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 and partner organizations such as the Equitable Development Initiative, the Office of Arts & Culture, and 4Culture.
Table of Contents
Establishing Our Roots
After five years of organizing and fundraising, at the end of 2020 Black & Tan Hall purchased a permanent home at 5608 Rainier Ave South with funding from the City of Seattle’s Office of Planning & Community Development and the Cultural Facilities Fund of the Office of Arts & Culture, as well as countless hours of sweat equity from our 33 partners.
Our focus in 2021 was on designing and renovating a forever safe space for community and culture to thrive. The community listening sessions we held in 2021 made it clear we are only as strong as the dreams of the people who bring the space alive.
Photo: B&TH partners doing some work on the front facade.
A major hurdle to opening back when Black & Tan Hall was renting 5608 Rainier Ave. South was the lack of sprinklers to reach full occupancy of the building. The first thing on our list when we purchased the building in 2020 was to finish the sprinkler system. And in 2021 we did just that! Additional structural support of the mezzanine was another required upgrade to reach full occupancy that General Contractors Len Can Builders (pictured below) completed in 2021. Next up are upgrades to the HVAC system and repairs to the south wall and the exterior drainage factors that damaged it. One hurdle at a time, Black & Tan Hall is moving towards opening the doors!
For further building design, Black & Tan Hall is contracting the local architects of La Union Studio to work with our partnership and community to fully design a multi-purpose upstairs space that can expand and support the services provided by Black & Tan Hall.
Photo: Len Simpson (L) and his team at Len Can Builders discuss a renovation project in the Hall
Our Partners in Action
Our individual partners provided support to a wide range of community organizations and raised over $5000 in mutual aid funds within our partnership.
Good Jobs Fellows
In 2021 the second cohort of our Good Jobs Fellowship Program continued to work with our partnership. The Good Jobs Fellowship stewards BIPOC youth and young adults who learn and work alongside Black & Tan Hall's partners to build the business necessary to operate our cultural space.
Christina Chan designed and launched our online merch store and is developing a marketing strategic plan to guide the work of sharing the story of our work going forward. She continues 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 the second year of our website’s blog, the People's Prose. You can read a sample of her work, "Black Teachers Matter" here. Asha will complete her BA in Media Art & Culture and Minor in Environmental Studies from University of Washington in 2022.
Jinji Amen worked with partners to engage community members and coordinated the facilitation of receiving feedback on our upcoming Pop Up Chef Residency.
Our merch store
Arts & Culture
2021 was a good year for our arts and culture programming. While challenging to do stuff with limited in-person gathering, and as we negotiate and work though renovations, we were able to produce and grease the wheels of some wonderful projects!
Merch: We designed a whole new batch of merch, which we’re excited to get out into the public.
Hall-i-Day Party(s): That’s right! We hosted two this year. A summer and a winter! In our summer series, like our winter 2020 series, we were still virtual. For our winter party, we were ecstatic to gather in person outside on a cool evening in December in partnership with Hillman Columbia City Arts & Culture District and neighbor businesses. Live DJ, food, drinks, and local artists brought the community together between three locations across Hillman City.
Photo: Friends sporting B&TH merch, by Michael B. Maine.
Photo: Supporting local artists and businesses at this year’s Halliday.
Flower Sales: Every Second Saturday from May through September we set up shop just outside the doors of the Hall to sell fresh bouquets from Hmong Flower Farms of Washington and talked to passers by about renovation updates and ways for the community to get involved.
Photo: The B&TH family grew in 2021 and the flower sales provided a time to connect!
Block Party: After these last couple isolating years, we were thrilled to team up with other Hillman City businesses to celebrate the power of We. The Hillman City Block Party was a beautiful, sunny day which saw business activation, neighbors walking the street, and at least for that day, a return to a sense of the community vibrancy that we remember pre-pandemic.
Commissioned art: This past summer, we put a call out to artists and commissioned works to eventually be installed on our front facade. These pieces were a reflection of change and shedding the bad to make room for the good. They represented ideas of deconstruction, giving us space to reconstruct!
Seattle Green Book Self-Guided Tour: This project has been in the works for a while, but 2021 really saw it take off. This free, multimedia tour highlights Black-owned and Black-friendly businesses that operated along Seattle's Jackson Street corridor between the 1920s and the 1960s. As of early 2021, you can download the app to experience the tour!
Concept drawing of the Hall's building facade
Black and Tan Hall looks forward to stewarding this community space toward opening in 2022. As we continue to renovate, plan and build, your voice is critical in shaping our future. So is your support. Consider helping Black and Tan Hall cross the finish line by making a gift to support renovations, programming and staffing.