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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Find this article interesting? Delve more into the activation of small urban spaces….

The Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper Transformation of Public Spaces

William Whyte: The Social Life of Small Urban Places

The Future of LC’s Summer Celebration

Did You Miss the Community Conversation on a Lake City Festival?

We would still love to hear your ideas.

Thank you for everyone who attended our Community Conversation on September 27th about the future of a Lake City summer festival.  We heard lots of great ideas and now we would like to hear YOUR IDEAS: Short Survey

The online survey will be open until November 8, 2017.

If you are interested in volunteering for a summer festival in Lake City please send us an email at director@lakecityfuturefirst.org

Following is a list of ideas generated by those that attended the Community Conversation by category: Continue reading “The Future of LC’s Summer Celebration”

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