Sponsor Feature: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center

Deborah Sepulveda

For the past several years, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center has supported Arts Corps as a sponsor for our annual Festa event. The Discovery Center is a free public space that takes visitors of all ages on an interactive journey, bringing the connections we share with others across the globe to life. 
 
With a vision to educate, inspire, and motivate people to take action through storytelling, the Discovery Center is a key partner in Arts Corps’ work to revolutionize arts education by igniting the creative power of young people. In the words of Deborah Sepulveda, the Discovery Center’s Manager of Youth & Public Programs and long-time Arts Corps partner: “We believe our programs amplify powerful stories of our local community in order to foster inclusion and belonging, convene and connect people, share unheard stories, and highlight opportunities to act.”
 
Despite having to close its physical doors last spring, the Discovery Center has continued to provide powerful programming. Last March they kicked off a series of free, virtual lunchtime events called In Community We Flourish that highlight community organizations creating change every day. The upcoming series will be in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald and Civic Commons.
 
The Discovery Center shares Arts Corps’ commitment to youth leadership and prioritizing youth voice. Every year, the center hosts the annual Teen Action Fair, which provides youth with a platform to tell their stories of making a difference. As Deborah sees it, “Youth want to be involved, taken seriously and deserve to be heard. Young people have led the charge on some of the biggest shifts in social change and justice throughout history and we continue to learn from their ideas to change the world… take the time to listen to their questions, ideas and feedback and we will definitely have a better world.”
 
Arts Corps is grateful to have partners like Deborah and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center working with us to cultivate youth creativity and leadership. Their sponsorship helps bring us one step closer to our vision of a world where barriers to arts education no longer exist and all young people can creatively lead the transformation of schools, neighborhoods, and beyond.

— CHRISTA MAZZONE PALMBERG, Development Manager