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Enrichment and Civic Engagement

Cultural events and programs at the library enrich our community with inspiration, entertainment, and social connections.

The need: Art and culture do not always represent or include everyone. For example, writers and entrepreneurs of color are not equitably represented in the book publishing industry. The cost and accomodations of cultural events can create barriers based on income, background, age, or disability.

The Foundation’s role: Free access to stories and programs helps enrich people’s lives and represent diverse perspectives. The library has the unique ability to elevate overlooked voices, expose people to new ideas, and bring together groups from across our society. The Foundation funds 22 library programs that give more people more opportunities to learn, engage with art, express their own stories, and understand the viewpoints of others. Programs include:

Artist in Residence
Highlighting arts, social justice, and civic engagement work from local creative talent with curated exhibits, programs, and performances.

Authors Series
Bringing dozens of major, local, and up-and-coming authors to give free public presentations at the library each year (pictured above left).

Bullitt Lecture in American History
Featuring historians, public intellectuals, and professors to highlight significant periods, events, or individuals in American history.

Legendary Children
Celebrating art, dance, music, and performances by queer and transgender artists of color (pictured below left).

Library Equal Access Program
Coordinating accessible programs, services, and assistive resources to ensure that the library accommodates everyone.

Literary Community Curators
Programming guest-curated by Seattle-area artists, to increase opportunities for community voices to be seen and heard.

Mobile Services
Ensuring that everyone has access to information, ideas, and stories with a fleet of bookmobiles to visit people who may not be able to get to the library easily.

Museum Pass
Providing free admission to participating Seattle museums.

Seattle Reads
Creating a citywide book group to connect the community by reading the same book, joining discussions, and attending programs.