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

Thank You for Giving BIG!

The grand finale of GiveBIG has come and gone! This past Wednesday, May 9, the greater Seattle community participated in the last year of GiveBIG–an online day of giving held by the Seattle Foundation. GiveBIG was especially big this year thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor–every dollar donated to DNDA was matched, up to $2,500!

Although we’re sad to see GiveBIG go, we want to give a big THANK YOU to all community members and supporters who helped us reach our GiveBIG goal of $5,000. With your help we didn’t just reach this goal, we exceeded it!

Every dollar donated through GiveBIG will help sustain DNDA programming for generations to come, allowing us to empower even more local youth in the future. Our community thrives when our youth thrive. Youth are the seeds of our collective future, and in order to build and sustain a dynamic Delridge we have to believe in and support our young community members.

Across programming in Art, Nature and Neighborhood DNDA gives youth opportunities to create, explore and grow. We have a BIG vision for the future of our youth, and your GiveBIG contributions will support us on this journey.

Thank you for giving BIG for our future, for youth empowerment and for all.

Check out these pictures of our awesome youth!


Recap: Understanding Islam

On Saturday, April 28, the auditorium inside the High Point Community Center filled with eager residents of the West Seattle community and beyond to learn more about Islam in DNDA’s third event of the Let’s Talk Race Series: Understanding Islam.

Two engaging facilitators opened the discussion with the importance of their names in shaping who they are. They then asked participants to do the same with people around them and share the significance of their own names in order to understand the intersections of similarities and differences between us all–a theme that permeated throughout the event. As the discussion continued, the facilitators went through the Five Pillars of Islam and encouraged participants to listen and learn about how these pillars shape Islam and what it means for Muslims to adopt them into their everyday lives. Coming together to close the event, a ‘popcorn-style’ sharing circle urged participants to bring any thoughts or feelings into the space, fostering a sense of how this experience brought them to a greater level of closeness within their own community. Dinner followed the circle and many reflected over the afternoon of learning and opening their minds to understanding the importance and beauty of Islam.

A special thanks to our sponsor the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, the High Point Community Center for offering the space, Metropolitan Market for their donation of snacks, Lovage Seattle for catering the community dinner and all volunteers and participants who attended the event.

Do you want to support programming like the Let’s Talk Race Series for generations to come? Share your love and support by participating in GiveBIG and scheduling your gift today!

DNDA Receives Only in Seattle Grant Award

We are proud to share with you that DNDA has been awarded $20,000 from Seattle’s Office of Economic Development Only in Seattle 2018 grant! The grant is part of a collaborative effort between the Office of Economic Development, Department of Transportation, and Department of Neighborhoods to support the health of small businesses in various Seattle neighborhoods, and the communities to which they are intimately connected.

Seattle is in the midst of robust economic growth. This has brought on transformational changes to our city and its neighborhoods, with Delridge being no exception.

Delridge is unique to some of Seattle’s other neighborhoods: This neighborhood is home to the largest percentage of youth under 18, as well as an expansive and intersecting community of individuals and families of various religious, ethnic, and racial identities with a common interest in the health of the community and its many facets.

DNDA’s intention is to lead the way for the development of a Delridge Business District, to help establish a business identity representative of the Delridge community, and undertake projects important to the well-being of our neighborhood.

Our project proposal includes initiatives to:

  • reduce and/or eliminate perennial environmental problems
  • improve the infrastructure of our roads and sidewalks
  • attract businesses that address community needs (like grocery stores that provide fresh foods and healthy options)
  • retain and improve on the health of businesses owned and operated by women and people of color

And, other inclusive and collaborative projects throughout 2018!

We will keep you informed of our progress with Only in Seattle initiatives, and other DNDA projects!

Learn more about Only in Seattle

-Intale Shuba, DNDA AmeriCorps VISTA

DNDA’s Hiring

Director of Housing and Properties
This position provides oversight and direction for all DNDA properties, including oversight of property management contracts, management of property funding relationships, administration of government reporting, and representing DNDA on issues pertaining to DNDA properties. This position is expected to adhere to the mission and values of DNDA, and will be responsible for the following, as well as additional duties as assigned by the Executive Director.

Desired Qualifications:
DNDA is seeking and encouraging applications from candidates with a Bachelors Degree and/or a minimum of 4 years of
affordable housing experience, and/or AHMA certification. Candidates with experience in property management, housing development, budget development, capital improvements, and/or
financial reporting are encouraged to apply. Candidates must have the ability to read and understand operating agreements, regulatory agreements, financial reports, banking statements, capital needs assessments and audit reports. Women, people of color, and low-income individuals are encouraged to apply.

To apply, please submit to a resume, three professional references, and a specific cover letter expressing why you are interested in and qualified for this particular position. Generic cover letters will not be considered. Thank you for your interest.

Full Job Description

Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible

Following the second event in DNDA’s Let’s Talk Race Series, The Creation of Whiteness, West Seattle Meaningful Movies held a film screening of Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible to continue the conversation about whiteness.

