Seattle’s Best and Getting Even Better

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A group called ArtPlace recently announced it has designated Seattle’s Pike-Pine corridor as one of twelve top places for art in the U.S. for 2013. And, the year has barely begun.

America’s Top Twelve ArtPlaces is the group’s new annual recognition of neighborhoods in the largest 44 metropolitan areas where the arts are central to creating places where people want to be.

ArtPlace strikes me as an interesting group. It’s comprised of national and regional foundations, such as the Ford Foundation; federal agencies, such as the National Endowment for the Arts; and the nation¹s largest financial institutions, including Bank of America. Their purpose is to accelerate creative placemaking across the country through investments in art and culture that can transform communities for the better.

Although being judged one of their top twelve does not portend ArtPlace funding for any projects in the Pike-Pine corridor, Capitol Hill’s 12th Avenue Arts project was recently named one of 104 finalists from among 1,225 applicants to ArtPlace’s 2012-2013 grant cycle. ArtPlace has provided over $26 million in funding to 76 organizations in 46 communities across the U.S.

Some of you may recall the 2009 recommendations of the Cultural Overlay District Advisory Committee (CODAC) assembled by myself and Councilmember Clark. I sponsored Council Resolution 31155, accepting all six of CODAC’s recommendations.

Last year, I delivered on one of their top two recommendations. I sponsored legislation establishing a new City staff position dedicated to working on behalf of Seattle arts and culture as a liaison to institutions, organizations, foundations, government agencies, individuals, and City departments.

This year, I intend to tackle the committee’s other top priority recommendation: establishing Seattle’s first arts and culture district. I suspect this ArtPlace designation will help my argument.

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