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Community Report

Read our Community Report for stories about who we are, what we do, and how we put our values into action. 

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Black & Tan Hall General Catalyst, Naudia Miller, greets a guest. Credit: Naomi Ishisaka.

In 2023 we celebrated successful building inspections and permit applications! Black & Tan Hall passed all inspections, including fire and safety, plumbing, and electrical. We hosted our first public event within days of receiving our occupancy permit. And we now have a liquor license and King County health permit for permanent food. All this work thus far, in addition to completing structural renovations in partnership with La Union Architects and Len Can Builders, has allowed us to open our doors! In 2024, B&TH will continue to work with La Union on phase 2 of building upgrades, including the kitchen, bar, and mezzanine.

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Black & Tan Hall friends and supporters gather at the Hall for 

food, drinks, music, and fundraising. Credit: Joel Allen, @darka_the_berry.

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Black & Tan Hall partner and Food and Beverage Catalyst, Karen Stringer, 

serves up Caribbean dishes passed down from her grandparents 

to guests at the Hall. Behind the bar in the background, Mixologist 

Marcus Warlick serves up cocktails. Credit: Joel Allen, @darka_the_berry.



A Home for Our Dreams Fundraising Campaign

B&TH Anchor Producers describe Black & Tan Hall. Credit: Carlos Imani @carlosimaniflvr and @the.elitecollective.

Black & Tan Hall has had substantial fundraising success, totalling $2.5M, with approximately $750,000 raised in 2023. Over the last few years, these funds were used to purchase the building, complete required renovations to preserve the building and bring it up to code, and develop and produce arts and cultural programming with community partners. B&TH would like to thank Seattle’s Office of Planning & Community Development, 4Culture, Pillar Foundation, and hundreds of individual donors for believing in Black & Tan Hall!


Revenue and continued fundraising will allow B&TH to renovate the bar, kitchen and mezzanine, all designed by La Union Studio, and enter the next phase of the Hall: hosting a packed house to experience the creations of local artists, culturally-reflective food, and community! Longer term, B&TH aims to raise $3M over five years, including $1M to complete renovations, $1M supporting operating capital, $500K supporting the Good Jobs Fellowship, and $500K supporting artist residencies.

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More Black & Tan Hall friends and supporters gather at the Hall for a fundraiser. Credit: Joel Allen, @darka_the_berry.

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Black & Tan Hall partner and Anchor Producer, Sadiqua Iman, performs during a fundraiser at the Hall. Credit: Naomi Ishisaka.

Association of King County Historical Organizations 2023 Technology Award

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A plaque awarded to Black & Tan Hall from AKCHO for the Seattle Self-Guided Green Book Tour. Credit: Ashley Harrison.

Black & Tan Hall received the 2023 Technology Award from the Association of King County Historical Organizations (AKCHO) for the Seattle Self-Guided Green Book Tour! The free multimedia tour highlights Black-owned and Black-friendly businesses that operated along Seattle's Jackson Street corridor between the 1920s and the 1960s, including the famous Black & Tan Club and other clubs from Seattle's early jazz scene. Download the app or view in a browser to learn about local hotels, restaurants, clubs, and barbershops listed in the national Green Book guide for Black travelers and the entrepreneurs who established them. The app has been directly downloaded hundreds of times and it has been accessed online by thousands of residents and visitors. It has also been used in several classroom settings since the launch.

Community Engagement

Community Engagement

Our first free public events!

Within days of receiving our occupancy permit, Black & Tan Hall hosted the celebration of the 8th anniversary of Dyme Designs, the family business of our former Good Jobs Fellow and current B&TH Marketing Strategist, Christina Chan! This was also a celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival where the full house enjoyed mooncakes and a lion dance performance by the International Lion Dance and Martial Arts Team. It’s been incredibly rewarding to witness the successful entrepreneurship of a former Good Jobs Fellow!

In October, B&TH, Briar, and The Rhapsody Project hosted an artists’ residency of Louisiana Zydeco music LEGENDS Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes and Leroy Etienne. All events with Sunpie, Leroy, and a trio of blues songbirds, Teeth, were free to the public, including a variety show and dance featuring blues, jazz, Creole and Zydeco music, and a folklore gathering for families. Funded by 4Culture and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture HOPE Corps, each event provided an opportunity for our partnership to practice our processes for hosting the anchor partner programs.

