Calls for change at Hugo House have led to the resignation of executive director Tree Swenson, the organization announced Friday morning:
The Hugo House Board of Directors today announced the resignation of executive director Tree Swenson, effective immediately. Swenson leaves Hugo House in strong financial health after nine years of steady growth under her leadership, including a new home for the organization on Capitol Hill. Continue reading →
Writers, teachers, and members in the community around Capitol Hill’s Hugo House are calling for the resignation of the nonprofit’s leader for failing to adequately respond to calls for change born out of the Black Lives Matter marches and occupied protest this summer on the streets outside the 11th Ave literary center across from Cal Anderson Park.
UPDATE: Representatives for the group calling for the resignation tell CHS their “advocacy to reform Hugo House has been ongoing for several years.”
“This latest push came as a pushback to (Hugo House’s) performative statement on race equity sparked by the events in summer of 2020,” Shankar Narayan, an advocate involved in the effort, writes. “So it was a response to HH’s false effort to capitalize on BLM, not BLM itself” that inspired the effort.
In an open letter from July, a group of writers and members were joined by a list of around 200 signatories criticizing executive director Tree Swenson and Hugo House over “structural and systemic racism” and the nonprofit’s failure to serve as “a welcoming and supportive place for writers of all races” — Continue reading →
Food is Love. It’s the name of a meal delivery project that started when pandemic restrictions set-in but not a new concept for Linda Di Lello Morton and chef Tamara Murphy, co-owners of “Earth to Plate” restaurant Terra Plata.
“The mantra that we’ve had since I met Tamara 20 plus years ago is we feed people and food is love,” Di Lello Morton said.
Di Lello Morton and Murphy started the Food is Love Project in March alongside Broadway Business Improvement Area director Egan Orion and community advocate Marina Gray. Their mission is to provide meals for food insecure families and in turn bring business to local restaurants.
“It really is this immense win-win for our local small businesses — our restaurants — and for families that need a little extra support when it comes to food,” Orion said.
The program currently feeds over 300 individuals from Seattle Public Schools families and around 100 people living in homeless encampments. Over 21,000 meals have been delivered so far, from restaurants including Din Tai Fung, Pagliacci Pizza and Rancho Bravo Tacos.
Over the past seven months, Orion says food delivery has shifted between providing families with around one to three weekly meals.
So far Food is Love has largely depended on fundraising and donations to compensate restaurants and cover expenses but, thanks to a $40,000 grant from United Way of King County, the project is set to continue as a biweekly delivery service through the end of the year. Continue reading →
A new generation of Capitol Hill is experiencing its Bauhaus moment this week as word spreads about plans for a new mixed-use development destined to replace the block currently home to LGBTQ+ nonprofit Gay City and the E Pike Kaladi Brothers.
Capitol Hill-based Hunters Capital confirms its is entering into an agreement to develop the property at the corner of Belmont and E Pike into a new eight-story apartment building with street-level retail. As with most developers, a spokesperson for Hunters who confirmed the plans with CHS emphasized the long-term and said construction is still years away.
But for those who consider the 500 block of E Pike a second home, once the development clock begins ticking, it’s difficult not to worry about what the future will bring. Continue reading →
Powered by more than 2,000 online donors plus big time help from the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates, Macklemore, and the Seattle Seahawks, the Seattle Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund has reached $15.7 million. The effort announced its first round of grants this week.
“Over the last week, the COVID-19 Response Fund made $10.175 million in grants to community-based organizations responding to the immediate needs of vulnerable workers and families in the Puget Sound region,” the foundation said in its announcement. “The grants were made to boost groups’ capabilities to provide disproportionately impacted communities with emergency assistance, such as rent support, food security, healthcare, and childcare.” Continue reading →
The City of Seattle is moving forward on some key initiatives including a ban on commercial evictions to support restaurants, bars, cafes, shops, nonprofits, and arts organizations paralyzed by the social distancing measures put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Wednesday, Mayor Jenny Durkan is expected to sign an emergency order “prohibiting the eviction of small businesses and non-profits during the COVID-19 public health crisis,” Seattle City Council Insight reports. Among its restrictions, the order will prohibit “the eviction of a small business or nonprofit tenant for non-payment of rent or because an existing lease terminated during the civil emergency period.” A small business will be defined as a business with 50 of fewer employees “per establishment or premises.”
Capitol Hill Housing’squest 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 →
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.
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 →
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 →