FIRST EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF LANGSTON HIRED

Tim Lennon to lead Seattle non-profit for African American arts

Central Area, Seattle, WA– LANGSTON, the new non-profit arts organization recently established after an extensive community process to guide programming intended to strengthen and advance community through Black arts and culture, announces the selection of Tim Lennon as Executive Director. Lennon will begin his tenure on January 3, 2018.

Inye Wokoma, president of the board of LANGSTON stated, “Tim’s combined experience working at the City of Seattle, with local festivals, and with artists, makers and non-profit organizations makes him the ideal person to carry out the mission of this new arts organization and launch it to success. We are so excited that such a dynamic local arts leader and community collaborator will be LANGSTON’s first executive director.”

Lennon has held leadership and programming positions in Seattle at several non-profit organizations and public sector offices, including: The Vera Project, Office of Arts & Culture, Seattle Center Foundation, and One Reel. His current board service includes The Washington Bus and the Seattle Music Commission for which he chairs the advocacy and economic development committee. He is an alumnus of the Leadership Tomorrow program and currently serves on its curriculum committee, and was selected in 2017 for Harvard Business School’s Young American Leaders Program.

 

Additionally, Lennon played a key role in supporting the transition process for LANGSTON, which centered on creating a community-led organization that resides within the historic Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Lennon has also been an advocate for and planning advisor to the Historic Central Area Arts and Cultural District.

“I’m inspired by Seattle’s artists, collaborators and community partners who are passionate about the legacy of LANGSTON, and I look forward to continuing work of establishing a thriving arts and cultural institution in this historic space named for one of America’s most prolific artists of African descent. In partnership with the local and broader community, we will build upon the existing legacy and further cultivate Black brilliance through robust arts and cultural programs,” says Lennon.

Photo: Tim Lennon by Michael B. Maine

ABOUT LANGSTON

LANGSTON is the new non-profit arts organization created in response to both the community and the City’s desire to support the historic mission of Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute.

LANGSTON’s mission is to strengthen and advance community through Black arts and culture.

After 40 years of programs and a three-year review and engagement process, LANGSTON was conceived and designed by the community with the vision of transforming Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute into an independent and thriving arts organization and a hub for African American arts and culture.

LANGSTON is housed at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute building, which is owned by the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, and operated by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

Celebrating Black History Month in Seattle 2017

February marks the beginning of Black History Month, but residents of Seattle are able to celebrate and learn about the rich cultural history of Blacks and African-Americans all year long. In honor of Black History Month we have compiled a few events to mark on your calendar in February. 

ONYX Fine Art 12th annual exhibit
Thru February 18, 2017 King Street Station, 3rd Floor
303 S. Jackson St.
Seattle, WA 98104
FREE

Truth B Told, exhibiting visual artistic expressions by artists of African descent in the Pacific Northwest.

Northwest African American Museum
What the Griot Said: Black History Month Storytelling at NAAM with Eva Abram
Thursday, February 2, 12 – 1:00 p.m.
2300 S Massachusetts Street
Seattle, 98144

Gifted griots—or storytellers—will enchant young and old with tales recounted following oral traditions. Children of all ages are invited to experience the ancient art of storytelling with stories from around the world or just around the corner. This is our first program for Black History Month to kick off February at the Northwest African American Museum! The storytelling will be accompanied by a public docent-led tour for adults, introducing our new exhibit, An Elegant Utility. Open to all ages.

Rosenwald film screening
Presented by Atlantic Street Center
Thursday, February 2, 6 p.m.
LHPAI
104 17th Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98144
FREE

Rosenwald is the incredible story of Julius Rosenwald, who never finished high school, but rose to become the President of Seers. Influenced by the writings of Booker T. Washington, Jewish philanthropist Rosenwald joined forces with African American communities in the Jim Crow South to build 5,300 schools during the early part of the 20th century.  There will be a Q and A session with Philip Rome, Julius Rosenwald’s great-grandson. To RSVP contact Marcella Taylor at (206) 454-3923 or marcellat@atlanticstreet.org 

Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series
Seattle Art Museum
Thru April 23, 2017
1300 First Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of this city’s most beloved artists, Jacob Lawrence, the Seattle Art Museum presents Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series. Acclaimed as Lawrence’s masterwork, this epic series chronicles in words and pictures the exodus of African Americans from the rural South to the industrial North in the decades after the First World War. Tickets and program information can be found at www.seattleartmuseum.org 

I Am Not Your Negro
SIFF Cinema Egyptian
Opens February 3, 2017
USA | 2016 | 95 Minutes | Raoul Peck
Oscar® nominee for Best Documentary.

