Seattle’s Mayoral Candidates Communicate About Submit-Pandemic Arts Restoration at Arts Discussion board

by Mark Van Streefkerk  On Thursday, eight of Seattle’s mayoral candidates shared their options for…

by Mark Van Streefkerk 


On Thursday, eight of Seattle’s mayoral candidates shared their options for reviving the city’s arts communities at an Arts Forum at the Langston Hughes Executing Arts Institute. All the candidates agreed that arts and tradition recovery is a required ingredient in the city’s over-all article-pandemic healing, but each individual experienced a unique thought of how to go about it. 

The forum was closed to the general public but are living streamed by the Seattle City of Literature Facebook page, exactly where you can still observe the entire discussion board

The event was moderated by Vivian Phillips, an arts producer, marketer, and civic advocate, and Marcie Sillman, an award-profitable radio journalist. Both equally moderators also co-host the podcast DoubleXposure. Phillips and Sillman questioned the candidates issues about raising city affordability for artists, funding for arts institutions and people today, the part of the Cultural House Agency, and much more about reviving a sector that was strike tricky by pandemic closures and restrictions. Browse on to master about each and every candidate’s suggestions for revitalizing Seattle’s various artwork areas and communities. 

Colleen Echohawk 

A former executive director of the Main Seattle Club, Colleen Echohawk articulated a prepare for arts restoration that also included therapies for houselessness, a approach from her work with ?ál?al, an cost-effective housing venture for the homeless Indigenous neighborhood, and Indigenous Works. Echohawk mentioned that these packages provided wages, instruction, mentorships, and housing for underhoused Indigenous people. 

“I’m honored to construct housing alongside and with the homeless Native community,” she stated. “I believe that in the healing electric power of art … I designed a plan termed Native Performs where by artists who are dealing with homelessness can get a minimal wage. We promote [their] art at Smithsonian retailers, we offer it at Pike Spot Market, we provide it all around the town.” 

Echohawk drew a apparent link involving arts funding and generating options for living wages and housing. She is also in favor of checking out a Standard Revenue for artists, explaining that the financial investment implies better economic attain total. “We know that for each and every greenback invested on the arts, three pounds goes back again to the community,” she mentioned. “We have options for therapeutic that can only come from the arts.” 

If elected, Echohawk would launch the Hope Corps, a New Offer-style arts recovery program introduced past yr but stalled by Town leadership at the time. She is also excited to check out the full guarantee of the Cultural Space Agency, a plan that combats displacement of BIPOC and artists by acquiring residence for arts areas. 

Read a lot more about Echohawk in her job interview with the Emerald

Art Langlie, Lance Randall, Andrew Grant Houston, and Bruce Harrell at the Arts Discussion board on Thursday, June 22. (Screenshot through Mark Van Streefkerk.)

Andrew Grant Houston

Architect Andrew Grant Houston emphasised the have to have for reasonably priced, lease-managed housing and business spaces 一 the sooner the superior. This would deliver an greater steadiness for artists, he reasoned. Concentrating particularly on mixed-use affordable housing would deliver extra arts prospects as very well.

“One of my programs is to devote $100 million into our Equitable Improvement Initiative, along with $10 million into the Cultural Space Company … strategic acquisition is the speediest way to permanently deliver very affordable housing into the metropolis,” he claimed. 

Houston was the only candidate to convey up divesting funds especially from Seattle Law enforcement. He advocated for progressive taxation and is in favor of launching a universal standard earnings pilot application and elevating the least wage to $23 by 2025. 

Houston’s most important priority is developing new methods that will handle Seattle’s weather crisis. The metropolis has 10 years to cut down its carbon emissions by fifty percent, he claimed — something that’s not heading to be accomplished by incrementalism.

For extra about Houston’s proposed guidelines, verify out his Emerald job interview. 

Jessyn Farrell

Previous condition legislator Jessyn Farrell has a standpoint on generating a greener economic climate that contains investing in arts funding. “As we transition to a eco-friendly economy, we want to believe of artwork as section of that financial state. The creation of art is inherently small-carbon,” she defined. “We will need to be seeking at funding arts areas and arts systems as portion of that.” 

Arts also have the ability to act as a container for neighborhood therapeutic. Farrell is psyched about checking out combining arts programming with youth education and learning as a way to minimize gun violence. She has expertise with scaling up plan by way of her former perform on transit and financial restoration initiatives. When it comes to creating the town inexpensive for artists, Farrell is in favor of big investments in inexpensive social housing, moveable gains deals, and working with portions of carbon costs to assistance fund a dwelling wage for artists. 

Understand a lot more about her experience with policy-making in her Emerald job interview. 

Lance Randall

Former executive director of SEED Seattle Lance Randall talked about expanding options for both equally public and private providers to spend in the arts. When the Town arrives up short, he indicates asking businesses for assistance. They will be incentivized to make donations mainly because it is a tax compose off. 

Randall shared his encounter of working with artist Moses Sunshine as an instance of each public and non-public arts prospects. Randall assisted Sunshine secure a mural possibility in Columbia City, and the artist also went on to create will work for Fb and Starbucks. 

“I’m the best prospect for the arts community simply because I am an artist. I’m a musician and … I have worked with the arts local community for very some time and I have an understanding of what they need to have,” he stated. “It’s essential that we acknowledge [the arts] as a viable sector.” 

Locate out extra about Randall in his Emerald Q&A. 

Bruce Harrell 

Bruce Harrell is a former Seattle City Council president and chairman of the Royal Esquire Club, which he helped revitalize. In spite of his declaration that “We have an abundance of means … we are a prosperous town and let’s act like it,” Harrell did not essentially supply substantially in the way of new insights to the dialogue. 

Artwork saved his everyday living, Harrell claimed, and however when it arrived to the problem of why he would be a great candidate for the arts group, he claimed, “I really don’t know if I am the very best applicant … but I’ll operate the most difficult.” 

Colleen Echohawk, James Donaldson, Jessyn Farrell, and Don L. Rivers at the Arts Discussion board on Thursday, June 22. (Screenshot via Mark Van Streefkerk.)

James Donaldson

Former Seattle SuperSonics player James Donaldson said, “I’d be the very best mayor to guidance our arts and culture due to the fact … sports activities is artwork and culture.” 

Don L. Rivers 

Don L. Rivers is a pastor and King County Metro worker for around 32 several years. He claimed he would be the ideal applicant for the arts since of his proximity to Motown legends. Rivers reported that if elected as mayor he would approach supporting the arts primarily based on his strategy of the “3 L’s” — Listening, Studying, and Major. 

Art Langlie

Langlie is the vice president of an electrical contractor corporation and grandson of a previous Seattle mayor and Washington governor. He appeared to be the most fiscally conservative of the candidates, mentioning on additional than 1 event that the City’s methods are restricted. “We’ve been spending a good deal of money each yr on the homeless issue,” he stated. “Until we get that under control, those people dollars are taken absent from factors like the arts.” 


Mark Van Streefkerk is a South Seattle-based journalist and freelance author residing in the Beacon Hill community. He normally writes about specialty coffee, LGBTQ+ subject areas, and far more. Check out his web site at markvanstreefkerk.com and abide by him on Instagram at @markthewriter. 

📸 Showcased Impression: Screenshot of the mayoral arts discussion board by way of Mark Van Streefkerk.

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