The Stroum Jewish Community Center (SJCC) is honored to be one of over 100 creative businesses and organizations to receive a grant from the King County Arts & Culture Fund. The SJCC was awarded $275,871 as part of the county’s Revive & Thrive initiative, granting $19.5 million to support the economic recovery of the creative sector.
The funding is part of a larger $34.4 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) COVID relief fund included in the emergency COVID supplemental budget approved by the King County Council in May 2021.
“The health and vibrancy of our creative economy and entertainment venues is essential; people come from across the state, country, and the world to enjoy the broad and acclaimed culture King County has to offer,” said Executive Dow Constantine when the county awarded the grants in December.
The arts and culture sector, including the SJCC, has been greatly impacted by the pandemic. Since March 2020, the J has pivoted to virtual and hybrid programming to continue to create programs, partnerships, and spaces that welcome everyone to learn, grow, and celebrate Jewish life and culture. This included moving the annual Seattle Jewish Film Festival and a vast selection of virtual author talks, culinary experiences, and lectures online.
“The SJCC has been agile in its approach to programming over the past two years, thinking outside the box—and the building—to ensure our community stays connected and engaged, even when they’re far apart,” said SJCC Board President Mindy Geisser. “This grant will help us continue to create inspiring, fun, and innovative arts and culture programs for the entire Seattle community.”
While nothing beats in-person connection, there have been a few silver linings of pandemic programming: the SJCC was able to host historians, authors, chefs, and film industry leaders from all over the world and collaborate with other JCCs and organizations across the globe. The in-home experiences also lent themselves to great family engagement, where mixed generations could share an experience in a new way.
Awardees were evaluated on several criteria and are all closely aligned to the arts, science, culture, heritage, independent music venue, or independent movie theater arenas, and their programs provide cultural benefits to King County residents. “As we reviewed the list of awardees who together shape the fabric of our region, we were incredibly proud to be named among such deeply rooted and influential organizations. It’s a true honor,” said Amy Lavin, SJCC CEO.