Saturday, January 16, 2010

Vacant Lots in the Central District?

Are you a Central District resident? Do you have a (least) favorite vacant lot that you'd like to see converted to productive land? Alleycat Acres is looking for space in the CD to start their first garden; the bigger the plot the better. They have found available funding for this sort of project and just need a place to, literally, put down roots.

You can get in touch with Sean through Alleycat's website or leave a message with me, which I'll pass along.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Park(ing) Day and ARTSPARKS 2010

As you probably know, back in September we hosted the Park(ing) Day Central Park in conjunction with the Capitol Hill Community Council, which was funded in part by a smART Ventures grant from the city. A few weeks after the event, another similar grant was brought to my attention, so I applied, hoping to fund Park(ing) Day for 2010. Unfortunately, money is tight and we did not receive funding. In a way this is not a huge concern since we now have access to cheap insurance through Shunpike, but still the money would be helpful so we can offer increased programming (more music, bouncy castles, whatever). So if you know of any applicable grants for arts and community events, please let me know.

That brings me to 4Culture's ARTSPARKS project in Pioneer Square's Occidental Park. I first heard of this last summer when Free Sheep did their twenty-four hour Murakami performance. While PPL's focus thus far has been Capitol Hill, I've always found Pioneer Square to be romantic and underutilized, so it would be nice to do something for that neighborhood.

My first idea comes from a discussion I recently had with an urban planner from NYC: he spoke of the heavily curated flea markets (lots of good stuff, not much junk) that are evidently all the rage in the big city. I thought we could do something similar but maybe around a theme like, say, the impending loss of Elliott Bay Books. Borrowing from Free Sheep's twenty-four hour concept, and CHS's Capitol Hill Garage Sale last summer, I envision a twenty-four hour market that is centered on, well, books. Of course, we could expand it to include the cafe and hopefully some sort of performances for the wee hours of the morning, and to help attract a wider range of participants.

I'm going to get in touch with The New Pioneer Square and see if they'd be interested in tackling this (or another such) project. Let me know if you have any ideas or thoughts: one valid critique might be that looking backward is not the best way for Pioneer Square to proceed; that Elliott Bay is going and it's time to focus on something new. Anyhow, the deadline for proposals is March 12, so we still have some time.