Sound Transit
Application deadline: 9/18/2019, 5 PM

STart, the Sound Transit Art Program, is considering producing a recorded music and audio program to build connections between cultures and generations in South King County. In order to make an informed decision, STart is seeking a consultant to conduct a feasibility study that makes recommendations about options for recording in studios and on-location, digital distribution methodologies, and program structure, along with identifying related costs associated with a music and audio program aimed at people who ride Sound Transit trains. The Feasibility Study Consultant could be an individual or a team, artist, arts administrator, program manager, other creative, or an organization. Budget: $25,000

The Consultant will be under contract with Sound Transit. Milestones for the Feasibility Study will be defined between the Consultant and STart after the selection process, with contract payments made after deliverables are submitted, up to a $25,000 not-to-exceed amount. Applicants will submit their information to

Background: The Federal Way Link Extension (FWLE) will bring light rail from Angle Lake Station in the city of SeaTac south through Des Moines and Kent to Federal Way. The 7.8-mile extension includes three stations: in Kent/Des Moines near Highline College, South 272nd Street near Star Lake, and at the Federal Way Transit Center near Federal Way’s Performing Arts Center. Construction on the three stations and rail track begins in the fall of 2019, with the FWLE opening for service in 2024.

What is now South King County was the home of the Coast Salish indigenous people for thousands of years before immigrants from across the U.S. arrived in the 1800s. Logging and then agriculture were the dominant economic activities until the mid-to-late 1900s. Today South King County is a diverse mixing ground of people who have moved here from around the world. Newly arrived modern immigrants have settled in the area, with over 130 languages spoken in the schools. African American and Latinx populations from Seattle have moved here in recent years as real estate prices in the City of Seattle have soared. Over the last 20 years, the population growth in South King County has been almost entirely persons of color.

Culture is an important way for immigrant communities to connect to their home countries and to make a link between their home country and their new lives in the U.S., noted FWLE Artist-in-Residence Sarah Kavage in a Cultural Asset Map of South King County that she prepared for STart. In addition, the future light rail corridor was once the home to a network of roadhouses and dancehalls made lively by music performances and community gatherings. Jimi Hendrix’s first onstage performance famously happened at one of these roadhouses, the Spanish Castle in Des Moines.

STart would like this Music & Audio Feasibility Study to connect the cultural richness of the people living in South King County today, with this roadhouse culture of the past. The music and audio program STart envisions will record musicians and cultural creatives from many backgrounds who are living and working in South King County. The recordings will be digitally available to connect Sound Transit riders and residences with the musical landscape and history of South King County. The digital platform should be easily accessible through mobile devices and computers. The Consultant will create a report that analyzes the feasibility of producing a recorded music and audio program, and that includes recommendations for a program that supports/showcases the work of musicians and cultural creatives in South King County. This work should evaluate the inclusion of professional musicians and technicians, cultural representatives and consider a youth capacity building component, as well as a storytelling component. The result of this Feasibility Study will be an analysis that includes:

  • Recommended options for studio and on–location recording, along with standards for quality control, production, equipment, and editing.
  • Recommended options for distribution and digital delivery, with a focus on transit riders.
  • Recommended program structure for staff needs, musician outreach and engagement, partnerships with community organizations, and some inclusion of youth.
  • In coordination with STart and the FWLE Artist-in-Residence, recommendations for the overarching creative/conceptual direction.
  • A draft budget for recording, production, editing, stipends and staff, along with recommendations for the amount of initial content needed for launching the program.
  • A draft 12-month schedule based on options identified in the Feasibility Study, which charts the level of effort required for ongoing content development.
  • Recommendations for program roll out with assessment criteria and basis for decision making.
  • An assessment of potential participant/musician outreach and recruitment, including recommendations for process and locations for events or recording.

The Music and Audio Program Feasibility Study will be a guidance document for STart’s decision-making regarding the implementation of the future program. STart may follow all, some or none of the recommendations made in the Feasibility Study.


  • Wednesday, September 18th, 5PM – electronic applications due
  • September, 2019 – interviews
  • October, 2019 – finalist notified
  • December 2019 – July 2020: Feasibility Study

If you have any questions before submitting, contact Sarah Kavage, or 206-818-4712.