FORUM

  • Vivian Phillips

THE VISION FOR ARTÉ NOIR IN THE CENTRAL DISTRICT COMMUNITY


Fate and destiny have a means of beautifully colliding in ways that can make one’s head spin. As this publication is the result of years-long contemplation, the fate of having this come to fruition, is as majestic as the destiny that is resulting in a dream space to bring physical resonance to our goal of spotlighting Black art and culture!


Our vision for a physical space at Midtown, in the heart of Seattle’s historic Black community, draws near fruition and is set for opening in the first quarter of 2022. This comes after over two years of negotiating with the developers, and what we first thought would be a modest placement in the larger development, has now grown into Arté Noir becoming the anchor retail location in this massive complex.


Gentrification and development have torn through numerous Black communities across the nation. In Seattle, the community has seen a decline in Black residency dropping from 75% in 1970 to 15% by 2020. This decline has taken a mighty toll on the presence of Black art and culture that was at the core of the building of this community by Black residents, most of whom migrated here from the south, making the Central District a place of pride and cultural familiarity. We aim to restore at least some of what has been lost as we join other Black businesses and cultural centers that have dedicated themselves to maintaining the legacy of our forbearers.


As a newly formed non-profit organization, our mission for Arté Noir at 23rd & Union is to create space, stability, opportunity, and training to serve the needs of the displaced Black creative community with a permanent location at Midtown Square. To fulfill our mission, we seek to be an asset to existing spaces where Black art and culture are celebrated, and a gateway to introducing our Black legacy to new residents.


To learn more about this new development and some of our retail neighbors, check out this article below from Capitol Hill Seattle and stay tuned for more information on our plans and opening details.