Memorandum of Understanding (Sample)

Ms. Jane Chu
National Endowment for the Arts
400 7th Street SW
Washington, D.C. 20506

Dear Ms. Chu,

As an organization committed to creating a sustainable Pacific Northwest, Forterra is pleased to partner with the Seattle Art Museum to carry out the work outlined in their National Endowment for the Arts’ Creativity Connects proposal. Forterra has long supported SAM’s mission of bringing world-class visual arts to our region, and we have been looking for ways of creating a more emotional and resonant connection to our own work through the arts. This collaboration with SAM will help us go even further with that effort.

SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park is both a fantastic outdoor arts space and a welcoming community gathering space, a place where all of Western Washington’s landscapes—the built urban environment, the waters of Puget Sound and the distant peaks of the Olympic Peninsula—converge in a singular third place. It is also one of the few green spaces in Seattle’s downtown core, its last undeveloped waterfront property, and the ideal spot for SAM and Forterra to provide smart and inspiring programming that promotes regional sustainability through the lens of art and design.

Forterra already presents a series of public events, including our seasonal Seed & Feed series and fall Ampersand Live show. Ampersand Live draws on an array of voices—wildlife photographers, scientists, foragers, poets—to tell stories that connect us to the natural and built worlds. Seed & Feed programs feature acclaimed thinkers who spotlight different perspectives and issues related to regional sustainability, emphasizing the connection between people and place.

Through a year-long partnership beginning in January 2017, Forterra will bring these incisive and engaging gatherings to public programming at the Olympic Sculpture Park and SAM downtown. We envision a wide array of possible activities, including talks, readings, music performances, exhibitions, short film festivals, hands-on art activities, and local food offerings from sustainable farms. Topics might include artistic representations of cities and the outdoors, the geographic and cultural relationship between Seattle and the Sound, the importance of green spaces for the arts, equity and inclusivity in green spaces, nature as a force in art and design, the natural and cultural history of the Olympic Sculpture Park location, the role of environmental considerations in landscape design, and others.

We are very excited to support SAM by bringing our voice to their programming, and we are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with them on presentations and performances. Forterra appreciates the power of the arts to communicate issues, amplify the most pressing needs of human communities and wild landscapes, and touch people’s lives deeply. This partnership will help both Forterra and SAM reach new audiences and catalyze regional efforts to keep this place strong, beautiful and resilient for generations to come.

Thank you for your consideration of this letter and the Seattle Art Museum’s proposal. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at [phone and email withheld]


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