Open Canvas Eco Mural Project

NewHolly Summer Youth Program Participants

DNDA’s Summer Youth Program (SYP) 2017 at Seattle Housing Authority’s NewHolly and High Point communities has been exciting and successful on many levels!

DNDA’S Nature Consortium provided both NewHolly and High Point resident youth a variety of different classes and activities throughout the summer.

Open Canvas Eco-Mural Project was one of  several very successfully programs.

NewHolly Community Builder Phillippia Goldsmith’s idea of connecting NewHolly youth with art, community, and employment this summer came to the attention of DNDA’S Nature Consortium in light of our SYP 2017 program.  DNDA hired NewHolly coordinator Keats Landis, and creative and talented DNDA teaching artists Hosanna Tecle and Ellyn Rivers, to lead the project forward.

A group of 7 NewHolly youth were selected by SHA’s community builder Phillippia Goldsmith, and youth counselor Ty Griffiths. Two mural sites were donated, by the owners of Café Red, and SHA’s NewHolly management office.

Teaching Artists Hosanna Tecle and Ellyn Rivers

The goal of the project was to support youth participation in the arts, build leadership skills through art, explore cultural figures, community, environment, history, and the Seattle landscape, and develop a unique visual vocabulary of images and colors. Youth researched murals in and around Seattle as well as creating designs with the support of our teaching artists.

Over the course of 7 weeks, the youth had to create a schedule to complete the project, as well as assist in coordinating meetings with Lisa Dressler, Yeggy Michael, Zenia Pakker (videographer) and their artist leaders.

The group met 2 or sometimes 3 times per week for 3 hours over the course of 6 weeks.

We at DNDA, our participating youth, and the NewHolly and Othello/MLK communities, are proud and excited about the paintings created by these talented youth. The participants learned the importance of maintaining their responsibilities toward a job every week, and committed themselves to the project as well as showing respect for their artistic guides and community leaders.

The short insightful video documentary by Zenia Pakker underscores the success of the project. Watch below!

Learn about Zenia Pakker

Open Canvas Eco Mural Project

The Party of the Century

Youngstown 100 was definitely the party of the century!
Around 200 people came to celebrate the beautiful 100-year-old Historic Cooper School, now Youngstown Cultural Arts Center this past Sunday, December 3rd. It was a “back to school” experience for 20 Cooper Alumni, and a first-time visit for about 15 party-goers. All were excited to learn about this vibrant arts and cultural space committed to youth and the community, as well as the affordable housing provided for the individuals who do the work of uplifting Art in our world.

In the spotlight of Youngstown’s Thelma Dewitty Theatre were groups that regularly use Youngstown space for classes and events. The lively program began with a hallway parade of bells and scarves by Leslie Rosen’s belly dance students, Sirens of Serpentine. They were followed by young singer-songwriter and Totem Star artist Zoë Roberts, whose crystal clear vocals and acoustic guitar filled the theatre and our hearts. Grupo Candeias Seattle was a hit, with a performance combining youth and adults in a game of dance. One very young student confidently led the group in a chant, and the crowd cheered at amazingly-executed kicks and flips at the height of the presentation.

Headlining the historic event was Seattle’s own Kore Ionz, led by Daniel Pak. Their songs swept over the crowd with a sweet island breeze, wooing dancers to the center of the floor.DNDA Executive Director David Bestock shared a bit of the history of the beautiful building, and invited guests to join in with the organization’s platinum goal of 100 donations of $100. Thank you to all who joined us Sunday, and to those who’ve gotten us to 60% of our goal! Help make this centennial even more monumental by getting us to 100% by December 15th. Give online or by check payable to DNDA, mailed to the address below.

Thanks, again, for celebrating with us!


Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association

4408 Delridge Way SW #109
Seattle, WA 98106

Some photos from the event:

Introducing the Delridge Neighborhoods Let’s Talk Race Series 2018!


With sponsorship from the Department of Neighborhoods Community Partnerships Fund, and support from local partners and community advocates DNDA will engage the Delridge community in an 8 event Let’s Talk Race Series in 2018. By serving individuals of various ethnic/cultural communities that make the Delridge corridor their home and by engaging the community through a foundation of critical dialogue, restorative justice practices and storytelling, we will help individuals develop a greater self-awareness to work on themselves, to heal wounds in the presence of community, and to see similarities and the common humanity present in those around them. At the same time, these events will allow individuals to learn skills, practices and gain access to resources that will position them to ask difficult questions and re-imagine a community centered on understanding and the creation of a deep sense of belonging for those in Delridge.

To kick off promotion for the series, on November 11th and 18th DNDA in partnership with Reel Grrls and the Northwest Film Forum brought together young women from high schools around the community for a production and training workshop. Delridge residents were invited to answer interview questions about what race and community building means to them, sharing their life experiences, opinions and suggestions.

