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.

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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

28 bars, restaurants, and cafes part of ‘largest ever’ Omnivorous benefit for Capitol Hill Housing

If you like things like this weekend’s Capitol Hill Renter Summit, and you like 40 years of nonprofit housing development on and beyond Capitol Hill, and you like the idea of two dozen or so Capitol Hill bars, restaurants, and cafes banding together for a party under one roof, you might want to get a ticket or two to Thursday’s annual Capitol Hill Housing benefit, Omnivorous:omni_2016_logo_beet_small

Enjoy an array of fabulous food and drink by some of Capitol Hill’s best restaurants and bars – all under one roof, for just one night! Omnivorous is Capitol Hill Housing’s largest annual fundraiser. $85 gets you: ~Unlimited plates of delicious delicacies ~Superb Northwest wines and specialty cocktails ~A chance to help your neighbors have more than just housing

We’ve got a great line up of local chefs, restaranteurs, bartenders, distillers and roasters already. This year’s participants include: BaBar, Bakery Nouveau, Bar Ferdinand, Caffé Vita, Chávez, Gnocchi Bar, Hello Robin, High 5 Pie, Mamnoon, Marjorie, Monsoon, Oola Distillery, Plum Bistro, Poppy & Lionhead, Quinn’s & Zoe Events, Rachel’s Ginger Beer, Rumba, Single Shot, Tallulah’s, Tango, Taylor Shellfish, Terra Plata, The Tin Table, Witness, and more!

So, basically, $85 for all you can eat Hello Robin cookies. Go crazy. The event runs 5:30 to 8:30 PM on Thursday, September 29th at E Pike’s The Summit event space. Tickets are $85. The full roster of participants is below. Continue reading

Hugo House announces 2016/2017 season, its first on First Hill

(Image: Hugo House)

(Image: Hugo House)

Literary nonprofit Hugo House has announced the lineup for this 2016-2017 season, its first full season in an interim stay on First Hill.

Hugo’s Molly Woolbright writes:

I’m so happy to announce Hugo House’s 2016–2017 season, which features a diverse lineup of established and emerging writers throughout our two series—Hugo Literary Series and Word Works—as well as our one-off events. We’re thrilled to welcome Mary Gaitskill, Téa Obreht, Colson Whitehead, Karen Russell, Terrance Hayes, Patricia Smith, Alexander Chee, and many more.

Some of the best news in the announcement will come for Capitol Hill fans of the nonprofit’s popular Lit Series: Continue reading

Committed to staying on Capitol Hill, Lambert House starts fundraising drive

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 10.51.31 AMCapitol Hill LGBTQ youth nonprofit Lambert House has started a capital campaign to raise the money it needs to stay in its 35-year 15th Ave home. The organization is committed to staying on Capitol Hill.

Lambert House needs around $2 million to be able to stay in its longtime home on 15th Ave past the end of 2016. Executive director Ken Shulman said the organization is pursuing several different sources of funding through the capital campaign, including major private donations and a campaign started Pride weekend.

Shulman says that the nonprofit will assess the status of its fundraising in early October and decide whether they will likely have enough to buy up their current location by the end of the year. If not, Lambert House will move into an interim space for a few years while it continues to raise money for a more permanent location. Continue reading