Q1. Why are you in #Belltown?
A. In 1990 I was an artist who had just moved here, and the music scene was blowing up. The arts scene was just a baby. But it was a special time, on the cusp of something great happening, and I just happened to be here. I started having art shows at the Croc, and up and down the block. Had over 40 shows here. Been doing art here for over 30 years. Went to do TV in L.A. for 9 years, but last October I decided I wanted to come home. This is a cultural center, not just of Seattle, but of the west coast. Where else do you have such incredible artists in such a small, concentrated corridor?
Q2. Favorite thing about Belltown?
A. There is a concentration of artistic culture here: music, visual art. All great cities in history have had a cultural center that drives that impact, throughout history. Paris in the twenties, for example. Seattle has an artistic time coming, but we have to protect these places. Art isn't just about making pretty pictures, or beautiful music. It's about critical thinking and about connection. It's about connecting society, and connecting people. Arts have always been at the center of creating that cultural glue that makes a culture what it is, and that includes the nightlife, because this is where artists connect with each other. A free thinking culture has always been important for a free thinking society. Belltown nurtures that. It's what it's all about.
Q3. What's your message for the Mayor and Council about Belltown?
A. I think it's important to protect the cultural hearts of this City. Belltown is one of them. This needs to be declared a historical region. You're not going to bulldoze Pioneer Square, are you? We have a cultural identity too. If you run the artists out, where are they supposed to go next? The people are the soul of the city. Not technology. Not advancement. If you throw certain segments out, you're cutting its heart out.