Cultural Spaces

Our cultural spaces define the social character of our neighborhoods. They are the bricks-and-mortar portals to the creative vibrancy our city has to offer. Our Office's Cultural Space program exists to create, activate and preserve cultural square footage in Seattle; to work with artists and arts organizations to strengthen their role in charting the future of their creative spaces, and to work with developers and builders to incorporate arts and culture into new projects.

Square Feet 2018, Photo by Jenny Crooks

The CAP Report: 30 Ideas for the Creation, Activation & Preservation of Cultural Space

In June 2017, ARTS released The CAP Report containing 30 recommendations and ideas for the Creation, Activation, and Preservation of cultural spaces in Seattle. Over 40 organizations, city departments, architects, developers, and community stakeholders partnered to produce the report. Since then, a number of the recommendations have already been enacted by ARTS.

Cultural Facilities Fund

In direct response to our growing city's need to preserve and develop affordable cultural space, ARTS expanded the Cultural Facilities Fund from $250,000 to $1,250,000. The purpose of the fund is to support Seattle-based organizations with capital projects to build and improve cultural spaces and increase accessibility. In 2017, ARTS undertook a Racial Equity Toolkit to evaluate how equitably the fund's benefits are distributed across marginalized communities fighting the pressure of displacement, and to identify opportunities for improvement.

Spacefinder Seattle

Spacefinder Seattle, is designed to connect artists and arts spaces online. Spacefinder Seattle allows artists to search the database by dozens of variables, including price and availability. There are no fees associated with using the site. It is a tool to connect artists and arts organizations to available spaces for development, rehearsal, or presentation of their work, and encourage the regional arts space marketplace.

The site's database includes presentation spaces, such as theaters, galleries, cinemas, and museums, and the relatively invisible artists' creative spaces, such as studios, rehearsal rooms, and offices. There are event spaces, meetings spaces, and even raw retail and warehouse spaces for lease. The site features more than 350 spaces and continues to grow.

Square Feet 2018, Photo by Jenny Crooks

King Street Station

Exterior of King Street Station; Photo by Ben Benschnieder

ARTS, in partnership with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), is creating a permanent cultural space on the third floor of King Street Station. In 2017, ARTS released the community feedback report, reflecting the hopes and dreams that Seattleites have for King Street Station. ARTS' intention with the new space is to increase opportunities for communities of color to present their work. The dedicated cultural space will provide public access to presentation and creative spaces, ARTS staff and resources, space for city convenings, and professional development and other services that were requested through the outreach process. This innovative plan utilizes an underused city resource to address issues of affordability and livability while preserving the unique creative economy that drives Seattle.

Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute

Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, Photo Courtesy the Office of Arts & Culture

Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, located in the Central District, is an integral part of Seattle's African American community and history. Operated by the Seattle Office for Arts & Culture and owned by Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute partners with the non-profit LANGSTON with the vision of solidifying it as a center for African American arts and culture in Seattle. Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute is also home to the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas and The Historic Central Area Arts and Cultural District. In 2017, LANGSTON announced the hiring of Tim Lennon as the first executive director.

SpaceLab NW

Cultural Spaces Map

Click here to view Cultural Spaces Map

Explore the breadth and depth of Seattle's cultural world and its impact on our region. With this map you can discover how more than 850 arts and cultural spaces are correlated with demographic analysis; how 11 million square feet of cultural space is connected to Seattle's employment trends; and how more than 60,000 square feet of gallery space links to economic data. One city, one map.

Continue on to Public Art