Nonprofit projects earn county grants

Staff Writer

King County has awarded three grants totaling $6,500 to fund new projects by Vashon organizations.

The grants — given to Voice of Vashon, Sustainable Vashon and Vashon Allied Arts — come as part of the county’s Community Service Area (CSA) program. Funding that once sustained various unincorporated area councils — including the Vashon-Maury Island Community Council — is now funneled to Community Engagement Grants available to any nonprofit with a vision for a project that would enhance its community. This year marked the third round of grants.

Voice of Vashon (VoV) was awarded $3,000 for the community media organization to further develop its Open Studio program. Susan McCabe, VoV’s station manager, said the grant will help VoV expand Open Studio — which teaches islanders to produce radio programs — to include television production as well.

The funds will help Voice of Vashon purchase items such as video cameras, computers and editing equipment, as well as provide stipends for instructors. The organization will need to raise additional funds, McCabe said, but hopes to see the program launched within a year.

“We’ll make it happen one way or the other,” she said.

A project to start a tool library on Vashon earned a $2,500 grant.

Islander Steve Graham, who garnered the grant through Sustainable Vashon, said he’s been working for months to develop a Vashon tool library modeled after the successful West Seattle Tool Library. Already about 50 people have offered to help with the effort or donate tools, which would be lent out to tool library members who pay a small annual fee, Graham said.

“It’s kind of a consumer co-op,” he said. “It’s all about people who want to do home projects and need the tools to do them.”

Graham plans to locate the tool library in the same place as a woodworking co-op, which another group of islanders is working to bring together. The two groups are still working to locate a space to rent, but the grant money, Graham said, will go toward setting up the new space and purchasing a computer and a computer program to catalog and lend out the tools.

King County also awarded a $1,000 grant to Vashon Allied Arts for an educational concert.

In all, the county awarded 67 grants totaling $63,000 in unincorporated King County. The only grant request from Vashon that was not accepted was one from the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust to fund planning around the potential purchase of Misty Isle Farm for community farmland.

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