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Fundamentally, as a species, we need things that can fire our imagination, that can get our passions going, that can…give us a sense of meaning. And that is not a brick; it is not a pipe; it is an idea. That’s what draws cities forward.

–Edgar Pieterse, final words of the film Urbanized, directed by Gary Huswit


2 VISION STATEMENT • A Vision for Downtown Redmond • Vision 2030: Redmond’s Downtown cultural corridor • Executive Summary


• Redmond now: a pivotal moment for the arts • The purpose of this plan • Building a legacy through art • How to turn a place around with art • What do Redmond residents want Downtown?


• The definition: cultural arts • The outcome: a reputation for innovative cultural arts • Artwork around every corner, during all hours • An exceptional built environment • An anchor cultural institution • A downtown that’s home to artists • Destination quality artwork • A place where art can flourish • Is being an art town feasible?

28 STRATEGIES FOR ART • Connecting residents to the new Downtown through active participation • Listening to diverse voices • Taking advantage of the construction phase • Identifying Redmond-specific themes • Using a mix of permanent and temporary work • Having artists on your teams as idea-generators • Fostering public-private partnerships • Commissioning permanent artwork

40 ZONES FOR ART • Cleveland Street West (old town zone) for intimate participatory experiences • The Downtown Park for large scale art and performance • Redmond Way for art at transit stops and utility structures • Gateways and transitional spaces for light-based art • Virtual space for promoting connections and cultural events • The right-of-way as a platform for street performance • Commercial empty space for art and experiences

• Cleveland Street East for artist studios • Central Connector for north-south connections

54 FIVE YEAR ACTION PLAN FOR IMPLEMENTATION, 2013-2017 2013 Downtown Cultural Corridor Master Plan • Adopt this plan • Integrate this plan into the City’s budget cycle • Incorporate this plan into the City’s Transportation Master Plan • Create public art guidelines • Create street performance guidelines 2013-2014 Cleveland Street Main Street • Distribute this plan to developers, businesses, landowners • Incorporate art into the construction zone • Complete a demonstration art project on the corridor • Facilitate the use of vacant retail spaces by artists and cultural groups 2014-2016 The Couplet Conversion • Celebrate the “festival street” with temporary art • Recruit existing cultural events to Cleveland Street and repeat temporary projects • Develop effective tools to promote the arts Downtown 2017 After Construction and beyond • Establish an Arts Coordinator • Maintain a world class collection • Explore the idea of an arts center • Update this plan and establish periodic reviews


• Using vacant spaces for art • Creative placemaking • Public art and placemaking • Funding sources • References


• The process • The photographs • The advisory committee • The design team


vision statement



Redmond is a city with two vibrant urban centers – Downtown and Overlake – and connected neighborhoods; providing high quality, responsive services to an engaged citizenry. The Couplet Conversion Project is instrumental to the implementation of the vision for the City and Downtown. It will improve all modes of transportation in Downtown, make more obvious connections for travelers, and improve access to businesses. Investment in this project is part of a grand plan to revitalize Downtown Redmond in preparation for the projected growth of this neighborhood. The City of Redmond is growing. The residential population has doubled in the last twenty years. As of 2012, 55,360 people call Redmond home and 78,500 people are employed in Redmond. To accommodate this and future growth, the City has authored a Comprehensive Plan that expresses the community’s vision for how the city will

grow and develop over the next 20 years. The plan calls for two urban centers designated to take the majority of growth and redevelopment: Downtown and Overlake. The vision for these centers is that they connect our residential neighborhoods, employment centers and retail cores into comprehensive, 18 hour a day active centers. These include attractive offices, shops and restaurants that offer both day and night time services, an arts and cultural community center and a variety of quality arts and cultural programs and performances. projected residential and employee growth in redmond





Downtown Residents





Downtown Employees 10,496




Total Downtown





Overlake Residents





Overlake Employees





Total Overlake

52,357 60,175



City wide Residents





City wide Employees





Total Population

136,272 154,788 181,464 204,529

Downtown Redmond is the focus of the much of this redevelopment. By 2030, the city hopes to triple the number of people who live Downtown and increase the number of employees who work Downtown by fifty percent. Between 2005 and 2016, the city is projected to invest $177 million in capital projects in Downtown to support this growth. This capital investment consists of infrastructure (transportation, stormwater, water, wastewater, and parks) with the goal of connectivity and activation of Downtown for all users. The City of Redmond is progressing steadily toward achieving the transportation portion of the Downtown vision by completing connected street systems for vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles. This will culminate in the conversion of Cleveland Street and Redmond Way, known as a Couplet Corridor, to two way streets from their current one-way orientation. This vision was first laid out in the city’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP) and further developed

in the Downtown East West Corridor Study (DEWCS) and will occur in two phases: first, the Cleveland Streetscape Improvement Project; and second, the Couplet Conversion Project. In the City’s historic core, centrally located between two signature urban parks, and stretching east-west across multiple design districts within Downtown, the Cleveland Streetscape aims to create a “great street” that sets the stage for vibrant pedestrian activity within the street realm and along adjacent businesses. The Redmond’s Comprehensive Plan Policies also support expressive activities such as demonstrations, street performances, fairs and festivals. In the Couplet Conversion phase, both Redmond Way and Cleveland Street will be realigned into two-way streets. The goal is to create a more conducive environment for businesses, residents and visitors to thrive in Downtown.




Crowd at the opening of an Inside Out art installation by John Fleming, 2012, in a vacant storefront at the Veloce Apartments, Redmond. The Inside Out installation was a partnership between the Property Owners, Managers and the City of Redmond. Photo courtesy of City of Redmond.

(Left) Rendering of Erratic by John Fleming, forthcoming in 2013, at the Redmond Central Connector at Cleveland Street and 166th Street Northeast. Image courtesy of John Fleming.



Art and cultural experiences have the power, over time, to cultivate a rich quality of life in Downtown Redmond. WE ENVISION Redmond being known as a first rate art town of the 21st century because of its vibrant Downtown Cultural Corridor. WE ENVISION a significant artistic statement in Downtown where people from all over the world come to be inspired and contemplate their humanity and common experience, where they return to in the future to discover new insights. WE ENVISION Redmond strengthening its reputation as an inventive and diverse community because of the ongoing opportunities in the cultural arts. WE ENVISION a successful and vibrant Downtown neighborhood where citizens and visitors have the unique experience of living with art and having diverse cultural encounters every day.

WE ENVISION an exciting nightlife where the cultural arts such as live music, theatre and changing artworks are available yearround, 18 hours a day. WE ENVISION a Downtown where high quality urban design is achieved through partnership, where aesthetically pleasing streets and architecturally significant buildings make a stroll down Cleveland Street or Redmond Way as interesting when the shops are closed as when they are open. WE ENVISION a Downtown that is home to artists, where art supplies, musical instruments and theatre costumes are regular items carried on and off light rail trains, buses and bikes. WE ENVISION a signature cultural space for people to gather in Downtown that reflects the best of what Redmond has to offer: its history, people and future aspirations.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Investing in the cultural arts is a vital strategy toward building a beautiful, dynamic 18-hour a day urban center. Integrating art into the fabric of Downtown Redmond at this time sends a message to existing and future residents, visitors, and businesses from around the world that the City is committed to maintaining a rich quality of life unique to Redmond. Between 2005 and 2016,

the City is projected to invest $175 million in capital projects in Downtown with the goal of connection and activation of the Downtown for all users. These projects include the Couplet Conversion Project together with the development of the rest of the DEWCS projects, the Redmond Central Connector, the Downtown Park, enhancements to utilities and the preservation of the historic business core centered on nearby Leary Street. While these projects lay the necessary foundation for vibrancy, the Downtown Cultural Corridor Plan provides strategies, possibilities and action items to

ensure vibrancy through the cultural arts. Major strategies include: • Completing a demonstration art project as part of the Couplet Conversion Project • Incorporating key policy goals of this plan into other relevant City plans such as the Parks, Arts, Recreation, Culture & Conservation Plan and Transportation Master Plan • Securing a sustainable funding source to implement this plan • Working with developers as partners in implementing this plan • Addressing code issues that may help in implementing the recommendations • Developing temporary and permanent platforms for art in the urban center. Overall, the Downtown Cultural Corridor Master Plan identifies people as a vital driver for vibrancy in both the short and long term. This plan then describes the use platforms where local talent can contribute to an artwork, and places of participation where


(Left) Professor Pomme’s Pomp and Pastry Paradoxicals by Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders, 2012, at Redmond’s Downtown Park. A series of three performances inaugurated the newly constructed interim park. Photo courtesy of Seattle Digital Photography.


