Inspire Olympia to hold sessions, workshops for community members seeking funding for cultural programs


Inspire Olympia will hold informational sessions now through December, as well as workshops in January next year, to help interested community members apply for funds through the program, it said in a press release.

Inspire Olympia is a voter-approved initiative that aims to open doors for underserved communities, expand access to transformative experiences, and enrich the educational landscape for public school students in Olympia.

The program’s mission is to make arts, culture, science, and heritage accessible to the public by collaborating with local nonprofit organizations large and small to help these groups thrive and expand their reach.

"Inspire Olympia is an investment in the long-term health of the community and a call to action for our local arts, culture, heritage, and science organizations,” said program manager Marygrace Goddu. “Applicants should dream big and consider new strategies for access and inclusion, extending the public benefits of their programs to more Olympia residents."

As the program gears up for its official launch, the application process will open on January 15, 2024.

The goal is that within a year, Olympia residents will enjoy more accessible and affordable opportunities for creative engagement, spanning local theater, music, festivals, neighborhood events, and more.

Inspire Olympia also aims to support groups providing hands-on learning experiences through field trips and in-class programs for Olympia public school students and teachers.

For those interested in applying, information sessions are scheduled for November and December 2023.

Workshops will follow these sessions in January 2024 to guide interested organizations through the program's application process.

Local organizations applying for Inspire Olympia funding can gain valuable insights through online information sessions on November 15 and December 6, 2023.

Further information and registration details can be found on Inspire Olympia’s website.

For organizations that are not registered nonprofits, the November 15 information session will also explore opportunities for fiscal sponsorship. This session will feature representatives from Shunpike, a Seattle-based nonprofit that provides support services for the creative sector.

According to Thurston Economic Development Council data, the Arts & Culture sector contributed a substantial $638 million to the economic activity in Thurston County in 2021, with a significant portion originating from Olympia.

Olympia’s Economic Development Director Mike Reid believes that investing in the local arts scene is not only beneficial to residents, but also essential for boosting economic resilience in the area.

"Investments in creative enterprises will propel Olympia towards a stronger and more diverse local economy as these organizations spend and hire locally,” Reid said. “Inspire Olympia investments will have an impactful multiplier effect."


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