Allied Arts – 60 Years of Civic Memories

1950’s - Early Years

  • The group that will come to be known as Allied Arts gathers informally in 1952 as the “Beer and Culture Society”
  • Convenes the “Congress of the Allied Arts” in 1954, the year recognized as the birth of Allied Arts of Seattle
  • In 1955, Allied Arts successfully lobbies the mayor and city council to create a Municipal Arts Commission. This advisory body championed by AAS begins a sweeping series of actions embodied in a master plan for city, including the dedication of 2 percent of city capital funds to purchase art, the staging of an annual arts festival, the hosting of a world’s fair, public funding for Seattle preforming arts organizations — the Symphony, Ballet and Opera — the burying of public utility lines, the preservation of historic landmarks, and and the planting of street trees.
  • In 1955, the group formally incorporates as Allied Arts of Seattle
  • In 1956, Allied Arts and the new Seattle Arts Commission successfully campaigns for the Civic Auditorium, which led to the creation of the Seattle Center with the world’s fair six years later
  • The group also campaigns for a State Arts Commission and a ban on billboards

1960’s - Creating a Better City

  • Takes the lead in developing the nation’s first state and city legislation to control billboards
  • Engages private sector participation in the arts with formation of the Corporate Council for the Arts, which has grown to the largest private arts supporter in the Pacific Northwest

1970’s - Civic Action

  • Fosters the creation of the Seattle Arts Commission
  • Spearheads legislation to create one of the country’s first Percent for Art ordinance.
  • Instigates Friends of the (Pike Place) Market to lead the fight to save our signature landmark from being lost forever
  • Initiates legislation to rescue Pioneer Square and stimulate its dramatic rebirth
  • Assists in establishing the Landmarks Preservation Board to protect our city’s architectural heritage
  • Sponsors a “Survival Series” to showcase smaller Arts organizations, which provides invaluable exposure to many fledgling arts groups, including the newly founded Intiman Theatre, Northwest Chamber Orchestra and Empty Space Theatre

1980’s - Celebrating our Heritage

  • Publishes The Terra Cotta Project, a catalogue that recognizes and celebrates Seattle’s historic buildings.

1990’s - Building a Legacy

  • Spearheads the creation of the Mayor’s Theater Advisory Group to ensure passage of laws to promote & finance the rehabilitation of historic downtown theaters and to protect all landmark buildings from speculative development
  • Demands public inclusion in preparation of Seattle’s bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics, which causes this predominantly private effort to fold
  • Introduces the Constitution for the Arts to address areas in need of attention and change in civic management of the arts in Seattle
  • Negotiated a Win-Win solution with proponents and opponents to the re-opening of Pine Street

2000’s - Looking to the Future

  • Holds ‘Wrecking Ball’ Gala to bring down viaduct after the Nisqually Earthquake in 2001
  • Launches ‘Waterfront for All’ Campaign in 2002 to begin discussions for the future of SR 99 and Central Waterfront – the next great civic space
  • Holds ‘Waterfront for All’ Beer & Culture in March, 2003
  • Coalition building begins in early to mid-2000’s to discuss waterfront design possibilities if the viaduct was removed, shifting conversation away from transportation toward the redevelopment of the Central Waterfront, Seattle’s Front Porch
  • 2005 – 2008 Holds 3 Annual Galas, including 50th Anniversary
  • Produces a Creativity Conference to promote new initiates to enhance the arts
  • Provides input on monorail station design and siting
  • Ensures Seattle’s new civic buildings reflect the aesthetic and environmental values of our community; Holds annual candidate debates on Livability issues
  • Successfully obtains a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts to help produce the Waterfront Design Collaborative where Guiding Principles are developed.  Leverages over one million dollars in pro bono work to build partner coalition to help produce the collaborative
  • 2009 Allied Arts Board Members begin serving on Waterfront Stakeholder Committees to provide input on the shaping of the future Central Waterfront
  • Holds Beer & Culture – The Arts in Today’s Economy
  • 2010 – 2013 A Better Alaskan Way – Joint Stakeholder Letter; Urban Connector Series – Beer & Cultures
  • 2014 Participates in Seattle Design Festival-Tours of Past, Current, Future of Pioneer Square
  • Endorsed Metropolitan Park District, Cultural Access Washington; briefed on Older Smaller Better Study of character buildings, Fate of URM Buildings-Beer&Culture; held Mayoral Forum
  • 2015 Annual Retreat; Seattle’s Grow Gracefully Manifesto in development; Seattle’s Lovable/Livable Beer & Culture and Grow Gracefully Salon; Member alert-Com Plan Update & Draft DEIS Comments
  • Allied Arts Celebrates 60 Years of Civic Engagement – November 1st, 2015

Urban Environment

  • Provides input on Seattle Monorail Project station design and siting
  • Ensures Seattle’s new civic buildings reflect the aesthetic and environmental values of our community
  • Holds annual candidate debates on livability issues
  • 2014 – Beer & Culture: Future of Seattle’s Parks, Endorsed Prop 1 – Park District
  • 2014 – Beer & Culture: Fate of Seattle’s Unreinforced Masonry Buildings
  • 2015 – Beer & Culture: Is Seattle Becoming More Livable But Less Lovable?
  • 2015 – Grow Gracefully Salon – Development of ‘Grow Gracefully Manifesto’
  • 2015 – Endorses Cultural Access Washington which passes in July