Author Archives: Ashley Haugen

Congratulations to the 2015 Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award Recipients

Aiko PhotoAiko Schaefer

Aiko Schaefer coordinates the Communities of Color for Climate Justice a new statewide multi-racial coalition to educate, engage and advocate for climate equity. Founded by leading racial and environmental justice organizations including El Centro Del La Raza, this growing coalition, with the guidance of shared principles for climate justice, elevated the voices and interests of people of color who are disproportionately impacted by climate change – higher rates of asthma, jobs/crop loss, shorter lifespans, weather disasters here and in home countries, and more. This commitment and work to ensure equity is at the center of any climate policy is taking place through the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy a statewide coalition working to put an initiative to the people on the ballot in 2016. Aiko has been a leading and recognized anti-poverty advocate in Washington State as the founding Director of the Poverty Action Network. She has been appointed to various state task forces and boards to address poverty and injustice, as well as served on a number of non-profit boards. In addition to her work on poverty, equity and climate justice Aiko is on the faculty at the School of Social Work at the University of Washington.

Mauricio
Mauricio Ayon

Mauricio Ayon currently sits as a co-chair on the Washington State Racial Equity Team, which opposes policy and programs that will negatively impact communities of color and create inequity. He is also a steering committee member of the Communities of Color for Climate Justice, a new statewide multi-racial coalition to educate, engage and advocate for climate equity. As well as a steering committee member of the Alliance for Jobs And Clean Energy. Mauricio skillfully and eloquently tracks issues in Olympia, while developing allies in the legislature for further action. Mauricio has over 15 years of experience in multi-racial organizing, serving as a community leader for advocacy on environment, education, labor and lobbying for access to healthcare for immigrants and refugees. He is also a co-founder of Para los Niños, which he organized education opportunities for parents and children in South King County and coordinated access to education for Latinos in Highline School District. Maurico is currently the Political Director at WA Community Action Network the state’s largest grassroots community organization, which works to achieve economic, social and racial equality in order to establish a democratic society characterized by justice and fairness, with respect for diversity, and a decent quality of life for all those who reside in Washington State.

Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award Application Form Available Now

Click here to access a PDF of the application form.

Fifth Annual Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award

Nominations now being accepted.

Roberto Maestas’ life was dedicated to building the “Beloved Community”* through multi-racial unity. He deeply believed that poverty, racism and social inequity could only be eradicated if people of all races and backgrounds came together to do so.

In honor of Roberto and his legacy the Fifth Annual Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award recognizes two individuals, a woman and a man, who have exemplified Building the Beloved Community through multi-racial unity and working to eliminate poverty, racism and social inequity.

El Centro de la Raza will celebrate awardees and their contributions by making a $1,000 gift in their name to an organization of their choice. Award recipients will be recognized at El Centro de la Raza’s Building the Beloved Community Gala on Saturday, September 26, 2015 at The Seattle Westin. Click here to purchase tickets to the gala now!

Legacy Award applicants can self-nominate or be nominated by someone else. Recipients are asked to participate in a video interview and attend El Centro de la Raza’s Building the Beloved Community Gala.

Deadline for application submission is Friday, June 26, 2015 at 5:00pm Pacific Time. Please see application here.

 

Plaza Roberto Maestas Updates & Groundbreaking Celebration – March 6, 2015

Mil gracias to everyone who is keeping in touch about Plaza Roberto Maestas-Beloved Community! Below are links to the Traffic and Parking Report, Request for Retail LOIs and a flier about the job fair as well as the latest rendering of the project.

Please join us on Friday, March 6, 2015 from 11 AM – 1 PM for the Plaza Roberto Maestas-Beloved Community Groundbreaking Celebration at El Centro de la Raza. For more information and to RSVP, please visit plazarobertomaestas.org/capital-campaign/events/.

For more information about the project and to view the Plaza Roberto Maestas blog, please visit www.plazarobertomaestas.org. Mil gracias!

