Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Council will meet to consider more oversight of 4Culture – links to background info here
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A public hearing on a proposed ordinance #2018-0086, which would give the King County Council more oversight over 4Culture, is tentatively scheduled for February 21, 9:30 AM, in a “Committee of the Whole” meeting at the King County Courthouse.

In January, King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, was joined by Councilmembers Rod Dembowski, Kathy Lambert, Reagan Dunn, Pete von Reichbauer, and Larry Gossett, in introducing an ordinance that would allow councilmembers:

  • To veto the 4Culture budget, which determines funding for arts, heritage, preservation, and public arts;
  • To hire and fire the 4Culture Executive Director; and
  • To nominate and directly appoint the majority of 4Culture board members without consultation

The move by the Councilmembers caught the local cultural community by surprise and comes after founding 4Culture Director Jim Kelly announced late last year that he plans to retire this spring after 15 years of shaping the cultural services agency that serves King County.

Upthegrove has explained his rationale for spearheading this measure via Facebook – see his argument here.

As a public agency, 4Culture is unable to engage in an advocacy position on this issue, but has laid out the consequences this move would have here.

There is an advocacy group called Advocate4Culture that is organizing opposition to the proposed ordinance – find that website here.

For local press coverage of this issue, read Crosscut and The Stranger.

And if you would like to weigh in on this issue, you can find contact information for your County Councilmember here


4Culture’s statement on proposed King County ordinance 2018-0086
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The King County Council introduced Ordinance #2018-0086 on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. It states the Council has “determined that public funding for the cultural programs necessitates greater oversight and accountability to the public.” 4Culture is a respected public agency (Public Development Authority, PDA) with an excellent record of accomplishment and proven fiscal responsibility and accountability. The ordinance proposes changes to 4Culture’s charter and its by-laws that would have a significant impact by shifting responsibilities for budgeting, staffing, and board appointments from the 4Culture Board of Directors to the King County Council.

Current Oversight Measures:

  • All 4Culture funding grants are approved through a three-step process. Applications are evaluated by peer-panels, the selections are reviewed by community advisory committees, and finally approved by the 4Culture Board of Directors, comprised of fifteen leaders in the business and cultural sector.
  • The Auditor’s Office of Washington conducts an annual audit of 4Culture’s activities, financials, and compliance. 4Culture has been audited 23 times with only one finding—an outstanding record of governance and financial oversight. State Auditor Brian Sontag said in 2008, “This accomplishment shows 4Culture’s dedication to sound financial operations and timely financial reporting.”
  • Three King County Council members sit on the Board of Directors as ex-officio members and have full access to review operations,give input on grant activities and the budget, and report back to the full council. King County Council members have sat on the Board since 2003.
  • The selection and removal of the 4Culture Executive Director is the sole responsibility of the Board of Directors.
  • 4Culture presents two annual reports to the King County Council on programs, awards, revenues, expenses, initiatives, and activities. 4Culture’s senior leadership is called upon on a regular basis to meet with and advise the King County Council and Executive on arts and cultural related matters.
  • Our three ex-officio Councilmembers also sit as voting members on the Board Nominating Committee, which presents two to three recommendations to the King County Executive for each open position. Our existing charter calls out a careful process to consider geographic and racial diversity as well as maintaining a balance of expertise in the agency’s four program areas: artsheritagepreservation and public art.

The proposed ordinance would:

  • Give the King County Council the right to accept or reject 4Culture’s annual budget. If 4Culture’s budget is rejected, King County lodging taxpublic art, and other funds to 4Culture will not be released until the 4Culture board submits a new budget for council approval. Withholding revenues would disrupt annual grant programs and Public Art projects.
  • Give the Council the authority to remove the Executive Director with or without 4Culture Board approval.The King County Council does confirm King County Department heads, but does not have the authority to remove them. Under this ordinance, the Executive Director would serve at the discretion of the King County Council and not the 4Culture Board.
  • Give the King County Council the ability to appoint the majority of the 4Culture board—nine of fifteen members—by council district, eliminating the 4Culture Nominating Committee’s recruitment process. It reduces the nominations of the King County Executive to six members.

There are 14 public agencies similar to 4Culture located in King and Pierce Counties. If this ordinance is passed, 4Culture will be the only one with a governing authority—in this case, the King County Council—that has direct political veto power over the Executive Director, can remove professional staff, can veto program or capital budgets, and can appoint Board Directors by elective district.

For More Information:
Proposed Ordinance #2018-0086
See the full text of the ordinance, as introduced by the King County Council on January 24, 2018.

Proposed Changes to 4Culture Charter
See the full text of 4Culture’s charter, with the Council’s proposed additions marked in blue, and proposed deletions marked in red.

Proposed Changes to 4Culture Bylaws
See the full text of 4Culture’s bylaws, with the Council’s proposed additions marked in blue, and proposed deletions marked in red.


Presentation proposals being accepted by Heritage Caucus
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The 2017 legislative session begins on January 9, 2017, with the first meeting of the Washington State’s Heritage Caucus on Wednesday, January 11, 2017.  Proposals are now being accepted for presentations during the regular meetings of the Heritage Caucus, on Wednesdays at 7 AM, Cherberg Building, Room A-B-C, on the Capitol Campus in Olympia. 

