Seattle Center Arena Draft Environmental Impact Statement Available

-City seeking public comment

This morning, notice was posted regarding the availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) for the renovation of KeyArena and the beginning of a 45-day comment period.  This includes the required 30-day comment period plus a 15-day extension. The public notice also includes the date for the required public hearing to take formal comment on the Draft EIS. The Draft EIS can be reviewed and comments submitted using the following link:


Public hearing date:

May 14, 6-9:00p.m.
Open house 6-6:30, public testimony begins at 6:30
Seattle Center Armory Loft #2

For interpretation or special accommodations, call Seattle Center at (206) 684-7200.

In addition to the required public hearing, an online open house is available to further the City’s commitment to providing anyone interested in the project an opportunity to comment.

Comments submitted through this online open house will be part of the official record. You can also provide comments in person at the public hearing on May 14 or via mail or email until June 7th. All comments will be reviewed regardless of the comment method.

This project is required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to disclose likely significant construction or operational impacts and potential solutions or mitigation. Private proposals such as this are required to evaluate a “no action” alternative plus other reasonable onsite alternatives for achieving the proposal’s objective. The Draft EIS includes the analysis of two alternatives for redeveloping the arena.

Following the comment period, the Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) will be prepared. The Final EIS will include responses to comments submitted on the Draft EIS and may include updates or revisions to the Draft EIS analysis. After publication of the Final EIS (end of summer 2018), additional steps will include publication of the Master Use Permit decision for the Seattle Center Arena proposal and completion of the landmark review process.

Written comments may be mailed to:

Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, PRC
Attention: Public Resource Center
700 5th Ave, Suite 2000
P.O. Box 34019
Seattle, WA, 98124-4019

Seattle Center increasing equity through internships

The Seattle Center Youth Internship Program is focused on providing meaningful opportunities for youth of color in Seattle, as part of the City of Seattle’s Youth Employment Initiative. The initiative provides exposure and experience in career pathways for youth ages 16-24, and occurs during the summer. Most of the youth come from the Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP), one of many youth employment training programs in Seattle. Seattle Center’s internship program, under the larger Initiative’s umbrella, is seeking to create a new model for a truly transformative internship program.

Supervisor Chelsea Rodriguez (MoPop), Intern Katetrianna Quartimon

Seattle Center Chief Operating Officer Mary Wideman-Williams created the Seattle Center Youth Internship Program (SCYIP) as a pilot in 2016. Her vision was to create a program that provides exposure to career pathways in arts and culture, creates a shared experience for youth interns and maximizes the partnership of organizations across the campus. Wideman-Williams says that one of her biggest inspirations was her own background: “Growing up as a girl of color, I didn’t have a wide view of career options. I had limited exposure, which limited my thinking about what I could become.” This was one of the many reasons she championed the internship program cohort model, with a race and social justice perspective in mind.

Intern Abbas Alme, Supervisor Victor Johnson (Seattle Center) and intern Paris Traxler

Although Seattle Center had a long history of hiring youth interns through the Seattle Youth Employment Program, the core intentions of SCYIP fundamentally changed after the creation of the pilot. The cohort approach was integral in the success of the internship program because it created a community environment for the interns to advance their learning and create networking connections. Partnership with the Racial Equity Cohort of Seattle Center resident organizations was also key to achieving the goals of the SCYIP. This partnership provided an opportunity to harness the collective impact of more than 30 arts and cultural organizations, many of them non-profits, on the Seattle Center campus. Through this collaborative effort between Seattle Center and partner organizations, internship opportunities on the campus grew from 7 in 2015 to 27 in the pilot year, and 39 in 2017.

The program was built around three elements: job placement, career exploration and a capstone project. Job placement is the site the student gets assigned to work, coordinated through the Seattle Youth Employment Program and the C-West Program. The career exploration component in 2016 was mostly tours and behind the scenes activities around the Seattle Center campus. The students in 2016 produced a celebration event as their end-of-program capstone project.

