Best Arts Nonprofit: Capitol Hill Housing,

We’re going to cheat a little on this category, having so recently praised Seattle Storefronts and King County’s 4Culture. The main reason for this is the ancillary arts impact of the 12th Avenue Arts building presently under construction on Capitol Hill, just north of Pine Street on an old SPD parking lot. When completed by the fall of next year, the complex will include two theaters operated by three important local stage companies in need of a home: Washington Ensemble Theatre, New Century Theatre Company, and Strawberry Theatre Workshop. The mastermind behind the $47 million project is Capitol Hill Housing, which I therefore declare to be an arts nonprofit, even if its core mission is, yes, affordable housing. (The six-story mixed-use complex will include about 88 apartments, plus space for retail and restaurant tenants.) The two turn-key performance spaces will seat about 150 and 80 theatergoers, some of whom may ultimately live upstairs. An audience can’t get any more local than that.

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