4Culture News

Preservation Basics: Saving Places through Landmarking

Continue Reading ›

As our 2018 grant calendar gets underway with Project grants, our Historic Preservation team is offering up some resources especially for those interested in learning about the benefits of preservation.

This video is the the first in a short series of overview videos on basic preservation practices. One of the first challenges faced by owners of historic buildings and properties is landmarking: getting your property locally designated as a landmark allows you to take advantage of more opportunities and grants, but where do you start? With help from a property owner who successfully navigated the process, we walk you through the basic steps in the video above. You can also take a look at our Saving Places Through Landmarking reference sheet for guidance—it includes links to other agencies, tools, and resources that can help you landmark your historic property.

Stay tuned to our blog in the coming weeks for more historic preservation how-to videos, and let us know if they’re helpful! Applications for Preservation Special Projects grants are due Wednesday, February 28.

 

Guest Post: Seismic Upgrades and Family History in Ballard

Photo of the front of 5129 Ballard Avenue NW for a 1991 County assessment. Photo courtesy of Charlotte Stokes.

Charlotte Stokes put a 2017 Preservation Special Projects grant to work assessing the seismic integrity of a historic building in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, owned by her family since 1942. Here, she shares more about that process:

Continue Reading ›

Charlotte Stokes put a 2017 Preservation Special Projects grant to work assessing the seismic integrity of a historic building in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, owned by her family since 1942. Here, she shares more about that process:

Do we preserve the historic character of the city’s historic buildings or progress to new construction with safer building standards? This 4Culture grant has set me on course to do both. My family’s historic brick building, built in 1897, is at 5129 Ballard Avenue NW in Seattle—it is not only a part of Seattle history, but a significant part of my own history. My parents bought the building in 1942, when I was a baby. Their business, The American Flag and Decorating Co., was on the first floor with an extra work area and storage in the adjoining lot. We moved into the second floor, where I lived until I started college at the University of Washington.

When we first moved in, most of the businesses located on Ballard Avenue served local industry, especially fishing. There were also lots of taverns, and nobody much worried about the historic character of the area. Indeed, after some damage to the two brick buildings across the street, their second floors were removed, while other buildings were refaced.

Photo of Ed Stokes in Seattle Times, June 12, 1966, “Flag Day was made to order for this firm in Ballard,” by Roy Scully.

The Ballard building remains an important part of mine and my children’s lives. Although scattered across the country, time and time again we return to this building which has a been home to each of us. I have sought to be a good steward of the building and its historic character, seeing to basic maintenance, repointing bricks, making repairs to the foundation, and replacing plumbing, among other repairs.

I am also conserving it through obtaining a seismic upgrade of the structure. The first step was taken with a 4Culture grant: I hired BOLA Architecture and Planning to assess the building’s needs. The team, organized by BOLA, included an engineer to calculate the conditions and requirements needed for such construction and a contractor to estimate the costs. The process included making recommendations on how to preserve, as much as possible, the historic character of the building. One of the tasks of the engineer in calculating the stresses inherent in the building was taking into consideration its age and idiosyncracies—for example, the plan of the building is trapezoidal rather than rectangular. Would the supporting beams block entrances to the business on the first floor? What would be the seismic effect of dividing up the space differently?

The firm is completing their process now. These recommendations will help me in taking the next steps in hiring firms to do the work of upgrading the brick structure. But whatever the outcomes of their recommendations, my hope is that the building will continue to be a vital part of Seattle history and the history of my family.

Do you own a historic building or property? Check out our Preservation Special Projects grant, open now.

HEY, WE FUNDED THAT!

Heritage Organizations Gather for the AKCHO Annual Meeting

2017 AKCHO Awards at Northwest African American Museum (c) 2017, courtesy of AKCHO.

Tuesday, January 30, 10:30 am—1:00 pm
Museum of Flight, 9404 E Marginal Way S, Seattle, 98108
Tickets: $35 through AKCHO

Continue Reading ›

Tuesday, January 30, 10:30 am—1:00 pm
Museum of Flight, 9404 E Marginal Way S, Seattle, 98108
Tickets: $35 through AKCHO

Our partners at the Association of King County Heritage Organizations invite the community to their Annual Meeting, which features a panel examining the impact of photographer Edward Curtis. The event also includes a short business meeting, updates on several local heritage initiatives around King County, and lunch.

If you are interested in applying for a 4Culture Heritage Projects grant, join us after the meeting for a free, drop-in grant workshop in the Lockwood Boardroom from 1:00—2:00 pm. Grant managers will be on hand to answer all your application questions!