The program design team learned a lot from the pilot year. One of their biggest priorities to improve the program was incorporating a more intentional racial equity focus. Other goals were to establish a project coordinator role and sharpen the resonance of the capstone project.
The 2017 program received a grant from the Gates Foundation to hire a program coordinator. The program was refined to include weekly meetings of the cohort to explore racial equity topics and plan a capstone event with that focus. The summer concluded with the cohort’s presentation on code switching in the workplace as the capstone event. The presentation was a hit, and showcased the capabilities of the students as well as the growth of the program.

SCYIP Capstone 2017

The success of SCYIP lies in its benefit to the interns. The program creates meaningful experiences for marginalized youth and gives students skills and confidence to bring into their future professional lives. Seattle Center is continually planning for its 2018 program, adjusting and building on its previous success to make this year the most impactful summer yet.
Not only does the program have immense value for the interns, but it is also beneficial to the organizations involved. Wideman-Williams says that the Seattle Center Youth Internship Program “helps an organization make that connection to the next generation. It’s as much about us giving a young person exposure to our world as helping us adapt to the next generation of worker. It’s a workforce equity strategy. This is not just an HR function, it’s an economic development issue.” Programs like SCYIP have value to their organizations and are a benefit to the community.

Wideman-Williams had this insight to share with organizations interested in exploring youth internships as a pathway for advancing workforce equity: “Executive level support is critical. Securing engagement of executive level sponsors in each organization to support program goals is a first step, and an ongoing requirement for success.” She also emphasizes the need for clear structural design, a race and social justice lens, program coordination and administration, as well as the value of a cohort model. “Being a youth intern in an organization of any size can sometimes feel intimidating and isolating. Providing meaningful opportunities for youth interns to engage with each other, and with coworkers, offers a richer experience. Having that engagement be intentional around a workforce equity goal or outcome is a plus.”

You can contact Mary Wideman-Williams for further information.

Seattle Center Arena Design Open House – Saturday, Oct. 28

Join Oak View Group for the Seattle Center Arena Design Open House to learn about the future of KeyArena and be part of the design process! The Seattle City Council is currently reviewing a proposed Memorandum of Understanding with the Oak View Group to renovate and redevelop KeyArena as a world-class arena, ready for professional hockey, basketball, and music. This open house is an opportunity for you meet the different stakeholders in the project and let us know what your priorities are for the arena at Seattle Center.

Discussion will focus on several key questions:

  • How will this project transform the Arena venue?
  • How will this project positively affect the Arena site?
  • How will this project engage with arts and culture?
  • How will the new Arena enhance Seattle Center?
  • How will the new Arena integrate into the neighborhood and the community?

We look forward to seeing you at the Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center on Saturday, October 28, from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. The open house is free and open to all.

Please RSVP here.

2017 Seattle Center Sculpture Walk

August 3 – December 31, 2017


This fall, eight artists invite you to discover Seattle’s cultural “Heart of the City” where all people can feel a sense of belonging, and participate in community and something bigger than themselves. Seattle Center Sculpture Walk is brought to you through the support of Seattle Center, and the Office of Arts & Culture, with the sponsorship of Alaska Airlines.

***Special Offer: Snap your pic or video of the temporary art installations at Seattle Center, upload to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, and tag it with #iARTAlaska. Make sure your post is Public. On the first of each month (September thru December), we’ll select one winning post to receive round trip air travel for two on Alaska Airlines. More info:

Seattle Center Sculpture Walking Tour
Thursday, September 21, 6-7 p.m.
The tour will start at the Monorail platform, located northwest of the Space Needle, and will end in the Armory where guests, 21 and up, may participate in Seattle’s Best Damn Happy Hour featuring a no-host bar and specials in the Armory restaurants. 

Sitting Pretty
Hugo Moro

Hugo Moro’s Sitting Pretty weaves recycled vinyl banners into benches on the Seattle Center campus to enliven the visitor’s experience. Through this work, Moro explores ideas of conservation and up-cycling in the visual arts.

