SoCo Meeting Notes – 3-6-2023

Our meeting was hosted by Key to Change Studio (thanks to Dr. Quinton Morris and Shelby Denckla!) and Christina DePaolo, communications director at 4Culture, served as the moderator.
Dr. Morris shared his personal history as a young Black violinist growing up in the Renton School District and how it took him three hours to get to his private lessons in Bothell. After earning a degree at the University of Texas-Austin, he came back to the Pacific Northwest and decided that he wanted to provide conservatory-level string instruction to South King County’s young violin and viola students. Lessons are provided twice-weekly, both individual and group sessions, at below the market rate thanks to significant support from private donors and foundations, and students have been given the opportunity to perform with Seattle Symphony, Northwest Symphony Orchestra, and other groups. Dr. Morris works with young middle school and high school students throughout most of South King County but has not yet made inroads with the Federal Way School District.
Our panel discussion focused on Maximizing Positive Exposure in South King County Media.
Scott Schaefer, founder/publisher of
is eager to work with you. You can reach Scott at
• South King Media is open and ready to help your organization market your events/etc. in their service areas: Burien, Des Moines, Kent, Normandy Park, SeaTac, Tukwila and White Center.
• Pitch any story ideas you might have!
• Please feel free to share Scott’s contact info with anyone who works in arts/culture and could use some help!
• Raymond Street (current Normandy Park Arts Commission chair and former SoCoCulture treasurer) writes a monthly column for South King Media focusing on the Burien/Normandy Park arts scene.
• SoCoCulture is going to see if there is some way Barbara can collaborate with Scott so that the events she puts on the SoCo calendar can feed over to South King Media’s local blogs (that way our members could reduce the number of outlets they would have to promote to).
Olivia Sullivan is assistant editor at Sound Publishing, which in South King County publishes the Auburn Reporter, Covington Reporter, Enumclaw Courier-Herald, Federal Way News, Kent Reporter, and Renton Reporter. Newsrooms for each of those papers average 1-2 reporters, so they are challenged to cover as much of the community as they would like. To help you communicate with those newsrooms effectively, Olivia has provided tips about how to write an effective press release format that you can use. See below:
In the Q&A session after the panel presentation there was discussion around the idea of publishing a South King County-wide, culture-themed insert or page on a regular basis in the Sound Publishing papers in South King County. This would provide cultural groups with an opportunity to buy advertising that would reach a culturally-curious readership throughout South King County, and also could be a space for spotlighting unique feature stories on local cultural highlights (opening of a new exhibit, West Coast premiere of a new play, guest musician coming to play with a resident orchestra, etc.) Stay tuned for more developments – SoCoCulture will be working on this!
Seattle Southside is an RTA (Regional Tourism Authority) and the official destination marketing organization for the cities of Des Moines, SeaTac and Tukwila to get “heads in beds” at the hotels/motels in those cities. But beyond that, Seattle Southside’s Christy Maggio, marketing coordinator, and Meagan McGuire, vice president of marketing and sales, noted that it’s advantageous for them to promote the unique local attractions throughout  the surrounding areas as well. They do that via various travel planning apps on their website and with Seattle Southside Scenes videos that tout local destinations. While they already know about members like the Pacific Bonsai Museum, the Highline Botanical Garden and the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, they are interested in learning about more cultural destinations and programming throughout South King County. Also, SoCoCulture meets with Seattle Southside on a quarterly basis, so by making sure your info gets to SoCo, it’s a pretty good bet your special programs will reach Seattle Southside as well.
Austin Sargent from TeenTix talked about how that organization, which has begun engaging more in South King County, has launched a Press Corps program that invites teen writers to explore and practice arts criticism and journalism. Could some of our South King County teens be involved in this program? And could some of our South King County media employ this resource?
Christina DePaolo, 4Culture communications director, said that 4Culture likes to help publicize programs it has funded via its social media. Contact Lauren Semet, Digital Engagement Manager at 4Culture, with updates and photos on your programs. or 206-263-1406
Dr. Morris (Key to Change) noted that in his association with KING-FM Radio (he founded and hosts the monthly Unmute the Voices program), he has learned that 40% of KING’s listenership is in South King County, and KING has a free online events calendar – you can contact Blaine Shepard at for more information about this.
Barbara McMichael at SoCoCulture said optimum advance notice for her is 4-6 weeks, and her preferred way of receiving information is via basic e-mail. (It can be very time-consuming to try to retrieve information from pre-formatted posters and Facebook posts.) She seeks news not only about your events but also about exhibits, classes, volunteer opportunities, grant opportunities, job openings within your company, artist calls and auditions. She sends out the SoCo E-News on the first of every month and a SoCo Opps (artist calls, auditions, jobs) e-bulletin on the second and fourth Mondays of every month. She also tries to get out at least one Facebook post a day. SoCo also has a presence on Instagram. SoCo is always in need of great digital photographs of people within your organizations in rehearsal, performance, or some kind of action. Medium close-ups are usually the best. She can use these for the SoCo E-News, the SoCo home page, and Facebook and Instagram posts. We are living in a visually-oriented society and the appetite for visuals is immense! E-mail her any time at
Jackie Mixon from 4Culture encouraged members to apply for the project funding opportunities that are currently open.
SoCo members in attendance included representatives from the following organizations: 4Culture, Auburn School District, Auburn Symphony Orchestra, Enumclaw Arts Commission, Federal Way Arts Commission, Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center, Federal Way Performing Arts Foundation, Greater Kent Historical Society, Kent Arts Commission, Kent International Festival, Key to Change Studio, Look, Listen & Learn TV, Maple Valley Public Arts Commission, Museum of Flight, Pacific Northwest Railroad Archive, Rainier Youth Choirs, Renton Arts Commission, Renton Civic Theatre, Renton History Museum, Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, Seattle Southside, SoCoCulture leadership team, Soos Creek Botanical Garden
Other guests included Keith Livingston/freelance writer on cultural topics for the Federal Way Mirror, and Lorin Green/Seattle Arts Fellow.