Mayor Murray Announces new cultural district in Uptown

Uptown becomes City’s newest Arts & Cultural District

 

SEATTLE (July 12, 2017) — Mayor Murray announced the Uptown Arts and Cultural District as the third neighborhood to be named a designated Arts & Cultural District. Uptown is one of Seattle’s most important cultural destinations with over 30 arts, cultural and educational organizations on the 74-acre Seattle Center campus and surrounding neighborhood cultural institutions, restaurants and retail. The Arts District designation recognizes the culturally rich neighborhood and seeks to enhance its character.

“Arts and cultural institutions define Uptown, from The Vera Project, and Seattle Opera, to On the Boards and Uptown Cinema, it is one of our City’s premier destinations,” says Mayor Murray. “This designation honors Uptown’s vibrancy, and seeks to keep the art and artists who make this neighborhood at the forefront of our work.”

“We are thrilled to be recognized as an official Arts & Cultural District,” says Cyrus Despres, co-chair and president of the Uptown Arts & Culture Coalition. “Uptown is experiencing the same growing pains as the rest of Seattle, and we are committed to enhancing our cultural experiences and evolving our identity as a welcoming home for the arts in Seattle.”

The Uptown Arts and Cultural District advocates for Uptown and is dedicated to the neighborhood’s continuing evolution as a vibrant and inclusive cultural center. The group has committed itself to:

  • integration across the geography of Uptown from Seattle Center to the Heart of Uptown and beyond;
  • a commitment to racial and social equity;
  • activation of cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration;
  • development and measurement of our creative economy.

The arts district designation includes access to the Creative Placemaking Toolkit, a suite of tools designed to preserve, strengthen, and expand arts and cultural spaces. The district will have access to $50,000 to be used towards the toolkit’s programs and resources for right-of-way identifiers, wayfinding, busking and plein air painting, art historic markers, pop-up activations, and parklets. The toolkit was designed to support artists, art-spaces, and neighborhoods in maintaining and investing in their cultural assets.

Uptown
Since the 1962 World’s Fair, Uptown has been a hub of Seattle arts and culture, drawing audiences and performers locally, national and internationally. Uptown offers the largest concentration of diverse arts and cultural organizations that range from independent artists, to internationally renowned classical arts, to innovative theater and visual arts, to ethnic festivals from around the world, to major music concerts. Uptown is a stage to celebrate the international diversity that is represented throughout Puget Sound. People come to the neighborhood to share the richness of music, dance, art and food found around the world.

 

Arts & Cultural Districts
The creation of Arts & Cultural District program stems from the recommendations of the Cultural Overlay District Advisory Committee’s June 2009 report, which was accepted and endorsed by Seattle City Council with Resolution 31155 in August 2009. City Council found that a district plan benefits the city because arts and cultural activities serve as a major economic engine for Seattle, and provide an invaluable quality of life that other activities cannot duplicate. The program launched in November of 2014 with the adoption of City Council Resolution 31555 and the creation of the Capitol Hill Arts District.

Mayor Murray Announces new cultural district in Uptown

Uptown becomes City’s newest Arts & Cultural District

 

SEATTLE (July 12, 2017) — Mayor Murray announced the Uptown Arts and Cultural District as the third neighborhood to be named a designated Arts & Cultural District. Uptown is one of Seattle’s most important cultural destinations with over 30 arts, cultural and educational organizations on the 74-acre Seattle Center campus and surrounding neighborhood cultural institutions, restaurants and retail. The Arts District designation recognizes the culturally rich neighborhood and seeks to enhance its character.

“Arts and cultural institutions define Uptown, from The Vera Project, and Seattle Opera, to On the Boards and Uptown Cinema, it is one of our City’s premier destinations,” says Mayor Murray. “This designation honors Uptown’s vibrancy, and seeks to keep the art and artists who make this neighborhood at the forefront of our work.”

“We are thrilled to be recognized as an official Arts & Cultural District,” says Cyrus Despres, co-chair and president of the Uptown Arts & Culture Coalition. “Uptown is experiencing the same growing pains as the rest of Seattle, and we are committed to enhancing our cultural experiences and evolving our identity as a welcoming home for the arts in Seattle.”