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One of several free events that Louisiana Zydeco music legends Sunpie and Leroy Etienne participated in while in residence at Black & Tan Hall in October. Credit: Awa-Moon.

Participatory budgeting open mics

Last fall, The Rhapsody Project and the Participatory Budgeting Project presented two, free public benefit Youth Open Mic Nights at the Hall. Participants aged 25 and younger were invited to take the stage for five minutes. The talent ranged from comedy, spoken word, original performances, and cover songs. Guests were invited to suggest ideas and then vote on how to spend $27 million of Seattle’s city budget. Complimentary dinner was provided and catered by That Brown Girl Cooks

In The Works partnership

In the beginning of the year we invested in the people within our partnership by beginning a collaboration with In The Works (ITW). ITW collaborates with organizations and groups who are interested in transitions (our B&TH middle name might as well be ‘transitions’), meaning organizations that wish to shift with accountability, from ‘what’s now,’ to ‘what’s next.’ ITW uses a belonging-based facilitation approach that includes an anti-racism lens, as well as incorporating Black-Liberative and trauma-informed practices. ITW’s interactive style includes group and individual work with self-reflection, storytelling, play, ritual, structural/systems assessment, and 1:1 coaching. As facilitators, their role is to “make easy” connection and communication amongst groups. Our experience thus far has been enlightening and uplifting.  

GBT in the classroom

The Seattle Green Book Self-Guided Tour continues to inspire! In one class at Cleveland High School, students used the Green Book Tour app to learn about their neighborhoods and the history of the city. Ben Hunter and Ashley Harrison, B&TH partners and developers of the app, visited their classroom to talk about Black-owned and Black-friendly businesses that operated along Seattle's Jackson Street corridor between the 1920s and the 1960s, helping them plan their research on local businesses in their communities. 

Hillman City Collaborative partnership

In 2023, Black & Tan Hall, the Multicultural Community Coalition (MCC), and Southeast Effective Development (SEED) continued their collaboration on a $3.2M grant award designed to take neighborhood properties off the speculative market. The group came together to work to support vibrant small businesses and low cost arts and cultural spaces in the Hillman City neighborhood.” It is our goal to preserve and protect opportunities for our communities to thrive in place.” said HCC member Karen Toering. Work continues on this collaborative, who hopes to secure a property by the end of 2024.  

Anchor Producer Partner Profiles

Anchor Producer Partner Profiles

As part of our commitment to the arts and cultural community, B&TH established the Community Anchor Producer Program.

Our Community Anchor Producers are a mix of producers, performers, and curators from around the city, but mostly located on the south end of Seattle either in work, home, or lifestyle engagements. They bring their own audiences, their own programming, and their own event team. Black & Tan Hall will provide physical space, food and beverage services, audio engineer services,  security, marketing support and collaborative grant writing and fundraising support/consultation.

Below are profiles of some but not all of our anchor producers.

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Ben Hunter (left) and Reggie Garrett perform during B&TH’s Green Book Tour Launch in 2022. Credit B Atwell.

Anchor Producer Benjamin Hunter

Benjamin Hunter, a key figure in the inception of Black & Tan Hall, shared insights into the origins of the establishment and his vision for future programming aspirations.

When asked when he became a partner at Black & Tan Hall, Hunter replied, "Since before it was a thing", tracing back his involvement to the nascent stages of B&TH. Back in November-December of 2015, he was instrumental in drafting the initial business blueprint, setting the stage for what would later become Black & Tan Hall. Collaborating closely with visionaries Tarik Abdullah and Rodney Herold, Hunter embarked on a journey of ideation and recruitment, laying the groundwork for what would become our beacon of cultural resurgence in Hillman City.

But why invest so profoundly in such a venture? For Hunter, the answer was deeply personal. "I had always wanted to own a music club/restaurant since I was a kid," he revealed, underlining a lifelong passion for fostering creative spaces. Drawing from his extensive involvement with the Hillman City Collaboratory and various community initiatives, the concept of a cooperatively-owned enterprise emerged as the most potent manifestation of his aspirations. It wasn't merely about business; it was about catalyzing a cultural and economic revolution, where artists thrived and communities flourished in symbiotic harmony.

