Seattle Restored

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This new city program connects artists and entrepreneurs—with an emphasis on artists and entrepreneurs of color—to property owners of vacant storefronts in downtown neighborhoods for short term "activations." According to Seattle Restored's website, the project's goal is to create "vibrant and engaging streetscapes that encourage the public to visit downtown Seattle, support local businesses and support local artists." And it comes at a time when fretting over downtown safety is at an all-time fever pitch from TV news stations and city officials alike. These "activations" will run from two to four months and encompass both pop-up stores and art installations viewable from the street. Out of hundreds of applications, only 30 small business owners and artists were chosen. While I remain skeptical of the city using art and minority-owned small businesses as a way to shield downtown storefronts, I am happy any time artists get compensated and have their work displayed in prominent yet unconventional spots around town.

by Jas Keimig

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