Path with Art at Ballard Safe Lot

The Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), worked with Path with Art to provide on-site arts education workshops at the Ballard Safe Lot in July.

The city of Seattle provided several “Safe Lots” for those homeless individuals and families who reside in their vehicles. The Safe Lots offered parking spaces so that vehicles did not have to park in adjacent streets. One, on property owned by Seattle Public Utilities in Ballard, hosted classes and opportunities for the lot’s residents to engage in art and music-making.

Path with Art transforms the lives of people recovering from homelessness, addiction, and other trauma by harnessing the power of creative engagement as a bridge to community and a path to stability. Path with Art hired five teaching artists, Scott Driscoll, Catherin Gill, Rebekka Goldsmith, Rachel Kessler and Natasha Marin to lead 12 multidisciplinary (visual, literary, and musical) workshops on site. All materials were provided and were free for participants.

The very first workshop featured teaching artist Rebekka Goldsmith, who engaged residents through music and worked with them on telling their story through song. Additional workshops included creative journaling, collage, watercolor, and printmaking, providing residents the opportunity to create their own work, as well as work collaboratively with others. The level of resident interest and appreciation was high and the program provided valuable feedback on ways to develop programming for adults living in vulnerable situations. The transformative impact of the arts is one that all people should be able to experience.

Path with Art will be putting together a book of images from the lot (by October 1), and will provide a public, formal report in September.