South Park gets a new park and art by artist Ben Zamora

The Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has selected Seattle artist Ben Zamora to create a permanent public artwork for a new park at 12th Avenue S and S Elmgrove Street. Zamora’s artwork will respond to the size and scenic nature of the site, which is envisioned as a as a resting spot for the community.

The site for the 12th and Elmgrove park is currently owned by the Port of Seattle and Seattle Public Utilities. The site most recently hosted a temporary artwork by Zamora for the Duwamish Revealed art project. Zamora’s artwork is being funded through SPU’s 1% for Art Funds; SPU is supporting the development of this park in conjunction with the utilities’ construction of a new pump station as part of its strategy addressing overall drainage issues   in South Park.

Ben Zamora is an artist whose work is primarily based in light. Over the last few years, Zamora has developed an impressive body of work that creates a dialogue between the viewer and their environment, while addressing universal themes of life, transformation, and transcendence. He has created large-scale installations and sculptures for Art Basel/Design Miami, Kunsthalle Krems in Austria, the Frye Art Museum, Suyama Space, as well as a number of other galleries, museums, private art collections, and public art projects including the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

Advancing Equitable Outreach and Engagement

Message from Kathy Nyland, Director

Mayor Murray recently issued an Executive Order directing the city to approach outreach and engagement in an equitable manner. Putting an equity lens on our approaches is bold and, yes, brave. It shows a commitment to practices that address accessibility and equity.


What does this mean?

  • We often hear that meetings can feel like we are “checking a box.” The Mayor’s action means we can create processes that are more relationship-based and build authentic partnerships.
  • It means that we can create plans that are culturally sensitive, which includes an emphasis on translated materials.
  • It means we broaden access points, identify obstacles and turn them into opportunities.


What else does this mean?

  • It means we have an opportunity to recreate, re-envision and reconcile many lingering issues, including defining the difference between neighborhoods and communities, providing clarity about roles, and creating a system of engagement that builds partnerships with, and between, communities throughout the city of Seattle.
  • It means that we will be working to expand choices and opportunities for community members throughout this city, recognizing a special responsibility to plan for the needs of those who face barriers to participation.
  • It means that we’ll work with city offices and departments on community involvement to ensure that they are effective and efficient through the wise use and management of all resources, including the community’s time.
  • And it means we will expand the toolbox and make some investments in digital engagement.

 

Seattle is a unique city, and we are fortunate to have so many valuable partners currently at the proverbial table. Those partners play an important role and that role will continue. While we are appreciative of the countless hours our volunteers spend making our city better, we recognize and acknowledge there are barriers to participation. There are communities who cannot be at the table, while there are some communities who don’t even know there is a table. This is where the Department of Neighborhoods comes in.

This is not a power grab. It is a power share. At the heart of this Executive Order is a commitment to advance the effective deployment of equitable and inclusive community engagement strategies across all city departments. This is about making information and opportunities for participation more accessible to communities throughout the city.

 

“This is not about silencing voices. It’s the exact opposite. It’s about bringing more people into the conversations or at least creating opportunities for people to participate so they can be heard.”

 
Face-to-face meetings are incredibly important and those are not going away. But not every person can attend a community meeting, and the ability to do so should not determine who gets to participate and who gets to be heard.

We’d love to hear what tools YOU need to be successful and how WE can help you. Share your ideas with us:

  • Send an email to NewDON@seattle.gov.
  • Share your comments below.
  • Contact us at 206-684-0464 or mail us at P.O. Box 94649, Seattle, WA 98124-4649.
  • Join and follow the conversation online using #AdvancingEquitySEA at:

Facebook – @SeattleNeighborhoods
Twitter – @SeaNeighborhood

This is about making things easier and less exhaustive. This is about connecting communities to government and to one another. This is about moving forward.

Kathy Nyland, Director
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods

People’s Academy for Community Engagement Now Accepting Applications

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is accepting applications to the People’s Academy for Community Engagement (PACE), our civic leadership development program for the next wave of community leaders. The fall session begins September 27 and runs through December 6.

During the 10-week program, 25-30 emerging leaders (18 years and up) will learn hands-on strategies for community building, accessing government, and inclusive engagement from experts in the field. PACE has a strong focus on Seattle’s community and neighborhood organizations and the city’s governmental structure and processes.

Fall sessions will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Miller Community Center. Topics include: Approaches to Leadership, Government 101, Community Organizing, Inclusive Outreach and Public Engagement, Meeting Facilitation, Public Speaking, Conflict Resolution, and Sustaining Involvement.