Please visit AKCHO online for ticketing information and more details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media Screens Across Town: e4c at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

e4c artists' work playing on the Digital Display at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation © 2014 4Culture. Photo by Andrew Pogue

Every day, our e4c storefront screens showcase dynamic media art from all over the United States to the thousands of commuters who pass by our Pioneer Square offices on Prefontaine Place South. We’re so excited to once again partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to bring this urban art experience to another Seattle neighborhood! Pass by their media screen —located at 500 Fifth Avenue North—to encounter these works, selected from applicants to our own e4c gallery:

Continue Reading ›

Every day, our e4c storefront screens showcase dynamic media art from all over the United States to the thousands of commuters who pass by our Pioneer Square offices on Prefontaine Place South. We’re so excited to once again partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to bring this urban art experience to another Seattle neighborhood! Pass by their media screen —located at 500 Fifth Avenue North—to encounter these works, selected from applicants to our own e4c gallery:

Samuel Orr, A Forest Year
A Forest Year was filmed over 16 months in an Indiana old-growth forest. 40,000 still images were distilled into this sequence. Seasonal time-lapse requires significant changes, such as the appearance of wildflowers in a spring forest. Orr is a time-lapse photographer and has been working for the past several years on short films that represent the changing seasons in landscapes.

Barbara Robertson, Architectonic 2
Architectonic is an ongoing series of animations inspired by two separate yet seminal influences in Robertson’s life: witnessing Seattle’s transformation through rapid building development, and constructivism, a 100-year-old art and architecture movement that captured her imagination as a student. Robertson says, “In Seattle, our environment is constantly changing architecturally, often in dramatic ways. Landmarks and other more modest historic structures are disappearing, so we no longer have them as a touchstone for our sense of cultural continuity.” The result is a shifting sense of place and a constant reconfiguring of space. The original sound score for “Architectonic” was created by sound designer, Johanna Melamed.

 

 

Guest Post: Akropolis Performance Lab Makes Experimental Theatre Accessible

Continue Reading ›

Drawn by Seattle’s late-nineties reputation as a hotbed of alternative theatre, Zhenya and Joseph Lavy moved here to found an ensemble-based company. In June 2000, Akropolis Performance Lab (APL) was born. As they approach their 20th anniversary, APL is among our region’s longest-surviving ensembles, and we’re proud to support them through our Sustained Support grant—here, they give us some insight into their practice:

We call our aesthetic signature Theatre of Polyphony. We weave spoken text, psychophysical action, and musical score together to create unified productions infused with multiple layers of meaning.

Our work sits directly in the artistic lineage of Jerzy Grotowski. We received deep training in the famed Polish Laboratory Theatre director’s principles, practices, and tenets from James Slowiak and Jairo Cuesta, who collaborated with Grotowski during his last 25 years and authored the Routledge Performance Practitioners book on him. Under their direction, we served as workleaders in Grotowski’s Objective Drama Program, and with them we helped found New World Performance Lab, an Ohio-based, internationally-renowned ensemble now in its 25th year.

While it’s not uncommon to find individuals in the United States who’ve taken short-term workshops through the Grotowski Center in Poland, the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards In Italy, Grotowski’s Objective Drama Program at U.C. Irvine, or even through the Polish Laboratory Theatre before it dissolved, there aren’t many with long-term, direct-transmission training or exposure.

Ensemble-based work is difficult to sustain here. APL develops and rehearses projects over long periods of time—sometimes years—before public presentation. With rare exception we cap audience sizes at 35 to foster direct, intimate experiences. We pride ourselves on a commitment to accessibility, ensuring nobody is turned away for economic reasons, offering tickets on a good-faith sliding scale that people select according to their means. And we offer many high-quality APL activities, such as our year-long youth ensemble training program and long-running Sunday Salon series, free of charge.

Beyond the economic challenges of ensemble work, it takes a singular artist to engage what we do. APL artists build long-term community based on commitment to our principles and twice-weekly physical and vocal training sessions. Our current ensemble of nine artistic associates has been working together consistently for multiple years, and that level of dedication, focus, and craft is palpable in everything we do.

We create work to provoke thought and contemplation about what it means to be human beings and members of society—the kind of personal introspection some find uncomfortable. We are so grateful to APL’s donors and friends—including 4Culture—many of whom have provided sustaining support from our beginning. They make it possible for us to continue APL’s mission while still making our art accessible to the broadest public possible.