people can come together to create, share and appreciate art and cultural experiences within the area of the Couplet Conversion Project. Key strategies identified in the plan for connecting people with art include art works that require participation, engage diverse voices, have Redmond-specific themes, enhance the pedestrian experience, involve partnerships with businesses and/or groups of artists and create a destination in Downtown Redmond. The project area runs east-west from the western junction of Redmond Way and Cleveland Street and 160th Ave NE to the eastern junction of Redmond Way and Cleveland Street and Avondale Way. Within the project area, zones for art were identified that are geographical and place oriented. The geographical breakout includes the Cleveland historic district, Downtown Park, Redmond Way, Cleveland East, and Gateways, as shown in Exhibit X. The specific place-oriented zones include vacant commercial space, blank walls on con-

struction barriers and private buildings, and virtual space. It also addresses themes for the type of art that the public would appreciate in the project area. This plan was developed to identify strategies for public art that can be implemented within the project area over the next decade and meet many of the City’s goals identified in the Comprehensive Plan, Downtown East-West Corridor Master Plan and the Arts Commission Strategic Plan. A five year action plan was developed that includes next steps for the broader vision of a Downtown Cultural Corridor and specific to the Couplet Corridor Project. Adopting, implementing, and communicating the recommendations within this Plan will strengthen Downtown Redmond’s reputation as a destination for cultural tourism and quality urban experiences. This will be accomplished by: 2013 Downtown Cultural Corridor Master Plan

• Creating attractive places, “a hook”, to


[Right] Detail of Artifical Light by Suzanne Tidwell, 2012, at Redmond’s Anderson Park. Photo courtesy of Michael Rainwater.


have people want to visit, invest and stay in the new Downtown by adopting this plan and integrating it into other City plans • Engaging developers and artists alike in the implementation of this plan by developing new guidelines for public art and street performances. • Considering the expansion of Redmond’s percent for art program to create an adequate, dedicated, and sustainable funding mechanism for the arts. 2013-2014 Cleveland Street Main Street

• Providing tools to developers and residents so that they may share in the city’s vision by incorporating public art elements into their projects. • Branding Downtown as a place for lively cultural experiences by utilizing the construction phase and zones as places for temporary artworks.w • Cultivating an 18-hour a day vibrant Downtown through partnerships relating to temporary, permanent or performance art

in vacant spaces. • Showing the community and our stakeholders the role art can play in urban revitalization by completing a demonstration project, a temporary piece for Downtown Redmond in the summer of 2014. 2014-2016 The Couplet Conversion

• Raising awareness of the city’s investment in “Cleveland Street Main Street” and the “great streets” concept for the Couplet Conversion with temporary art. • Focusing community cultural assets within the corridor by moving existing cultural events and repeating temporary projects within the Corridor. • Invigorating business and cultivating owners with advertising and promotions that celebrate Redmond’s beloved cultural events and create a sense of pride in our unique cultural diversity. After Construction, 2017 and beyond

• Developing Redmond’s reputation as a

choice city for artists to live and work by providing unique opportunities. • Taking care of community cultural assets by maintaining a world-class public art collection. • Finding a place where the arts can thrive by exploring the feasibility of an arts center within Downtown. • Updating this plan periodically. Many people working in partnership are needed to create change, and the arts are a proven strategy to create this synergy and staying power. But as with art, the process will be creative. To accommodate this, some recommendations are general while others are specific. Questions are posed to stimulate creative thinking and open up possibilities for future opportunities to arise during this time of incredible change. Therefore, this plan provides strategies and zones for those strategies to be implemented within that allow for a reasonable measure of predictability as well as flexibility for things to develop organically over time.






DOWNTOWN REDMOND NOW: A PIVOTAL MOMENT FOR THE ARTS People, in addition to re-designed spaces, will make Downtown Redmond vital, and the cultural arts can bring people into the core of the city. Public art – sculpture, murals, exhibit spaces, performance, music, art in vacant spaces, and cultural enterprises such as non-profits and creative retail -- will bring residents, tourists, new businesses, and restaurants Downtown. The City of Redmond is

in transition. New housing is booming, with the number of Downtown residents projected for 2016 to be double that of 2005, and continuing to grow. The City has embarked on a large urban development project that will significantly change the feel of the Downtown core. Greater density, the conversion of Cleveland Street and Redmond Way to two-way streets (the “couplet corridor”), a new pedestrian-friendly streetscape for west Cleveland Street, and significant streetscape changes to the entire couplet corridor will make the Downtown much

more appealing to retail, residents, and visitors. But material changes alone will not activate the Downtown. The arts can play a significant role in turning the new Cleveland Street into a “cultural corridor” that draws residents and tourists. If the City sponsors art and culture at the beginning of this change, the arts can contribute significantly to the revitalization of Downtown Redmond by creating a stronger sense of identity and meaning, while bringing energy and economic development to the Downtown core. The arts have been proven to jumpstart a city’s revitalization. In The Art of Regeneration, the authors remark “Artists and cultural organizations are urban agents par excellence, and have always contributed to the vitality and character of cities. In the United States, since the late 1960s, they have shown how they can contribute to urban renewal, often through the creation of studios and cultural quarters …” Many of the recommendations here, espe-

cially during the transition, can be accomplished relatively inexpensively. However, even cost effective strategies require a sustainable funding and staff resources to be successful. There needs to be a commitment to the arts after the Couplet Conversion, so that the arts can get an early foothold in the new urban streetscape, and become an established element in Redmond as it moves into its second century. This is a pivotal moment for Downtown Redmond to use the arts to create vitality in the Downtown. THE PURPOSE OF THIS PLAN One purpose of this plan is to work alongside the Cleveland Streetscape and Couplet Conversion projects by suggesting art experiences as key elements of the great streets strategy. Cleveland Street is being designed

the “main street” for Downtown Redmond, and the City has developed a concept of “great streets” as an important strategy to achieve this vision. This strategy includes

Downtown streets that contributes to and reinforces the Couplet Corridor as a destination and the heart of Downtown by creating economically vibrant and pedestrian supportive streets. The higher purpose of this plan is to advance the notion of a “Cultural Corridor” by recommending specific strategies and approaches that can be practically implemented. The Redmond Arts Commission

produced a Strategic Plan in 2009 that formulated a vision of Redmond as “A Community Inspired and Connected by Arts and Culture.” Some of these strategies include creating a cultural focal point in Downtown by developing the public art program to provide iconic pieces of art as well as supporting the creation of a cultural corridor. These concepts were later incorporated into the Urban Centers section of Redmond’s Comprehensive Plan. The vision for Redmond’s urban centers emphasizes the roles for art and culture in creating vibrancy. The Downtown Cultural Arts



what can public art actually do for a suburban community? Public art can begin to create a mental shift. It can help a community begin to redefine and reimagine the notion of shared space, shared values, and collective common interests. It can be a means for reclaiming and regaining a stake in a shared public realm. Most importantly, public art can encourage shared responsibility and stewardship within a community and help its members connect to a larger shared history and to each other. –Cynthia Nitikin, The Public Art Review

(Previous) It’s Good to Be Here by Candy Chang, 2010 - ongoing. 25″ x 10″, Stencils and temporary spray chalk on sidewalk. Chang stenciled this slogan in various places on the sidewalk in New Orleans. (Left) Limelight: Saturday Night by Sans Façon, 2010 - ongoing, multiple cities. Theatre spotlights are an invitation for passers-by to temporarily transform the street into a stage. This passer-by activates a London street.

District Master Plan provides a synergy between these three goals – the great street, cultural corridor and urban center – and suggests how city capital investments and re-development of the Downtown can be utilized as a catalyst for both Downtown’s larger vision and change and growth in the arts. BUILDING A LEGACY THROUGH ART

All great cities have great art. Redmond is no exception. The City of Redmond has supported the arts as an integral part of this community for the last 25 years. The result has been that Redmond offers a distinct quality of life that has attracted citizens from all over the world to live and work. This legacy began in 1987 when the city first established the Redmond Arts Commission “to enhance the quality of life available to the Redmond Community.” By 1990, the Arts Commission completed and adopted the city’s first Art Plan. The chief recommendation at that time was to create a funding mechanism for public art known

as the Percent for Art program. The purpose of this program is to “create a variety of cultural opportunities for its citizens and to enhance the cultural environment in the community by engaging and promoting the creation and placement of public art.” This program was adopted in 1991 and designates 1% of the budget for capital facility projects (buildings and parks) to be allocated to public art. Since then, 30 permanently sited artworks have been commissioned or are maintained through the public art program. As recently as 2011, the City adopted a set of policies in the Comprehensive Plan that build on this legacy of integrating the arts into public places. Arts-related policies in the Comprehensive Plan promote the vision of the parks, plazas, art, pathways and open spaces in the urban centers as being part of a cohesive system of public spaces that is integral to distinguishing the Downtown as “people places.”


(Right) Road to the Isles by Why Not Associates in collaboration with Gordon Young, 2004, Auchterarder, Scotland. Concrete with inset granite and stainless steel text. This artwork for a school playground is a graphic cross section of the forests, lochs, rivers, glens, valleys, towns, roads and mountains, that can be plotted in a straight line from the school all the way to the coast.


