Each year the County distributes $60,000 to community groups that are working to promote community involvement in unincorporated King County. The 2014 grant money has been awarded, and I wanted to highlight some of the great work being done throughout District Eight.
Vashon Allied Arts – Panama Hotel Jazz educational concert
$1,000 was granted to Vashon Allied Arts to help fund a free performance of Panama Hotel Jazz for Vashon Island students. This jazz group tells the story of Japanese internment in World War II. Vashon had a small population of Japanese-American strawberry farmers whose lands were seized and never returned to them once the war was over. This event will help tell the story of this important part of Vashon's history.
White Center Community Development Association – Bike, Shop, Eat White Center
The White Center Community Development Association is working on a project to grow biking in White Center. The $3,000 granted by the County will help the group purchase bike corrals which will triple bike parking in the business district. The group also has proposed having a led bike tour to help teach people safe riding techniques and show them bike paths throughout their neighborhood, with stops at points of interest.
Sustainable Vashon – Vashon Tool Library
Vashon Islanders are working to create a tool library modeled on the West Seattle Tool Library. This new community center of sorts will provide shared access to tools. This exciting project is already under way, the County's grant of $2,500 will help the organization capitalize on work already being done. Volunteers are in place, tools are being collected, and instructors are being trained.
North Highline Unincorporated Area Council – Community Forums
North Highline is unique because it's an urban unincorporated area. This community council has provided a vital space for community forums and discussions since 1996. They also work hard to address graffiti in their neighborhood. To do this, they provide paint and clean-up supplies to business and property owners in North Highline. The County granted this group $1,000 to assist in these important efforts.
Voice of Vashon – Open Studio Project
Voice of Vashon will receive $3,000 for its audio and video production training program that is offered to all Islanders for free. Voice of Vashon is always finding new and innovative ways to provide media resources to allow neighbors to create, produce and distribute locally-focused programming. Its programming will include broadcasts of community meetings and forums. Developing the media skillset of more Vashon residents will result in the creation of more content unique to Vashon and Maury Islands.
Cambodian Cultural Alliance of Washington -- Cambodian Street Festival in White Center
To bring together the White Center community and celebrate its diversity, the Cambodian Cultural Alliance of Washington was granted $3,000 to put on a family-friendly street fair. The mission of the organization is to "create opportunities for diverse communities to understand and appreciate traditional Cambodian art through events and other cultural activities." This event will provide an opportunity to celebrate the culture of one of White Center's most prominent heritages.
This grant program is headed up by our Community Service Area program. This program was created in 2010 to inform, involve and empower people throughout our unincorporated communities. They help to provide a voice to residents and work with Executive Constantine and the Council to solve problems residents are facing. You've probably seen Alan, Bong or Marissa at events in your community. They do great work.
Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.
Until next month,