Communities Unite for Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center
Candlelight Vigil, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 5:30 p.m.
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, 104 17th Avenue S., Seattle
In recent weeks, the community voiced its concern surrounding the mission, management and artistic direction of the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. With planning for the Seattle Parks & Recreation Strategic Business Plan underway, it is important for supporters to continue to make their voices heard in support of the vision of Langston as a space to celebrate and showcase Black arts in Seattle and to provide opportunities for Black artists to thrive.
In 2005, Langston published "The ROOTS Project," a two year community needs assessment to develop a greater understanding about existing and potential audiences and to investigate ways to enhance connections to the community. Through surveys, interviews and focus groups, more than 800 Seattle AND King County residents responded. Key findings from the report include:
- LHPAC serves a cultural rather than a geographic community throughout Seattle and beyond;
- Performing arts is the cornerstone of programming interest, both for current and potential participants;
- Arts programming that draws from or reflects the African American experience is of highest importance at LHPAC for existing and potential visitors;
- Performing artists of color believe LHPAC must play a strong and growing role in their professional sphere;
- Programs that provide arts-related training and opportunities for youth and teens of color are a high priority for the community; and
- Artists and partners believe that timely, streamlined and effective communication is of critical importance to their working relationships with LHPAC.
In the spirit of promoting diverse perspectives, it is time for the community to speak truth to power and demand that Langston remain true to its vision as an African American artist-centered space. Come join concerned citizens and let your voice be heard!
Check out the following press coverage of the recent public meeting held on Thursday, November 29th at Langston:
"Town Squall: Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center's Director is the Subject of an Investigation by the City—and the Neighborhood Is Pissed" The Stranger, Dec. 4, 2007
"Preserving part of home" Seattle Times, Dec. 3, 2007
Mission Statement of Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center:
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center builds community by providing opportunities for artists and audiences to connect through the medium of art as a catalyst for community dialogue and social change.
The Center creates year round programs that enhance artistic appreciation, performance, and proficiency. LHPAC provides creative and collaborative opportunity that creates cultural competency across the aisles of our theater and across the neighborhoods of greater Seattle by honoring our tradition of featuring art by and about African Americans, youth and communities of color.