These include: The Arts Commission maintains a Strategic Plan and the most recent revision in 2009, included goals of: • Create a Place for the Arts, to bring community together, for concerts and events as a reason to gather, and to use the arts to make the community aesthetically inviting. • Nurturing the Arts in Our Community, another element of the strategy, provides leadership to people of many ages who can expect that an elastic mind, one able to visualize and communicate new ideas and relationships, is necessary for enjoying the richness of the world. • Make the Arts Accessible to everyone. The arts are a core element of our community and should be encouraged, supported, and developed to build a stronger community in Redmond. In 2010, the Parks, Art, Recreation, Culture, and Conservation Plan adopted new comprehensive plan policies relating to the arts including:

• Policy PR-1 Provide a system of parks, recreation, arts, trails and open space to serve existing development and planned growth. • Policy PR-5 Ensure a community inspired and connected by arts and culture through the City’s arts program. • Policy PR-31 Develop an operating and capital program finance strategy for parks, trails, recreation and arts that meets the needs of the community and preserves the level of service of these facilities and programs. • Policy PR-38 Partner with businesses and community organizations to provide programming and events that further the vision expressed in the Comprehensive Plan. Policy DT-24 Foster the growth and addition of visual and performing arts experiences and opportunities Downtown by: • Encouraging development of an arts center that supports performing and visual arts and educational programs; • Encouraging inclusion of public art features

with all private and public development; • Supporting programs that locate public art features in key locations, as well as integrated art designs; and • Activating public spaces with special events and performances.

strong and culturally vibrant Downtown urban core. HOW TO TURN A PLACE AROUND WITH ART Places for viewing and participating in art and performance can provide the physical

Policy DT-27 Encourage and support events, such as cycling-related activities and art and music programs, that attract people to the Downtown, particularly Old Town and Town Center. Policy DT-41 Encourage the retention and addition of afternoon and evening entertainment for the greater Redmond community, such as live theatre and comedy, dining, dancing, and live music, to provide these entertainment opportunities close to home. As the City keeps pace with how people want to live today, this plan charts a course for new investments specific to art and culture in Downtown that supports this vision and these policies for an economically

and mental space where people can come together to discuss their city, to find their commonalities, and to engage in lively debate. The City of Redmond is laying the

physical groundwork toward building a vital Downtown by embarking on a large restructuring of the major Downtown streets and building hardscape and landscaping that is more conducive to pedestrian and retail activity. One goal of this ambitious re-design of the couplet corridor is to turn the historic western end of Cleveland Street into a “great street.” This term comes from the Placemaking and New Urbanism movements. A “great street” has many attributes, but the common thread is that it attracts people through increased density,


(Right) Giant Sing Along by Daily Tous Les Jours, 2011- 2012, Minnesota. Originally Commissioned by Northern Lights for the Minnesota State Fair. A field of 32 microphones welcomes participants to sing their hearts out, karaoke style, celebrating the magic of singing together.


a pedestrian-friendly right-of-way, cultural activities, retail, restaurants, and events. The concept is fundamentally about people; well-designed spaces set the stage. Art is frequently mentioned as an integral part of the “great street” strategy. It catalyzes the process of transformation. Much of the literature stresses the importance of using vacant spaces during revitalization. A white paper titled Creative Placemaking published by the National Endowments for the Arts (NEA), an independent federal agency supporting artists and arts organizations, begins with a description of the way “partners from public, private, non-profit, and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city, or region around arts and cultural activities.” The writers go on to say, “...creative placemaking envisions a...decentralized portfolio of spaces acting as creative crucibles. In each, arts and culture exist cheek by jowl with private sector..., often occupying build


(Left) Yes To All by Sylvie Fleury, 2007, Geneva, Switzerland. Neon. For these temporary commisions, artworks using Neon or LED are installed on the roofs of buildings.


ings and lots that have been vacant and under-used.” Further discussions around “community building” put a renewed emphasis on the importance of the public realm for the happiness and well-being of the residents of cities and towns. The term “third space” or “great good place,” as described by Dr. Ray Oldenburg, is used to refer to a place that is neither home nor work, but a space of community engagement, public places to gather and interact. Oldenburg writes, “Though a radically different kind of setting for a home, the third place is remarkably similar to a good home in the psychological comfort and support that it extends…They are the heart of a community’s social vitality, the grassroots of democracy…” (Oldenburg 1997). WHAT DO REDMOND RESIDENTS WANT DOWNTOWN? There is unquestionably a longing in Redmond for more cultural events, art, spaces, and activities Downtown.

There are some wonderful cultural events and traditions in Redmond. There are many reasons people want to live in Redmond -- schools, safety, access to nature, the friendly small-town feel but when asked, Redmond residents say they want more cultural experiences. In order to understand what Redmond wants from the arts, the City conducted interviews, surveys, and held meetings. This research provides some clues and directions for recommendations. From the survey conducted for this plan, more than 97% of survey respondents replied that the arts were very important to them. When asked about the current state of the arts in Redmond, most responded that it was either lacking, extremely limited, or evolving. When asked “What do you think art can do or accomplish in Downtown Redmond, especially the Cleveland Street area?” people responded with consistency. They suggested that art could create a sense of identity and community pride, help

people congregate and meet, bring people Downtown, encourage walking, and attract businesses, restaurants, and consumers. When asked to rank a list of 7 categories in response to the question, “What kind of art does Redmond need?” respondents ranked: 1) An art center for exhibits, classes, and residencies; 2) Visual art; and 3) Concerts and music. The Redmond Arts Commission also conducted a public forum in November 2011 and found that “an art space” was the top priority for Redmond residents interested in the arts. A 2011 Community Survey conducted by the Gilmore Research Group for the City of Redmond and discovered that most people (58% of respondents) said that they would like to see more performances and public art. This same survey found Renters (68%) and those living in apartments, condos, or duplexes (67%) are more particularly receptive to having more performances or public art in Redmond.


touchstones of the cultural corridor


Redmond aspires to become an arts destination. But what is Downtown Redmond’s niche? This is a complicated question. Redmond is known for its rich history as a logging and agricultural town, beautiful natural beauty, small-town community feel and strong tech sector. Redmond also aspires for world-class urban amenities growth in the digital arts and interactive media sector that is concentrated primarily in Overlake, Redmond’s second urban center. Surrounding Eastside cities have laid claim to art niches including: visual arts and craft in Bellevue; musical theatre and experiential festivals in Issaquah; music and special events on the waterfront in Kirkland; and, film and music in Woodinville. What’s left for Downtown Redmond? An identity built around the cultural arts, broadly speaking, is a viable opportunity for the Downtown Cultural Corridor. The key

to building a niche and common identity around art in general is presenting quality art. For the cultural arts, a field that

emphasizes creative thinking and utilizing traditional art forms to create new cultural expressions, this requires unique offerings, localized art production capacities and mass appeal. One of the biggest gatherings of the cultural arts is arguably the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. What started out as a music conference and festival to connect musicians and companies in 1987 is now a general platform for creative people and companies to discover each other and explore new ideas in music, film, gaming, comedy, tech and more. THE DEFINITION: CULTURAL ARTS Experiences based on the innovations and connections made between two or more of the following: Art. Color. Creativity. Critique. Cultural Traditions. Dance. Design. Film. Food. Games. Ideas. Imagination. Interactive. Lights. Literature. Music. Photography. Photosynthesis. Sound. Technology. Textiles. Theatre. Wind.

(Below) Pop-Up Art Loop sign by the Chicago Loop Alliance, 2005.


Redmond is known as a place where talented people come to exchange ideas, innovate and create new art and art forms. . Visitors come to Redmond expecting to see original artworks or participate in cultural experiences that are new, or, re-interpretations of traditional art and cultural expressions. Redmond has a national reputation like other well-known art towns such as Ashland, Oregon or Park City, Utah. Creativity is not the exception, but the rule in the Downtown Cultural Corridor. ART AND CULTURE AROUND EVERY CORNER, DURING ALL HOURS Artwork, street performers and creative enterprises encourage people to stroll up and down the Cleveland Street and throughout the Couplet Corridor. Episodic artwork, i.e, smaller art elements that repeat along the Couplet Corridor, engage pedestrians with

a sense of discovery and delight. Pop-up art in vacant spaces can also bring in pedestrians as do retail venues such as music halls, theatres and galleries. Artwork that is active and engaging or even functional makes a stroll down Cleveland Street memorable for people of all ages, even at night. AN EXCEPTIONAL BUILT ENVIRONMENT People instinctively know they are in a special place because the streetscape, including adjacent buildings, is beautiful. Quality

materials and the fine-grain details of the sidewalk, building facades and public plazas are a source of pride among city employees, residents and property owners.




A DOWNTOWN THAT’S HOME TO ARTISTS Working artists support themselves by regularly finding opportunities, inspiration and the tools of their craft in and around Downtown. Resident artists are the lifeblood of any vibrant cultural district. Opportunities to make art, perform or contribute to commercial products fuel the creative economy that that will, overtime, keep artists and their energy in Redmond. The streets of downtown feature artist supply stores, bookstores, fabricators, print shops, multimedia studios and other establishments that allow artists to produce artworks and experiences close to home. AN ANCHOR CULTURAL INSTITUTION An arts organization produces important art in a state-of-the-art facility whose doors open onto Cleveland Street, Redmond Way or a connecting street like Leary Way. Year round quality programming provides a loyal patrons at home and elsewhere a reason to repeatedly travel to Redmond to experi-

ence original artworks. Restaurants, hotels and other businesses cross-promote with this organization that furthers the identity of Redmond as an art town. DESTINATION QUALITY ARTWORK A handful of significant artworks reinforce Downtown Redmond’s image as an international destination for creative people and companies. Civic spaces, such as the future Downtown Park or Light Rail Station, are important gathering places because of the magnetic pull of one-of-a-kind artworks. These artworks are embraced by citizens and companies and are often featured in family photos or corporate communications. A PLACE WHERE THE CULTURAL ARTS CAN FLOURISH IN REDMOND The citizens of Redmond participate in the creative process and have meaningful cultural experiences together in one place. In response to the question, “What kind of art does Redmond need?” respondents of