We invite you to come experience our current project:
Crime + Punishment: a psychological account of a certain crime

January 5–13, 2018, tickets
APL’s original adaptation of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment begins with a theory that goes something like this: very great men have a right to do very bad things if doing so allows them to bring greater benefit to humanity. The debt-ridden, disillusioned university drop-out who devises this theory tests it by committing murder then descends into a guilt-induced fever dream where he is plagued by ghosts of his crime and conscience. The mysteries of soul and intellect, crime and love are irrevocably entwined to reveal the mind of a killer in his search for meaning and redemption.

The Labor of Diversity: Thinking Inclusive Futures in Museums with Dr. Nicole Ivy

Thursday, December 7, 5:00—7:30 pm
Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave, Seattle
Free, no registration required

Continue Reading ›

Thursday, December 7, 5:00—7:30 pm
Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave, Seattle
Free, no registration required

4Culture is proud to welcome Dr. Nicole Ivy, the American Alliance of Museums’ (AAM) Director of Inclusion, to Seattle! As Dr. Ivy leads AAM’s efforts to help museums across the country put diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion at the center of their work, we invite you to learn from her experience and insight.

Starting at 5:00 pm, 4Culture Heritage staff members Brian and Chieko will give an overview of their recently completed King County Heritage Report, and introduce upcoming 4Culture programs for heritage organizations. Dr. Ivy’s talk will begin at 6:00 pm.

Dr. Ivy first joined AAM in July 2015 as a museum futurist under a fellowship of the Mellon Foundation and American Council of Learned Societies. In that role she studied and published on future museum trends, specifically focused on diversity and the future of labor in the field. She was appointed as AAM’s first Director of Inclusion in July 2017. Among the projects she’s exploring is a partnership with a technology company and several pilot museums to test an online tool that could help museums reduce unintended bias in their hiring processes. Dr. Ivy earned her Ph.D. in African American Studies and American Studies from Yale University, and has done Post-Baccalaureate coursework at Cornell University.

The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 30,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.

Celebrate the 2017 Conductive Garboil Recipients

Juan Alonso-Rodríguez in his studio at the Tashiro Kaplin Artist Lofts in Pioneer Square. Photo by Kseniya Sovenko.
Juan Alonso-Rodríguez in his studio at the Tashiro Kaplin Artist Lofts in Pioneer Square. Photo by Kseniya Sovenko.

Conductive Garboil Award Presentation
Wednesday, November 8, 5:00—8:00 pm

The Little London Plane, 322 Occidental Avenue S, Seattle

Continue Reading ›

Conductive Garboil Award Presentation
Wednesday, November 8, 5:00—8:00 pm

The Little London Plane, 322 Occidental Avenue S, Seattle

4Culture, Artist Trust, and the Estate of Su Job proudly announce artists Juan Alonso-Rodríguez and Romson Regarde Bustillo as the recipients of the 2017 Conductive Garboil Grant, a yearly, non‐restricted award of $3,000. We’re so pleased to award this grant to two outstanding artists this year—both Juan and Romson were selected in recognition of their history of community activism and mentorship, particularly within regional communities of color. Help us celebrate them at this free reception!

This unique grant was developed by Job just before her passing in December 2008 and acknowledges King County artists with a connection to Pioneer Square who have “demonstrated a profound ability to challenge the limits of conductive creative discourse.”

Read more about the grant, Su Job, and this year’s recipients.

Poetry on Buses Roadshow: Dia de Poesía

Poetry on Buses poems on a King County Metro bus, 2016. Photo by Tim Aguero.

Thursday, November 9, 3:00—6:30 pm
El Centro de la Raza, 1660 S Roberto Maestas Festival St, Seattle

Continue Reading ›

Thursday, November 9, 3:00—6:30 pm
El Centro de la Raza, 1660 S Roberto Maestas Festival St, Seattle

As part of El Centro de la Raza‘s Dia de los Muertos celebrations, hop aboard the poetry bus and enjoy live readings and mini writing workshops with poet Jourdan Imani Keith. There will be a special session just for kids starting at 3:00 pm!

Our year of community-sourced poems, all exploring water, is underway! Read and listen to a new poem every day at poetryonbuses.org.

Guest Post: Recognizing Mt. Baker’s History

Aerial view of the Mt. Baker Park Addition. Photo property of the Museum of History & Industry.