Tuition for the 10-week program is $100. Tuition assistance is available. To apply, visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/programs-and-services/peoples-academy-for-community-engagement/pace-application. The application deadline is Friday, August 12 at 5:00 p.m.

Given the popularity of the program, PACE will be offered three times a year: winter, spring and fall. The winter session will begin in January of 2017. For more information, visit our webpage and for questions, email PACE@seattle.gov.

Landmarks Preservation Board to Consider Nomination of the Former South Transfer Station

Photo courtesy of Beth Dodrill Consulting

Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board will consider nomination of the former South Transfer Station (8100 2nd Ave S) on Wednesday, July 6 at 3:30pm in Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Avenue, Floor L2, Room L2-80 (Boards and Commissions Room).

The public is invited to attend the meeting and make comments. Written comments should be received by the Landmarks Preservation Board at the following mailing address by July 5 at 3pm:

Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
PO Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649

A copy of the Landmark Nomination is available for public review at the South Park Branch Library (8604 8th Ave S) and the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ office in Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Avenue, 4th Floor (206-684-0228). It is also posted on the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods website, under the heading of Current Nominations.

Office of Arts & Culture participating in Seattle Design Festival 2015

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is participating in Seattle Design Festival 2015 with two unique events; a workshop that will explore the vision of an equitable city and a hands-on art making workshop with Portland artist Horatio Law for his temporary public artwork South Park Crisálida.

The Seattle Design Festival celebrates the ways design makes life better. The 2015 festival: Design for Equity explores how design can contribute to a more equitable society. From buildings that everyone can access and move through, to apps that enable civic participation by people in every location and language, to cities where we can all afford to live – design is a vehicle of innovation. Design for Equity invites us to create a future in which everyone in our society – from every background, ability, race, age, gender, location or economic status – can access the same opportunities and outcomes, both now and in the future.

Saturday, September 19 • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Seattle Central Library, 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
WORKSHOP – Designing the Equitable City Four agencies from the City of Seattle present a workshop on visioning an equitable city.

Cities are spaces where diverse cultures, experiences, backgrounds, traditions and ways of being converge. They are nests for creative expression and offer pathways for unique and dynamic opportunities. Yet, although diversity is a clear asset to all cities, not all communities reap the same benefits of what a city has to offer.

The City of Seattle has made a commitment to work towards social equity with an emphasis on racial equity, across all departments. In this workshop you will hear from the City of Seattle’s Office for Civil Rights, Seattle Design Commission, Seattle’s Planning Commission and the Office of Arts & Culture as they share the role that we as designers, urban planners, and artists play in creating a new equitable vision for our cities. There will be a panel of commissioners, design professionals, artists and staff who will share what is happening at a city-wide level to realize the City’s commitment to building a racially equitable Seattle, followed by an interactive brainstorming breakout session where we will all explore our own individual roles in visioning and realizing a more inclusive home that serves all communities. There will be an opportunity to report out on the smaller-group discussions and share what we’ve learned from each other.

Sunday, September 20 • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
8709 14th Ave S, Seattle, 98108
WORKSHOP – South Park Crisálida – Envisioning Community Transformation Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and South Park Arts co-present Horatio Law’s South Park Crisálida

Portland artist Horatio Law and South Park Arts present a hands-on art making workshop that invites community members and Design in Public participants to partner in the creation of South Park Crisálida, a temporary public artwork that will be installed in the South Park neighborhood. Law’s sculpture invites the South Park community to be co-creator of the artwork by weaving “Community Yarns” that will form the outer skin of the artwork. Each participant will be able to create a 10’ “yarn” by weaving colorful ropes and incorporating personal artifacts. Design in Public participants are invited to observe and participate in this equity-building activity that empowers the community to create change.

Law is designing South Park Crisálida to raise community awareness about a sewer improvement project that Seattle Public Utilities will construct in 2016 and become a destination piece that attracts visitors to the neighborhood during construction. Through this workshop, community members and merchants will work together to build stronger ties, as well as incorporate their vision for a future transformed South Park.

“Community Yarns” created during the workshop will be displayed at the South Park Library (8604 Eighth Ave. S., 98108) until South Park Crisálida is installed in spring 2016. The artwork is commissioned by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture with Seattle Public Utilities 1% for Art funds.

More information on SPU’s South Park Sewer Improvement Project can be found here.

ACCESSIBILITY: ADA/Wheelchair Accessible, Family Friendly, Scent-Free Space, Multilingual program: Spanish interpretation (please check back for additional language interpretation)