Students learned the basics of lighting, interview procedures, video editing and were able to begin to develop their portfolios as young cinematographers. We look forward to the development of this series and the impact it makes on uplifting and magnifying the talents and voices of our youth and the larger community.

Summer CampOuts at Camp Long Recap

Summer CampOut’s at Camp Long: In both July and August DNDA, along with program partners Camp Long and the National Wildlife Federation, ran two CampOut programs. The CampOut program provides families living in Affordable Housing the opportunity to spend the night in cabins at Camp Long in West Seattle and provides a weekend camping experience to these families who might not otherwise have this experience due to economic or cultural barriers. Over these two weekends, we served over 36 families and 190 individuals total with most people living at either High Point or, for the first time in this program’s seven year history, residents living in DNDA’s Affordable Housing properties.  Through this immersive nature connection program, participants experience the power of place making and gain a sense of belonging in the natural world around them and within a community of their peers.

As part of the program, youth learned about the natural world from Parks Naturalists, did art projects with DNDA’s Nature Consortium’s EcoArt Staff, played games, engaged in team building exercises and went rock climbing with Camp Long Challenge Course Staff! After dinner, families got to participate in a traditional campfire program complete with songs, marshmallow roasting and stories told by professional Native Storyteller, Roger Fernandes.

Both CampOuts were a huge success with many families really enjoying their experience with this program.

Nicholas Poccia

Community Connector

Youngstown 100: a word from David Bestock

All nonprofits seem to ride some sort of roller coaster of ups and downs, and DNDA is no exception. When I became Youngstown Director 5 years ago, I stepped in at the bottom, ready to start us clicking our way towards greater heights.  Well, we’ve been clicking, baby!!

When I stepped in, I had one goal in mind:  Save Youngstown.  I had seen what the founders envisioned: A bustling arts center focused on supporting low-income youth of color, and encouraging youth to sing, shout, dance, rap, create and collaborate.  I could easily envision rentals that included primarily other service organizations, and burgeoning and professional arts groups. I could see the potential for a place for us all to learn from one another.  With artists living upstairs in affordable housing, collaborating with the orgs and activities downstairs, I could see a place buzzing with life, with art, with youth and creativity.  When I took the job 5 years ago, things were darkened from the economic downturn and quiet. So I rolled up my sleeves and exclaimed a resounding, “Yes!”

This amazing building turns 100 years old this year.  It is a center of community, a hub of arts and culture, a safe space for youth of color, queer youth, anyone, everyone.  It is my honor to carry the torch, if for no other reason than to keep the lights on.

At DNDA, we’ve been doing more than keeping the lights on.  Our programming is robust and diverse, and we are living the mission of DNDA here every day – integrating Art, Nature, and Neighborhood to build and sustain a dynamic Delridge.

Please come party with us on December 3rd.  If you know Youngstown, I’m guessing you love Youngstown.  And if you love Youngstown, I hope you will also join me in donating $100 to support the foundation (literally and figuratively) for the next 100 years. Every $100 brick counts towards sustaining this beautiful space so many call their home away from home.

Join us for the party of the century! And if you’re unable to, please consider donating a brick of $100 towards our goal.

I hope you will join me in celebrating all that this building is, has been, and will continue to be.

David Bestock
Executive Director
Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association


Youngstown 100

We’re having a birthday party! 


  • Cooper Artists Art Sale and studio tours
  • A 3D time capsule
  • Interactive art for kids
  • Food, drink and birthday cake

Performances by local faves, including Seattle reggae band, Kore Ionz.

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Youngstown Cultural Arts Center
4408 Delridge Way SW | Seattle, WA | 98106

Free admission. Registration is encouraged.
All registrants will be entered to win Youngstown merchandise.

Help us reach our goal of 100 donations of $100 and celebrate the next 100 years of Youngstown!

Can’t make the party?
You can still help us reach our goal – donate now!

Want to learn more about Youngstown? Click HERE.

Wetland Park Design Reveal!

The Wetland Park Concept Plan is Here!

Attached you will find the conceptual plan for the Wetland Park.  The plan was produced by Pomegranate Center after gathering input from the greater community, project partners, educators and of course, DNDA.  

We are excited by the design, as it incorporates so many elements that were proposed by our young students at K-8 STEM school and by educators, who wanted to ensure that elements included in the design would aide them in developing curriculum for their 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade classrooms.  Now that we have a conceptual plan, we can begin to have detailed discussions with the City Departments who will issue permits that will pave the way for eventual construction.

Please share everywhere as this is what many in the community have been waiting to see!!!