the Redmond Art survey ranked first “an art center for exhibits, classes, and residencies.” Public feedback collected as far back as 2006 has indicated that Redmond longs for a shared space for exchanging ideas, experiencing new cultures and making art. Above all, it means creating a gathering place specifically designed for art and cultural activities. THE COST: A MENU OF OPTIONS FOR VIBRANCY Culture is an investment and ecology. The cost of culture is not precise but it is real and is a function of both healthy patronage and participation. There are startup costs, capital costs and annual costs for the production, marketing and maintenance of artworks and cultural experiences. In a sustainable model, these costs are shared among many stakeholders: artists, audiences, government and the private sector both for-profit and nonprofit. No one actor is left holding the bag; rather, each play a

role in cultivating a rich cultural ecology that is dynamic and vibrant. The table below can be used as a guide for understanding the scale of investment required for a desired outcome. It shows estimated capital and annual costs for the major touchstones of the proposed Downtown Cultural Corridor. The outcomes are expressed as a menu of vibrancy options, each with a different level of vibrancy based on duration (seasonal or year-round) and quality (local, regional and national). It is important to understand that culture is not all or nothing. That is, for Redmond to be vibrant all year with nationally recognized cultural arts does not require an anchor arts organization with a $30 million a year budget, operating in a $130 million dollar facility with a $25 million piece of public art across the street. A vibrant cultural arts scene is an ecology that requires touchstones at all levels relying –on and feeding off of the other. The question is: how vibrant an ecology do we want?


Table: Menu of options for vibrancy in the Downtown Cultural Corridor TOUCHSTONES OF THE CULTURAL CORRIDOR





OCCASSIONALLY VIBRANT Local-to-Regional Profile

OUTCOME: A reputation for quality cultural arts in Downtown Redmond

People fly in from around the country for one-of-a-kind cultural arts experiences all year long. There is an active arts community centered on Cleveland Street making important artworks and a living in Redmond.

People fly in from around the country for one-of-a-kind cultural arts experiences during the summer. Residents look forward to the return of touring artists who make Cleveland Street feel like a beach town boardwalk.

People drive from all over Western Washington for an extended weekend all year long. Several arts-based enterprises (i.e. galleries) thrive in existing businesses on Cleveland Street for a boutique feel.

People drive from all over Western Washington for an extended weekend during the summer. Cleveland street bustles with street performers and festivals.

Redmond now.

Cultural arts around every corner, 18 hours a day

$4 million annually 2 Regional, Tier 1 organizations in permanent facilities with year round cultural arts programs (100,000+ attend.) ($3 million) 3 regional creative boutique enterprises in permanent facilities ($1 million)

$2.3 million annually 1 Regional, Tier 1 organization who organizes an annual multiweek festival (50,000 attend.) Ex: Seattle Shakespeare Comp 3 regional creative enterprises in rented, dedicated facilities ($1 million) (30,000)

$1.5 million annually 2 Regional, Tier 2 organizations that serve 10-15K people in rented facilities each year-round (35,000 attend.) ($1 million) 3 regional creative boutique enterprises in businesses ($500K) (15,000 attend)

$500,000 annually 3 Regional weekend events that attract 10-15K people each (35,000 attend.) ($450K) 1 Vacant Storefronts program that activates 10 spaces with artist residencies, installations and creative enterprises ($50K)

$300,000 annually 1 Regional weekend event (15,000 attend.) ($150K) 5 local, Tier 2 organizations with year-round programs (10,000 attend.) ($100K) 3 Local weekend events (3,000 attend.) ($50K)

An exceptional built environment

$130+ million 1 Architecturally significant building Ex: Disney Concert Hall, LA

$30 million 1 Town square with high quality materials and art/architectural features for 2,000 people to enjoy at any given moment

$3 million 3 Large, lighted gateway pieces marking the corridor ($1 million) 10 medium, lighted artworks in public/private plazas ($2 million)

$200,000 annually 1 Temporary outdoor sculpture show throughout downtown Ex: Bellwether Show, Bellevue

$9 million (2013) 1 Beautiful main street with plazas for festivals and street performances

Destination quality public art

$25 million 1 Bean, Chicago

$10 million annually 1 The Gates, New York

$150,000 annually 1 Temporary indoor social practice artwork

$17,000 annually $100,000 annually 1 Temporary pavilion at the center 2 Temporary art installations (1 indoor, 1 outdoor) of a summer night market

A downtown that’s home to artists $18 million 60 Units of artist live-work studios in a new transit-oriented development facility Ex: Hiawatha Artist Lofts, Seattle

$14 million 200 Units of affordable housing with artists as first priority

$7 million $12 million 36 units of low-income artist live- 100 Units of affordable housing work studios in a restored historic with artists as first priority building Ex: Youngstown Center, Seattle

An anchor cultural arts institution $30 million annually 1 National, Tier 1 organization that organizes annual cultural arts program in permanent venues all year (400,000 attend.) Ex: Oregon Shakespeare Festival

$17 million annually 1 National, Tier 1 organization that organizes an annual multi week and venue cultural arts festival (50,000 attend.) Ex: Sundance Film Festival

$6 million annually 1 Regional, Tier 1 organization with year-round programs in a permanent indoor facility (250,000 attend.) Ex: Seattle Film Festival

$2 million annually 1 Regional, Tier 1 organization who organizes an annual weekend festival (200,000 attend.) Ex: NW Folklife

$265,000 annually 1 Regional, Tier 2 organization with year-round programs (10,000 attend.)

A place where the cultural arts can flourish in Redmond

$7 million 1 outdoor amphitheater with covered stage and staging areas that seats 4,500 people Ex: Mizner Park, Boca Raton

$6 million 1 indoor cultural arts forum with exhibition and gathering spaces for the visual and literary arts Ex: Schack Arts Center, Everett

$3 million 1 outdoor amphitheater with covered stage and staging areas that seats 2,500 people Ex: ArtsPark, Hollywood

$1 million 1 outdoor amphitheater with covered stage but no staging areas that seats 500-1000 on the grass Ex: Renovate Anderson Park


$20 million 1 indoor arts center for the performing arts that seats 750 Ex: Yerba Buena, San Francisco

$7 million (2013) 100 Units of affordable housing with artists as first priority (not in the Corridor) Ex: Vision5, Redmond









Bellevue 2013

Redmond 2030

Kirkland 2013

Issaquah 2013

Ashland 2013

Downtown 2030

Park City 2013

4 RegionalTier 1

1 Regional Tier 1

1 National Tier 1

1 National Tier 1

1 National Tier 1

3 RegionalTier 2

1 Regional Tier 2

2 Local Tier 2

3 Regional Tier 2

3 Regional Tier 2

10 Local Tier 2

2 Local Tier 2

2 Arts Businesses

3 Arts Businesses


IS BEING AN ART TOWN FEASIBLE? By 2030, Redmond will have an estimated population of 83,000 and roughly 13,000 will live Downtown. That is, Redmond will grow to the size of current day Kirkland, Washington and the Downtown neighborhood will be nearly twice the size of Park City, Utah, two cities that have been or currently are known as art towns. It is feasible for Redmond to become an art town. Redmond as a whole has incredible artistic assets that are cross-cultural, interdisciplinary and highly creative. Downtown has been a place where the cultural arts

are celebrated with growing popularity. For example, the annual Ananda Mela Joyful Festival of India that takes place on Redmond’s Downtown City Hall Campus blends old to create new for an audience of 15,000 people. The festival’s headlining band for the past three years has been Delhi to Dublin, described by the British Broadcasting Corporation BBC as, “The Vancouver-based collective combines dhol, fiddle and breakbeats in an Irish/Asian stew that is surprisingly varied, a marvelously wide-ranging and free-thinking concept.” Do festivals like this have to be contained to the City Hall Campus? We see an opportunity to strengthen our cultural arts assets and build further ones to create a vibrant Downtown Cultural Corridor.

• Islamic Cultural Center

• Redmond Public Art Collection

• Microsoft Orchestra

• Redmond Town Center Art Fair

• Microsoft Theatre Group

• Venues for Artists in the Local Area (VALA)

• Redmond Chorale • Redwood Theatre

General Venues

• Russian Cultural Center

• Marymoor Park Outdoor Concerts

• SecondStory Repertory

• City of Redmond Parks

• SoulFood Books

• City of Redmond Senior Center

• Ananda Mela (Vedic Education and Development

• Old Fire House Teen Center


• Old Redmond School House Community Center • Redmond Library Arts Garden

Digital Arts, Film and New Media • BoneBat Show Podcast and Comedy of Horrors Film Fest • Digital Arts Festival

Stores • Ben Franklin Crafts & Frame • Mills Music • Pacific Music

Humanities and Literary Arts • Friends of the Redmond Library • King County Redmond Regional Library

Cultural and Performing Arts

• Redmond Association of Spokenword (RASP)

• ARPAN – Indian Cultural Arts

• Redmond Historical Society

• Balkanrama • Eastside Symphony

Visual Arts

• Evergreen Family Theatre

• Microsoft Art Collection

Art Schools • DigiPen Institute • Orange Blossom Society • The Redmond Academy of Theatre Art • Redmond Boys & Girls Club • Redmond High School Drama • Redmond High School Band Program



Educate, enhance, inspire. The more people see art the more they wonder. It can create or enhance identity, be a wayfinding device and a cultural touchstone. –responses to the question: “What do you think art can do or accomplish in downtown Redmond?” in the Redmond Art Survey


How can Redmond become a cultural arts destination for visitors from out of town?

