3:20 PM: The party is on! You are invited to Youngstown Cultural Arts Center to celebrate its centennial – performances and treats, plus a chance to tour the building, including the artist studios on the top floors:
Youngstown’s hallways feature lockers reminiscent of the building’s past as Frank B. Cooper School:
As noted in our story earlier this week previewing today’s celebration, the school building was mothballed years before the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association formed in the mid-1990s, and then DNDA bought it from Seattle Public Schools and turned it into Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
The party is about looking ahead as well as looking back. In our photo above are DNDA’s current executive director David Bestock, left, with Nature Consortium – now part of DNDA – founder Nancy Whitlock and current leader Yeggy Michael. Go visit Youngstown this afternoon (until 5 pm) and see who you meet! More photos to come.
ADDED 4 PM: Thanks to Clay Eals for the photo of Cooper School graduates gathered at the party:
The building closed as a school in 1989. What is now the Thelma Dewitty Theater, named for the Cooper School teacher who made history as the first African-American to teach in Seattle Public Schools, was its cafeteria, and is full of cool people for today’s event:
Back upstairs, artist Iole Alessandrini of the Civita Institute welcomed visitors to her studio home:
DNDA’s director of housing and environmental programs, Willard Brown, is at Youngstown for the party:
If you don’t make it to Youngstown today – just take one look at its calendar to see how much is going on just about any day of the week!