April Soetarman

For chimeforest, April Soetarman created a series of suspended metal pieces tuned to a five or seven musical tone Javanese gamelan scale. This temporary installation incorporates sonic diversity and serves as a complement to the permanent sound installations featuring Western harmonies at Seattle Center, including the Artists at Play playground by Northwest artists Judith Caldwell and Trimpin, and Dan Corson’s Sonic Bloom.

Henry Jackson-Spieker

Henry Jackson-Spieker’s Lattice uses specific materials to represent Seattle’s industrial past, creative industries present, and changing future. Through this focus on the past, present, and future of Seattle, the artist illustrates how the center or focus of the city has changed. Jackson-Spieker chose steel, wood, and aircraft cables to represent Seattle’s industrial past and anchor the work, both literally and figuratively, in a woven web. Seattle’s present is represented by blown glass and cast bronze, symbolizing the tangible elements of Seattle, such as technology and industry, and its intangible elements of music, art, and culture. To represent Seattle’s future, Jackson-Spieker uses both the lighting of the covered walkway and the shape of the entire sculpture to mark the center of the city: anyone walking or standing under the sculpture becomes Lattice’s focal point.

Randi Ganulin

Randi Ganulin’s Lodestar is inspired by the Hindu myth of the god Indra’s casting of a net over the Earth. Ganulin’s artwork represents Indra’s infinite net, adorned with mirrored jewels at each juncture, so that each reflective gem infinitely reflects every other.

Erin Genia

Using a rainbow palette to signify the celebration of diversity at Seattle Center, the “Heart of the City,” Erin Genia created a hand-pieced Morningstar banner. The Morningstar is a Native American symbol for patience and purity, attributes revered in the face of conflicting views on diversity.

To see the Morningstar, follow Venus: it can be seen as the brightest light in the east before dawn and in the west before the sun has set. Resilience carries the message that diversity is beautiful and pays homage to urban Native people’s resilience through vibrant cultural expression.

Wake Up Call
Kalina Chung

In Chinese culture, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster. With 2017 came a new American presidential administration, which has led to national clashes of cultural differences and beliefs. Kalina Chung’s Wake Up Call incorporates American roosters as weathervanes atop poles around Key Arena entrances. The weathervanes are repurposed and display red and gold, the traditional celebratory colors of Chinese New Year, while the rooster symbolizes civil responsibility, protection, and courage.

Camouflage Net Project
Tara Tamaribuchi

On the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which sent more than 100,000 people of Japanese descent to prison camps during World War II, Tara Tamaribuchi’s Camouflage Net Project highlights the camouflage net factories at the Santa Anita Assembly Center, Manzanar and Gila River internment camps, where Japanese Americans made tens of thousands of these nets for the U.S. Army.

Tamaribuchi stated that “the intention of this installation is to connect my handiwork to that of my incarcerated community, send pride of heritage back to them through use of traditional kimono fabric, and create a discrimination filter with camouflage. Camouflage protects people and objects by blending them into their surroundings. In 2017, we are witness to federal policies that discriminate against race, religion, sexual orientation, and other identifiers. This camouflage is a metaphor for protection from discrimination. It acts as a filter through which we see the true nature of people, as interconnected with each other and the world.”

Rest to the Nest
Sofia Babaeva

The title of Sofia Babaeva’s work, Rest to the Nest, elevates geography as an important aspect of identity. Babaeva was inspired by barn swallow nests here in the Pacific Northwest that are often seen tucked under bridges, covered walkways, and awnings. Year after year, the swallows return to the same nests to rest, and the colonies swell in size with each hatchling. In this installation, the artist draws parallels between human settlements and social structures and colonies of barn swallows. Through Rest to the Nest we can explore how proximity and privacy coexist in groups of built structures, and how they can create respite and safety from social stressors, tighten social bonds, and build communities.

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.

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.