Panelists are scheduled to be in attendance for a discussion following the 7pm screening on Feb 3. Director Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished – “Remember This House,”  a radical narration about race in America, through the lives and assassinations of three of his friends: Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers and Malcolm X. using only the writer’s original words.

Black History Month Cultural Xpressions
Sundiata African American Cultural Association
Friday, February 10, 6 – 9 p.m.
Art Show and Reception

Saturday and Sunday, February 11 – 12, opening at noon
Live performances
LHPAI
104 17th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98144

Dialogues in Art: Exhibitions on Racial Injustice
Xenobia Bailey artist talk
Paradise Under Reconstruction in the Aesthetic of Funk: A Quantum Leap, Starting From The Top…!!!
Seattle Presents Gallery
Friday, February 10, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Free

Xenobia Bailey has created an immersive installation featuring African-American homemakers and caregivers that honors and celebrates their innovative, soulful lifestyle. The installation references connections to the African-American community and Seattle’s history. These life-sized figures play an important role in cultivating and rebuilding homes and communities, while providing nurturing and guidance for African-American youth.

Dialogues in Art: Exhibitions on Racial Injustice is a yearlong series of exhibitions that explore artists’ and curators’ interpretations of racial injustice and systemic racism impacting Black and African-American people throughout America.

Resonance a celebration of Black American composers
Two performances presented by North Corner Chamber Orchestra
Saturday, February 18, 2 p.m.
New Holly Gathering Hall
7054 32nd Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98144

Sunday, February 19, 7:30 p.m.
LHPAI
104 17th Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98144

Tickets are available at www.nocco.org and at the door. Group pricing available. $25 general; $15 seniors and ages 19-30. Free for ages 18 and under and music students.

 

News Release: Newly founded LANGSTON to strengthen Black arts and culture in Seattle

New non-profit arts organization announces formation and Board of Directors  

SEATTLE (June 30, 2016) — The Office of Arts & Culture is pleased to announce the founding of LANGSTON, an independent non-profit arts organization based in the heart of Seattle’s Central Area. LANGSTON’s mission is to strengthen and advance community through Black arts and culture. With a vision to cultivate Black brilliance, LANGSTON will launch its inaugural season in the fall of 2016, at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, 104 17th Ave. S., under the leadership of its founding board of directors, community advisors, and arts champions.

LANGSTON’s founding board of directors includes:

  • Inye Wokoma, Ijo Arts Media Group (Chair)
  • Sheley Secrest, NAACP (Treasurer)
  • David Harmon, Olio Development Design Strategies (Secretary)
  • Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker, Frye Art Museum
  • Randy Engstrom, City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Ex-Officio
  • Terri Hiroshima, University of Washington
  • Vivian Phillips, Seattle Theatre Group
  • Andrew Russell, Intiman Theatre
  • Sharon N. Williams, CD Forum

To ensure long-term stability and success, the LANGSTON Board of Directors has spent the first two quarters of this year establishing a strong foundation and creating strong financial and programmatic infrastructures. Additionally, dedicated focus has been placed on securing dynamic leadership for the organization by launching a national search for the new organization’s first Executive Director.

The LANGSTON founding Board will support artistry that breaks molds and challenges both artistic and cultural traditions. In service to the cultivation of Black brilliance, LANGSTON will engage, nurture, and support a wide range of local and national artists to share distinct artistry and build relationships and connections to the creative processes. Programming will occur year-round and serve multi-generational audiences and participants.

LANGSTON will be located within Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute’s (LHPAI) historic building. The current LHPAI staff will continue to work for Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture to manage building rentals, support rental programs, and maintain the building and associated property. Highly regarded signature programs of LHPAI, such as the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival and Teen Summer Musical, will continue in 2016. Additional programs, festivals, and artist development will be announced at an open community welcome event in August. LANGSTON will hire a contracted Program Manager in August to carry forward their initial programming while the search is conducted for a new Executive Director.  Details about the Program Manager position can be found at langstonseattle.org/jobs.

