The City’s Kathy Hsieh receives prestigious 2015 Community Voice Award for the Arts from the International Examiner

Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture is thrilled to announce that our very own Kathy Hsieh, Cultural Partnerships and Grant Manager, was chosen to receive the esteemed 2015 Community Voice Award for the Arts from the International Examiner. Kathy is being recognized for her inspiring leadership, dedication to artistic excellence in the local Asian Pacific American theatre arena and her ceaseless efforts to increase public access to arts and cultural resources.

It is an incredible honor to have Kathy’s amazing work recognized by the International Examiner, a leading voice in the Asian/Pacific Community. The Examiner specifically lauded Kathy’s commitment to increase arts access for underserved populations to City funding and her endeavors to dismantle institutional racism through the city’s RSJI efforts. In particular they acknowledged her work on the forum Artistic Freedom & Artistic Responsibility, which addressed new and historical artistic productions in a way that is meaningful, relevant and equitable in response to the spirited conversation on this topic occurring in Seattle. The forum created an opportunity for our community to learn from one another and spurred the wider community to address next steps for creating change in how race is represented in the arts.

In her ‘spare’ time Kathy is co-founder of SIS Productions, which works to dispel Asian American stereotypes and uplifts Asian American women with new works in a creative, meaningful and entertaining way, while developing new playwrights, directors and actors in the process. She also teaches an Asian American Theatre as Social Change course for the UW School of Drama.

We couldn’t be more proud of Kathy’s selection for the 2015 Community Voice Award for the Arts. It is a well-deserved acknowledgement of her incredible accomplishments.

In 1991, the International Examiner instituted its Community Voice Awards to honor the unsung heroes of the Asian community in conjunction with the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APA) celebrations. The International Examiner recognizes outstanding API individuals and organizations in the Pacific Northwest through the Community Voice Awards. Every year, community members select nominees who have distinguished themselves by actively working towards the betterment of the community, making significant contributions to uplifting and raising awareness of local Asian Americans.

This year’s awardees are recognized because of their history for making a difference in the community. The International Examiner 41st Anniversary Benefit Gala & Auction and 23rd annual Community Voice Awards will be held on May 21, 2015 during APA Heritage Month at the New Hong Kong Restaurant, 900 S Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98104.

For more information visit:  http://www.iexaminer.org/cva2015/

Magnuson Park design recognized by the American Society of Landscape Architects and community

An aerial view of Warren G. Magnuson Park.

 

When you’re standing in Magnuson Park watching leaves skitter across the wetlands and listening to insects hum and the frogs croak, it’s hard to imagine that noisy naval planes used to take off from that same space. Many visitors think the landscape is natural due to the park’s innovative design and careful construction.

Last month, the Berger Partnership received a Merit Award in Design from the Washington Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (WASLA) for its work in Magnuson Park. The firm was tasked in 2001 to integrate a system of five ecologically distinct, yet interconnected wetlands among the trails, athletic fields, roads and parking lots.

“I love Magnuson park as a place that welcomes people to play and escape into the thriving habitat reclaiming the site,”  said Guy Michaelsen, Berger Partnership principal landscape architect.  “I’m thrilled others recognize its unique character and ecology and feel lucky to be involved with such a great project.”

The project was completed in 2010. The WASLA awards committee said they were impressed how the park’s history and ecology were represented in the finished design.

“The scale and breadth of the design covers a lot of ground as the different areas of the park are quite different in character,” the committee commented. “The park as presented seemed ‘Olmstedian’ in its reach as a man-made designed space that adequately represents natural concepts and zones that vary in character.”

To view the award nomination, click the following link: Magnuson Park nomination.

A picture of ‘Cactus Lake’ taken by Lynne.

 

The transformation at Magnuson Park recently received kudos from a longtime Seattle resident as well. Lynne works with critically ill children and said she often visits the park to reflect on the beauty and blessings and exist around her. One of her favorite spaces in the park is an area next to the boat launch parking lot that she’s nicknamed “Cactus Lake” because of the surrounding trees’ resemblance to the saguaro cactus.

“My friends and my young children know that when I am feeling down- I go to ‘Cactus Lake’ to recharge,” Lynne said.

Lynne advocates for Seattle’s natural areas to her friends from all over the country. She said she often recalls Joni Mitchell’s song “Big Yellow Taxi” whose lyrics state, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

“[The Magnuson team] has done the exact opposite,” Lynne said. “They’ve taken a barren parking lot and created an inviting habitat for so many plants, animals and people to enjoy.”