When cities hope for “destination-quality art,” they think of Millennium Park in Chicago with a massive space and several pieces, like Anish Kapoor’s Cloudgate. But the cost of Cloudgate alone was over $25 million. How does a city’s art become a destination if the budget can’t support several groundbreaking works in a grand space?

and how to host one.” This relational tactic has drawn tourists, residents, and press to Pittsburgh. This is what Redmond can aspire to become: an arts destination. CONNECTING RESIDENTS TO THE DOWNTOWN THROUGH ACTIVE PARTICIPATION Art can bring residents into the re-designed Downtown by providing experiences and involving local artists in the work. Art that gives agency to the residents through partici-

Truly well-crafted and intriguing social-

pation, public involvement, and dialogue will

practice artworks can create the buzz needed

create a buzz and act like a magnet.

to bring in visitors without the high cost.

And if people participate, they feel they have a stake in the work. Cultural experiences that will activate the corridor are art fairs, pop-up art spaces, outdoor performances, and music. Art that brings people to the corridor is essential to keep the corridor active. Art that brings groups of people to converse with each other around a work is even better. One way to attract participation from local artists is to make a number of “platforms”

There are several pieces around the country that have become destinations. The Waffle Shop in Pittsburgh is one example. An artwork by Jon Rubin and Dawn Weleski, The Waffle Shop is a late night restaurant and live talk show with local talent filling the talk show seats. The program is broadcast on a monitor in the window during the day and online. As Jon Rubin explained, “everyone knows how to be on a talk show


Everything is OK by MINE Design Firm, 2009, along Market District, San Fransisco, CA. Neon. This piece was made for San Francisco’s Art in Storefronts program.

Art has the power to reach across age, race, language, and class differences, and provides a new way for people to engage directly on contemporary issues. –Creative Time’s masterplan for the City of Louisville


for art that residents can contribute to. Platforms give the possibility to change content and keep it fresh. The following are opportunities for platforms: A video screen with on-going opportunities for residents to show work, an outdoor stage for performances and presentations, a storefront with changing exhibitions, a billboard with changing signage, and many other imaginative formats.

cultures? This goal is undeniably important for any artwork that will invigorate the new Redmond Downtown. TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE CONSTRUCTION PHASE Bringing art into the Downtown during the construction phase gives Redmond an opportunity to focus on the positive and what is soon to come: an exciting new Downtown filled with interesting experiences.

LISTENING TO DIVERSE VOICES Redmond has a truly multicultural population. One third is non-white, and one quar-

ter come to Redmond from other countries. There is also an unusual amount of population turnover due to shorter-term jobs in the high-tech field. One of the most popular and exciting cultural events in Redmond is the widely-attended yearly Ananda Mela Joyful Festival of India. What other kind of artwork could bring cultures together around an experience? How can an artwork for Downtown Redmond speak to all its

Redmond can jump-start the next construction phase by using the concept of “site pre-vitalization.” According to the urban planning document, Tactical Urbanism: “Site pre-vitalization uses often include public markets, art exhibitions and studios, community festivals, beer gardens, micro-retail opportunities, flea markets, and other temporary programs capable of “pre-vitalizing” a site before more permanent building is possible. By activating a site during the planning, approvals, and financing stages, a vacant site can therefore provide low-cost

community building and economic opportunities while a more formal transition occurs, ...” If we substitute “wine tastings“ for “beer-gardens,“ this recipe could serve as an example for Redmond’s transition. Faced with a similar situation, STart, the Sound Transit Art Program, developed a strategy involving temporary artwork to mitigate the impacts of construction and celebrate the coming of light rail in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, a place known for their vibrant arts community. Each of three projects employed both well-known artists and curators as well emerging local artists, a gesture of goodwill and a commitment to community building. For example, after vacating tenants in commercial buildings along Broadway Avenue that were slated for demolition to make room for construction, artists were brought in to create art installations; after demolition, an artist was commissioned to fill the construction zone – a five-block long hole along – with a light-based piece of interactive, digital

artwork; and temporary murals are painted along the length of the construction walls. IDENTIFYING REDMOND-SPECIFIC THEMES Redmond wants and needs a more defined sense of identity, and the art for Cleveland Street and the Couplet Corridor can help.

But what are the specific traits that make Redmond unique and identifiable? Authenticity, and hominess are repeatedly mentioned as themes to describe Redmond. The dark and rainy winters suggest that light should be an important medium for artwork. The theme of nature and the environment is a common interest to many residents, so art that addresses ecology and nature will speak to that interest. It’s also important to understand that a Redmond audience for cultural events will be worldly and multicultural. Though many of the residents work in high-tech fields, this plan recommends taking a “warm” and low-tech approach,


Wake up the soul! ... If Cleveland Street can dare to share, dare to feel, or dare to try something “world-class,” then it will become the true heart of this community. - response to the Redmond Arts Survey

mixed with a contemporary design aesthetic. It would be difficult for Downtown Redmond to compete with the high-tech capabilities and offerings of the Microsoft campus, so a warm aesthetic will offer a contrasting alternative and a welcoming presence. Lush wild plantings, warm lighting, and warm materials will all contribute to making an inviting environment. The art should be participatory and playful, making the streetscape homey and comfortable. This approach will lend authenticity to the Cleveland streetscape.



the waters and understand what activates the corridor. And temporary art can be more participatory and experiential than permanent art, bringing people to the street to DO something. Temporary work won’t cause complaints if people don’t love it, because they know it will go away. But a temporary piece will also identify an interest if people miss it when it goes away. When imagining public art, we usually think of visual art, but Redmond has already encouraged performance and poetry. Artist teams -- for example a poet and a graphic designer, or a dance troupe and a filmmaker -- make artwork for the corridor that attracts a wider audience of enthusiasts.

chance to see what people appreciate.

Before I Die by Candy Chang, 2011-ongoing, various cities. Chalkboard paint, stencils, text, chalk. This participatiory piece invites viewers to fill in the blanks. The words “Before I die, I want to” are followed by a blank space. This project is available as a kit and has been installed in hundreds of cities world-wide.

The goal is for the City to gain confidence in public art and for the Arts Commission to learn about the cultural needs of a changing community. For the first few years during and after the Couplet Conversion, temporary art will allow Redmond to test

HAVING ARTISTS ON YOUR TEAM AS IDEA GENERATORS Putting artists on teams with City employees, consultants, or developers to make the corridor more lively will generate new ideas toward building the new Downtown.




Public art flourishes when the artist has the room to consider all the possibilities. Commissioning artists with the entire corridor as a possible site, without suggestions about the form of the artwork, opens the way to novel approaches to art in the corridor and new ideas about bringing in people and activity. Without pre-conceived notions of what you think the art should be, you allow the artist to give you new ideas about accomplishing the goal of activating the Downtown and building a “great street” in ways you may never have anticipated. It is recommended that art strategies complement the streetscape or hardscape design, not replace them. Design is best left to the experts: landscape architects, industrial designers and graphic designers, and those designers should be welcomed into the process as collaborators. Artists should invited to make art that complements the designed elements but not the design elements themselves.

FOSTERING PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS Establishing a Cultural Arts District is an investment by many. A growing trend among municipal public art programs is to partner with private-sector developers to use public art as a way to mitigate escalating development and establish a regional sense of place based on a common vision. Many of these

public art programs legislates privatesector participation while a handful encourages voluntary participation. Within the Northwest, Vancouver, BC in Canada and Portland, Oregon have legislated programs that tie public art enhancements to privatesector developments through a bonus program based on the planned square feet of the site commonly called the Floor Area Ratio (F.A.R). Smaller cities that legislates private-sector participation include Walnut Creek, California, Scottsdale, Arizona and Sarasota, Florida. Boise, Idaho and Fremont, California encourage voluntary participation through policy guidelines

that are distributed to private-sector developers at the time of applying for a development proposal. Partnerships that result in artist housing or anchor arts and cultural organizations are equally if not more important in seeding a Cultural Corridor District. Developing artist live-work facilities are a growing strategy for many communities who seek to retain and increase creative people. Artist live-work spaces are even beginning to be incorporated into Transportation Oriented Developments (TOD) such as the new ArtPlace development alongside the Light Rail Transit Station in Seattle’s Mount Baker neighborhood. A local version of this is the Vision5 project in Downtown Redmond north of the Couplet Corridor that seeks to provide affordable, transit-oriented housing to fine and digital artists. What artist-based TOD opportunities exist along the Redmond Central Connector or surrounding the future Downtown light rail station?


Once the City has tested the waters with temporary art, has understood what is popular in Redmond and has a sustainable funding mechanism in place, permanent art should be carefully considered. Platforms for art, as described above, that change with resident input can have a permanent presence. A light-based gateway piece can be thoughtfully considered. A permanent piece along Anderson Park that relates to nature and the environment might also be considered. Specific themes will be dependent on the project, site and critical conversations occurring in the community at that time. Permanent artwork can be a single sculpture or mural. But it can also be an episodic work that recurs on an intimate level all along a street. Another permanent strategy is an artist-in-residence program. Although this may seem like a temporary strategy, an on-going residency, occupied by different artists, can be a permanent fixture of Redmond.


