inspire, celebrate, engage & build their community. Events planned include Community Movie Nights, Holiday Bowl, Barbershop Series, and Community Kickball Event. (Community match: $32,080) 
  • $42,600 to Path with Art for Free Little Art Galleries (FLAG), to host workshops for community members to help design, create, and install Free Little Art Galleries, and provide free art kits at each site. This project will utilize the power of art to build community and to foster restoration for those who have experienced trauma. Each FLAG will be placed near Path with Art’s social service partners in underserved neighborhoods.  (Community match: $26,300) 

District 1 

  • $50,000 to Highland Park Elementary PTA for Phase 2 of Highland Park Playground Construction. This phase includes play equipment construction, playground surfacing, curb, and remodel of slope immediately to the north. The further improvement of the playground will serve both the school and neighborhood community. (Community match: $27,130) 
  • $45,500 to Duwamish Valley Affordable Housing Coalition for El Poder de la Comunidad, to help address housing issues in the Duwamish Valley. The project will partner with the community and create two cohorts of learning and action, called Pláticas (Talks), focusing on the low-income and Spanish-speaking populations of the area. The cohorts will meet monthly for an estimated 5-month period. (Community match: $29,360) 

District 2 

  • $50,000 to Japantown Neighbors for Japantown Identity Project tohelp establish Japantown as an important cultural destination. The project recognizes the legacy of 8,000 Japanese immigrants and descendants who created a vibrant community known as Japantown before WWII. (Community match: $28,100)  
  • $18,900 to Southeast Seattle Senior Center for Front Door Modernization to replace their front doors. Funding will go to help fix issues with their exterior doors and interior doors that are difficult for seniors to use and are inhibiting security at the center. (Community match: $9,850) 

District 3 

  • $50,000 to Friends of SHARP Seattle for Honoring Community Health & History, a project that partners with older Black adults in Seattle’s Central District to produce a culturally celebratory group walking experience and create an oral history archive celebrating Black life in the neighborhood. The archive will be a compilation of stories from 36 Black adult volunteers recorded while walking through the Central District. The archive and routes will be shared broadly with the public via a community celebration, community outreach and online. (Community match: $50,174) 
  • $29,900 to Gay City Health Project for EMERGE, an arts showcase offering production support, mentorship, and business and sustainability training for emerging performance-based artists. This framework will create a festival that is informed by, and seeks to address, access to health and sustainability guidance for artistic development and production. (Community match: $19,310) 
  • $23,000 to Seattle Rideshare Drivers Association for Rideshare Drivers and Riders Appreciation Day, an event to bring together Uber and Lyft Drivers and Riders to appreciate one another and forge a path back to normality following the severe disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The event, held at Judkins Park, will also provide resources and information to drivers about local services available to drivers like subsidized housing, health insurance, and training programs. (Community match: $15,610) 
  • $50,000 to Black and Tan Project for Black and Tan 100th Anniversary Celebration, a commemoration of the opening of the Black and Tan Nightclub, at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. This historical event will consist of live performances and a reception with a focus on bringing arts, culture, and theatre to the community free of charge. (Community match: $43,310) 
  • $25,000 to Volunteer Park Trust for Volunteer Park Amphitheater Summer Series, a free multi-event, outdoor public performance series in Volunteer Park. Coordinated by a diverse community Task Force, the outdoor series will feature multicultural music, dance, and theater, and showcase the newly completed facility. (Community match: $38,180) 
  • $49,510 to Shunpike for Artist of Color Expo & Symposium (ACES), a Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) led arts conference that fosters community, showcases talent, and facilitates professional development for BIPOC artists. The conference will be held at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute and will feature performances, exhibits, workshops, films, presentations, artist talks, and info sessions. (Community match: $36,080) 

District 4 

  • $50,000 to The Eli’s Park Project for Phase 4 of Burke Gilman Park Renovation. This phase of funding will complete the art elements partially funded in the previous cycle and includes the fabrication and installation of five permanent art features. The project is working to renovate an underutilized green space into a park that is fully accessible to people of all ages, abilities, and identities. (Community match: $29,400) 
  • $50,000 to Friends of Troll’s Knoll for Phase 2 of Troll’s Knoll Art and DesignThis phase of funding will support a site survey of the land, arborist analysis, detailed planting plan, installation of a willow art feature, a Japanese style shade structure known as a hokora, and donor outreach materials.The project isdedicated to engaging the community in beautifying and activating the urban forest around the Fremont Troll. (Community match: $26,700) 
  • $38,000 to University Heights Center for Elevator Installation, to construct an elevator shaft to link all four floors of their 55,000 square foot building. The Center receives more than 200,000 annual visitors through their early learning, K-12 specialized education, arts & culture events, and human service programs. This project will provide unbarred entry to all classroom and event spaces. (Community match: $20,860) 
  • $50,000 to Historic Seattle Preservation Foundation for Phase 1B of the Good Shepherd Center Seismic Retrofit forthe precision opening of the walls and ceilings to installation of connectors that tie the floor and wall framing together. The building has been designated as a Community Emergency Hub by the City of Seattle’s Office of Emergency Management, and this funding will help fix critical risk issues due to construction type and tenant vulnerability.  (Community match: $55,880) 

District 5 

  • $20,000 to Friends of Kramer Creek for North Fork Kramer Creek Greenspace Restoration to restore native habitat and public access to the greenspace surrounding the Kramer Creek riparian zone. The project will help improve the overall water quality of the Thornton Creek watershed and provide wildlife habitat that benefits the neighborhood. Work includes conducting a comprehensive site assessment, designing an accessible and safe space, and replacing invasive plant species with indigenous ones. (Community match: $35,136) 
  • $50,000 to Haller Lake Community Club for Residing and Exterior Electrical Work. The project will replace the current, damaged exterior siding with hardy board siding that will be impervious to further destruction by birds. An exterior lighting upgrade and the addition of exterior electrical outlets will also be added to improve the security of the Club’s parking lot and open opportunities to host more outdoor events. (Community match: $70,000) 

District 6 

  • $50,000 to The Friends of Green Lake for the Floating Wetlands Project to install a pair of floating wetlands in the lake to improve native bird habitat, fish habitat, water quality, aesthetic value, and wetland education. Installation of the wetlands is planned for spring 2022. (Community match: $47,800)
  • $50,000 to the Nordic Museum for Julefest: A Nordic Holiday Celebration, a cultural community event that transforms the Museum grounds into a traditional outdoor holiday market like those held throughout the Nordic region. Funding will help keep the event free to the public due to cost increases associated to relocating the event outside in response to COVID-19. (Community match: $34,400) 

District 7 

  • $49,000 to Coe Kids Crossing CommunityGroup for Street Safety Improvements near Coe Elementary School. The project will install a concrete floating curb-bulb and new signage to improve the visibility of pedestrians using the crosswalk at W. McGraw St. and 7th Ave. W. and better alert drivers to their presence. (Community match: $32,096)