Read our Community Report for stories about who we are, what we do, and how we put our values into action. This work was made possible through the hard work of our partners, the Equitable Development Initiative, the Office of Arts & Culture, and 4Culture. Link to pdf version.
Table of Contents
Establishing Our Roots
In 2020 Black & Tan Hall purchased our permanent home at 5608 Rainier Ave South. With $1,190,000 from the City of Seattle’s Office of Planning & Community Development, $80,000 from the Cultural Facilities Fund of the Office of Arts & Culture, and countless hours of sweat equity from our 33 partners, we have made a big step towards realizing an equitable, thriving, hyper-local economy through arts and cultural programming in Hillman City.
Read South Seattle Emerald's article!
The Seattle Times' highlight on Black & Tan Hall can be found here.
With our ownership of this building, we join a growing number of organizations in Seattle all working towards our community's collective economic liberation. We have started the building upgrades and repairs necessary to open the doors, with the goal of welcoming you to gather with us at the Hall in late 2021 / early 2022!
Our 5 Year Journey
It all started in 2016 when community members began meeting to create the structure of our company. We wanted to create a community-owned business that puts people in charge of their own destiny in their own neighborhood. Seattle’s rapid development, struggles in negotiating what building improvements were necessary to legally open the building, and intermittent phases of internal business development -- all while hosting events at other venues -- contributed to an odyssey of an experience just to try to open the doors of Black & Tan Hall. Read more about our history here.
From one of our founding members, Rodney Herold in 2016:
"We are looking at the gentrification in Columbia City. It is poised to happen like a big tsunami coming our way. I realized ownership of the property is the only way to hold our ground.”
Ben Hunter in 2018 reflecting on the old Black and Tan clubs and our new one:
“Anybody could come here if you abide by this code, where everyone is equal. There is no discrimination if you walk through this door. We’re repeating history in so many different ways societally right now, so why not bring back some of the other aspects of 100 years ago that exemplify the beauty of society?”
Tarik Abdullah on gentrification in 2016:
“We have a choice. We could wait the next ten years and probably get pushed out of the neighborhood, or we take our chance, we believe in it, stand by it, and go for it.”
Our Partners in Action
Our individual partners contributed over 1,500 hours in service to our community, $13,000 to a range of community organizations and over $4,000 in mutual aid funds within our partnership.
Good Jobs Fellows
In 2020 we launched the second cohort of our Good Jobs Fellowship Program. The Good Jobs Fellowship stewards BIPOC youth who learn and work alongside Black & Tan Hall's partners to operate our cultural space. To adapt to the new realities imposed by Covid-19, our partners and fellows necessarily focused on developing the elements of Black & Tan Hall’s business structure that could be addressed in virtual meetings and work sessions.
Christina Chan designed our new website and is developing a marketing strategic plan to guide the work of sharing the story of our work going forward. We intend to uplift community voices by providing a platform through our newsletter, social media accounts, and website.
Asha Noble conducted research and used it to compose content for our website’s new blog, the People's Prose. You can read a sample of her work, "Black Health Matters" here. Asha was also a teaching artist with Seattle Music Partners!
Jinji Amen worked with partners to film stories of South Seattle by interviewing both our partners and community members about who they are and how they want to engage with Black & Tan Hall. By elevating and centering partner and community voices, we will share stories that are reflective of our community's journey for collective liberation.
Arts & Culture
Home page of our new website.
In 2020 our 4th annual Hall-i-Day Party went virtual. This year's virtual event was hosted by Ben Hunter featuring local crafters and music from several Black & Tan Hall partners.
In this photo, local musicians Ayesha Brooks (upper left), Sean Divine (upper right), Camilo Estrada on the bass (lower right), and Ben Hunter on the guitar and piano (lower left and middle).
Chef Tarik Abdullah took a few minutes away from preparing free meals for Feed the People Community Kitchen to share his recipe for Cooka T’s Nachos.
Joe Seamons (right) and Briar (left), roots musicians and leaders of The Rhapsody Project, played us some folk tunes from their Oregon cabin.
Eve Sanford (left), a multidisciplinary artist, educator, arts leader, and owner of Evolve Revolt Repeat, was one of the local vendors featured in an in-depth interview. The five other vendors who joined us were: Nikky’s Niche Designs, Sage Soul Beauty, iNfinitely Well, Dyme Designs, and AH Lip & Body Butter.
Watch our 4th annual Hall-i-Day Party below!
As we move into 2021 as building owners, Black & Tan Hall’s Arts and Culture team is spearheading a front facade makeover with murals by local artists, exploring online music jam spaces, and releasing an online store with brand new Black & Tan Hall merchandise!
The future of Black & Tan Hall will be informed by the dreams of our community. After a year of renovating this historic building, our focus will be on creating a forever safe space for community and culture to thrive. We believe that we are as strong as the dreams of the people who bring the space alive.
Our priorities for the coming year will be ensuring that the building is safe and accessible. While recent funding allowed us to secure the building, we will need to raise significant additional funding to renovate the space, secure inspections and permits for occupancy.
Concept drawing of our building facade
We deeply understand that relationships are our strongest currency in a post-pandemic future. We will continue expanding the community relationships that will anchor space with love and collective power. Our goals will be realized through supporting the work of local artists through our Hall-i-Day Bazaars, expanding our Good Jobs Fellows program, and continuing to support our fellow EDI cohort members in their placemaking efforts.
The future is what we, as a neighborhood and the community make it. We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors. In the spirit of Sankofa, we will always remember the history of our culture and our ongoing effort for collective liberation of all people while building a space where the future can be born and thrive.