PRM Plaza 2014-06-05

 

Artists Selected for Plaza Roberto Maestas-Beloved Community

Click here to view a PDF of the Press Release:
Artists Selected for Plaza Roberto Maestas_2014

PUBLIC ARTISTS SELECTED FOR THE PLAZA ROBERTO MAESTAS EQUITABLE TRANSIT-ORIENTED, sickness MIXED-USE COMMUNITY ON BEACON HILL

For Immediate Release:
August 12, find 2014

Press Contact: Yunuen Castorena
(206) 957-4605

SEATTLE – El Centro de la Raza has selected a national and international team of artists strongly rooted in the Latino culture to integrate place-based and culturally-specific art throughout the Plaza Roberto Maestas project, pill a 112-unit mixed-use equitable transit-oriented development in Beacon Hill, Seattle with an anticipated construction start date of early 2015. The Tucson-based team of Alex Garza and Gonzalo Espinosa have been selected as the lead artists for development of art on the exterior and interiors of the buildings and Casto Solano, a Basque sculptor based in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, will create the plaza’s memorial sculpture to the legacy of El Centro’s founder, Roberto Maestas.

All of the artists selected for the project demonstrated a commitment to the celebration of the Latino culture and history through significant and culturally relevant artworks of substantive quality and beauty.

“El Centro de la Raza is proud to be working with such incredibly creative teams that will capture the spirit and essence of our history and culture through their artwork and continue the tradition of public art in the Beacon Hill Neighborhood.” Estela Ortega, Executive Director of El Centro de la Raza.

Alex Garza and Gonzalo Espinoza are a team of artists based in Tucson, Arizona. Both artists have a long history of depicting social movements and culture through various art mediums, and are personally ingrained in the themes of their work.  Mr. Garza is the son of migrant workers from Texas and Mr. Espinosa is a native of Mexico, trained at the University of Guadalajara in the Mexican muralist tradition. They are known for their very large-scale mosaics and incorporate both tile and bas relief into their work.

Casto Solano is a renowned Basque artist with a history of creating incredibly life-like bronze figures as part of a larger place-based sculptural work in projects featured around the world, including projects currently underway in Vancouver, British Columbia and Jeju, South Korea. Mr. Solano will create a major sculptural work celebrating the life and legacy of Roberto Maestas to be incorporated into the design of the Plaza.

The artists were selected through a public Call to Artists with a selection team that included El Centro staff, Beacon Hill resident artists, the nationally renowned public artist Norie Sato, and the architectural team. They will develop artwork which will be incorporated throughout Plaza Roberto Maestas. The art will integrate cultural expression celebrating El Centro de la Raza’s unique history, the life and accomplishments of Roberto Maestas and the Four Amigos, El Centro de la Raza’s commitment to service and solidarity with people of color and historically disadvantaged communities and the cultural diversity of the surrounding Beacon Hill Neighborhood.

The artists will develop artwork in close collaboration with the community and the project’s Design Architect, Daniel Glenn, Principal of 7 Directions Architects/Planners.

Mr. Glenn specializes in culturally-specific architecture and often integrates public art directly into his work.  The building is designed to provide multiple locations for artwork, now and in the future, including full-height insets on each expressed column surrounding the base of the two buildings, walls reserved for large-scale exterior mosaics, tile and stained concrete patterning, and interior wall murals.  “We are very excited to work with this renowned team of Latino artists on this project.  Already we are seeing how their artwork can dramatically enhance the architecture of Plaza Roberto Maestas and make it a truly unique, culturally-significant place in Seattle.”

Plaza Roberto Maestas is a community-inspired, transit-oriented development on Beacon Hill that will provide opportunities for working low-income individuals and families to live in a vibrant Seattle neighborhood directly adjacent to a Light Rail Station. Some of the benefits and opportunities that the Plaza project will provide include:

  • 112 units of one-, two-, and three-bedroom affordable rental housing for working individuals and families earning between 30% and 60% of area median income,
  • A 10,000 square foot, 7-classroom permanent expansion of our award-winning José Martí Child Development Center serving diverse income families,
  • 3,200 square feet of flexible street-level retail and restaurant space and micro-business development spaces,
  • A 6,000 square foot multicultural community center, 4,500 square feet of office space, and a 12,900 square foot public plaza.

