Central District community organization Africatown will receive a $82,500 grant from the city to continue its work creating an artful installation celebrating the block’s history and marking the coming redevelopment at 23rd and Union’s Midtown Center.
The grant was part of some $900,000 in funding awarded across the city announced Wednesday through the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ Neighborhood Matching Fund.
The Africatown grant will go toward creation of “a temporary neighborhood hub” called Imagine Africatown Fall Winter Activation at Midtown that “celebrates the African American/African Diaspora legacy and culture in the Central District through art, pop-up events, and other programming.” The grant will be boosted by an $84,000 “community match” that can include donations of volunteer time as well as money.
The Africatown grant announced this week was one of two in District 3 representing the neighborhoods around the CD and Capitol Hill. A second $68,000 grant was awarded to 206 Zulu for its plan to host a “Meeting of the Minds Community Arts Forum” with local leaders, artists, youth, families, and pioneers in urban arts activism. “The free forum will include guest speakers, panels, presentations, art displays, and performances from both emerging and established artists, dancers, and musicians,” organizers write.
In July, CHS visited the first phase of the installation work by Africatown on the property lined up for a new Lake Union Partners development that will reshape the block. In July, the planned design for the project faced harsh community criticism, prompting officials to consider turning review of the project to a newly convened Central District-focused design review board.
An Africatown Plaza project with affordable housing will neighbor the Lake Union Partners market-rate housing and commercial development.
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