Next Tuesday, December 6th, The Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs and Seattle Arts Commission present “Cultural Space Seattle”, an event designed to help shape policies to keep and create affordable space for artists and arts organizations to work, rehearse and perform in Seattle.

Artist and cultural planner Theaster Gates will deliver the keynote address at a public forum, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday at Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Ave. The forum, which is free and open to the public, will also feature a panel discussion with Jacqueline Gijssen, senior cultural planner, city of Vancouver, B.C.; Cathryn Vandenbrink, regional director, Artspace; and other cultural space leaders. A question-and-answer session and reception will follow the forum.

As an artist, Gates transforms spaces, institutions, traditions and perceptions. When not making art for museums, Gates is committed to the restoration of poor black neighborhoods, converting abandoned buildings into cultural spaces that allow not only new cultural moments to happen in unexpected places, but raise the city’s expectations of where “place-making” happens and why. He is president and founder of the Rebuild Foundation, as well as director of arts program development at the University of Chicago.

Gates is the 2011-2012 recipient of the Seattle Art Museum’s (SAM) Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Fellowship. His solo show Theaster Gates: The Listening Room will open at SAM on Dec. 9 and run through July 1, 2012.

Cultural Space Seattle is designed to engage artists, arts and cultural organizations, elected officials, government leaders, arts administrators, creative business owners, investors, real estate developers and brokers, nonprofit organizations and interested citizens. For more information, contact the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs at (206) 684-7171, or


The event is supported by JPMorgan Chase, 4Culture, Seattle Art Museum, Town Hall Seattle and is presented in partnership with University of Washington College of Built Environments and ARCADE.

The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs promotes the value of arts and culture in communities throughout Seattle. The 16-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council, supports the city agency.