News / Blog

Artist Trust Talks to Vulcan Inc. About Arts, Culture, and Community

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Kenji Stoll, White Ashes 3, 2017 (in progress). SODO Track, Seattle. Photo by @wiseknave. Courtesy of 4Culture.org

This year, we are grateful for Vulcan Inc. and their generous support of our work with individual artists of all disciplines living in Washington State. As a corporate partner, funding from Vulcan helps sponsor many of the year-round professional development services that we offer including Art Business Night School, Seattle-based skill building workshops, and statewide live-broadcast webinar programming. To find out more about how your organization can make an impact on the livelihood of individual artists and communities throughout Washington State, view our Corporate Partnership Program one-sheet.

As the cultural landscape of Washington undergoes many transitions varying from city to city and region to region, we want to learn about how different sectors are coming together to preserve artistic and cultural heritage. Recently, Artist Trust spoke with Matthew Mauer, Government and Community Relations Associate at Vulcan, about the correlation between arts, culture, and what Vulcan is currently doing to sustain creativity and a sense of community in Seattle and beyond.

How does Vulcan strengthen and enrich community life here in Washington State?

Vulcan is a local company committed to supporting our local community.  Empowered by Paul Allen’s vision for a better world, it is our hope to make an enduring positive impact in the Northwest and beyond. We support local nonprofits and organizations to help invigorate and strengthen our community.

Much of Vulcan’s philanthropic efforts are directed toward finding solutions to global challenges including climate change, environmental conservation, public health, and the discovery of alternative, sustainable energy sources. How does supporting arts and culture fit in?

Vulcan has the unique ability to work locally as well as globally. Paul has always been a supporter of the arts, specifically local arts, and it continues to be an important part of Vulcan’s mission.

What attracted Vulcan to support Washington’s artists through Artist Trust?

Artist Trust is well aligned with Vulcan’s belief that art should be pursued and shared widely and that we all benefit from investing in artists and the arts. The organization has a direct impact on so many artists, and we appreciate that we share a commitment to diversity and advocacy.

Outside of Artist Trust, what arts and culture organizations and projects does Vulcan currently support?

At Vulcan, we want to make art and culture accessible to wide audiences and an enduring feature in Seattle’s landscape. In addition to Artist Trust, Vulcan regularly sponsors organizations like Shunpike, Frye Art Museum, and ArtsWA. To date, Vulcan Real Estate has commissioned 22 significant public artworks, largely by local artists, for their development projects in Seattle creating a connection between tenants, residents, and visitors and the built environment through art.

We also have a division within Vulcan, Vulcan Arts + Entertainment, that manages our many cultural endeavors in the city. Vulcan’s arts and entertainment portfolio consists of live music and art events, cultural spaces, and represents museums. All designed to educate, entertain, and inspire.

How can Washington’s artists build collaborative partnerships with Vulcan that will make a positive impact on their communities?

We work closely with local artists in projects that span our interests; from Vulcan Real Estate commissioning regional artists to create public art pieces at their properties and our support of the SODO Track murals to showcasing local galleries, artists, and cultural institutions at the Seattle Art Fair and local musicians at Upstream Music Fest + Summit.

The Seattle Art Fair has made incredible strides in securing Seattle’s position as a major hub for arts and culture in the Pacific Northwest, West Coast, and beyond. What’s next for Vulcan? Any upcoming arts and culture-related projects in the works?

Our arts and entertainment portfolio is a snapshot of Seattle’s thriving arts and culture scene. The Seattle Art Fair and Upstream Music Fest + Summit strive to create big moments annually that showcase regional artists and musicians alongside global names, and our three museums; Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), Living Computers Museum + Labs, and the Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum, and the iconic Cinerama theater give the community spaces to explore our cultural heritage.

Most importantly, there’s an education focus in everything we do in the arts; from the art fair’s projects and talks to the Upstream Summit for emerging musicians to the wide range of learning opportunities at the museums. We want to make art, music and culture accessible to wide audiences and an enduring feature in Seattle’s landscape.


Learn more about Vulcan’s organizations and initiatives on their website.