Reflecting on the essence of B&TH's mission, Hunter articulated a vision that transcends mere entertainment. "My hope is that these kinds of shows can not only demonstrate universal humanity amongst people... but also demonstrate a new economic/social platform," he elaborated, hinting at a programming ethos centered around intercultural exchange and interdisciplinary collaboration. In his eyes, B&TH isn't just a venue; it is a catalyst for societal transformation, where the arts assumed their rightful place as the cornerstone of a vibrant, inclusive culture.

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Joe Seamons takes the stage with The Rhapsody Songsters. Credit B Atwell.

Anchor Producer Joe Seamons

Since early 2016, Joe Seamons has been an integral part of B&TH, actively contributing to shaping its trajectory and programming. From drafting the initial Operating Agreement to ongoing engagement, Seamons' commitment to the project stems from a deep appreciation for its potential as a community anchor.

"I joined because I loved the people involved and the potential to keep growing our community with a space as an anchor," Seamons explained, underscoring the significance of B&TH as more than just a venue but a hub for fostering connections and addressing cultural inequity in the city. Through this project, Seamons sees an opportunity to challenge existing norms and provide a model for cultivating cultural spaces that empower communities.

Looking ahead, Seamons In collaboration with others, intends to steward regular jam sessions for all ages, potlucks that center the heritage of each of the many cultures that compose South Seattle, late night after-parties to serve audiences after attending other concerts in our city, lecture or discussion event series, dance classes followed by dances, blues festivals, and a range of events where parents can cut loose while their kids keep busy making art upstairs.

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Karen Stringer in the entrance of Black & Tan Hall. Credit: Ben Hunter.

Anchor Producer Karen Stringer


Long-time Black & Tan Hall member Karen Stringer discussed her commitment to the organization since 2017. Stringer emphasized her deep-rooted belief in fostering community spirit, citing it as the primary reason for her sustained involvement.


"Community is something that we need to work at building," Stringer emphasized. "It doesn't simply materialize out of thin air."


Stringer's dedication to cultivating a sense of belonging within Black & Tan Hall underscores the organization's mission to promote unity and camaraderie among its members. Since joining, Stringer has actively contributed to various initiatives aimed at strengthening bonds and promoting inclusivity.


When asked about her plans as an anchor producer within the organization, Stringer outlined a lineup of programming designed to educate and entertain. Among her proposed events are lectures focusing on the Black experience, alongside themed evenings such as "Old School Nights" and card game gatherings tailored to older adults.


"While I'm excited about these offerings, I'm also open to exploring new ideas and avenues for engagement," Stringer added, highlighting her commitment to diversifying the organization's programming to cater to a wide range of interests and demographics.

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KT motivating the room during a fundraiser at the Hall. Credit Naomi Ishisaka.

Karen Toering describes why she’s a part of B&TH. Credit: Carlos Imani @carlosimaniflvr and @the.elitecollective.

Anchor Producer Karen Toering


Karen Toering, believes in the power of the collective and spoke about her deep-rooted connection to Black & Tan Hall and her plans as an anchor producer.


"I became a partner in late 2016," Toering disclosed, reflecting on her initial introduction to the Hall. "I was invited to visit the Hall by Chef Tarik Abdullah. Once I stepped into the space, I felt the energy, love, and power that was already there and knew that this was something that I wanted to be part of. I believe in this neighborhood. I've lived here for 25 years."


Toering's sense of belonging within the community underscores her commitment to B&TH's mission of fostering inclusivity and cultural enrichment. When asked about her programming aspirations, Toering shared her vision to celebrate and elevate Black culture as an anchor producer


"My programming will use cinema as a cultural catalyst through my org, Sankofa Film Society, which uses film and discussion to explore and elevate Black culture," Toering explained. "I am also excited about working with a variety of presenting partners."


By collaborating with diverse presenting partners, she seeks to broaden the scope of B&TH's programming, ensuring that it remains inclusive and reflective of the community's rich tapestry of experiences and perspectives.

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Ricky Gene Powell approving the sound check. Credit: Jovelle Tamayo for Pillar.