-Willard Brown, DNDA Director of Housing and Environmental Programs 





Recap: High Point vs. New Holly Community Soccer Tournament

Community Soccer Tournament – High Point vs. New Holly

DNDA’s Nature Consortium hosted this summer’s first soccer tournament during the Family Fun Fest between High Point vs. New Holly and it was a major success! The summer youth program, led by DNDA’S Nature Consortium and funded by Seattle Housing Authority, provides soccer opportunities for families and players to share a sport that is enjoyed around the world– and bringing our communities together on the Van Asselt field is always a pleasure and great fun for everyone!

New Holly and High Point teams were led by amazing coaches from each community, who created a positive and encouraging atmosphere for all kids involved, which was reflected in each game. We’re proud of all the boys and girls who participated in this year’s event, showing active listening skills, leadership, constructive communication, and most of all teamwork. Youth players perform better when they have people there to support them, so a BIG thank you to all the parents and family members that came to cheer on the players! Special thanks to Horn of Africa for the delicious and healthy food for everyone!

Great games, great weather, great food! See you all again soon!


Join the All At Once community with DNDA and Jack Johnson!

Our organization is teaming up with Jack Johnson on his 2017 Summer Tour and All At Once, a social action network connecting nonprofits with people who want to become active in their local and world community.  All At Once promotes sustainable local food systems and plastic free initiatives and encourages action through the Capture Your Commitment campaign. Collectively, individual actions create global change. Your actions, your voice, and your choices, all have a huge impact.

How can you take action?

Help us raise funds!  Jack Johnson’s charity is matching donations contributed to DNDA through September 1st, up to a total of $2,500.  Make a contribution right now and your money will be doubled by the Johnson Ohana Foundation!

Learn more and DOUBLE your impact here!


Delridge Wetlands Design Process: Final Plan Coming Soon!

As the design process is coming to a close, the future of the Delridge Wetlands Project is bright! Here is a recap of the Delridge Wetlands and an update on all of the design work that has gone into this community gem!

Located on 23rd Ave SW and SW Findlay St, the Delridge Wetlands is a grassroots project spearheaded by DNDA to protect, restore and expand the existing wetland to improve water quality in Longfellow Creek. Meanwhile developing the space as a public park, other plans for the project include an urban garden, a community orchard, and an outdoor classroom for local students to learn hands-on environmental science and wetland stewardship.

As we strive to make our collective dream of the Delridge Wetlands a reality, the first step was to gather community feedback and create a design master plan that combines our many visions. Earlier this spring, DNDA contracted with Pomegranate Center, a local community engagement consulting team, to lay out the design, technical, and building work of the Delridge Wetlands.

Kicking off the design process, our partners at Pomegranate Center began developing the first draft of their master plan in May. This process relied heavily on input from the project’s partners and included two day-long design forums as well as a third forum with local educators. Partners of the Delridge Wetlands and Stewardship Project include Seattle Green Spaces Coalition,, Seattle City Light, Seattle Public Utilities, Louisa Boren STEM K-8, Duwamish Alive Coalition, National Park Service, Tilth Alliance, City Fruit, and Solid Ground.

Strengthening DNDA’s relationship with local educators, Pomegranate Center created a curriculum that would enable students at Louisa Boren STEM K-8 to contribute to the Wetlands design plan through science experiments, art projects and presenting their projects at school. A class of both fifth and third graders studied wetland water function by testing water quality and different substrates, while two other third grade classes focused on studying plants, animal habitats and human activity. These topics included science experiments such as using a homemade clinometer to measure tree heights, testing soil quality, studying plant biofiltration capacity by observing water uptake in celery stalks, and researching specific needs for local wildlife habitats.


After conducting their experiments, students continued to create their personal vision of the Delridge Wetlands through clay models. Students were given a map of what the Delridge Wetlands currently looks like and used clay to redesign the space using their new knowledge of water features, plants and habitats.


Wrapping up the experiments and activities, students were able to share their findings at Louisa Boren K-8’s school-wide Project Based Learning Night. Meanwhile, DNDA was also tabling at the event to showcase the students’ findings, provide information about the Delridge Wetlands and invite families to the community-wide design open house that took place at DNDA’s Youngstown Cultural Arts Center on June 15. This open house provided Delridge Wetlands partners with valuable community feedback in response to Pomegranate Center’s initial designs that consisted of 3 alternative plans. This essential community feedback, combined with input from local students and educators, will allow our design team to create a master plan for the Delridge Wetlands that encompasses all of our collective visions.

With that, the design process is coming to a close– keep your eyes peeled! The final design of the Delridge Wetlands is expected to be announced in late July. Until then, feel free to visit the wetlands site at 23rd Ave SW and SW Findlay to see our progress with your own eyes!

We are pleased to have so many community members already planning to contribute their time and energy volunteering to help clean up the site, to participate in sheet mulching the site and to participate in removal of invasive species on the perimeter of the proposed park site.  To connect to the project and to volunteer for work parties planned for summer and fall please contact Willard Brown, DNDA’s Director of Housing and Environmental Programs.