Mike McGinn, Mayor
9/13/2012 3:00:00 PM
Aaron Pickus (206) 684-4000
Mayor proposes plan to support Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center into the future
SEATTLE - Mayor Mike McGinn announced today that his proposed 2013 budget will include a plan to support the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center (LHPAC) into the future by transferring the cultural facility into the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs (OACA) from the Department of Parks and Recreation. The addition of Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center as another program under OACA aligns with OACA's mission and fits the purview of the Admission Tax to fund arts-related programs and keep artists living, working and growing in Seattle. The plan resulted from conversations with LHPAC staff, arts commissioners, and other arts leaders.
"Langston Hughes is a valuable arts and community resource for the Seattle community," said McGinn. "I thank city staff, the Arts Commission and community stakeholders for their work to help the city better support Langston Hughes in the future. I especially thank Executive Director Royal Alley-Barnes for her leadership in making this new approach possible."
"This is an amazing opportunity for underrepresented and marginalized grassroots communities to become highly visible in the city's public performing arts scene," said Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center Executive Director Royal Alley-Barnes. "Mayor McGinn has touched many hearts with this proposal, and has generated civic excitement by making LHPAC an operating unit in the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs.
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center has a staff of 7 FTE and an annual budget of just under $740,000. It operates as a cultural performing arts center with major programs including the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival and a summer teen musical. The goal of the center is to provide quality cultural entertainment and educational components that meet the needs of the community.
The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs supports the health and vitality of our city by providing access to arts and culture, advancing the role of the arts in our community, and advocating for issues that affect the entire cultural community. The Office administers the City's public art program; acts as a funding agency for artists, and arts and cultural organizations; and partners with other organizations on issues such as arts education cultural space. The Office is primarily supported by two dedicated funding sources: admissions tax and the Municipal Arts Fund. Admission tax provides support for the department's funding programs and general operations. The move will not affect staffing or programming levels at either organization, and is part of a plan to help LHPAC become more closely connected with the broader arts community. OACA will work with LHPAC over the next two years to develop a long-term self-sustaining financial strategy for the center.
LHPAC is housed in what was formerly the Jewish Synagogue of Chevra Bikur Cholim in the Central District at 104 17th Ave. S., 98144.The building is listed in the National Registry as a historical landmark. The Center was established in 1969 as a dynamic and creative cultural arts hub under the Model Cities, Urban Renewal program. Created to provide a cultural institution in Seattle's Central District Area, LHPAC has been at the core of experimental, cutting edge, traditional, and emerging art forms for more than 30 years. LHPAC became a program of Seattle Parks and Recreation in 1972.
The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs has a proposed 2013 staff of twenty-eight FTE (including LHPAC staff) and an annual budget of $7 million. The Office supports the health and vitality of our city by providing access to arts through two primary programs: public art and community partners. The Office maintains the City of Seattle's public art program which includes nearly 3,000 artworks, and adds an additional 8 to 10 works to the collection each year through the 1% for art program. Over $2.25 million is distributed to individual artists and arts organizations through the community partners program to support the creation of new works, community festivals, building maintenance, and arts jobs. The mission of the Office is to provide access to the arts for citizens of Seattle, advance the role of the arts in our community, and advocate for issues that affect the cultural community. The 16-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council, supports the city agency.
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