I have driven by this building many times since I moved to West Seattle. It is opposite a park that has a skateboard setup and a wading pool filled with giggling children on hot summer days. I always thought it was just a school of some sort, and I was right. But it actually hasn’t been used as a school since 1989.
In 2006, however, they found what I think might be an even better use for it. As a cultural arts center and offering low income housing for artists and writers, it is one of the best uses of a potentially useless building I’ve ever seen. If we converted all the abandoned structures sitting vacant across the country into housing for the poor and disadvantaged and/or establishments that promote the arts, we would indeed be a rich country.
Youngstown Cultural Arts Center is an inclusive, contemporary multi-arts space based in the Delridge Neighborhood of Southwest Seattle that incubates and inspires new arts participants, art-makers and organizations from our multicultural, intergenerational communities in order to engage in civic dialogue and meaningful community transformation.
Cooper Artist Housing is a 36 unit building in Seattle where artists live and work. A project of DNDA (Delridge Neighborhood Development Association), Cooper is a federally subsidized housing project designated specifically for artists. To live here, you have to be an artist in some shape or form (writer, painter, jewelry maker, poet, dancer, etc.) and your income must be within 30-60% of the national average. People of all ages live here, including families, dogs and cats.