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

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 Skate Park Grand Opening

Excerpt from Seattle Parks Post

by Karen O’Connor

“Join the Lake City community to celebrate the opening of the Lake City Skatespot at Virgil Flaim Park on Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The official ribbon cutting ceremony starts at 11 a.m. followed by beginner skateboard lessons from Skate Like a Girl, a 12 and under skate demo, giveaways, DIY deck project, music and refreshments. Virgil Flaim Park, 2700 NE 123rd St, is the largest, most centrally-located park in the Lake City community, and it is used extensively by families for recreation, outdoor dining, and community gatherings. 

The Lake City Skatespot project was community-initiated and includes a skatespot with colored concrete, a relocated and resurfaced the basketball court and other improvements at the park. A skatespot is smaller than a full skatepark but large enough to incorporate multiple skateboarding features. The community’s desire for a skatepark in Lake City was first documented in the North Neighborhood Plan (1999) and then in the Seattle Parks and Recreation’s 2007 Citywide Skatepark Plan. Cascade Design Collaborative in collaboration with Grindline Skateparks worked with the community on the design and improvements at the park.

The project received $750,000 from the community-initiated 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund, $75,000 from King County Youth and Amateur Sports Facilities program, and a $30,000 donation from the Wells Fargo “LIFT the Block” neighborhood revitalization program. Local Wells Fargo team members will volunteer at the event assisting with Lake City Branch Library DIY board project and commemorative button-making during the grand opening celebration.

The park project supports current revitalization efforts by Children’s Home Society of Washington who acted as the sponsor for Wells Fargo “LIFT the Block” grant. The Wells Fargo donation funded the colored concrete for the skatespot and supported the opening celebration.”

View Full Article Here

 

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.

Out and About Today

Things to Do Tonight & Tidbits Around LC for August 30th

Join LCFF for “Parks” Community Conversation 6:30-8pm – LC Community Center

info here: https://enjoylakecity.org/august-30th-community-conversation/

Cheers to the Lake City Farmers Market at the Watershed Pub 6-9pm

North Helpline Open House – 5pm – https://www.facebook.com/north.helpline/

LC Young Leaders and Artist Andy Miller working on J&J Saloon Mural
No one was injured but a car drove through the BECU window today – BECU Rep: “should be back open for business tomorrow” 8/31
Piece of Mind bids farewell to LC location – Representative was not able to indicate reason for leaving but hoped they would be back