4Culture launches Science and Technology Department

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Headed by Bart J. Cannon, PhD, new funding focus expands access to educational and cultural experiences

June 2024 (King County) – 4Culture, the cultural funding agency for King County, Washington, is expanding the program disciplines that it supports by adding Science and Technology to the existing Arts, Heritage, Historic Preservation, and Public Art program areas. This expansion is made possible through the new Doors Open sales tax, passed unanimously by King County Council in December 2023.
“This expansion of 4Culture’s program focus into science and technology is an exciting opportunity to bring needed support to a new segment of the community. 4Culture has existing relationships with many of the organizations that are represented in this sector and is eager to build out funding support to this community as the work expands. Opening our grantmaking to zoos, aquariums, science centers, and botanic gardens will provide the public with even more opportunities that enrich the lives of all those who live and visit King County,” said 4Culture Executive Director Brian J. Carter.

Science and Technology organizations will have access to a variety of grantmaking programs, starting with applications opening in late summer 2024for general operating support and for capital facilities projects. In 2025, additional programs that support in-school educational programming, free and reduced admissions tickets, start-up funding, and countrywide initiatives will become available.

The new Department will be headed by Bart J. Cannon, PhD, who has been with 4Culture since 2014 in multiple roles including Funding Program Administrator, Data Manager, and most recently Director of Operations. Prior to his time at 4Culture, Bart was Public Policy Coordinator at OutFront Minnesota and served as the Executive Director at Blue Earth Alliance, a nonprofit that utilized visual storytelling as an advocacy tool for environmental and social justice issues.

Bart played a key role in the construction of the science and technology elements of the Doors Open Ordinance implementation plan and has been meeting regularly with representatives from the science and technology community to ensure funding programs align with their needs. This work includes the completion of a Science and Technology landscape analysis and the establishment of a standing Science and Technology Advisory Committee to provide input, guidance, and advice to this new area of work.

“An enduring passion for science has shaped my life. Helping local nonprofits expand hands-on access to the tools and methods of science is a priority for me. I firmly believe that a love of knowledge and an active engagement with science by all ages in all communities benefits everyone.“ said 4Culture Science and Technology Director Bart J. Cannon.
About Doors Open
Doors Open, the new sales tax that makes this expansion possible, was passed on December 5, 2023 by the King County Council. The legislation increases funding to the County’s arts, heritage, science, and historic preservation non-profit organizations through a 0.1 percent sales tax. 4Culture is the County’s designated agency to distribute these funds, anticipated to be approximately $100 million per year. A minimum of 25% of all Doors Open funding will go to organizations outside of the city of Seattle, and a minimum of 10% of all funding will go to organizations serving historically underserved communities in King County.

4Culture is a public development authority (PDA) that has been in existence for 60 years. To access Doors Open funding, King County cultural and science organizations will apply to grant programs; all applicants will be reviewed by community peer panels. Discipline-specific Advisory Committees review grant recommendations and final funding determination is made by our Board of Directors. 4Culture’s will integrate Doors Open funding into our existing equitable granting processes and operations.