SEATTLE — Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, other city leaders, Office of Economic Development representatives and community members participated in a walking tour Saturday of several "Seattle Restored" participants, including Taswira, a fashion house founder and creative director Avery Barnes created in partnership with the Bamburi Women's Empowerment Center in Kenya.
"This has given me an opportunity to be able to share our message and gain recognition and find community," Barnes said ahead of a reception Saturday.
The program is focused on activating vacant commercial storefronts in neighborhoods such as Pioneer Square, Belltown, the Chinatown-International District and Westlake. Taswira is located on Occidental Avenue; others can be found here.
"Seattle Restored" connects small businesses and artists with property owners who have vacant storefronts, to host temporary pop-up shops and art installations. It is free to participate, and the small businesses or artists receive $2,500 to help set up the space, as well as business support as they work to take their next steps.
The idea is to bring more activity to downtown neighborhoods, and replace empty spaces with new life. It's also an opportunity for small businesses and artists to gain exposure, along with forming relationships for future real-estate options.
The Office of Economic Development said it received several hundred applications for 30 available matches, and plans to continue partnerships where possible. To learn more or get involved, click here.