Why support the restoration

Filipino American Dance in the 1940s. Photo courtesy of FAHNS

About the Campaign

Historic Seattle has launched an exciting campaign to restore and reclaim this beautiful 105-year-old performance hall that will serve as a vital arts hub for 206 Zulu, Hidmo, Voices Rising and many other emerging artists in Seattle’s Central District.

Once completed, Washington Hall will be a beautiful and vibrant home for scores of Central District artists and a hub for Seattle’s hip hop community, spoken word performance, dance groups, local bands and a place for ideas and connection around social justice and more.

The total goal for the capital campaign is $9 million, towards which we have already raised over $3.5 million for a new roof, stabilization of external walls and the construction of an elevator for increased accessibility.  We are working to secure a $3 million tax credit investment as well.

We are now in the final phase of the campaign, which is focused on raising $2.2 million in local gifts and grants.

The final phase of the campaign will make it possible to fund the following critical elements:

Full restoration of the main performance hall, including flooring, stage and balcony

Creating an on-site recording studio for emerging artists
Expanded space for youth and community programming
A fully restored entry and lobby
Life and Safety Systems for the entire structure
Plus plenty of space for community meetings and forums and exchange of ideas around social justice and the arts.

Where we are at… A critical juncture

We have already completed the first two phases of the Washington Hall campaign and are roughly half way towards our community fundraising goals.

Indeed, we have already raised over $3 million!

Despite our progress, we still have a great challenge ahead in reaching our goal and fully restoring Washington Hall. We have raised approximately half of the funds targeted from the philanthropic community, and there are a number of community leaders stepping forward to help achieve this vision.

But now, more than ever, we are seeking the leadership of Seattle’s music and arts community.

Why this is so Compelling and Important

So many of the historic buildings that carry meaning for Seattle’s immigrant and African American communities have been lost to gentrification, redevelopment and neglect.

This is the one remaining venue from Seattle’s storied Jackson Street Jazz era.  And this is among the remaining venues where Seattle’s punk scene took shape.

Few other buildings offer the chance to reclaim an important cultural and artistic heritage with new life, new relevance, and new urgency.

The Washington Hall Restoration Project also addresses the need for a safe, accessible and inspiring space for low-income children and teens in Seattle’s Central District to participate in arts and enrichment programming.

And finally, this… Washington Hall offers a beautiful, intimate and affordable venue that is otherwise hard to find.  Plus the Hall provides an artistic home for several small arts and social justice organizations who would otherwise struggle for their very survival.

Here at Washington Hall, artists will have an opportunity to thrive artistically and to operate in a financially viable manner.