12th Avenue Arts

Community Roots Housing Foundation

Funding Received: 2013
Seattle, WA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
October 20, 2013

Matthew Richter speaking at the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce meeting where the Chamber announced the creation of a special task force on the arts


Capitol Hill is looking to organize around the arts. The red hot real estate market in the neighborhood is not letting up, and arts organizations want to make sure they can remain in the neighborhood. Recently, one smaller theater announced it was leaving the area and moving to Belltown.

On September 26, the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce invited arts organizations to come together for an event to discuss the state of the arts on the hill, and announce the creation of a Chamber arts task force.

One of the featured speakers was Matthew Richter, who announced the creation of a city arts space cataloging effort. The City of Seattle will create a database of the arts facilities, to document the current space and help connect potential users. Matthew (pictured above) spoke about how his newly created position was first called for in a 1982 study, and then in at least three more studies over the following decades. The Seattle process may be painfully slow, but sometimes we get it right.

Recent Wins
Three Dollar Bill Cinema recently signed a letter of intent to move into 12th Avenue Arts.  The producers of the Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, $3BC have been on Capitol Hill since their founding in 1996. An engaged community organization, they also produce a transgendered film festival and free outdoor screenings in the park. They are a welcome addition to the 12th Avenue Arts mix of nonprofits.

Insight / Provocation
We’re fortunate to live in a city where the arts are appreciated, and the Chamber of Commerce understands they are an important part of what makes a healthy community. Now that it’s becoming commonly understood that arts are a tool for economic development, it would be helpful to see a study of their financial impact on Capitol Hill.