A Public Meeting on Cultural Space

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TK Lofts

Join me and Mayor Mike McGinn this Thursday, May 3rd, for a 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. lunch hour brown-bag presentation on arts and cultural space development initiatives for Seattle. It will be held in the Bertha Knight Landes Room at City Hall. The Mayor and I will provide opening remarks.

Presented by the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs (OACA) and the Seattle Arts Commission (SAC), the presentation will include findings and recommendations from last December’s two-day event Cultural Space Seattle, which focused on shaping policies to keep and create affordable space for local artists and arts organizations. Updates will also be presented on the Artist Space Assistance Program, a pilot program coordinated by Shunpike to provide relocation and placement services for artists and arts organizations, and on Storefronts Seattle, a program for artists to create artwork for vacant storefronts.

Former artist haven 619 Western

Square Feet Seattle, a guide to acquiring cultural space, will also be presented. Square Feet Seattle is an update to a publication my office sponsored ten years ago titled Space for Artists 2002, which offered artists a wide variety of information on how to seek out space for artistic uses at that time.

In 2008, I sponsored along with Councilmember Sally Clark the work of an advisory group called the Cultural Overlay District Advisory Committee. In 2009, they delivered to the Mayor and City Council six recommendations acknowledged through Council resolution number 31155. I continue to work with my colleagues and the Mayor to implementing their recommendations.

Another of many former artists havens: The Washington Shoe Bldg

At Thursday’s brown-bag, OACA will also provide information on its new Cultural Facilities Program, which will award one-time funding for renovations and repairs of arts and cultural facilities. Applications open in mid May and are due June 20. The program was made possible through City Council funding I sponsored last year. Along with that legislation, I asked OACA to report to Council this summer on plans for making the program an annual one, rather than one-time. I think it’s time the City joins the County and the State in having a formal program that can respond to capital funding requests received each year from arts and cultural organizations.

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