LANGSTON was created in December of 2015 in response to both the community and City’s desire to establish an independent nonprofit that was community driven and committed to the historic mission of Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, a former program of the City’s Parks Department and Office of Arts & Culture. After a three-year review and engagement process, LANGSTON was founded and designed specifically to serve as the hub for African American arts and culture in Seattle.

“LANGSTON is an exciting and necessary addition to the arts ecosystem in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest,” said LANGSTON Board Chair, Inye Wokoma. “It will expand and evolve the boundaries and experiences of African American artistry and Blackness, while creating pathways for accessing African American arts, culture, and community. LANGSTON will contribute to the depth, value, and diversity of Seattle as a world-class city for the arts and artists.” Wokoma is joined by all members of the new board in articulating a commitment to creating a LANGSTON that serves in ways that matter most to the community.

For more information about LANGSTON, visit our website, www.langstonseattle.org or email info@langstonseattle.org.

About LANGSTON

LANGSTON is a newly formed, community conceived and designed nonprofit arts organization whose mission is to strengthen and advance community through Black arts and culture in service to cultivating Black brilliance. It provides multigenerational, multi-genre programming that is responsive to community needs and desires. LANGSTON will promote artistic expression, encourage artistic excellence, cultivate leaders, practice radical inclusivity, and facilitate cultural education and possibility in our practices, policies, and partnerships.

ARTS Welcomes Amanda Licorish

Amanda Licorish is the new Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute Rental Coordinator. Amanda comes to ARTS with a strong background in youth development, building and program management. She was most recently the assistant recreation coordinator at Seattle Parks and Recreation for the Delridge and Alki Community Centers.

Amanda has a Recreation Administration Degree from the University of Idaho and has served on many committees and boards providing enriching programs to the Seattle community including Homestead Community Land Trust, Festival Sundiata and United Way of King County. In addition, Amanda is a passionate advocate for teens, especially surrounding issues of access and equity. She volunteers on her Sorority’s youth committee and enjoys being a mentor for others in her field. Amanda is happiest when she has had an adventure, is surprised with treats or anytime she is playing with her son Lawford.

 

Just Short of Crazy debuts at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute

Nina Foxx’s play Just Short of Crazy debuts at the
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
Friday, February 12 – Saturday, February 13, 7 p.m.
Sunday, February 14, 3 p.m.

 Author and playwright Nina Foxx’s play Just Short of Crazy, presented at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, makes its stage debut February 12 thru 14, 2016. Written and directed by Nina Foxx, the play is based on the book of the same name, published by HarperCollins Publishers, and is produced by Alma Davenport.

Just Short of Crazy tells the story of Alexis, who thought her new hobby would help her get her life together after being left at the altar but instead finds herself in the middle of hot water and fighting an attraction to Remedy Brown, a nightclub owner with a spotted past. And though Alexis is wary about diving recklessly too soon into the relationship fire again, she can’t help wondering if sexy, warm-hearted Remedy might be a remedy for what’s ailing her. The Seattle cast includes Danela Butler, Geoffery Simmons, Janice Spinks, Kia Pierce, Jermaine Lindsay, Angela Stewart, Nicholas Horiatis, Ashley Salazar and Alex Ung. To purchase tickets visit: Brown Paper Tickets. For additional information contact YLGORE74@gmail.com. To connect via social media, visit Just Short of Crazy-The Stage Play on Facebook.

Seattle-based Nina Foxx is an NAACP Image Award nominated writer, award winning filmmaker and playwright. She has authored numerous books as both Nina Foxx and Cynnamon Foster. Just Short of Crazy is her second work for stage. The first, Marrying Up, opened outside Atlanta and in San Antonio. That play is now on DVD, distributed by Urban Home Entertainment. “I wrote this (Just Short of Crazy) a bit ago, after the first play. I’d learned a lot at the Commercial Theater Institute in New York. But when I met Alma, she pushed me to make it better and take a closer look at the question of whether having money makes our desires any different or better.”

Seattle-based Alma M. Davenport has won many awards for both poetry and dramatic writing, most notably The Goldberg Award for Playwriting Excellence and the Kennedy Center’s Lorraine Hansberry Award. She attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and operates a business in Kirkland. “This play (Just Short of Crazy) spoke to me. I know that every person asks themselves the question of what will really make them happy many times in their lives. Nina presents a slice of modern life that makes the audience look inward, but laugh while they do it.”