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City Arts move adds to Capitol Hill’s independent media two-block radius

Like weedy little flowers, pockets of culture continue to somehow find places to thrive on Capitol Hill. Like a cockroach you can’t smash, media lives on here, too.

City Arts, recently independent after splitting from glossy arts program publisher Encore Media Group, will now call Capitol Hill home.

The “independent local arts media company” and Capitol Hill “shared workspace, lounge and bar” the The Cloud Room announced the move Monday morning.

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“City Arts Magazine tells stories of the people and places we call home, and by doing so helps the Seattle-area community get to know each other better – our ideas, our beliefs and our passions,” Liz Dunn, owner of The Cloud Room and developer of the Chophouse Row project it calls home, said. “The Cloud Room shares these goals, along with our commitment to the creative and inspiring people that make our city what it is. We are thrilled to welcome the team from City Arts and believe they will make The Cloud Room an even more inspiring place to work.”

“City Arts is excited to collaborate with The Cloud Room for events and other creative opportunities as we move into our next stage of growth,” said Andy Fife, publisher of City Arts, in the announcement. “The space provides an energy that simply can’t be found elsewhere in the city, and we look forward to joining forces to make incredible things happen for the community.”

The move from N 85th St to Pike/Pine will put City Arts into a two-block radius thick with Seattle indie media presence. 12th Ave’s Northwest Film Forum has pivoted to become a media and arts hub, housing offices for indigenous arts group Longhouse MediaTasveer, producer of Seattle’s South Asian film festival, and media nonprofit Seattle Globalist. Other smaller players like marijuana-focused Top Tree Media have come and gone. The neighborhood’s longtime newspaper reportedly continues to be printed though CHS reported here on the California-based publisher’s reduced effort around the neighborhood and increased focus on other areas of the city including Madison Park. CHS? We also keep an E Pike office, believe it or not. But, no kidding, it’s a converted utility closet.

The neighborhood’s indie top dog is, of course, The Stranger. No longer an “alt weekly,” the media and news company was on the verge of bailing on Capitol Hill during a wave of pressure around 11th Ave development but a friendly landmarks ruling and a change of heart helped keep the venture in the middle of Pike/Pine’s entertainment district inside the auto row-era White Motor Company building. The Stranger has more and more emphasized its special edition magazines in recent years, including an arts and culture periodical.

Above Chophouse Row, The Cloud Room, and City Arts are planning “live music performances, seasonal parties and New Issue Happy Hours, where attendees can preview the newest issue before it hits newsstands” as part of the collaboration on the magazine’s new headquarters.

Things will get started with a launch party for the new “large-scale art installation” Ghost Cabin in the Chophouse Row courtyard on Saturday, August 4th:

Northwest Film Forum and ARCADE will also participate as arts sponsors. The event coincides with the Seattle Art Fair, and will feature live music on the Chophouse Row stage, guest artists, and a DJ in the Cloud Room lounge. Festivities will kick off with a live chainsaw art performance at 3 pm, followed by music and arts programming from 5-10 pm. As part of the activities, the crowd will be invited by installation collaborators SHED Architecture and Vital5 Productions to take part in a participatory Ghost Cabin inauguration ritual.

The preservation friendly marketplace and office development Chophouse Row debuted in the summer of 2015, incorporating auto row era elements of the buildings it replaced and creating an open building space of mews and courtyards. It was lauded for its preservation, design, and for helping to provide more space for companies to bring daytime workers to the neighborhood, as well as spaces for retail and a new restaurant and cafes. CHS reported here on the most recent addition to the project — a new space for Ghost Gallery.

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