Update on Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute

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In March of last year, I blogged about the start of the City’s process to determine how to best plan for the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute’s (LHPAI) long-term financial stability.


The last meeting of the volunteer committee charged with this challenging task – the LHPAI Action Committee – was  held July 24th. The committee was managed by Randy Engstrom, director of the City’s Office of Arts & Culture, and was comprised of community residents, arts and business leaders and City staff. Meetings were facilitated by University of Washington Associate Professor of Public Affairs Dr. Stephen B. Page.

Dr. Page will now submit the committee’s recommendations to the City’s arts office, which is tasked with designing a plan to implement the recommendations.

The arts office’s preliminary implementation plan will be presented to my committee and to the Mayor’s office this Fall for consideration. The arts office will then respond to whatever comments are provided and incorporate them into their final plan to be presented next summer.

The major points of the Action Committee’s recommendations are:

1. The building housing LHPAI should remain City-owned, with the City continuing to pay for major maintenance and grounds upkeep.

2. LHPAI’s programming mission will remain the same, with the potential to expand.

3. LHPAI’s operations, programming and staff should be transitioned away from City control to a yet-to-be formed not-for-profit organization.

4. The proposed timeline for transitioning LHPAI into a fully self-sufficient not-for-profit organization is January 1st, 2018.

Stay tuned for news on the arts office’s presentation of their preliminary implementation plan to my committee this Fall.

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