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City of Seattle’s Neighborhood Matching Fund Invests $1,012,644 in 25 Community-led Projects

Festival Centro Americano

The City of Seattle has awarded $1,012,644 to support 25 community-initiated projects through Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF). Twenty-five community groups received awards ranging from $13,535 to $50,000 and have pledged $889,749 to match their award through local cash donations, volunteer hours, donated materials, and in-kind professional services.

“Our vision for One Seattle centers and celebrates our diverse communities, and these investments will help us achieve that vision by supporting local projects, programs, and improvements,” said Mayor Bruce Harrell. “These organizations are doing critical work to learn the needs of Seattle communities and act on them, and I’m excited we are able to partner to build a more equitable, inclusive, and activated Seattle.”

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 of 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 34-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

What Grantees are Saying

“This funding will help us create a crucial snapshot in time of the Chinatown International District (CID) and Little Saigon. It’s not certain if each profiled business in Grit: Cookbook & Heritage of Chinatown-ID Eateries will still exist one year from now, or 50 years from now. But that uncertainty cannot stop us from recording their presence in our communities. This book will record CID and Little Saigon small business owners’ stories, history, and unique journey against the landscape of the neighborhood during an unprecedented time. It’ll memorialize one of their famed dishes and ensure that, as the neighborhood evolves and changes, their stories are saved.” – Diem Ly, Chinatown International District Small Business Heritage Group

“Through our festivals, we embrace our diverse heritage and educate youth and the public by showcasing the art, music, dance, and food from the various cultures of Central America. With this Neighborhood Matching Fund grant, we can continue working on strengthening the voices of immigrant and refugee Central Americans through reclaiming and affirming cultural and linguistic identities.” – Keylee Fernandez, Organizacion Centro Americano

“Velocity and our partners are thrilled to receive the support of the Department of Neighborhoods to help us host art installations and performances over Labor Day Weekend that center experiences and stories of queer parenthood and family-building. With this project we get to shape our neighborhood of Capitol Hill and co-create our city spaces and events together. This support is more than just resource, it is affirmation that our city wants to help us celebrate queer people, stories, and families in our public spaces.” – Erin Johnson, Executive Director of Velocity Dance Center 

“This grant will help us provide essential upgrades to preserve our historic facility, allowing us to better serve our resident organizations, visitors, and clients. Support from the Neighborhood Matching Fund is instrumental to the success of the project and ensuring that our vibrant community center remains a neighborhood anchor for generations to come.” – Maureen Ewing, Executive Director of University Heights Center

2023 Community Partnership Fund Awards – Round One

$50,000 to 206 Zulu for 206 Zulu 20th Anniversary Community Celebration to host an event featuring panel discussions, resources, and industry insider conference for aspiring Hip Hop artists, producers, dancers, and visual artists looking to elevate their careers. The event will be held over President’s Day weekend in 2024 and is free and open to the public. (Community match: $53,962) 

$50,000 to Black and Tan Project for Black History Month Celebration 2024 to produce the play, “Reparations: A Musical Which Centers on the Fictional Trial of Thomas Jefferson,” to be held at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. The company will perform a series of three weekend shows with additional events including a peer panel discussion and a reception with food and Afro-centric vendors and music. (Community match: $50,045) 

$50,000 to Chinatown International District Small Business Heritage Group for Grit: Cookbook & Heritage of Chinatown-ID Eateries to curate a recipe cookbook, visual history, and profile of today’s Chinatown International District and Little Saigon restaurants and their founders. The publication will also feature a series of 20-25 small business profiles of BIPOC-owned restaurants highlighting the owners’ beginnings, grit, and evolution. (Community match: $31,540) 

$50,000 to Eritrean Association of Greater Seattle for Community Center Improvements to perform vital repairs to help keep the community space in safe working order for events, civic engagement activities, and food and nutrition programs. Improvements include replacing the parking lot exit gate, repainting the entry way interior walls, and stripping and waxing the floors of the large hall. (Community match: $31,907) 

$50,000 to Friends of Japantown for Nihonmachi Alley Planning & Design for improvements to Nihonmachi Alley. The funds will help hire a professional design firm to help the community reimagine the space and a series of community events to gather input for the design team and install small projects that are ready to be implemented into the design. (Community match: $26,939) 

$50,000 to Friends of Rainier Valley Creative District for Rainier Valley Community Arts and Resource Fair to host a full day, multi-purpose event that will provide arts, culture, education, health, legal, housing, and business resources to the community with a particular focus on the needs of creative businesses in the Rainier Valley. (Community match: $35,870) 

$50,000 to Lake City Pioneer Days Parade Association for 2023 Lake City Summer Parade, a free and family-friendly annual event in Lake City featuring marching bands, drill teams, community groups, governmental agencies, and local businesses. Spectators can also see colorful floats, live music, dance performances, and other festive displays. (Community match: $36,245) 

$50,000 to Mini Mart City Park for Mini Mart Art Attacks for eight public art experiences curated monthly from September to April. All the events will be free-of-cost and centered around local art, food, and community. Each month will feature a gallery exhibit showcasing a local artist, a public art experience or workshop, and a community meal prepared by a local chef. (Community match: $32,780)  