As a reminder, presentations need to be 10 minutes or less, and must fit into one of the following prioritized categories:

  • Immediate policy issues; pending legislation; current initiatives 
  • Relevant or upcoming policy issues; proposed future legislation or initiatives 
  • Overviews of state funded and heritage organization activities (current exhibits, programs, etc.) 

Please keep in mind that the budget will continue to be the focus of the Legislature this session, and a portion of Caucus time will be devoted to discussions related to the budget and implementation policies. Caucus chairs are Senator Jim Honeyford and Representative Steve Tharinger. 

Provide the following information in your proposal, and send via email: 

  • presentation title
  • names, titles, and organizational affiliation of presenters
  • a detailed outline of your presentation, including its priority category from the list above
  • technological needs (DVD, computer, internet access, projector, and screen are available)
  • a list of all state legislators in your district, (

Presenters will be notified as soon as possible about scheduling. 

If you would like to have a bill(s) tracked please email Glenda Carino:

Glenda Carino, Communications Manager
Washington State Arts Commission

For those of you new to Caucus, we meet in the John A. Cherberg building in Conference rooms A-B-C, (see map 304 15th Avenue Southwest, Olympia, WA 98501. Metered parking begins at 8am in the area surrounding the building. You can also find information about campus parking here,

Contact Mark Vessey at the Washington State Historical Society if you wish to be added to the e-mail list for Heritage Caucus.


AKCHO seeks new board members
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Categories: News

The AKCHO Board has open positions to fill. The Board meets monthly on the first Monday of the month from 9:30 – 11 AM on the Bellevue College campus. The main focus areas of the Board are professional development, centralized resources, and advocacy. The Board also produces two annual events: the Annual Membership Meeting and the AKCHO Awards evening. We welcome potential candidates with a variety of skill sets from all around King County. A particular need is for individuals who have experience in accounting and performing audits. For more information, please contact Alice Stenstrom,


Exhibit Award – Service Ink: Veterans’ Tattoos and Their Stories
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Curator Hilary Pittenger accepts the Exhibit Award on behalf of the White River Valley Museum

Curator Hilary Pittenger accepts the Exhibit Award on behalf of the White River Valley Museum

The White River Valley Museum was awarded with AKCHO’s 2016 Exhibit Award for its extraordinary exhibit that focused on service-related tattoos. “Service Ink” honored area veterans by providing a setting for appreciation and discussion, and a format to celebrate the vigor and storytelling inherent in the art of tattooing.

 The Museum put out a call for submissions of tattoos and their stories from active or veteran members of the military, their friends and families. This resulted in 40 entries, which were developed into striking portraits of 40 individuals and their tattoos with short essays about the meaning of the tattoos. These panels created a beautiful and thought-provoking display. 

Some of the tattoos honored a loved one killed in service. Some were a diary of lives spent in service. Some documented issues of violence in the service or sexual harassment. All told powerful stories, especially considering the life-long commitment that wearing a tattoo implies. All of the people participating in the exhibit lived in Washington state, and many of them were from South King County. 

According to Patricia Cosgrove, the Executive Director of the White River Valley Museum, “The whole idea was to give people a voice about their military experience, and give the rest of us a look into their lives, which are so different – and to use the art of tattoo as a device for that storytelling.”  

A well-attended Open House was held to view the exhibit before the 50th Anniversary of the Auburn Veterans Day Parade on November 7, 2015. White River Valley Museum produces several temporary exhibits each year – all are unique, some look outside the history box, and all speak to different members of the Museum’s diverse South King County population.  

This exhibit was organized with the assistance of the Green River Community College Office of Veterans Affairs, the Auburn VFW Post 1471, the American Legion, and the City of Auburn’s Veterans and Human Services Division.



Heritage Advisor is published by the Association of King County Historical Organizations as a service to members and those who support its mission. We update our website continually throughout the month, and on the first of every month we e-mail a condensed version of Heritage Advisor to our mailing list – you can subscribe to this service by filling out the requested information in the right sidebar on this page.

AKCHO was established in 1977 to encourage cooperation among historical organizations; promote and encourage the study and preservation of the history and heritage of King County through member organizations, individual members, and the community they serve; and support such preservation efforts through public awareness and understanding of legislative issues.

The Heritage Advisor welcomes submissions of news items, calendar items, and opinion columns from AKCHO members, HA subscribers, and readers. Articles are limited to 300 words and they should have a strong relevance to historic preservation and heritage issues in King County, Washington. Submission of an article does not guarantee publication. AKCHO does not pay for published submissions. All articles are subject to review by AKCHO staff. Please send your article within the body of an email (no attachments, please) to

AKCHO welcomes new members year round. Individual memberships are $25, and we have a three-tiered system for organizational memberships, with dues dependent on budget size. For more information and an application form, visit

More than 150 individuals and organizations support heritage work and historic preservation in King County, thanks to their membership in AKCHO. Please join us!




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AKCHO was established to encourage cooperation among historical organizations and to promote and encourage the study and preservation of the history and heritage of King County through member organizations, individual members, and the community they serve, and to support such preservation efforts through public awareness and understanding of legislative issues.

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Association of King County
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