The Uptown Arts and Cultural District advocates for Uptown and is dedicated to the neighborhood’s continuing evolution as a vibrant and inclusive cultural center. The group has committed itself to:

  • integration across the geography of Uptown from Seattle Center to the Heart of Uptown and beyond;
  • a commitment to racial and social equity;
  • activation of cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration;
  • development and measurement of our creative economy.

The arts district designation includes access to the Creative Placemaking Toolkit, a suite of tools designed to preserve, strengthen, and expand arts and cultural spaces. The district will have access to $50,000 to be used towards the toolkit’s programs and resources for right-of-way identifiers, wayfinding, busking and plein air painting, art historic markers, pop-up activations, and parklets. The toolkit was designed to support artists, art-spaces, and neighborhoods in maintaining and investing in their cultural assets.

Uptown
Since the 1962 World’s Fair, Uptown has been a hub of Seattle arts and culture, drawing audiences and performers locally, national and internationally. Uptown offers the largest concentration of diverse arts and cultural organizations that range from independent artists, to internationally renowned classical arts, to innovative theater and visual arts, to ethnic festivals from around the world, to major music concerts. Uptown is a stage to celebrate the international diversity that is represented throughout Puget Sound. People come to the neighborhood to share the richness of music, dance, art and food found around the world.

 

Arts & Cultural Districts
The creation of Arts & Cultural District program stems from the recommendations of the Cultural Overlay District Advisory Committee’s June 2009 report, which was accepted and endorsed by Seattle City Council with Resolution 31155 in August 2009. City Council found that a district plan benefits the city because arts and cultural activities serve as a major economic engine for Seattle, and provide an invaluable quality of life that other activities cannot duplicate. The program launched in November of 2014 with the adoption of City Council Resolution 31555 and the creation of the Capitol Hill Arts District.

Murray proposes policies to keep Seattle a global leader in green buildings

Mayor Ed Murray transmitted to Council a package of innovative policies aimed at keeping Seattle at the forefront of energy efficiency solutions in the residential and commercial building sectors. The legislative package includes provisions that expand the Living Buildings Challenge (LBC) and updates Seattle’s building and energy codes to reduce energy use in new commercial construction and expand solar ready housing.

“Changing our approach to design and construction is critical to achieving the City’s environmental goals,” said Murray. “Living Buildings demonstrate how innovative urban design is a key tool in the fight against climate change. The energy code changes lay the foundation for expanded conservation in the future, continuing Seattle’s position as a national leader on green and energy efficient buildings.”

The Living Building program legislation expands on a pilot program started in 2009 and increases the number of buildings that can participate. The LBC is the world’s most rigorous sustainable building certification program. It is a performance-based approach – as opposed to a modeled performance – and aims to foster the development of buildings that contribute positively to their surroundings by mimicking ecological processes such as capturing and treating all stormwater and producing as much energy as it uses.

“Seattle’s built environment represents a huge opportunity to impact how our city addresses climate change as energy use from commercial buildings represent 18 percent of our city’s total greenhouse gas emissions The effects of climate change require us to take the kind of bold and expedient action found in these policies,” added Councilmember Rob Johnson. “I look forward to Seattle leading by example to create many more living buildings to reduce our carbon footprint.”

“The International Living Future Institute applauds the expansion of the Living Building Challenge in Seattle,” said Amanda Sturgeon, CEO of the International Living Future Institute. “Living Buildings represent the most advanced measure of sustainability possible today and it’s fitting that Seattle, a city on the vanguard of sustainability and environmental protection, proposes these updates.”

“After transportation fuels, the next greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Seattle comes from heating and cooling our buildings. Increasing the number of highly efficient green buildings is essential for combating climate change,” said Denis Hayes, president and CEO of the Bullitt Foundation and developer of Seattle’s first Living Building. “This suite of policies is a call to action for all local developers to be bold and to do their part in making Seattle more sustainable even as the city grows.”

