Giving Compass' Take:

• Ms. Elisheba Johnson talks about her own involvement in turning black-owned homes into cultural and community spaces to celebrate African-American art, history, and more. 

• How can donors help advance black arts and culture centers? 

• Here's how Black Lives Matter is advancing equitable home ownership. 

Cultural space doesn’t just live in traditional retail space. Cultural space is born where culture thrives. While on the surface it seems that four artists created the Black art center Wa Na Wari, it is actually the continuation of the legacy of Frank and Goldyne Green, who were cultural space activists before there were words for this type of work.

Frank Green had a dream. When he moved from Arkansas to Seattle, he saw an opportunity in real estate as the physical manifestation of belonging. He knew that his family would always have a place (in Seattle) if space was cultivated and maintained.

The house located at 911 24th Avenue was purchased by Frank and Goldyne Green in 1951. From the early 1960s to 2013 it was occupied continuously by members of the family. Over those years, the house bustled with family gatherings, community members, parties, kids playing, and laughter.

The house was a community center.

We don’t always think of our family homes as cultural spaces, but this Green home, and their other five properties, operated in this way. Everyone was welcome.

Read the full article about black owned homes as solutions to cultural space by Ms. Elisheba Johnson at Americans for the Arts.