Along with the movie, West Seattle Meaningful Movies showed a video called “The Creation of Whiteness: How Race Was Used to Hide Class,” featuring anti-racism educator Tim Wise. Of the 43 people who attended this follow-up screening, there were at least eight who were also present at The Creation of Whiteness event.

After watching Mirrors of Privilege and the Tim Wise video, about 30 people stayed to partake in a wider post-film discussion about how Mirrors of Privilege relates to our individual and collective lives. After seeing how valuable race-based caucus breakouts were at The Creation of Whiteness event, the discussion was broken into smaller groups between white people and people of color. White people were encouraged to share with other white people, discussing thoughts, what they’ve learned and personal stories. As mentioned in Mirrors of Privilege, educating each other is an important way for white people to actively work against racism in our communities. To keep the momentum of conversation rolling, everyone was encouraged to attend the future Let’s Talk Race Series events, which there are still six more coming up this year.

Wrapping up the event, the larger group came back together to share their biggest takeaway from this event. Most of the people of color mentioned that they were glad to have met with just each other; some said that they rarely got that kind of opportunity. The white people had useful discussions, as well, as they talked about steps they could take in dismantling race-based oppression in their daily lives.

Interested in seeing Mirrors of Privilege or the Time Wise video? You can find links for these videos here: Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible and Tim Wise’s The Creation of Whiteness: How Race was Used to Hide Class.

Stay tuned for more events from DNDA’s Let’s Talk Race Series! The third event of the series, Understanding Islam, will be hosted at High Point Community Center on Saturday, April 28, from 1:00pm – 6:00pm. Thank you to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and our community partners for making this series possible!

From everyone at DNDA: THANK YOU!!

This past Friday was our annual Destination Delridge fundraiser party. This year’s theme was “Oh the places we’ll Grow!” where we explored and celebrated the integration of art, nature, and neighborhood growth within the Delridge community. And boy was it a success! We would like to extend a very big thank you to all of our amazing performers, speakers, and attendees, without whom none of what we do here at DNDA would be possible!

The night was highlighted by the opening words of talented MC, Carlynn Newhouse, whose youthful energy and rejuvenating enthusiasm kicked the night off with excitement!

Throughout the night we saw great sights and were joined by a high flier during the acrobatic performance by The Cabiri. Whose twists, spins, ravels, and unravels were enough to make our collective stomach’s jump! Her daring aerial silk performance was marvelous, and reminded us all of the success possible when you focus your strengths on an incredible task.

In the true essence of the theme of the night we witnessed the talented and courageous Jayza Duhan perform her positively profound opera production of “Climb Every Mountain.” Her spirit was contagious, bringing the audience to their feet and reminding all in attendance of the power of personal growth, and to not let inhibitions stop anyone from finding their dreams.

The night finally wrapped up with our shoes full of feet (and in some cases shoes kicked off of feet) steering us to the dance floor where we broke it down to hits and jams provided by Goody Bagg.

Thank you to all for the positive energy, support, and donations that inspire and allow DNDA to make the integration of art, nature, and community the ethos of the Delridge neighborhood.

And here’s the link to the photo booth shots from DIWAS Photography!

OH, the places we’ll Grow!!

Dan Bateson

What is a Peacemaking Circle?

What is a Peacemaking Circle? Peacemaking Circles have been used throughout ancient and modern times as a restorative practice that mediates conflict while promoting individual and collective healing. Based on indigenous customs, Peacemaking Circles provide a safe space for honest dialogue as barriers and stereotypes are broken down.

Young Women Empowered (Y-WE), a partner in DNDA’s Let’s Talk Race Series 2018, hosted a Peacemaking Circle on Wednesday, March 7, that allowed participants to speak their mind and listen for the sake of listening.

To begin the Circle process, sage was burned and spread around the circle in order to clear the air of negative energy. Additionally, an offering table was placed in the middle of the circle that held sacred, symbolic objects such as water, crystals, and a candle to represent fire. The symbolic meaning of the circle shape is relevant, too, as it has neither an end, a beginning nor a hierarchical structure.

The Peacemaking Circle continued as a speaking piece was passed around the circle and each person who held the piece, in this case the red flower, gave a short description of how they were feeling. Throughout this process participants kept a set of Circle guidelines in mind, including confidentiality, no limits on an individual’s speaking time and active listening.

We then took part in a grounding exercise, or a breathing activity, where participants were encouraged to close their eyes and imagine a tree. The leaves of the tree represent each breath we take that nourishes our body, while the trunk represents our deserved presence on this planet. The trunk is our unique individuality and the roots are our source of stability, reaching out and supporting us through life.

The central element to our Circle discussion was trust, as individuals shared personal definitions of trust as well as what qualities are needed in order to give and receive trust. We wrote our definition of trust on one side of the note card and on the reverse side three other members in the circle each wrote down a quality. From qualities like vulnerability, honesty and accountability, the group discussed how these allow us to enhance trust in both our communities and within ourselves.

