This week, the members of Good Arts LLC, which owns our building, will be signing papers on a deal to puts preservationist group Historic Seattle at the helm. The original partners will remain involved, including Biscayne founder Jane Richlovsky and Steve Coulter, who will continue to drive the arts programming throughout the building.
This (as anyone who has lost creative space in a hot real estate market knows) is a big fucking deal. From the start, ’57 Biscayne has been about artists not whining but taking action. It took the first 5 years of ’57 Biscayne’s existence to make the Good Arts deal happen. Five years later, managing partner Greg Smith asked Jane and Steve to find a buyer for his share if they wanted to retain it as an arts building. They scrambled for a year and finally made the connection with Historic Seattle. It took yet another year to hammer out the Good Arts 2.0 deal which is being finalized this week.
Historic Seattle is a Public Development Authority (PDA) with a mission is to preserve communities like ours and the buildings that contain them. Jane and Steve plan to leave their share of the building to Historic Seattle as a legacy with the provision that it remain a place of affordable creative space in perpetuity.
The takeaway: ’57 Biscayne exists because a group of artists refused to believe the myth that they were passive victims to the changes in their city, and took action to secure their place in it. Our continued existence in the Good Arts Building demonstrates what is possible when people from different sectors—artists, developers, business people, preservationists—get out of their bubbles and work together.
Please save October 1 for a building-wide celebration. It’s the 11th anniversary of ’57 Biscayne and we have much to celebrate.
Stay tuned for announcements about exciting arts developments elsewhere in the building!