The Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) has received a $678,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation to support an art master plan as part of the redevelopment of Yesler Terrace. SHA will use the funding to retain artists to infuse the new, mixed-income community with multiple works of art, and to support collaborative artistic projects and programs, working with community members and teams involved with design of streets, pathways, parks and other public spaces. The grant will also enable SHA to work with artisans living in the Yesler Terrace community to enhance their skills and translate them into works for public display or available for sale locally.
“The generosity and vision of The Kresge Foundation allows us to incorporate art into a community redevelopment on a scale few other housing authorities have been able to take on,” said Andrew Lofton, Executive Director of SHA. “This grant is a gift to the Yesler Terrace community, and to all citizens of Seattle, and represents an opportunity to showcase the importance of art in creating healthy communities. We look forward to working with Yesler Terrace residents, community partners and our region’s artists as we bring a vibrant new neighborhood to life.”
As a part of the three-year grant, SHA will partner with Seattle University (SU) on two projects. An existing SU co-led program that trains youth in filmmaking will be enhanced to include a focus on youth at Yesler Terrace documenting the physical and social transformation of their historic community. In addition, a team of faculty and students from SU will evaluate the overall impact of the artistic efforts at Yesler Terrace, document them, and create ways to share the assessment with other housing authorities and with arts organizations.
SHA plans to recruit a part-time administrator for the Yesler art master plan. Once that person is hired, SHA will announce later this year a Request for Proposals for artists. In some cases, artists will be engaged in the creation of actual physical projects that add to the public realm. Other artists will be involved with community building and weaving art into existing programs.
For more information about the Yesler Terrace Art Master Plan, please go here.
About the Seattle Housing Authority
The mission of the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) is to enhance the Seattle community by creating and sustaining decent, safe and affordable living environments that foster stability and self-sufficiency for people with low incomes. SHA provides long-term, low-income rental housing and rental assistance to more than 29,000 people in the City of Seattle. SHA owns and operates approximately 9,000 units at more than 400 sites throughout the city. SHA also handles more than 10,000 Housing Choice Vouchers (also known as Section 8), enabling low-income residents to receive rental assistance in the private housing market. Approximately 11,000 SHA residents are elderly or disabled and about 9,500 are children. SHA, a public corporation established in 1939, is governed by a seven-member Board of Commissioners, two of whom are SHA residents. Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council.
About The Kresge Foundation
The Kresge Foundation is a $3.5 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development in Detroit. In 2014, the Board of Trustees approved 408 awards totaling $242.5 million. That included a $100 million award to the Foundation for Detroit’s Future, a fund created to soften the impact of the city’s bankruptcy on pensioners and safeguard cultural assets at the Detroit Institute of Arts. A total $138.1 million was paid out to grantees over the course of the year. In addition, our Social Investment Practice made commitments totaling $20.4 million in 2014. For more information, visit kresge.org.