The Circle wrapped up with community dinner and a reading of Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise,” inspiring the group to remain resilient in building trust and spreading understanding throughout our many communities.

Sometimes, as we go about our day-to-day lives, it’s easy to get lost in the hustle without taking into consideration our emotional well-being, or the emotional well-being of our community for that matter. Peacemaking Circles offer a chance for individuals to immerse themselves into a space of positive energy and mutual understanding while forging new relationships and bonds.

We would like to thank our Sponsor the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and all of our partners in this work that make building community and sharing stories possible.


Recap: The Creation of Whiteness

Saturday, February 24, marked the second event in DNDA’s Let’s Talk Race Series 2018: The Creation of Whiteness. Participants were encouraged to challenge preconceived ideas of race through viewing racial identity as a complex and continuously evolving facet of our collective human existence. This includes how the inception of whiteness has shaped much of our history and connection to community in America. Two dynamic young women from local nonprofit Young Women Empowered (Y-WE), Sonja Lerner and Nasra Ali, facilitated this event in collaboration with adult facilitators Bert Hopkins and Reagan Jackson.

Kicking off the event, participants journeyed through a historical timeline detailing the creation of racial identity in America before entering a discussion about how this has affected all of our individual and collective histories. Two engaging videos, one with Tim Wise and the other with Chimamanda Adichie, addressed the danger of a “single story” and brought us to a greater understanding of how the single story of whiteness can help us regain what we have lost from those who migrated and came before us. The event concluded with powerful caucus time where participants were able to engage with one another’s perspectives, including sharing personal impacts regarding the formation of systemic racial identity in our society. Attendees wrapped up the day with a warm meal and time to reflect on the day’s activities as well as their personal place and role in the community.

DNDA would like to give thanks to our sponsor, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, and to our partners for this event: Young Women Empowered (Y-WE)Fauntleroy Church UCC, Reel Grrls and others. Special thanks to all of our volunteers who made the day possible, and to our community in their efforts to strengthen ties and work towards building a beautiful and thriving Delridge.

Destination Delridge 2018

Save the date: Destination Delridge, Friday, March 2nd, 2018
Doors open at 6:00 pm @ Metropolist
2931 1st Ave S. Suite A, Seattle, WA 98134

Dear Friend of DNDA,

We invite you to be a part of our upcoming event, Destination Delridge: Oh, The Places We’ll Grow. Please join us as we celebrate DNDA’s continuing legacy of groundbreaking community work in ArtNature, and Neighborhood.

March 2, 2018 will be an exciting evening filled with fabulous food, drink, live entertainment, music, art and interactive games. Mingle and connect with 200+ attendees who share your passion for social justice and our community, as we gather to support DNDA’s Art, Nature, and Neighborhood programs. The evening’s venue, Metropolist in SoDo, incorporates urban elegance with turn of the century style and provides the perfect space. Most importantly, proceeds from the event directly benefit our community in Southwest Seattle. Today, our Let’s Talk Race SeriesWetlands Restoration & Stewardship ProjectYouth Programs at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center7 Affordable Housing sites and DNDA’s Restoration Program, all showcase our vision for this community. Now more than ever, your involvement ensures that we can continue our vital programming, and our ongoing commitment to amplify the voices of all who live, work and play in Delridge.

For the past 20 years, DNDA has brought together neighbors, non-profits, businesses and local government to build community in Delridge and beyond.

Thank you for your support,

David Bestock

EcoArts Fusion – Spring Nature Camp

Fusion Spring Nature Camp
At Camp Long
5200 35th Ave. SW – 
Seattle, WA 98126

DNDA’S Nature Consortium’s EcoArts Fusion Spring Nature Camp explores the intersection of nature and the arts with youth ages 6 to 12 at the Seattle 68-acre urban camping ground, Camp Long. Each session of our program is designed to foster deep personal connections to nature and the place we live, using art.

Fusion Spring program is designed to teach visual art, crafts, rhythm, and creative movement while introducing the fundamentals.

Classes are designed to be fun and gentle with age-appropriate physical, emotional, and social skills as they explore Vocabulary, Visual art, Photography, Movement, and Music.

Our objectives are fun, creativity, inspiration, imagination, and self-expression. Mixing of all medium classes is a great way to launch an early love of learning in these disciplines.

Fusion Spring Day Camp Session: April 9th – 13th

Daily Schedule

9:00am – 9:30am Warm up activity (games and activities in classroom)
9:30am – 2:30pm Camp program includes walking field trips, typically spending much of the day outside

12:00pm – 12:20pm Lunch time
2:30pm – 3:00pm Closing activity and snack (sketch journals for a reflective time)

*Families provide a morning snack and a sack lunch. We provide an afternoon snack (fresh fruit, granola bars, etc.).

 Click here for a registration form. Application Deadline is March 23, 2018. Limited scholarships available for low-income youth.