Possibilities Possibilities


Participatory art and platforms


Cleveland Street can become livelier with interactive artwork for residents and visitors. One approach to participation is through the use of platforms. A platform is simply a vehicle to show changeable work by residents. Examples of platforms are: a video screen, a stage, a changing sign, a billboard, and an art space in a vacant building with rotating residencies or exhibits. Content for platforms can be selected through a local competition, making each contributor a collaborator in the artwork, and giving a voice to residents.

(Left) Small Kindnesses, Weather Permitting by Janet Zweig, 2004, in Minneapolis, MN. 35 interactive media kiosks at 11 Minneapolis Light Rail stations. Over 100 Minnesotans were commissioned to make short audio or video pieces for these kiosks. Each kiosk holds every commissioned work, providing visitors with varying content that always changes while waiting for the trains.

Possibilities light for the dark winter


art made with light is a good strategy for Redmond, with its dark and rainy winters. Gateway pieces could be made of light and placed at the junction of Redmond Way and Cleveland Street or on the trestle on the way into town on Redmond Way. Other places for light are the catenary lighting on Cleveland Street, in the downtown park during any of its 3 stages, and on the barrier fence separating the interim park from the construction staging area.

[Right} Scattered Light by Jim Campbell, 2011, for Northern Spark festival, Minneapolis, MN. 1,600 LED in standard light bulbs, support structure. Photo: Patrick Kelly


d to e y e k e ob t s d nt e a e c n a v p a d an sm i s h n t o i : t to e t c t n e a s no w d e u er yo b p m a u m n e th the s i h t s I spaces. use?



vacant spaces on CLEVELAND STREET



This plan identifies general zones for art rather than specific sites for artists to focus on, in order to allow artists more flexibility and creativity in finding sites within the Couplet Corridor that they can enhance with their design process. This plan advocates an “over-all” approach to the corridor, with artists intervening at either one site or many sites throughout the Downtown. Commissioning artists without suggestions about the form or exact placement of the artwork, opens the way to novel approaches to art and new ideas about bringing in people and activity. Without pre-conceived notions of what you think the art should be, you allow the artist to give you new ideas about accomplishing the goal of activating the Downtown and building a “great street” in ways you may never have anticipated.

(Right) Entrelacement by Michel de Broin, 2001, Montreal, Canada. 40 meters long, 12 tones of asphalt, pictogram sign and paint, Collection de Parcs Canada. An additional segment extends a bicycle path along the Lachine Canal in Montreal.

design and should be the first focus for public art in Redmond. There will be many opportunities for temporary work as soon as the Cleveland Streetscape project is completed in the form of festivals, light art, performance, and events. After the Couplet Conversion is expected to be complete, a permanent piece could be integrated into the west Cleveland Street. The recommendation of this art plan is that any permanent work for Cleveland Street should be intimate, pedestrian-scale, and episodic, not large or monolithic. Intimate work will engage the pedestrian at multiple sites along the entire corridor. The small landscaped seating areas are ideal spaces for this permanent work, though an artist should be allowed to explore any site opportunities along the street. 2. THE DOWNTOWN PARK FOR LARGE




There are opportunities for temporary artwork during street construction along the fence that divides the Downtown Park


This zone includes the new “great street”


(Right) Blue Lights Over Duwamish by Norie Sato and Dan Corson, 2009, STart Sound Transit Program, Duwamish Bridge, Seattle, WA.


from the staging area, and within the park. Opportunities in the park could be temporary or permanent. Temporary artwork not only turns a perceived disruption into an area of interest, but it also gives new and emerging visual artists the opportunity to create artworks to scale appropriate for large public spaces. This plan recommends temporary work until the planners have a good sense of what kind of public art Redmond wants and appreciates. One way to acquire a variety of small works for the Downtown Park is to hold architectural competitions for small temporary structures. A recent example of this is Sukkah City in Union Square Park, New York City, an international design competition first held in 2010 that aims to re-imagine the traditional Jewish Sukkah, or temporary structure, through contemporary and urban design. Contemporary designers were asked to submit ideas that the public could vote on. 12 finalists built prototypes in the park and one was selected

as the “People’s Choice.” The tactic of holding competitions taps into a useful resource for inexpensive temporary work by designers while engaging residents by asking them which of the winners they prefer, either during the competition or after a number of works have been built. 3. REDMOND WAY FOR ART AT TRANSIT STOPS AND UTILITY STRUCTURES

After the Couplet Conversion, Redmond Way will be a place for both pedestrian activity and public transit. Suggested locations for art are transit stops, utility boxes, and other episodic functional elements that cause people to stop and wait. This plan suggests that we think differently about art at transit stops and utility boxes. Both opportunities can be sites for graphic design and/or poetry rather than the typical illustrational painted boxes. A more sophisticated design aesthetic for decorating the utility boxes and transit stops will appeal to the worldly Redmond population

based content management systems that offer cultural organizations the opportunity to tell stories about artworks, events and places through rich media (image, text, video, audio, and web links) on personal mobile devices like cell phones and tablets. STQRY is also integrated into staple social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and gives users the option to RSVP for events on site or donate to special projects like public art. While STQRY isn’t wi-fi dependent, simple splash pages on during the wi-fi registration process can inform thousands of computer users of upcoming cultural events in Downtown. and encourage people to think differently about art. 4. GATEWAYS AND TRANSITIONAL SPACES FOR LIGHT-BASED ART

There are several possible gateways along the couplet corridor where artistic elements could enhance the traveler’s experience as they enter Downtown, including: The


A third place is where you go and hang out and build community. In suburbia, there is a real hunger for more third spaces. - Ellen Dunham-Jones, Retrofitting Suburbia, Ted Talk 2012


Redmond Way trestle, the triangle property at the west end of the couplet, the triangle property at the juncture of Cleveland Street and Redmond Way has been mentioned as a gateway opportunity for art. The east end of the couplet, the southeastern edge of Anderson Park where Redmond Way and Cleveland Street merge may be added to the park as part of this project. These areas provide opportunities for light-based art as a way to call attention to an entrance into Downtown Redmond. In the future, the Light Rail station along the Redmond Central Connector will be a major transitional space for thousands of commuters everyday. 5. VIRTUAL SPACE FOR PROMOTING CONNECTIONS AND CULTURAL EVENTS

This plan recommends wi-fi Downtown as a way to get tech-savvy residents to linger out-of-doors as well as promote Downtown cultural events. Redmond is host to a number of large, unique cultural events both sponsored by the City such as Derby

Days and Redmond Lights as well as events organized by community groups such as the Ananda Mela Joyful Festival of India and the Digital Arts Festival. However, many Redmond residents are unaware of these opportunities. Creative websites and apps that can link people to events and artwork Downtown will be a way to let people know what’s happening and how to get involved. A cultural event could also have a combination of live and virtual experiences, so people can use connectivity to interact with the art. Online and mobile app tools are forever changing. The constant is that they are increasingly the platform of choice to consume information. STQRY is the latest in cloud6. COMMERCIAL EMPTY SPACE FOR TEMPORARY ART AND EXPERIENCES

There are countless citations in the literature of revitalization and placemaking about using vacant spaces as a helpful tool

to activate a street. Along the west end of Cleveland Street, there are currently four or five vacant spaces that would be great sites for pop-up art events, performances, exhibitions, or retail shops. The art in these spaces need not be traditional exhibition spaces. Consider using local performers, actors, and visual artists to activate these spaces temporarily. Pop-up retail can also partner with artists or designers to make spaces that people want to visit. All these possibilities can create the “buzz” Redmond needs to bring people Downtown during the transition. They also offer visibility and benefit to the owners of the spaces; they suggest possibilities for developers or renters who might not see the potential of the space until an artist uses it creatively. Amy McBride, who has run a very suc cessful art-in-storefronts program called Spaceworks in Tacoma says,” The long and the short of it is that you HAVE to have property owner/manager participation.” Spaceworks Tacoma is a joint initiative of

the City of Tacoma and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce designed to activate empty storefronts. The initiative makes no- and low-cost temporary space available to artists, fledgling creative entrepreneurs, organizations, and community groups by placing them in unused commercial properties. To date, the program has seeded traditional exhibition spaces for recognized artists to new fashion stores run by college graduates returning home from New York City.

Artwork by Mary Coss, June Sekiguchi and Pamela Hom, 2010, for City of Tacoma, Spaceworks Program. Photo: Mary Coss


[Left} Dancing Steps by Jack Mackie, 1982, on Broadway in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, Seattle, WA. Bronze shoe inlays in concrete.



