A New Beginning
LANGSTON was created in response to both the community and City’s desire to support the historic mission of Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. After 40 years of programs and a three-year review and engagement process, LANGSTON was conceived and designed by community members to serve as the hub for African American arts and culture in Seattle.
Our mission is to strengthen and advance community through Black arts and culture.
Our vision is to Cultivate Black Brilliance
Our values include:
- Sharing culture
- Promoting artistic expression
- Encouraging artistic excellence
- Facilitating cultural education and possibility
- Cultivating leaders
- Practicing radical inclusivity
- Thriving as a self-determined community
LANGSTON is the new non-profit arts organization created to continue the mission of the historic Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute.
After 45 years as a program of Seattle Department of Parks and Recreations the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture fostered a community led three-year review and engagement process with the vision of transforming Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute into an independent and thriving arts organization. LANGSTON, the culmination of that process, is envisioned as strong stewardship for an African American arts and cultural hub in Seattle.
LANGSTON is based out of the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute building, which is still owned and operated by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.
2015 – 2016: A New LANGSTON Emerges
- The task force establishes LANGSTON as a nonprofit entity
- A founding board of directors is established from existing task force members
- LANGSTON is formed as a legal entity
- LANGSTON is launched and celebrated in the community using the historic Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute building as its home base
- The building continues to be owned and operated by the City of Seattle
2014 – 2015: Transition, Phase One
- The transition plan recommendations are accepted by the Arts Commission and City Council
- A task force established to implement the recommendations
2013 – 2014: Preparing Something New
- City Council issues a call to assess viability of LHPAI in its current structure
- A task force is convened to determine how to best support the mission and vision of LHPAI with a sustainable structure
- The task force recommends LHPAI become an independent nonprofit entity
- The transition planning process begins
- A community engagement process is conducted and recommendations report completed
- The iconic building reopens as Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (LHPAI)
- LHPAI is transferred to the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture where programmatic, administrative support continues and the community-led transition process begins
2010 – 2012: A Period of Internal Growth and Refocusing
- LHPAC building undergoes major construction project
- LHPAC programming is reduced and offered in partnership with peer organizations
1969 – 2015: A Tradition of Arts Programming and Community Building
- Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center (LHPAC) is established as a part of the City of Seattle’s Parks Department
- LHPAC is established as the primary home to Black cultural and arts in Seattle for over 40 years
- The City of Seattle owns and operates the building and programs for 40 years