Among other changes to the Seattle Energy Code and the Seattle Residential Code is a requirement that commercial buildings up to 20 stories in height and residential buildings up to three stories in height reserve rooftop space to be “solar ready” for future equipment installation. This will speed the development of rooftop solar energy in Seattle by minimizing future installation costs. The effective date for the proposed energy and building code updates will occur on January 1, 2017.

The Seattle Energy Code legislation also takes a significant step toward Seattle’s 2050 carbon-neutral goal by mandating more efficient heating systems instead of allowing less effective electric or fossil fuel heating systems that are typically installed in commercial buildings. The effective date of this particular Seattle Energy Code update is extended to January 1, 2018, in order to allow projects already in the pipeline to be completed without major changes.

The Living Building Challenge legislation will be discussed in City Council’s Planning, Land Use & Zoning Committee on September 9, with a public hearing to be held on September 20. The Seattle Energy Code legislation will be discussed with City Council Planning, Land Use & Zoning Committee on September 20.

Mayor Murray delivers 2016 State of the City address

In his State of the City address before the Seattle City Council today, Mayor Ed Murray expanded the City’s commitment to support education, job opportunities and success for all of Seattle’s youth. He also pledged to hire an additional 100 police officers above the 100 net new officers he has already budgeted, and offered new initiatives to support small businesses, foster the arts, and activate urban parks.

“Today the State of the City reflects the 21st Century dreams of the 1962 World’s Fair: a vibrant city driven by technology and science, creating jobs and innovation in everything from transportation to health care,” said Murray in a packed City Council Chambers. “The State of the City also reflects our worst fears from the Great Depression, as issues of homelessness and inequity continue despite decades of effort on the part of this City to resolve them.”

In addition the mayor also announced a new exciting move that can help both arts and commercial affordability in Seattle. SDOT and the offices of Economic Development and Arts & Culture have worked together on a plan to make the currently-empty upper floors of King Street Station available as new public space for Seattle’s arts and culture community, and affordable space for our small businesses.

Not only does this create more opportunities for our local artists, it gives thousands of commuters, neighbors and visitors access to Seattle’s arts scene and local businesses in a completely new way. Please stay tuned as the Office of Arts & Culture announces a plan to engage the public in the cultural opportunities of King Street Station.

The mayor’s complete State of the City remarks as prepared are available at seattle.gov/mayor.

Royal Alley-Barnes Day, January 22, 2016

On Friday, January 22 Mayor Murray proclaimed it to be Royal Alley-Barnes Day, in honor of her service and dedication to Seattle’s artistic landscape. Barnes retired from the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute in December 2015.

Royal’s impactful work in connecting communities around public sector government and the arts spans over 35 years. She joined the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute in 2009. Royal, has lectured, taught and presented in the fields of visual arts, art history, art education, pluralistic community building and public infrastructures. She is a 2008 recipient of the prestigious University of Washington Charles E. Odegaard Award for Outstanding Achievement, a 2009 city of Seattle Youth Commission Policy Leader, and received the 2010 John C. Little Spirit Award and 2012 Ford Motor Company National “Freedom Sister” Award. A requested speaker and International, artist Royal holds a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Master Arts Teaching from the University of Washington.

Mayor, City of Seattle
January 22, 2016

WHEREAS,
Royal Alley-Barnes has connected communities around public sector government and the arts for her entire career; and

WHEREAS,
Royal Alley-Barnes has fulfilled an array of leadership roles for the City of Seattle, from the City Budget Office to the Parks and Recreation Department to the Office of Arts & Culture over her 35 year tenure; and

WHEREAS,
Royal Alley-Barnes has served as the executive director of the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, including overseeing a multi-million dollar remodel, since 2009; and

WHEREAS,
Royal Alley-Barnes has cultivated the Central Area’s artistic heritage of culture from the African diaspora, with a focus on underserved populations; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that I, Ed Murray, Mayor of the City of Seattle, do hereby declare January 22, 2016 as

Royal Alley-Barnes Day

In Seattle, and I invite Seattle’s residents and visitors to join me in celebrating Royal Alley-Barnes and her contributions to Seattle’s artistic landscape.