What goes on behind the scenes when a neighborhood or property gets formally recognized as a historic landmark? We asked the Friends of Mt. Baker Town Center to give some insight, as they are in the process of trying to transform the Mt. Baker Park Addition—a neighborhood platted in the early 20th century—into the Mt. Baker Historic District:

Continue Reading ›

What goes on behind the scenes when a neighborhood or property gets formally recognized as a historic landmark? We asked the Friends of Mt. Baker Town Center to give some insight, as they are in the process of trying to transform the Mt. Baker Park Addition—a neighborhood platted in the early 20th century—into the Mt. Baker Historic District:

The Friends of Mt. Baker Town Center are excited to have the opportunity to document the historic, architectural and cultural background of the Mt. Baker Park Addition, with the generous support of 4Culture and our knowledgeable consultants at Northwest Vernacular Historic Preservation Consulting. Following an initial public meeting, a dedicated group of volunteers was trained to conduct field work with property profiles for over 800 homes in the Mt. Baker Park Addition. Northwest Vernacular has prepared a carefully-researched nomination of the Mount Baker Park Addition for the National Register of Historic Places that is currently under review by the State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. In addition to documenting the important architectural and landscape design features of the area, the project has developed rich background on the area’s cultural heritage through 1968, including the neighborhood’s important role in Seattle’s civil rights movement.

You are invited to attend the second public meeting in the historic district nomination process!

Public Meeting Number 2
Monday, October 23, 6:00 pm
Franklin High School, 3013 S Mt Baker Blvd, Seattle, WA 98144

Get an update on the important background and historic findings generated through the work and support of Northwest Vernacular and 4Culture. The Friends of Mt. Baker Town Center thanks everyone for the continuing interest and support as we document the rich historic and cultural values of a truly unique neighborhood.

The nomination process focuses on the area within the Mt. Baker Park Addition, prior to 1968. If you have specific information related to the architecture, culture, and/or history of our community up through 1968, please share it with us!

To learn more about 4Culture’s available grants and resources for historic preservation projects, visit our Preservation homepage.

New Public Art at the Factoria Recycling and Transfer Station

Al Price, Still Spinning, 2017, King County Public Art Collection. Photo by @wiseknave.

Monday, October 23, 10:00 am—12:00 pm
13800 SE 32nd St, Bellevue, WA 98005
RSVP Requested: call 206-477-4629 or email laila.mcclinton@kingcounty.gov

Continue Reading ›

Monday, October 23, 10:00 am—12:00 pm
13800 SE 32nd St, Bellevue, WA 98005
RSVP Requested: call 206-477-4629 or email laila.mcclinton@kingcounty.gov

You’re invited to join King County officials, Solid Waste Division staff, and local leaders in celebrating the grand opening of the new Factoria Recycling and Transfer Station.
The facility features innovative and sustainable green building features, expanded recycling services, and brand new public art!

We’re proud to have commissioned two new art experiences for the Factoria facility, both of which reflect King County’s forward-thinking approach to waste management. Still Spinning, created by Al Price Studio, transforms the Station’s expansive retaining wall into an art experience full of motion. The piece’s 435 stylized bicycle wheels, which are all made from 75-80% recycled materials, have been meticulously arranged—they reflect ambient light and color, shifting with weather and light conditions. Nature <-> Human, a poem etched in the Administration building’s glass entry, reflects the many cycles that take place at the transfer station. Created by Carolyn Law, Margi Berger, and Lynn Robb, its nature-focused words form shadows that travel through the lobby with the sun.

Facility tours will follow remarks from King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Council Member Claudia Balducci, and the City of Bellevue Mayor, John Stokes. Please dress for the weather and wear sturdy closed-toe shoes.

Poetry on Buses Hits the Road: Cedar River Salmon Journey

Poetry on Buses poems on a King County Metro bus, 2016. Photo by Tim Aguero.

Sunday, October 15, 1:00—5:00 pm
Renton Library, 100 Mill Avenue S, Renton, WA 98057

Continue Reading ›

Sunday, October 15, 1:00—5:00 pm
Renton Library, 100 Mill Avenue S, Renton, WA 98057

October brings the epic return journey of our native salmon to the waters that connect us all. From the Renton Library’s bridge spanning the Cedar River, you can witness this journey and learn more about the salmon from local naturalists, then hop aboard the 60-foot poetry bus as we continue to spend the year exploring water through poetry. We’ll be hosting hourly live poetry readings, an all-ages open mic, and flash writing sessions led by Poetry on Buses Poet Planner Jourdan Imani Keith!

Visit the Seattle Aquarium online to learn more about the Cedar River Salmon Journey, and find out more about the Renton Library‘s ongoing program.

Our year of community-sourced poems, all exploring water, is underway! Read and listen to a new poem every day at poetryonbuses.org.