Official ribbon cutting May 1 will reopen the rehabbed Langston Hughes Center

The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center has been hosting events for weeks now (including a free Seattle Symphony concert April 27), but the recently-rehabbed center will celebrate its official reopening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 1.

Details from Seattle Parks:

Seattle Parks and Recreation invites the community to the ribbon cutting ceremony for Langston Hughes Performing Art Center at 10 – 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. Langston Hughes Performing Art Center (LHPAC) is located at 104 17th Ave S, Seattle WA 98144.

The ribbon cutting event will feature opera, jazz, a youth string ensemble, spoken word and in the Grand Rehearsal Hall, LHPAC’s dance partners rehearsing on the new sprung floor. 

Since its spring 2010 closure, the historic building has received substantial structural upgrades and interior improvements. The Parks and Green Spaces Levy contributed $2.5 million to the restoration with an additional $449,000 came from  the State of Washington Department of Commerce Building for the Arts Grant.

The renovated entrance lobby got new floors and brighter paint.  There are now wheelchair accessible restrooms on the main floor and restroom upgrades throughout the facility. The LHPAC theater and theater lobby feature illuminated historical plaster work. Technical upgrades in the theater infrastructure allow for state-of-the-art productions, and the newly upholstered seats provide patron comfort.

The building also received seismic upgrades, electrical system improvements, fire safety upgrades, and accessibility improvements for people with disabilities. Ron Wright and Associates/Architects acted as consultant on the project and Seattle Parks and Recreation awarded the construction contract to Andersen Construction Company.

LHPAC celebrates, nurtures, presents, and preserves African American and African Diaspora performing arts, cultural wealth and iconic legacies. It is a place where community is created; powerful and authentic connections are developed; and dynamic, local, national, and global art is presented by artists for present and future generations. Established in 1969, LHPAC’s facility was acquired under the Model Cities Urban Renewal Program and in 1973 it became a facility and program within Seattle Parks and Recreation. LHPAC is an essential gathering place for the wealth of African American performing arts in a neighborhood that has seen many demographic changes over the past three decades.

During the renovation closure, LHPAC staff worked from other temporary locations to provide programs and performances across the city. Royal Alley-Barnes is the Executive Director and Jacqueline Moscou is the Artistic Director.  A major gala is planned for Saturday, June 30, 2012.  The theme for the 40th year celebration is “Seattle Harlem Renaissance.”

For more information please visit or contact Karen O’Connor, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Public Information Specialist at karen.o’[email protected] or 206-684-8020.  For project information please contact Gary Gibbons at 206-386-1511 or [email protected]

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