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From Tha Hood to Tha Hood
By The Skanner News
Published: 08 September 2016

Mayor Unveils New Strategic Plan for City’s Community Centers

Last week Mayor Ed Murray was joined by Seattle Parks and Recreation Director Jesús Aguirre and South Park community members to unveil a strategic plan calling for new investments in the City’s community centers to reduce barriers and expand access in underserved areas of Seattle. The investments will be a part of Murray’s 2017 proposed budget to City Council this September.

The strategic plan touches each community center in the city, including reduced programming costs and increased hours and staffing in centers where residents have fewer resources to pay for programming and fewer recreational options. A detailed summary of the proposals can be found here.

The City will provide free programming at five community centers: Bitter Lake, Garfield, Rainier Beach, Van Asselt, and South Park. The proposal also calls for Parks and Recreation to eliminate drop-in fees for activities such as toddler gyms and basketball at all community centers.

As part of this process, Parks will undertake a comprehensive long-term planning process in 2017-2018 for the entire Parks and Recreation system. This system-level plan will consider how to best use all assets, including community centers, pools, parks, and trails, to serve the Seattle community. This plan will build on the work of the Legacy Plan with additional public input, and will include evaluation of the community center innovations and pilot projects.

Last year, Mayor Murray announced $47 million in Seattle Park District funding to invest in major improvements to community centers, open spaces, and facilities across the Seattle Park and Recreation system. Today’s announcement builds off last year’s investment by identifying specific proposals to develop innovative, accessible, and culturally relevant programming in the City’s community centers.


Seattle Public Library Presents World Cultures Book Group This Fall

The Seattle Public Library invites readers to the 2016 Arts Gumbo Book Chats, an annual community book group. This year, the group will read and discuss books about African-American immigrants from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays, Sept. 8, Oct. 13 and Nov. 10 at the Rainier Arts Center, 3515 S. Alaska St., 206-725-7517.

Library events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is not required. Free parking is available at the Rainier Arts Center. Copies of each of the featured monthly books are available for pick up at the Columbia Branch, 4721 Rainier Ave. S., 206-386-1908.

Times, dates and book titles for discussion are listed below.

  • 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8 – "All Our Names" by Dinaw Mengestu
  • 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13 – "We Need New Names" by NoViolet Bulawayo
  • 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10 – "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Each fall, Arts Gumbo presents the sights, sounds and flavors of world cultures during September, October and November. Local and regional performers from diverse cultures are featured, as well as cultural dinners and audience participation events. Arts Gumbo provides audiences with the opportunity to celebrate local cultures through music, dance, visual arts, food, books and discussions. For more information, visit www.rainierartscenter.org/artsgumbo.

The Arts Gumbo Book Chats are presented in partnership with SeedArts.

For more information about the Arts Gumbo book group, call the Library at 206-386-1908 or visit https://www.spl.org/using-the-library/get-help/ask-a-librarian.


Seattle Public Library Presents Cooking Demo at the Lake City Farmers Market Sept. 8

Learn how to home-brew kombucha from a Seattle Tilth certified instructor from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8 at the Lake City Farmers Market on N.E. 125th St. and 28th Ave. N.E.

The program is free and open to the public. No registration is required. Free parking is available in the underground garage.

Kombucha is a fermented beverage made from tea, sugar and a starter culture. Ellie Cohan, a Seattle Tilth certified instructor, will demonstrate how to make kombucha at home and show other creative ways to use the beverage. Starter cultures will be available for class attendees to take home.

This class that is presented in partnership with the Library.

For more information, call the Lake City Branch at 206-684-7518 or visit https://www.spl.org/using-the-library/get-help/ask-a-librarian.


For more Seattle and Portland area events, see the Community Calendar.

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