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Originally published Monday, May 19, 2014 at 6:18 AM

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Future Capitol Hill Arts District to be discussed on May 20

Capitol Hill Housing’s May 20 forum will explore establishment of a Capitol Hill Arts District to help preserve arts venues and cultural vitality in the neighborhood in the face of rising real-estate prices.


Seattle Times arts writer

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The possibility of formally establishing a Capitol Hill Arts District will be discussed at Capitol Hill Housing’s Ninth Annual Community Forum on Tuesday, May 20. While space at the forum, which is open to the public, is already spoken for, CHH hopes to add more seating. Those interested in attending are requested to register on the wait list. Go to www.capitolhillhousing.org/howyoucanhelp and click on “events.”

Michael Seiwerath, executive director of the Capitol Hill Housing Foundation, notes that there are 28 arts spaces on Capitol Hill and that the neighborhood has long been a popular arts destination. The pressures of rising real-estate costs, however, are jeopardizing the ability of some organizations to survive. One aim of a formalized arts district would be to devise strategies to preserve arts venues on the Hill.

Capitol Hill Housing CEO Christopher Persons and Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata will open the forum, and Greg Esser is the featured speaker. Esser was the founder and former executive director of the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation in Phoenix, Ariz., and will discuss how the Roosevelt Row Arts District triggered arts-friendly urban renewal in downtown Phoenix.

Following Esser’s presentation, local arts leaders — Leslie Bain (of Frameworks Cultural Placemaking), Tonya Lockyer (Velocity Dance Center), Jason Plourde (Three Dollar Bill Cinema), Matthew Richter (City of Seattle) and Cathryn Vandenbrink (Artspace) — will take part in a “speed round” of talks, offering their take on a prospective Capitol Hill Arts District.

The event starts at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Oddfellows Building’s West Hall (second floor), 915 E. Pine St., Seattle.

Michael Upchurch: mupchurch@seattletimes.com



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