An accomplished musician, civic leader, and former attorney, Mari Horita’s passion for both the arts and serving the community has been a driving force for the Northwest art scene. In 2012, Horita came on board as president and CEO of ArtsFund, which raises funds to support the arts in King and Pierce County.
“I believe strongly in the mission of ArtsFund, which is to strengthen arts in the region by raising and responsibly allocating funds to promote artistic and organizational excellence and by advocating for all the arts,” Horita said.
ArtsFund launched the fundraising website Power2give/PugetSound (power2give.org/pugetsound/projects) in October with 36 participating arts and cultural organizations. In just one month, 13 projects reached their funding goals and 415 individuals made donations for a total of $52,135. All donations made were matched 100 percent due to efforts by the Raynier Institute & Foundation, Amazon, and anonymous donors.
“Power2give/PugetSound is an ongoing initiative of ArtsFund, and makes giving to the arts even more accessible,” Horita said. “One of the unique features of Power2give is its storytelling capacity, allowing arts groups to share personal and project-specific narratives with the community.”
Power2give/PugetSound enables invited arts organizations to post and promote projects in need of funding up to $7,500, and invites donors to contribute tax-deductible donations to those projects most intriguing to them. Projects are listed on the site for a maximum of 90 days, or until they meet their financial goals. ArtsFund further incentivizes individual donors to contribute by providing matching funds.
“Gifts made to arts projects on power2give/PugetSound have direct and immediate impact in our community,” Horita said. “ArtsFund distributes the funds within 15 days of a project’s completion, reinforcing the immediacy of the connection between donors and projects, and quickly bringing these new funds into the region’s arts and cultural sector.”
Horita has an extensive background in civic and community involvement and has served on a number of nonprofit boards, including the Japanese American Chamber of Commerce, Japan America Society, the Asian Bar Association of Washington, Washington Appleseed, and Youthcare. Horita currently serves on the boards of the United Way of King County and Densho, an organization whose mission is to promote civil liberties and preserve the testimonies of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II. As part of the Densho Project, a number of interviews have been conducted with survivors of the internment over the past 15 years. Horita’s mother, Lillian Hayashi, was one of many interned at Tule Lake and Minidoka.
Horita has also served on the board of Northwest Chamber Orchestra and Seattle Theater Group’s Centerstage Council. Her interest in the arts began at an early age when she learned to play the violin at age six. She has played in orchestras such as the Seattle Youth Symphony, Orchestra Seattle, and the Denver Philharmonic. For the past 15 years, she has played in the string quartet Vina Musica.
“The arts have always been a huge part of my life,” she said.
For more information about Arts Fund, visit www.artsfund.org.