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The mission of the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas is to present and produce progressive African-American programs that encourage thought and debate for the greater Seattle area. Our vision is to inspire new thoughts and challenge assumptions about African-American culture.
Our target population is every Seattle citizen--regardless of their race or ethnicity-- as we believe that African-American experience is central to our common American identity. The CD Forum presents Seattle's only full series of programs that explore African-American culture.
There are two branches of our organization that serve our mission: the performing arts and the humanities. Each year we present both in a season that runs September through May. The performing arts may include theater, music and dance and are presented twice each year--in the fall and in February. The humanities programs consist on two series: American Heritage, which focuses on American history through the lens of the African-American experience, and Which Way Seattle?, which focuses on politics and civic affairs. Each series is presented twice in a season. Finally, we also present programs in partnership with other arts organizations.
The CD Forum has indeed become an important resource serving the cultural needs of the entire city. In 2004, the CD Forum was the proud recipient of the Microsoft Community Hero Award, the Mayor's Art Award and the Evergreen Award for Nonprofit Leadership. In 2005 we became the only Northwest arts organization selected to join the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' 2005 Capacity Building Program for Culturally Specific Arts Organizations. In January 2006, we received the Pride Foundation's Ted Lord Allied Award for our work incorporating gay and lesbian issues into our programs. Our unique topics have inspired book groups, support groups, films and even re-mountings of our programs from new or different angles. We are proud that we have stimulated new ideas and inspired others to look more richly at the art and issues we present. We have a track record of success in developing effective and long-term partnerships with dozens of organizations. We work with our partners to add value to our programming and to allow us a deeper reach into the communities we aim to serve.
- Stephanie Ellis-Smith
- (206) 323-4032
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