About Us

Collage of AAF event photos
Founded in 1967, Allied Arts Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Seattle. Today, the organization continues its legacy of leadership in the arts by providing yearly artist grants, high school artist awards, a poetry award, music scholarships and fiscal sponsorship for artists and arts organizations. We also support arts advocacy and historic preservation.



Allied Arts Foundation
3518 Fremont Ave N #521
Seattle, WA 98104-8814

Mission Vision & Values

Our Vision

Allied Arts Foundation supports all forms of healthy artistic endeavors and strives to foster a welcoming and inclusive artistic community.

Our Mission

Our mission is to support artists, art projects, and arts-related organizations by providing 501(c)(3) non-profit fiscal sponsorship, artist awards, and arts advocacy, and other support as determined by the Board of Directors.

Our Values

  • Encouragement — providing members of our artistic community with support and recognition for their talents
  • Integrity — operating with high ethical standards, including honesty and transparency, as well as consistency and accountability with our word, actions, and intentions
  • Creativity — celebrating artistic endeavors of all kinds
  • Inclusivity — embracing and promoting diversity across all levels of our organization and the opportunities we provide
  • Excellence — striving for, recognizing, and rewarding outstanding achievement Advocacy — promoting and fighting for causes we believe in


Stirring Up Seattle Book Jacket

Founded in 1967, AAF began as the funding arm of Allied Arts of Seattle, a venerable citizen advocacy organization which had, since the mid-’50s, worked to enliven the cultural vitality of the city through urban design planning, historic preservation, and arts funding.

Robert Jackson Block dedicated a substantial amount of personal investment income toward the creation of an Allied Arts Foundation investment fund to prevent Seattle from being relegated to what English conductor Sir Thomas Beecham referred to as a “Cultural Dustbin.”

With Jerry Thonn, an attorney who had worked tirelessly with Friends of the Market to preserve Pike Place Market as Seattle’s first designated historic district, and with Peggy Golberg, Mr. Block formed the nucleus of a group determined to put money where Allied Arts’ voice was.

In supporting advocacy and education programs through their annual gala auctions, Allied Arts Foundation took root providing the necessary heft that allowed the influential advocacy group to help pass important historical initiatives. These included creating the city’s and state’s first arts commissions, mandating better arts funding through the one percent of county revenues for the arts and King County’s hotel/motel tax, placing restrictions on billboards, and helping to preserve Seattle’s historic buildings and create both the Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square historic districts to protect the city’s unique flavor and character, as well as its colorful past.

Allied Arts was on the forefront of a sustained and comprehensive effort to push Seattle out of its comfortable sleep as a cultural backwater toward its rich future as a vital urban magnet.

AAF Book

Stirring Up Seattle Book Jacket

The complete story of Allied Arts is told in Stirring Up Seattle: Allied Arts in the Civic Landscape by R. M. Campbell. It’s a compelling read about the dynamic visionaries who helped shape the Seattle arts scene we know today.

Order online through University of Washington Press.

Oral History Project

Creating Stirring Up Seattle involved recording the oral histories of our founders. These videos have been preserved at MOHAI, HistoryLink.Org and on our AAF Youtube Channel.

We invite you to enjoy the rich histories and delightful anecdotes from these luminaries, many of whom are no longer with us.

501(c)(3) Information

Founded in 1967, Allied Arts Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Seattle.

IRS EIN: 91-0829974

IRS 501(c)(3) Determination Letter (Designation March 1, 1968)

SAM Unique Entity Identifier (UEI): R3WAK8N7UQX3

Board of Directors

  • Llewelyn G. Pritchard , President
    Attorney, Helsell Fetterman, Emeritus
  • Lydia Aldredge , Vice President & Interim Secretary/Treasurer
    Independent Artist: Archetype
  • David Cruse Beal
    Vice President, Starbucks – Global Loyalty & Digital Development
  • Kenan Block
    Kenan Block Media & Communications
  • John Bowen, Jr.
    Independent Artist
  • Gene Brandzel
    Attorney, Gene Brandzel PLLC, Retired
  • Mary B. Coney
    Literature Professor, Univ. of WA, Retired
  • Glenda Downs
    Owner, Sky River Meadery
  • Leonard Garfield
    Executive Director, Museum of History and Industry
  • Effie Gleason
    Manager, Canvas Event Space
  • Abby Hagan
    Documentary Filmmaker, Moxie Media
  • Gerald Hansmire
    Founder, Makers Architecture and Urban Design, Retired
  • Jane Hastings
    Technical Architect, Retired
  • Sally Hayman
    Art Critic, Retired
  • Virginia Hungate-Hawk
    Artist, Instructor, Stadium High in Tacoma & Pratt Fine Arts Center
  • Karen Kane
    President, Madison Park Community Council
  • Brooks Kolb
    Landscape Architect, Brooks Kolb LLC
  • Lara Lavi
    Owner, Dreaming in Color Entertainment
  • Cheryl Lee
    Associate, Helsell Fetterman
  • Matt Marshall
    Director of Development, Northwest African American Museum
  • Carey Page
    Graphic Designer, Carey Page Designs
  • Margaret Pageler
    Seattle City Council, Retired
  • Bill Pritchard
    Amazon – Legal World Wide Operations
  • Olga Sagan
    Owner, Piroshky Piroshky
  • Cherie Seymore
    Leasing Agent, Phillips Real Estate Services
  • Michele Soderstrom
    Art Instructor, Port Townsend High School
  • Peter Steinbrueck
    Architect, Steinbrueck Urban Strategies
  • Tree Swenson
    Co-founder, Copper Canyon Press
  • Judy Talley
    Engineer/Owner, The Talley Group
  • Boyka Thayer
    Interior Designer/Owner, Tattersall Design
  • Jerry Thonn
    Attorney, Helsell Fetterman, Retired
  • Jessica Thonn
    Instructor, Centro Linguistico di Ateneo
  • Janet True
    Member, Swedish Foundation Board
  • Kate Wade
    Independent Artist
  • Lish Whitson
    Attorney, Lish Whitson PLLC
  • Virginia Wyman
    Trustee, Wyman Youth Trust