$50,000 to Organización Centro Americano for Festiva Centro Americano 2023, a festival to celebrate the various cultures of Central America. The festival will include a day of cultural performances, cultural expression and cultural exchange and will be held on Sunday, August 26, 2023, at the South Park community center. (Community match: $32,780) 

$50,000 to Renaissance 21 for Project L.I.T. (Lead, Inspire, Transform) by Star Tech Global Academy to engage youth in multimedia art projects that uplift community spaces and connect with community leaders. This free project will provide virtual and in-person participation in three Teen Centers across Seattle. Community members will be recruited as project staff to guide teens through workshops that teach leadership, community building, and multimedia design skills. (Community match: $25,536) 

$50,000 to Seattle Repertory Theatre for Seattle Rep’s Public Works presents The Tempest, a live stage production of Lear deBessonet and Todd Almond’s musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s work in collaboration with a group of ten community partners. (Community match: $76,404) 

$50,000 to University Heights Center for U-Heights Life Safety Building Improvement Project for pre-construction architecture and engineering services for upgrades to preserve the structural integrity of the facility’s exterior and to address fire code requirements. The project centers patron safety, allowing the center to better serve the resident organizations, visitors, and clients, and ensures that U-Heights remains a healthy, functional building into the future. (Community match: $35,625) 

$49,850 to Freakout Records for Freakout Festival, a free festival to serve as a launching pad for artists, with a heavy focus on performers from Mexico and Latin America. The event will host a variety of music and take place at seven different venues around Ballard. Each year, this event attracts more than 2,500 people from around the world. (Community match: $25,820) 

$49,600 to Seniors Creating Art for Access to Art Expansion-West Seattle, a free weekly art workshop for the residents living in Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) Senior Living Buildings in the West Seattle/High Point Neighborhoods. Additionally, the funding will support monthly Intergenerational Creative Nights held at a selected SHA building and a Summer Community-wide ArtWalk taking place in High Point. (Community match: $89,960) 

$48,000 to Meadowbrook Community Gardens and Orchards for Improvements and Expansions to upgrade the irrigation system, replace old and worn tools, add raised gardens, repair garden beds, and buy bulk soil amendments and compost to improve soil quality. The improvements will help produce more food to meet the growing needs of the community. (Community match: $57,400) 

$40,940 to Magnolia Chamber of Commerce for Magnolia Beautification to create a parklet and install benches and bike racks in the heart of the Magnolia business district. This will fund Phase IV and V of the beautification project and will strengthen and expand current community partnerships with Magnolia businesses, City Departments, and community volunteers.  (Community match: $43,480) 

$35,860 to Oromo Cultural Center for Computer Literacy Project to host a basic computer training to provide immigrants with the skills and knowledge to effectively use computers in their personal and professional lives. The program will be free and open to community participation and is designed to be culturally responsive and relevant to the needs and experiences of immigrant communities. (Community match: $20,280) 

$33,795 to Velocity Dance Center for LGBTQ+ Performances + Installations + Convenings to host a week of outdoor dance performances, large-scale art installations, and LGBTQ+-led conversations in Capitol Hill over Labor Day weekend. The event will include free BIPOC-led, queer parent convenings to build community support networks for queer Seattle parents and promote an inclusive understanding of gender, parenting, and queer lineage. (Community match: $30,562)

$29,500 to West Seattle Junction Association for AI Community Interactive Light Show for a free community holiday festival. The December event will be held in Junction Plaza Park and provide opportunities for community members to submit their own artificial intelligence generated art to be projected onto a 7-story building which will be shown for one week after the festival. (Community match: $15,926) 

$25,000 to Dr. Jose Rizal Park and Bridge Foundation for Elevate the Dr. Jose Rizal Park Events to host a series of free events in the park from June to December. The events are focused on raising awareness about park improvements involving grassroots community engagement efforts. (Community match: $39,900) 

$25,000 to Friends of Picardo’s 50th Anniversary for P-Patch Program’s 50th Anniversary Celebration to host a fall event at Picardo Farm to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Seattle’s P-Patch Community Gardening Program. All gardeners at all P-Patches will be invited, along with neighborhood partners, neighbors, and City staff. The event will be free and open to the public. (Community match: $25,660)

$22,819 to Maple Leaf Community Council for Maple Leaf Summer Social 2023 for a free and public party in Maple Leaf Reservoir Park featuring food, games, music, art, and opportunities for participants to make vital post-pandemic connections with old and new neighbors. (Community match: $24,242) 

$21,240 to Bike Works for Major Taylor Gold Sprints Celebration for an event to honor and celebrate the birthday of Marshall `Major` Taylor, a hero to people interested in the intersections of cycling and social justice. The celebration will include food, beverages, an indoor cycling event, and a film about Taylor. (Community match: $11,140) 

$17,505 to Friends of Maple Leaf Reservoir Park for Maple Leaf Park Slope and Meadow Restoration to hire a restoration company to remove invasive and exotic species in the eastern zone of the approved Habitat Enhancement plan and increase density of native meadow wildflowers in the tall grass meadows of the upper park. (Community match: $9,210) 

$13,535 to Georgetown Merchants Association for Georgetown Carnival 2023, a one-day music and arts festival featuring live performances on three stages, booths for local vendors and artists, industrial art displays, and children’s activities. The Carnival will help increase visibility of businesses in Georgetown which are not easily sustained by the neighborhood’s small residential population alone. (Community match: $33,316)