Community Arts Create Programs
Taste International is an after school youth culinary program that challenges Seattle’s inner-city youth to learn to be global citizens. With focus on nutrition, urban farming and gardening, through the lens of international cuisine, this program fosters an appreciation for world culture and tradition through the commonality of food. This year, Taste International has partnered with Garfield Community Center and Powerful Schools to teach kids how to cook, eat healthily and taste internationally. Through great partnerships with Sur La Table, Green Plate Special, Group Health and a list of guest chefs, Taste International has blossomed into a one-of-a-kind opportunity to instill healthy lifestyles and cultural competency.
The Mural Project is an initiative intended to not only cover but revitalize and restore blank walls (and consequently the neighboring spaces) in south Seattle. Continuing our goal of making the community a giant art canvas, we hope to work with agencies, businesses, and residents to complete mural installations all over the community. Our most recent mural project, the Columbia City Mural Project, partnered with 10 south Seattle agencies to conceptualize and paint a 50'x15' mural centered on the past, present, and future of Columbia City. Completed and installed, we celebrated the unveiling in January to a crowd of participants, community residents and local business sponsors!
The Columbia City ArtWalk is our flagship and signature program. The ArtWalk is a free event that essentially provides an opportunity for people to be artists, instead of just witnesses. We couple professional art vendors and performers with community-driven art activities to achieve the goal of personal creativity. For an active experience, we also feature live music, dance and theater performances. For patrons wanting to saunter and take in the atmosphere, we have galleries sponsored by local small businesses. Overall, the Columbia City ArtWalk is a fun and creative opportunity for people to experience art and culture, and help build a better community while supporting the local economy.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
All of our programs have actualized into unique initiatives that have celebrated various levels of success.
Rhapsody is our newest program and is a large success. American folk and blues music is a tradition that has been passed down for generations. This program aims to continue this tradition, using specific songs to help capture the essence of American folk and blues heritage while educating students of its rich history and cultural impact. We recently introduced our program at Washington Middle School, for a two week intensive workshop. Working with over 700 students a day, the program relied principally on the combination of music and stories, engaging the students in conversation, and sharing our collective experiences through improvisation exercises. Through a partnership with Centrum, 25% of all money raised specifically for this program, goes to send students to the Acoustic Blues Festival and Workshop over the summer in Port Townsend.
We are proud of the partnerships we have made and the in-kind donations of equipment and services we have acquired. Collaboration is key to our mission and we have done a great job at fostering those ever-important relationships.
We recently acquired a space in Hillman City in partnership with other grassroots organizations. We envision creating a "neighborhood incubator" that nurtures community, builds grassroots capacity to make change and determine our future locally, and enhances the vibrancy of our neighborhood. Over the course of this year, with the appropriate funding, we intend to renovate the space into something that is sustainable, and conducive to the environment we mean to create as a community incubator.