Eastside Nonprofit Expands Arts Opportunities Amid Business Growth

As the Eastside continues to see development, growth and interest from major employers like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, one local nonprofit is working hard to ensure that arts and culture are not left out of the equation.

The nonprofit in question, EastHUB, wants to ensure that as businesses and offices grow in the area, infrastructure for the arts, theater and other cultural touchstones grows as well. EastHUB is primarily focused on new projects on the Eastside, but will also look to revitalize and activate existing arts and theater spaces in the region as it sees fit.

By partnering with local governments, businesses, preexisting arts organizations and cultural groups, EastHUB hopes to inspire greater artistic collaboration and community involvement from the businesses leasing and buying many of these public spaces. Working with local companies and stakeholders to determine their wants and needs for these spaces, EastHUB will then fundraise to support the building of theaters, recital halls, music venues and other spaces where the arts can thrive.

EastHUB has seized a prime moment to undertake their mission, with a recent spate of new construction and large tech projects across the Eastside. The organization wants to encourage that artistic and cultural spaces be incorporated into new building plans, rather than retroactively trying to add them to finished projects.

To further their mission of promoting community involvement, the nonprofit is specifically reaching out to artists’ groups, community organizers and other nonprofits led by people of color to create a more equitable discussion about the wants and needs of local artistic communities. EastHUB partners with these stakeholders and learns more about their wants and needs through surveys, panels and discussions.

Several early members of EastHUB had ties to Microsoft, leading to the tech company being one of EastHUB’s biggest supporters.

Thus far, EastHUB has two upcoming projects: Cloudvue and the City of Bellevue Cultural Project. The former is a new project that reached its final development stages in June. Cloudvue will be a flexible-use playhouse and music hall in downtown Bellevue, with capacity for up to 1,000 guests. The facility will be able to accommodate several different seating and performance layouts, thanks to extensive input from EastHUB and the local community.

The City of Bellevue Cultural Project is a longer initiative, set to begin later this summer. The start of the project will see a revamped cultural events website and a new directory where organizations can advertise their services.

While EastHUB is currently focusing on Bellevue, the organization plans to engage leaders and local arts organizations across the Eastside. For now, they’re here to listen to the arts community and get them the spaces and resources they deserve.

This article was originally posted on 425 Business by Blake Peterson.

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