The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute will wean itself off its city subsidy and become a standalone non-profit in the next five years, according to a plan presented to the Seattle City Council this morning.
The Central Area performing arts center, which has deep roots in the African-american community, is the only theater in town paid for and run by the city. It accepted nearly $750,000 in city funding in 2013.
Langston Hughes for years was under the city’s parks department, where it was buried in a list of swimming pools and picnic shelters and did not get used to its potential. After a recent remodel, Mayor Mike McGinn moved it to the city’s Office of Arts & Culture, which came up with a new plan to make the theater self-sustaining. One of the first things the arts office did was make a website for the center and publish a calendar of events.
Under the proposed plan presented to council, the city will continue to maintain the building, which it owns.
In the next five years, Langston Hughes will become more independent, taking control over staffing and programs, including its popular Langston Hughes African American Film Festival, summer teen musical, Black History Month programs, and other education workshops that take place in the building.