Capitol Hill Housing has eight new name ideas to bounce off you

Capitol Hill Housing’s quest for a new name to reflect its work beyond its birth neighborhood is ready for the next phase.

Through October 14th, the nonprofit developer of affordable housing communities is collecting feedback on eight options and weighing how they reflect against the organization’s key values: Continue reading

With its work focused well beyond 12th Ave, Broadway, and Pike/Pine, Capitol Hill Housing asks for help finding new name

Dancers at the opening of Capitol Hill Housing’s 12th Ave Arts

CHS reported earlier this year on how Capitol Hill Housing is expanding its vision for affordability beyond its home neighborhood. With the new horizons will come a new name for the 12th Ave-headquartered nonprofit developer. CHH is now asking for a little help:

It’s time! We are ready to create a new name for our organization that better reflects our geographic reach and how we’ve grown and changed. Capitol Hill Housing (CHH) has served and worked alongside generations of low- and moderate-income folks to improve their neighborhoods since 1976. While our history is rooted in Capitol Hill, today we partner with communities across the Seattle area—from the Central District to White Center to Lake City. We envision Seattle as a place where everyone—from teachers and artists to seniors on fixed incomes to young families—can set down roots and thrive. Our mission in service to that vision is to build vibrant and engaged communities.

You can add your five ideas by September 16th here. Continue reading

After more than 400,000 meals for those in need on Capitol Hill, Don Jensen exits Community Lunch

Don, center, with volunteers (Image: Lucas Boyle)

In 1985, a group of local Lutheran churches banded together to provide a hot meal for low-income senior citizens of Capitol Hill. Ten people showed up for the first lunch.

On a recent rainy March day, the scene at the Central Parish House of the Central Lutheran Church looks very different. A quickly-growing crowd of over 30 people huddled under and near the awning of the entrance to the church, waiting for the doors to open at noon for a warm lunch of chicken and rice casserole.

Inside, plates clatter while a group of volunteers arranges the food, including a side of vegetable salad, buffet-style, on long tables near the back of the large, high-vaulted room. Others fold napkins and add more chairs to each table. At least 150 people are expected to come through the doors in the next hour. Continue reading

Filmmaker takes the helm at Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum

(Image: NWFF)

Writer and filmmaker Vivian Hua will take the helm as the executive director of Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum.

After she assumes the role on October 11th, Hua will be in charge of the strategic direction and creative vision of NWFF, a filmmaker’s collective founded in 1995 that uses film to “incite public dialogue and creative action through collective cinematic experiences.”

“There is no more powerful medium than film,” Hua said. “I work at the intersection of using art as a means of social change and discussion.” Continue reading

Dear Santa, SASG needs a new home for its annual Capitol Hill holiday tree lot

It’s a Seattle holiday tradition that dates back nearly 30 years but change in the neighborhood around 15th Ave E has the annual SASG Christmas tree lot searching for a new home on Capitol Hill.

“Community engagement and support for our local neighbors is integral to our mission at Kaiser Permanente and we’re proud to support organizations working to improve health on Capitol Hill and throughout Washington,” a statement from a company representative sent to CHS reads — but here’s the bad news: Continue reading

‘A gift’ — first look inside Capitol Hill’s new Hugo House

Boards from the old Hugo House — complete with the graffiti encouraged at a goodbye party before its demolition — live on in the new Hugo House

The new Hugo House will be open to the public for the first time Saturday but the staff moved in Wednesday and the space has already hosted its first event — an opening preview for the more than 300 community donors and public officials responsible for the one-of-a-kind writing center across from Cal Anderson Park.

“We’re in a time right now when words really matter,” State Representative Nicole Macri said at Monday night’s pre-opening reception in the new center.

“I’m so grateful that the state came through.”

Rep. Macri inside the new Hugo House Monday night

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New Capitol Hill story ready to begin at Hugo House

A rendering of the soon to open new Hugo House

Construction of the new 9,600-square-foot Hugo House writing center at 11th and E Olive St. is fully imbued with the creative process — right down to the burning spirit that drives any author, poet, or journalist: a deadline.

“Construction always take longer than they think it will and there have been some unavoidable delays,” Hugo House executive director Tree Swenson tells CHS. “They say they’ll be ready.”

Like a publisher awaiting that final draft, Swenson is planning for Saturday, September 22nd — the planned official grand opening of the new Hugo House inside the six-story mixed-use apartment building that stands at the site the old Hugo House previously called home.

Opening Celebration: New Hugo House

“The celebration will be a chance for everybody to explore the whole space in a design that invites creativity,” Swenson said.

Designed by the architects at NBBJ, the new Hugo House is centered around a 150-seat auditorium but Swenson said the first thing any visitor will see from the 11th Ave entrance is the front salon with built-in writing nooks, seating areas, and a small stage. Continue reading

Northwest Film Forum search open for new leader

(Image: NWFF/Elisa Huerta Enochian)

In April, CHS reported on the planned exit of Northwest Film Forum’s executive director Courtney Sheehan after the former intern successfully transitioned the organization to a new mission beyond the screen.

NWFF is now searching for a new director to take over after Sheehan’s departure:

The Executive Director is a collaborative, visionary leader joining Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) in an exciting time of programmatic and operational evolution. No longer focused on film as art for art’s sake, NWFF’s current model centers equity, collective action, and community coalition-building as instrumental to creating and presenting film and media arts. The Executive Director will leverage collective resources to build and maintain community alliances and equitable operations. Our current growth is marked by vibrant programs overseen by a talented team, increases in membership and public attendance, grassroots community partnerships, and positive fiscal health. The Executive Director will champion the organization and build resources and capacity for NWFF’s mission and programs. As leader of a small but mighty organization, the Executive Director will balance high level roles and responsibilities to oversee NWFF’s artistic vision, strategic and financial direction, charting a dynamic course for the organization’s ongoing evolution and growth.

It’s a cool job for an organization that has played an important role in providing a space for arts on 12th Ave. If you are interested or know somebody who be a good fit, applications are being accepted through July 20th.

Here is how Lambert House bought its Capitol Hill house — and the surprising company helping to pay for it

Faced with a buy or move $2 million question on its 15th Ave home, Lambert House has found a surprising supporter to help its mission to support queer youth on Capitol Hill.

In 1993, Lambert house began operating on Capitol Hill, and since then has become the Northwest’s leading organization in aiding queer youth. In 2016, Lambert House was given two months notice to vacate their location as the house’s third generation of family owners wanted to sell the property. Saved by an angel investor with a $2 million, zero percent interest loan, the organization was able to buy the house, and is now fundraising to pay back the loan within five years.

Tito’s Vodka approached Lambert House in March offering Lambert House a partnership with their Love, Tito’s campaign — at various local restaurants, for every drink purchased with Tito’s, Tito’s will donate $1 to Lambert House. Some participating restaurants are matching Tito’s effort, also donating $1 per drink.

Continue reading

A Northwest Film Forum without film? Outgoing director looks at future of 12th Ave media and arts ‘hub’

Sheehan (Image: NWFF)

What would Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum be without film?

“It’s one that we discuss all the time,” executive director Courtney Sheehan tells CHS about one of the key questions on the future of the 12th Ave film-focused community center as she prepares to leave the organization she’s helped to grow over the past five years.

Sheehan has given her six months’ notice, she says, to give NWFF time to find a new leader and solidify its new foundation as a community hub that Sheehan has been helping to build since stepping into the director role in 2016.

“We’re really excited that for the first time the forum is really becoming a hub in the center of city,” Sheehan said. Continue reading