King County Councilmember Julia Patterson (5th District) was presented with the 2009 Local Hero Arts Award by the Washington State Arts Alliance (WSAA). Patterson, chosen from a slate of nominees from around the state, was honored for her strong support of cultural groups not only in her own district, but throughout South King County.
In 2004, Patterson hosted a community luncheon attended by scores of individuals involved in arts and heritage efforts, to discuss the cultural vitality of South King County. Out of that session, the South King County Cultural Coalition (better known as SoCoCulture) was formed.
Linda Petersen, chair of SoCoCulture, was among those who nominated Patterson for this year’s WSAA award.
“Julia Patterson’s vision has materialized into an active organization of almost 70 arts and heritage groups that share resources, ideas and marketing through a terrific website and bi-monthly meetings,” Petersen said. She also noted that in 2007, when the organization had grown too large to be run solely by volunteers, Patterson provided SoCoCulture with funding for a part-time administrator.
Today the web site, www.sococulture.org ,includes an online calendar featuring all members’ events, a page that posts auditions and calls for artists, and other pages listing current local exhibits, arts classes, and other cultural opportunities. The arts commissions of Des Moines, Tukwila, Renton, Kent and many other South King County cities are members, as are local historical societies, theater groups, orchestras, dance companies, and more.
“Julia’s continued support and enthusiasm have been visionary. We commend her leadership and passion for arts and heritage,” Petersen said.
Patterson represents King County’s 5th District, which includes:
- Des Moines
- Federal Way
The WSAA presented the Local Hero Award to Patterson at a ceremony in Olympia on Sept. 22nd.