Plaza Roberto Maestas represents the realization of the hopes and dreams of the diverse group of ordinary people who founded El Centro de la Raza over 41 years ago. The Plaza project was also conceived of in partnership with the surrounding North Beacon Hill Community through the neighborhood planning process, having undergone over five years of community process related to zoning, planning, and design. This project will be a physical manifestation of the work of the organization in building Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Beloved Community”. Throughout the years, tens of thousands of volunteers and friends have helped ECDLR grow to an organization that in 2012 served over 18,500 children, families and individuals through the hard work of 91 dedicated employees and a budget of almost $6 million annually.

Partners on this project include our development consultant, Beacon Development Group, our design team led by SMR Architects, Collins Group and our General Contractor, Walsh Construction. Funders for the project include the State of Washington, the City of Seattle Office of Housing, the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, Impact Capital, and Enterprise Community Partners. The public art will be funded through a combination of public and private grants as part of the project’s Capital Campaign.

Estela Ortega is available for interviews by calling (206) 957-4605 or emailing execasst@elcentrodelaza.org. For more information, please visit www.elcentrodelaraza.org.

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Plaza Roberto Maestas Receives $7.9 Million towards Building the “Beloved Community”

For Immediate Release
December 11, malady 2013

Press Contact: Yunuen Castorena
206-957-4605
execasst@elcentrodelaraza.org

Seattle – On December 5, pill El Centro de la Raza (ECDLR) was awarded $7.9 million from the City of Seattle Office of Housing, as part of the Housing Levy, for construction of Plaza Roberto Maestas (PRM) a mixed-use community with an anticipated early 2015 ground breaking date

“This is a significant award to the Latino community and communities of color that will allow us to build assets and meet multiple community needs including economic development, affordable housing for low-income working families, high quality affordable early childhood education, and affordable multicultural community/civic gathering spaces.” Estela Ortega, Executive Director of El Centro de la Raza.

PRM is a community-inspired, equitable transit-oriented development project on Seattle’s Beacon Hill adjacent to the Beacon Hill Light Rail Station and next to ECDLR. PRM will provide:

  • 113 units of one-, two- and three-bedroom affordable rental housing for working individuals and families earning between 30% and 60% of area median income,
  • A 5,800 square foot permanent expansion of our award winning José Martí Child Development Center serving diverse income families,
  • 3,900 square feet of flexible street level retail and restaurant space and micro-business development spaces,
  • A 5,400 square foot multicultural community center, 4,500 square feet of office space, and an 11,000 square foot public plaza.

“PRM represents a bold step forward for ECDLR and a major step forward for the surrounding community,” says Estela Ortega.

The project’s location next to a light rail station will provide direct access to SeaTac airport and communities south of Seattle, the downtown core, and the University of Washington, allowing residents to live in quality affordable housing near educational and economic opportunities. Residents will also have direct access to ECDLR’s 44 current programs and services in the adjacent historic schoolhouse building.

Sightline Institute estimates that the residents of Plaza Roberto Maestas will make consumer purchases of roughly $3.98 million per year strengthening the local business community of Beacon Hill.

Input from the surrounding Beacon Hill community and ECDLR constituents has helped shape the design of the project enabling us to create a plan that serves the needs of our organization, our clients and the broader Beacon Hill community. This project highlights an integrated approach to housing, land use, environmental planning, public transportation, community infrastructure, unique programs that promote a healthier community and aligned workforce opportunities.

It is estimated that the project will create over 150 construction, engineering, and design jobs during development with 40 or more permanent jobs, once complete.

Plaza Roberto Maestas represents the realization of the hopes and dreams of the diverse group of ordinary people who founded El Centro de la Raza over 41 years ago. This project will be a physical manifestation of the work of the organization in building Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Beloved Community”. Throughout the years tens of thousands of volunteers and friends have helped ECDLR grow to an organization that in 2012 served over 18,500 children, families and individuals through the hard work of 91 dedicated employees and a budget of almost $6 million annually.

In addition to the generous award from the City of Seattle Office of Housing, funding for this $40 million project will include a mix of equity from the sale of low-income housing tax credits, private debt, and donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations raised through a capital campaign.

Partners on this project include our development consultant, Beacon Development Group, our design team led by SMR Architects, and our pre-construction services General Contractor, Walsh Construction.

Estela Ortega is available for interviews by calling (206) 957-4605 or emailing execasst@elcentrodelaza.org. For more information, please visit www.elcentrodelaraza.org.

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