For the first time in 38 years, the City is creating a new public development authority aimed at preserving our city’s cultural spaces, building community wealth, and investing in cultural communities of color.
The application for a charter for the Cultural Space Agency was filed with the City Clerk’s office and the public has until December 8 to provide comment and feedback on the proposed public development authority. The charter and comments can be found here. The proposed Cultural Space Agency has been developed through a years-long community engagement process and reflects input from multiple stakeholders.
The purpose of the Cultural Space Agency is to develop cultural space real estate projects in a way that reflects the needs and desires of communities that have borne the burden of institutional racism; to build community wealth through investment opportunities in cultural real estate projects; and to partner with mission-driven commercial real estate developers and cultural community stakeholders and organizations to create real property projects that reflect the interests and priorities of both.
The Cultural Space Agency is also integrated into a framework of civic recovery. For the past several months, we have been living through four crises simultaneously: the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic downturn, a civil rights reckoning, and a climate crisis. All of these crises have exacerbated our region’s inequity and created opportunities to further consolidate wealth and property ownership for a few, leaving too many without options and access to economic prosperity. The Cultural Space Agency is designed to re-equalize these opportunities, leverage civic and philanthropic investments on behalf of equitable development strategies, and center our cultural richness as a primary strategy towards rebuilding civic health and wealth.
A 30-day window of opportunity has opened for community feedback related to the establishment of the Cultural Space Agency. Please take a few moments to review the application, and to let the City Council know your thoughts.
- Will this new structure be helpful to your community?
- Is cultural space important to the development and the protection of your neighborhood?
- What projects would you like to see supported?
- How could your community, your neighborhood, your organization, connect to this new entity?
Read more information about the Cultural Space Agency. To learn more about the Racial Equity Toolkit that led to the creation of the charter visit here. To learn more about the Office of Arts & Culture’s Cultural Space program that formed the basis of the Cultural Space Agency along with other arts and cultural space policies and interventions please visit here.
Will this new structure be helpful to your community? Yes
Is cultural space important to the development and the protection of your neighborhood? ABSOLUTELY. My neighborhood is becoming more gentrified by the day and I really hope the city works to keep spaces affordable for BIPOC cultural institutions and retail spaces so they are not all pushed out.
What projects would you like to see supported? Arts and culture spaces, immigrant + owned restaurants and retail
How could your community, your neighborhood, your organization, connect to this new entity? Tbd
This looks like a great idea to help build community and preserve the art that is already there!
During the pandemic, it seems smart to work on these sorts of projects.
Derek Lum says
This is a great idea to preserve communities at risk of being displaced from Seattle. The Chinatown-International District would make a great place for this investment, because it is a neighborhood with a rich history, present, and is both at risk for displacement but also an attractive real-estate investment.