Anchor Producer Ricky Gene Powell


Ricky Gene Powell opened up about his longstanding involvement with the organization and his passion for community-driven initiatives.

"I have been a part of B&TH since almost the beginning in early 2016," Powell revealed. "I acted as a facilitator for the initial organizational meetings. I became a part of B&TH because a community venue of this sort is very close to my heart and soul. It provides the ability to do direct action and build community."

Powell's deep-seated commitment to B&TH reflects his dedication to fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment within the community. His role as a facilitator during the organization's formative stages underscores his instrumental contribution to its inception and growth.

When asked about his plans as an anchor producer within B&TH, Powell outlined an array of programming aimed at enriching cultural experiences and promoting artistic expression.

"Cultural Events, Live Music, Theatre, Poetry, Dance & Education!" Powell exclaimed, emphasizing his commitment to offering a diverse range of activities that cater to the interests and passions of community members.

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Sadiqua Iman and daughter Aya enjoying the music and bubbles during a B&TH Block Party in 2022. Credit: Jovelle Tamayo for Pillar.

Anchor Producer Sadiqua Iman


Sadiqua Iman, a dynamic force within the artistic community, shared her journey with Black & Tan Hall and her aspirations as an anchor producer.


"I have been involved with Black & Tan since 2017 after moving back to Seattle from Washington, D.C.," Iman disclosed. "I was looking for a place to continue to produce work for my queer black woman non-profit, Earth Pearl Collective, and was finding that venue spaces were too expensive for the free and low-cost events we were creating for our community."


Iman's narrative unfolds with the tale of serendipity as she stumbled upon B&TH through a friend's recommendation. The prospect of a collective of artists pooling resources to create an inclusive space resonated deeply with Iman, offering her an opportunity to invest her abundant ideas and energy in lieu of monetary contributions.


Reflecting on her role as an anchor producer, Iman shared her vision for programming that transcends conventional boundaries and embraces the eclectic spirit of artistic expression.


"Since the pandemic and the rise of consciousness in the world, Earth Pearl Collective is no longer in existence," Iman acknowledged. "This has given me space to return to producing and directing original work of artists of all genders, sexualities, and races."


Iman's passion for fostering diversity and inclusion manifests in her plans to curate one-person shows, full building activations, and experimental art installations. She envisions the kitchen and the bar not merely as ancillary spaces but integral components of the immersive experience she seeks to create.


"I want people to know that the Hall is not only for concerts and meetings, but also for the weird and immersive," Iman declared, signaling her intent to redefine the boundaries of traditional performance spaces and foster a culture of creative exploration and discovery.

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Camilo Estrada trying out the booth seating at B&TH.

Anchor Producer Camilo Estrada


Camilo Estrada, artist and community activist, offered a glimpse into his journey with Black & Tan Hall and his plans as an anchor producer.


"I have been a partner since 2016," Estrada revealed, tracing his involvement back to an invitation from Ben Hunter to join a meeting of prospective partners at the Hall. "I was impressed by the vision. More importantly, my gut feeling was then, and continues to be, that the people in the room with me are people of integrity who are committed to making a positive impact in our community." Estrada's faith in the integrity and dedication of his fellow partners underscores his deep-rooted commitment to B&TH's mission of fostering community empowerment and cultural enrichment.


"I have many visions of what I would like to produce at Black & Tan Hall," Estrada shared, "But the two most immediate ideas that directly involve my art are doing a live film scoring with a live band, and bringing in Winter in America: An Homage to the music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson to perform at the Hall."


Estrada's plan to host "Winter in America," a tribute to the iconic music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson, exemplifies his commitment to celebrating diverse cultural legacies and fostering intergenerational connections through the universal language of music.

Naudia Miller describes why she’s a part of B&TH and what she hopes to bring to the community. Credit: Carlos Imani @carlosimaniflvr and @the.elitecollective.

Anchor Producer Naudia Miller


There are so many different events Naudia wants to program as an anchor producer: dance parties, open mics, jam sessions, and showcases. She also wants to create opportunities for people to learn the ropes of the entertainment industry. But the biggest thing for Naudia is collaboration. “I want to work with as many people as possible,” said Naudia, “especially all the creative folks I've met over the past seven years with B&TH.”

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