Art can be incorporated into the fabric of the right-of-way by using wider sections of a sidewalk as a performance space, a temporary art element along a blank wall of a building or construction barrier, the green space or seating area of the sidewalk, or temporarily using a parking space along the street. The transit stops and sidewalks along the Couplet Corridor are all sites for continuous art interventions, whether temporary, permanent, or rotating. 8. CLEVELAND STREET EAST FOR ARTIST’S STUDIOS AND ARTS ORGANIZATIONS

Empty shopping malls and other larger empty spaces could be converted to artists’ studios. The majority of vacant spaces along Cleveland Street are concentrated along the eastern half of the street between 166th Avenue NE to 168th Avenue NE. Rather than remaining empty, these spaces could fill a

critical need for studio space among local artists and arts organizations. These range from theatre companies like SecondStory Theatre in need of rehearsal space to new visual arts organizations like Venue for Artists in the Local Area VALA that wish to host artists in residence. While SecondStory has a full theatre season, most of their rehearsals are conducted in Seattle where rehearsal space is roughly one third the cost of space in Redmond. More than filling vacant space, providing studio space helps to build and sustain an arts community who see Redmond as a place to make art. In St. Louis, the closed Crestwood Mall spaces were rented temporarily to artists. Collaborating with the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission, more than 200,000 square feet of studio space were offered to artists for as little as $100 per month beginning in 2009. The sales created a buzz that revived the retail spaces so that by January 2012 the program ended. A similar effort has begun at the Redmond Town Center, a Macerich commercial property, who has been offering vacant space to VALA for exhibitions and an art center.


The Redmond Central Connector RCC, a designated urban trail for bicyclists and pedestrians, runs parallel to Cleveland Street and features landings at key intersections designed to facilitate north-south pedestrian connections throughout downtown. The RCC Master Plan includes strategies for art integration including: programming the RCC with events uniquely Redmond; make it great on all days, in all weather; and engaging a community of artistic activity through participation. Given the proximity of Cleveland Street’s festival street to the Redmond Central Connector RCC, largescale events that utilize both spaces may provide a synergy that will enhance both spaces. In the long-term, these landings – such as at Brown Street, Gilman Street and in the “open space” at 166th Street NE – can also be platforms for large-scale art installations that can serve as beacons for Downtown pedestrians.


Possibilities Art in vacant spaces

There are three or four vacant spaces along 54the “great street� area of Cleveland Street, three vacant spaces in the adjacent mall on Cleveland, and five potential vacant spaces in the new housing developments. Working with the owners and the developers to put a variety of pop-up art events, exhibits, performances, and temporary retail in their empty spaces will enliven the street. When vacant spaces are used for art, attention is drawn to the potential of the spaces and they are quickly leased or purchased for business and retail. Using vacant spaces for art is a path to economic development along Cleveland Street. [Right} Potential Store Fronts by Beth Campbell, 2007 for the Public Art Fund, NY. This installation in a vacant storefront appears to be a series of mirrors reflecting backwards, but on closer inspection the viewer discovers that each of the successive reflections are actually individually built replicas of decreasing size. Photo: Seong Kwon


Possibilities Possibilities Art about nature and the environment 56

Redmond residents care 57 about nature, ecology and the environment. Commissioning one or several artworks in the downtown park, on the new edge of Anderson Park and Redmond Way, or in the small pocket plazas along the new Cleveland Street will engage Redmond’s interests. An interactive or participatory piece about the environment will involve residents even more.

[Left} Just Around the Corner by Patrick Dougherty, 2003, New Harmony, IN. Mixed hardwoods. Photo Š Doyle Dean {Above} Untitled by Andy Goldsworthy, June 1985, St. Abbs, Scotland. A temporary piece in the landscape made of broken pebbles scratched white with another stone.

Five year Action plan for implementation, 2013-2017


2013 Downtown Cultural Corridor Master Plan

Critical actions to take in the first years provide the policy direction to implement the recommendations in this plan. ADOPT THIS PLAN Redmond has a rare opportunity during the Couplet Conversion to allow the arts to help revitalize the Downtown corridor.

This is the moment to begin the work of making Redmond a special place through arts and culture and adopting this plan is the first step. But it will take will, effort, and a sustainable financial strategy by the City to let the arts serve this function at this transitional moment. This opportunity should not be missed!

With reliable and predictable yearly budget projections, city staff can coordinate with various departments to prioritize and implement public art projects through the Capital Improvement Programs (CIP) process, six year departmental capital programs based on the City’s biennial budget cycle. In addition, the City will evaluate the general fund budget for arts staff to administer these projects.

given over to transportation needs such as streets sidewalks, but many big American cities apportion 30 to 40 percent of the total built environment to the right-of-way. This does not include surface parking lots and parking garages. In the daily life of a commuter and resident or employee with street views, public art has a lot to contribute in terms of how people-friendly Downtown can become.

INCORPORATE THIS PLAN INTO THE CITY’S TRANSPORTATION MASTER PLAN The City of Redmond has a vision to reclaim our downtown as an economically healthy, people-friendly place, enhanced by the movement of pedestrians, bikes, cars, and a diversity of businesses. Considering that

INTEGRATE THIS PLAN INTO THE CITY’S BUDGET CYCLE A dedicated and sustainable funding mechanism for the arts is essential if the vision for a culturally and economically vibrant Downtown is to become a reality.

the right-of-way makes up a significant portion of the urban environment, adopting public art as a key feature is crucial if Downtown is also to succeed as a place of beauty. No accurate figures have been calculated regarding the proportion of land

[Right] Downspout planter system by Buster Simpson, 2007, part of the Growing Vine Street Design Team Streetscape, Seattle, WA.




ances is a complicated matter, but the City


exciting potential of the future Downtown

By providing guidelines to potential private-

has an opportunity to anticipate the needs of


and build community among residents and

sector developers, the city can ensure art-

artists, businesses, residents and visitors

The first step in collaboration is communica-

employees who will experience much of the

work in view-of or adjacent to the public

and offer solutions.

tion. Current and future developers are and

impacts. The construction phase of both the

realm reinforces an authentic and homey

These needs include encouraging the free expression of creativity and providing spontaneous opportunities to experience art and performance at the same time communicating with artists and audiences about what it means to be a good neighbor. At a minimum, street performance guidelines can designate preferred locations, decibel levels and performance times. If the City chooses further regulation, it can designate fees, application processes and even audition schedules to influence quality.

will be critical partners in implementing the

Couplet Conversion and Downtown Park will be somewhat disruptive to Downtown businesses and residents. Artwork can tap into this transitional moment by valorizing the construction process and the construction workers as “part of the neighborhood.” Artwork within the construction zone will signal the new Redmond and “brand” it as a place for lively cultural experiences both now and into the future.

sense of place that is unique to Redmond.

Many private developers understand that incorporating art into a residential or commercial building sends a message that theirs is a quality building. Guidelines that define proper scale, sites and interactions with easements such as plazas, entry ways or façades are one tool that City can use to both develop and communicate its vision to potential partners. At a deeper level, guidelines that provide useful resources such as preapproved artist rosters, local fabricators or context to the site can lend a more custom look and feel to privately commissioned but publically facing artwork. CREATE STREET PERFORMANCE GUIDELINES The decision to regulate street perform-

2013-2014 Cleveland Street Main Street

These next steps provide the foundation – the bones – for public art interventions and cultural experiences aimed at activating the streetscape.

vision for the “great street.” Providing every

business owner, developer and landowner with a copy of this plan is one way to integrate these stakeholders into the City’s vision for a Cultural Corridor. This should include a summary of the vision and opportunities to contribute as well as a schedule for public outreach aimed at developers, property managers and businesses to learn more. Some topics could include how to upgrade groundfloor retail space from business commercial to assembly space conducive to cultural activities, tools for developers to find and work with artists and how to create artist housing.

COMPLETE A DEMONSTRATION PROJECT Create an attractive reason, a hook, to make people want to visit and stay. A temporary piece for Downtown Redmond during the transition will begin in 2014. This piece will

INCORPORATE ART INTO THE DOWNTOWN CONSTRUCTION ZONE Artwork during the construction phase can be used in a positive way to signal the

kick off art based on this plan, and can act as a demonstration of the possibilities for art along the corridor to add “buzz” and to generate interest.


[Below] The Waffle Shop by Jon Rubin and Dawn Weleski, 2008- 2012, Pittsburgh, PA. The Waffle Shop was a late-night restaurant that hosted a live talk-show. Hosts and guests were Pittsburgh residents. The show was recorded and televised on a monitor in the front window during the day. 62


undergirds the new Cleveland Street main street.

The city can promote partnerships between

the Downtown Park. If there are remaining vacant spaces, pop-up art and retail should continue until the spaces are filled.

the business community and arts and cultur-


al groups to achieve an 18-hour a day vibrant



Downtown urban center. A common theme

Participatory art, light-based art, signage-


in Downtown Redmond is that there is both a high number of vacant floor retail spaces and a low number of dedicated art and cultural venues. As a way to address this, the city might consider offering property managers tools or resources that facilitate the temporary use of their vacant spaces by local arts and cultural organizations for free or below market rates. A more robust approach is to develop a program like the Spaceworks Tacoma program or the Seattle Storefronts Program.

related art, and pop-up art in vacant spaces

Redmond can “roll out the welcome mat” to

are recommended as temporary artwork to

residents, visitors and business owners with

generate excitement about the conversion of

local advertising that celebrate Redmond’s

west Cleveland Street. The “Festival Street”

beloved cultural events such as Derby Days

concept will be new to the community and short-term art projects can build confidence in this concept and an expectation for something special along Cleveland Street.

and Redmond Lights and more. Promoting


2015-2016 Couplet Conversion

such as Ananda Mela and Redmond Lights

These steps educate the community about both the conversion of the one-way streets into two-way streets as well as raise the awareness of the festival street concept that

can now move to the new Cleveland Street.

