From the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods:
You might not know how to search through the roots and branches of your family tree, but the exploration will get easier through the Genealogy Research Center at the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM). And when residents on a Southeast Seattle street held a block party last summer to help reduce crime, the fun part was putting names to faces.
The projects are just two examples of how communities throughout Seattle benefit from Neighborhood Matching Fund, a partnership of community groups and Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. The program provides awards up to $100,000 for neighborhood-based projects, helping to fund everything from park improvements to cultural centers. New online application forms, streamlined guidelines and increased awards are among changes for 2010 funding applications.
With its matching grant of $14,849, NAAM is expanding the resources of its Genealogy Research Center. The grant will pay for upgraded genealogy software, marketing, education programs for middle school students and training of multicultural volunteers to help visitors – any race, any ethnicity — learn about their ancestry.
Without the grant, the center would have “languished,” said Deborah Boylston, the museum’s programming and education assistant. “It would have been a difficult process for a layperson to come in and do research.”
A grant of $250 last summer helped neighbors on Letitia Avenue South participate in Night Out, a national crime prevention event. The dollar amount might seem small, but it enabled the block party to expand from “a small number of concerned citizens” to the larger neighborhood, said Karma Norman, one of the organizers.
The funding paid for printed invitations, signs, decorations, paper plates and other items. About 45 neighbors barbecued and played live music, told stories and put names to faces, and faces to homes. Learning who was who was “the best part,” Norman said. “I feel more secure and safe in my neighborhood, knowing who lives where.”
Neighborhood Matching Funds are awarded in four categories, with deadlines approaching for one of them. The letter of intent deadline for Large Projects Fund is Mon., Feb. 8, with a proposal deadline of Tues., April 13. For more information, go here.
Your RVP sponsored the first ever 46th and Holden Block Party in 2008. It was easy and inexpensive to plan and a blast to enjoy. Kids and neighbors came out of the woodwork to enjoy each other’s company on a warm summer evening. Photo/do communications, inc.
Find more about how to throw your own block party at your RVP’s Diary of a Block Party!