Gentrification and the Arts

Beautiful Things That Heaven BearsIf you have picked up this year’s Seattle Reads novel, The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu you’ve had a chance to get one novelist’s take on some of the issues and pressures that can fracture a community changing in the face of gentrification and immigration.

Facing similar issues, particularly those of gentrification pressures, local Capitol Hill artists, arts activists, neighbors and interested citizens are gathering at Seattle City Hall in April to discuss community concerns about rapidly diminishing affordable space for arts uses in the City’s core neighborhoods. Get details at:

Make Room for Art: Cultural Overlay Districts for Seattle
April 2, 5pm-6:30pm, Seattle City Hall

City Councilmembers will hear from Seattle residents, arts and entertainment venues and organizations, property owners, developers, and officials on how the Council might go about establishing an overlay district to offer incentives and controls in a specific area to encourage or preserve particular kinds of activities, spaces, and/or design. How can the city grow in a healthy balanced way that benefits all? This could be an exciting opportunity to add your voice as “A City Makes Herself.”

One thought on “Gentrification and the Arts”

  1. As Seattle deals with its own issues of gentrification and excessive condo conversions this is a great read to spark some interests in those issues affecting our city as well as countless others all over the country.
    On the lighter side the Senate has just recently passed Condo Conversion Bill HSB 2014, which will drastically change the displacement of numerous Seattlites.
    Under the old law tenants were given 90 days to vacate, condo conversion construction could occur even while tenants still reside in the building, and monetary relocation assistance of $500 was only given if you qualify; basically don’t make too much money.
    But luckily starting August 1st those laws will “entitle tenants to 120 days to move when their building is converted. At a cities discretion interior construction while tenants remain in the building can be restricted and cities can now adopt provisions requiring developers/converters to pay up to 3 times the rent in relocation assistance for low income tenants who are displaced and they may be able to require converters to pay an extra $1500 for the elderly (over 65) and disabled who are displaced.”
    Having worked with fellow tenants to save the Lock Vista Apartments from condo conversion and worked at almost every library branch in the system in our diverse neighborhoods I hope this will be good for our city and that we begin to understand that the backbone of the working class is what made this city what it is…and its worth fighting for…we are worth fighting for.

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