Image by James Corner Field Operations courtesy of the City of Seattle

Waterfront Virtual Artist In Residence

Art opportunities to activate the Seattle waterfront

Friends and the City of Seattle’s Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects (OWCP) selected their Future Forward: Artist-In-Residency, Takiyah Ward. Born and raised in Seattle, Takiyah is artistically known as T-DUB Customs.

Launched as a rapid response plan to provide immediate virtual opportunities during the COVID-19 public health emergency for local artists, creatives, and makers, the artist residency supports the long-term health of the future waterfront park and will develop virtual art opportunities to activate the waterfront with temporary art installations.

Working with partners, Takiyah will lead a process that incorporates elements of the Seattle Waterfront Art Plan as inspiration to develop a program to award $100,000 in funding to local artists. This funding was made available by Friends and OWCP projects in support of the Seattle Together initiative, a partnership among the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Office of Arts & Culture, Office of Economic Development, Seattle Public Library, and the Mayor’s Innovation and Performance Team coming together to build a city-wide COVID-19 community response plan.

Takiyah said, “I’m excited about the opportunity to bring a variety of art to the waterfront that speaks to the essence of the city, and the most vibrant parts of Seattle’s culture. To highlight the beauty of our shared story and the truth of our perseverance.” Most recently, Ward organized Vivid Matter Collective’s Black Lives Matter mural on Pine Street in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

This Artist-in-Residence pilot is created to be scalable over time and continue throughout the life of the park to allow artist-led projects to be a cornerstone of Friends’ waterfront park programming and ensure participation of a range of artists, especially those representing communities of color.

With Arts Consultant Vivian Phillips serving as facilitator of the Future Forward: Artist-In-Residency, the selection panel was comprised of a diverse group of working artists, arts administrators, and entrepreneurs, including Friends Board Member and Phila Engaged Giving Founder/Principal Stephanie Ellis-Smith, Seattle Art Museum Associate Director for Community Programs and Equity Team Founding Chair and Seattle Arts Commission Co-Chair Priya Frank, artist, educator, and Eighth Generation Founder Louie Gong, Seattle Center Managing Artistic Director of Cultural Programs and Hidmo/Cypher Community Volunteer Heidi Jackson, and visual artist and Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery owner Jake Prendez.

Friends of Waterfront Seattle Board Member, Stephanie Ellis-Smith said, “The selection of Takiyah Ward for the artist-in-residence program is significant in achieving our goal of creating a “Waterfront for All.” Her voice and creativity illustrate our commitment to incorporating BIPOC artists and creatives at all levels and establishing their influence to make the waterfront an inclusive and welcoming place.”

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Friends and the City recognize the importance of participating in economic recovery for the arts community while leading strategies supporting the long-term health of Seattle’s future Waterfront Park. The residency program will embrace a process for employing a creative waterfront arts program that is artist-driven and audience-minded, inclusive and welcoming of a diversity of thought and approaches, and responsive and adaptable to changing public gathering norms. The program brings to life the significance that the arts play in our daily lives as well as in our ability to be “in community.”

2020 Artist in Residence Takiyah Ward (photo by Mike Hipple)

Image by Takiyah Ward

Image by Takiyah Ward.

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