Finding Community–Summer in the Lake City MiniPark

Activating Public Spaces

Part 1 Summer 2017 in the Lake City MiniPark

What attracts people most, it would appear, is other people.” —William H, Whyte, from The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

Hidden in plain sight, the MiniPark is the heart of the Lake City Urban Core. You either love it, or hate it. Okay, you probably hate it. Maybe you’ve called it Porta-Potty Park because of its landmark feature. It collects trash and dirt and reminds us all men are created equal, but that it doesn’t always work out that way. Yet it is prime public space in the Lake City Neighborhood. Can we reframe how we think about this corner lot and invest it with purpose?

In Summer 2017, Lake City Future First (LCFF) hosted 10 free weekly concerts in the MiniPark with some of Seattle’s finest musicians and performers including Gansango, the Lance Lu Quartet and Skolkis. This is the second year of high quality programming through the “Put the Arts in Parks” grant from the Office of Arts and Culture and Seattle Parks Department.

LCFF launched an ambitious effort to activate our public spaces in 2016. Over two summers, LCFF, Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Lake City Branch Library have hosted over 48 free multi-cultural art performances in Lake City. This summer we saw families with strollers, jazz buffs with lawn chairs, neighbors coming for a concert and dinner, commuters getting off the bus and visitors driving through from Alaska all stop and wile an hour in the Park.

Public park plazas are the gems of urban environments. They may be named for a famous fountain or sculpture, but as Whyte says, what really attracts people is seeing other people. Plazas are an opportunities to enjoy public life–share a lunch, people watch, catch a sunbreak, see some art. As we shed our reputation of auto row and state highway and work towards a walkable neighborhood, activating public spaces is our key to a vibrant community.

Have ideas for artists you would like to see in 2018? Are you interested in writing a Put the Arts in Parks or Small Sparks Fund grant for a cultural event in our neighborhood? Contact us. Hope to see you at a concert in 2018.

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William Whyte: The Social Life of Small Urban Places

LCFF Mural Dedication

A Great Day In Lake City

Saturday, September 9th, Lake City Future First was joined by about 30 neighbors to dedicate artist Andrew Miller’s mural on the retaining walls of  Value Village. LCFF funded the mural and looks forward to continuing to work with the Lake City Young Leaders, local business, Lake City artists and Andy to keep the momentum going on murals in Lake City. Thanks to the Double J Saloon for hosting the after party. Attendants were treated to some music, insights from Andy and his process and a dinasaur themed cake in honor of the mural motif.

Earlier that day – Lake City came out to celebrate the grand opening of the Lake City Skate Park. Our local hero, Kevin Hilman, who shepherded this project through over the course of about 9 years, was joined by Mayor Ed Murray, Parks Superintendent Jesus Aguirre, Dwight Preveo with Wells Fargo, members of the Virgil Flaim Family and Andrea Meyers with Children’s Home Society. The park was buzzing with youth of all ages and beyond showing their tricks and enjoying this incredible addition to the community.

LCFF presented Kevin with a special award at our August Community Conversation for his dedication and perseverance throughout the project. Kevin is a true example of the positive impact an individual can have on a community.

Lake City Artist Has Solo Gallery Show

Local Artist Lynn Debeal Shares Her “Multiplicity” Artwork

Lake City artist, Lynn Debeal talks about her work –
“Multiplicity” – “Celebrating the Sacred Geometry.  “My work is inspired by the Sacred Geometry.  I use it to generate Mandalas from my original hand done pastel, color pencil, vector, & painted artwork.  10 year of asbestos exposure in the 1970s/ 80s & mold exposure in the 90’s caught up with me. Pulmonary Fibrosis & a restrictive lung disease made art mediums that produced dust became toxic to me.  So I went digital.  I found a Kaleidoscope program & began to explore art the same way I used to explore my music – mathematically. I began to “Re-Mix” my art. Geometry, which means “measure of the earth,  is part of everything we see & hear.  Our bodies, nature, architecture, music.  My lungs can no longer sing jazz, blues, rock or folk cover tunes, but I cover my artwork.  And create again.”

Visit Lynn’s page here: http://www.lynndebeal-fineart.com

 Saturday, September 16th

3-6pm at the Black Zone Gallery