12th Avenue Arts

Community Roots Housing Foundation

Funding Received: 2013
Seattle, WA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
January 3, 2014

Future theater spaces beginning to take shape; photo by Joshua Okrent

The concrete work on 12th Avenue Arts was recently finished, and the temporary supports removed. This provided the first opportunity to step into the volumes that will become two blackbox theaters. With 29-foot ceilings, the empty rooms seemed to soar forever. It’s so inspiring to see the theaters come into shape.

Recent Wins
Hoping to build a clear process to connect arts groups to real estate developers, the City of Seattle is seeking to create a cultural development certification program. The RFP for consultants is a good step forward

The Laurelton Apartments on Capitol Hill has been called everything from a mental ward to “Seattle’s Chelsea Hotel.” But the best, and most accurate, name is likely “a pirate ship for artists.” It seems that nearly every artist in the neighborhood has lived at the Laurelton, spent many hours on a couch there, or enjoyed the legendary “free pile” that ebbs and flows on the 1960s green shag hallway carpet.

While drafty, damp and containing an elevator that most residents are afraid to use, the Laurelton has remained an affordable place to live for decades. The tenants, who mainly seem to be artists, basically run the place themselves. There is no transparent process to apply to move in and there is a strong DIY ethos towards building maintenance. It’s boisterous, lawless and has an ever- changing cast of characters. Vermillion, a neighborhood art gallery, just opened a show celebrating the work of the myriad artists who’ve lived in the building. Vive Le Laurelton!