There can be regular performances, work by artists-in-residence, and other performance-based work on the street and in

these and other cultural events that occur in the city such as the annual Ananda Mela Joyful Festival of India and the Digital Arts Festival sends a message to the world that Redmond is unique in its diversity. However, many Redmond residents are unaware of some of the biggest events in Redmond. Understandably, Redmond’s current sign code does not authorize the use and display of street banners or light pole flags which could effectively promote these kinds of cultural events in Downtown. Online and mobile app solutions may be a viable option



to integrate cultural events and festivals into the streetscape. 2017 After construction and beyond

Once a funding mechanism and policy framework are in place the City can begin to address the following opportunities. ESTABLISH AN ARTS COORDINATOR

The City’s Art Program currently provides and maintains public art, public programs, grant opportunities and cultural planning to artists, citizens and visitors in order to cultivate the arts across the City. To maintain Redmond’s reputation as a culturally vibrant community at the same time aid in the development of an exceptional Downtown Cultural Corridor will require a fresh approach to how cultural services are delivered both short-term and long-term. An Arts Coordinator housed within the Art Program that interfaces across City departments and with community partners to lay a sustainable groundwork for the new

initiatives and programs recommended in this plan. This includes providing a level of oversight and teambuilding to successfully coordinate urban design and cultural agendas among local artists and arts organizations, businesses, private-sector developers and property owners and managers. In the long term, these additional responsibilities can be taken up by a community organization. For example, the City of Tacoma invested in an Arts Coordinator to organize the Spaceworks Tacoma Program during its formative stages. Since then, the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce has stepped in to both fund and house this position. MAINTAIN A WORLD CLASS COLLECTION Any permanent public art requires maintenance.

From a bronze sculpture to a kinetic or electronic work, funding for maintenance is important from the outset. When funding any permanent work, be sure to secure funding for on-going maintenance for the

expected life of the artwork. The City of Portland accounts for this through their Percent for Art program by designating .95% to artwork, .5 % for maintenance and .33% for administration and public education for a total of 1.33% for Art.

and who has the capacity to operate this? What role does the city play? What is a sustainable business model? Where are the ideal locations? UPDATE THIS PLAN AND ESTABLISH PERIODIC REVIEWS


The City will need to create a framework for

The future Redmond Art Center can be a gathering place for the arts in Downtown. This art plan recommends that it should be a truly inter-disciplinary laboratory that reflects and serves a wide range of creativity in Redmond -- from dance and performance, to visual art, to music, to writing, to digital arts. It is recommended that it should be a place for artistic practice as well as for viewing performance and presentations, and above all, a place for hanging out, meeting, and having conversations. This can take many forms such as a public, private or nonprofit facility. Key questions to determine which form it should take include: What will the market support

planning and prioritizing art and cultural investments along the corridor and adjacent areas in Downtown. These investments

should reflect the priorities developed in the Arts Commission Strategic Plan, the PARCC Plan, the TMP, and the Comprehensive Plan, while complementing the City’s Vision Blueprint: Capital Investment Strategy (CIS), a 20 year city wide strategy to coordinate all capital projects and locate efficiencies.


Possibilities creative signage

During the construction phase of the couplet conversion, creative signage can create excitement about the new downtown. A collaboration between an artist and a graphic designer can “brand” the transition. The signage can draw attention to the interesting aspects of construction and the construction workers. Creative signage can also be used on the utility boxes and the bus shelters through a collaboration between writers and graphic designers.


[Right] You Are Alive*, Mural by Maser, 2012, for First Fortnight, Ireland’s Mental Heath Arts Festival, started in 2009.


Possibilities Conflict Kitchen by Jon Rubin, John Pe単a, and Dawn Weleski, opened 2010, Pittsburgh, PA. Conflict Kitchen is a take-out restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict. The food is served out of a take-out style storefront that rotates identities every six months to highlight another country. Each iteration of the project is augmented by events, performances, and discussions that seek to expand the engagement the public has with the culture, politics, and issues at stake within the focus country. These events have included live international Skype dinner parties between citizens of Pittsburgh and young professionals 68 in Tehran, Iran; documentary filmmakers in Kabul, Afghanistan; and community radio activists in Caracas, Venezuela.

Keep it smart

Redmond has an educated and worldly population. The way to get them out of their houses69 and into Redmond rather than Seattle is to bring them some challenging, sophisticated art. Art that sparks public debate is often the most popular. A work that engenders conversation can send you on the way to creating buzz in downtown Redmond. For example, Conflict Kitchen, a project by Jon Rubin, John Pena, and Dawn Weleski, is a take out restaurant in Pittsburgh that serves food from countries that the US is in conflict with. There are educational programs associated with it, and the food is great. It has received a great deal of positive press and has become a tourist destination.




No Longer Empty http://nolongerempty.org Spaceworks Tacoma http://spaceworkstacoma.wordpress.com Art in Storefronts toolkit http://www.sfartscommission.org/CAE/ category/art-in-storefronts/toolkit The Adventure School http://www.theadventureschool.com/ Durham Storefront Project http://durhamstorefrontproject.org Storefront Seattle http://storefrontsseattle.wordpress.com Phantom Galleries LA http://www.phantomgalleriesla.com CREATIVE PLACEMAKING

NEA Creative Placemaking documents http://www.nea.gov/pub/ CreativePlacemaking-Paper.pdf Better Block http://betterblock.org/ how-to-build-a-better-block/

Place Matters http://www.placematters.org Cool Towns http://www.cooltownstudios.com Next American City http://americancity.org Congress for New Urbanism http://www.cnu.org/ PUBLIC ART AND PLACEMAKING

Random Acts of Culture http://www.knightarts.org/ random-acts-of-culture Using PR to Build a Better Public-Art Program http://www.pps.org/reference/prpart/ For Great Public Art, Bring in the Public http://www.pps.org/ for-great-public-art-bring-in-the-public/ Design and Review Criteria for Public Art http://www.pps.org/reference/ pubartdesign/ Art in the Plaza contest – Minneapolis http://www.minneapolis.org/

Knight Soul of the Community Project http://www.soulofthecommunity.org/ Art-Goers in their Community: NEA http://www.nea.gov/research/research. php?type=N The Arts and Civic Engagement NEA http://www.nea.gov/research/research. php?type=B From Creative Economy to Creative Society; http://www.trfund.com/resource/downloads/creativity/Economy.pdf Gifts of the Muse; Rand Corporation http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/ pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG218.pdf Cultural Vitality Indicators, Urban Institute http://www.urban.org/communities/arts. cfm FUNDING SOURCES

Knight Foundation http://www.knightfoundation.org/ http://www.knightfoundation.org/ what-we-fund/fostering-arts

NEA Our Town Grants http://www.arts.gov/grants/apply/ourtown/ Grant-program-description.html ArtPlace http://www.artplaceamerica.org REFERENCEs

• Brown, Cynthia Gould. Public Art & Private Development: Report on program policies. (Seattle: King County Public Art Program, 2002). • Landry, Charles, Lesley Greene, François Matarasso and Franco Bianchini. The Art of Regeneration: Urban Lydon, Mark ed. Tactical Urbanism (New York: Street Plans, 2012). • Renewal through Cultural Activity (Stroud: Demos, 1996). • Markusen, Ann, and Anne Gadwa. Creative Placemaking. National Endow- ment for the Arts, 2010. • Oldenburg, Ray. The Great Good Place. (New York: Marlowe & Co., 1997).


Lately, there is a real movement bubbling up… if you ask most people now what would improve their neighborhood…the answer is the arts…

About this plan


While the first draft of this plan was initiated by Janet Zweig, an artist and outside consultant, it evolved and changed as it was edited, augmented, and transformed by Joshua Heim and Lisa Singer through revisions that were developed from comments by The Advisory Committee, The Arts Commission, the Mayor, and the City Council. as well as community input.

• Carolyn Hope, COR Parks & Recreation • Craig Larsen, COR Parks & Recreation • Rob Leavitt, Arts Commission • Gary Lee, COR Planning • Rob Odle, COR Planning

-interview with Dennis Scholl, VP of the Knight Foundation

• Latha Sambamurti, WA State Arts Commission • Lisa Singer, COR Public Works • Genevieve Tremblay, Cultural Entrepreneurs • Erika Vandenbrande, COR Planning The arts commission


The photographs that are from cities other than Redmond are examples of successful public projects. They are meant to inspire a way of thinking about possibilities.

• name name • name name • name name • name name • name name • name name

The Advisory committee

• name name

• Rebecca Borker, COR Public Works

• name name

• Cath Bruner, King County 4Culture

• name name

• Don Carins, COR Planning

• name name

• Seema Chaudary, Arts Commission

• name name

• Tim Fuller, COR Public Works

• name name

• Joshua Heim, COR Parks & Recreation

graphic design: laura eitzen design


(Cover Image) To Do by Illegal Art Collaborative, 2006 - 7, multiple locations around New York City. This interactive installation at 70 Washington Street consists of over 6,500 Post-It notes and the invitation to viewers to write their own to-do lists on them.



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Profile for Carolyn Hope

Redmond Downtown Cultural Corridor Plan  

A plan to invigorate Downtown with art and culture.

Redmond Downtown Cultural Corridor Plan  

A plan to invigorate Downtown with art and culture.

Profile for cjhope