In her role as Communications Director at the Alliance for Pioneer Square, Jennie oversees the brand and marketing of the neighborhood. Focusing on experiential design, authenticity, and intentionality, Jennie uses storytelling to highlight the people that make this neighborhood so unique – including the work of her Alliance team members. From business openings to community meetings to construction updates, her job is to make sure the right information is out there engaging the right audience.
Occidental Square Park:
Occidental Square Park is in the heart of the historic Pioneer Square district. London plane trees provide shade; park furniture and nearby outdoor cafe areas provide places to relax; and bocce courts and ping pong tables allow for some easy-going recreation.
Occidental Square Park boasts a rich historic sense of place, including totem poles and a firefighter memorial. The park’s totem poles and woodcarvings are by Duane Pasco (1970s). They were donated by art gallery owner Richard White and installed in the 1980’s. “The tallest totem, Sun and Raven, tells the story of Raven’s theft of the moon and was created for the 1974 Spokane World’s Fair. The nearby Man Riding on Tail of Whale was carved in 1971. The westernmost of the two facing figures is Tsonoqua, a mythological giantess and ‘nightmare bringer’ invoked by exasperated North Coast mothers to frighten their children into obedience. She faces a slightly less fearsome Bear.” (Walt Crowley, National Trust Guide: Seattle, New York, 1998) The Seattle Fallen Firefighters Memorial by Hai Ying Wu (1995) honors generations of heroes.
Occidental Square Park has been transforming into a positive public space for many years. Back in the 1850s, when logs began streaming down Skid Road to Henry Yesler’s sawmill, this area was part of the heart of a young and rowdy Seattle…. The present park was built over this half-acre of asphalt in 1971, during the general renovation of the Pioneer Square area. (Excerpt from Enjoying Seattle’s Parks by Brandt Morgan)
Jennie’s start working in Pioneer Square began in Occidental Square Park, where until moving into her current role with the Alliance for Pioneer Square, she serves as a Senior Specialist of Events and Programming at the park with the Downtown Seattle Association. Jennie says she “fell in love with the park- its character, and surrounding community featuring a vibrant culture filled with artisans.”
Jennie This Week:
This week, Jennie is excited about the recently launched Meet the Makers campaign which the Alliance for Pioneer Square and Pioneer Square Business Improvement Area (BIA) recently embarked upon. Meet the Makers is intended to highlight the unique food, drink, retail, art, attractions, and everything else which makes Pioneer Square a vanguard neighborhood in Seattle. The goal is to attract more visitors to our neighborhood’s businesses, and we would love your help telling the neighborhood’s story. Jennie notes that the campaign encapsulates the place-making ethos of Pioneer Square, “we as community members, business owners, artists, and makers create the feeling and spaces in the neighborhood ourselves.”
The campaign consists of numerous strategies, with visual storytelling serving as the most substantial. The first video underscores one of many rich histories of Pioneer Square – our vibrant and visionary art scene. The video features Phen Huang, Director of Foster/White Gallery and Ten Hundred (Peter Robinson), Owner of Statix. The video posits to viewers: whether you seek an art experience that is colorful and bright, or quiet and contemplative – you will find it in Pioneer Square. Additional videos will highlight Pioneer Square’s cocktail and foodie scenes, and will be released later this month and in August.
The Alliance for Pioneer Square supports the businesses in Pioneer Square through the Pioneer Square BIA. A myriad of businesses comprise the Pioneer Square BIA- makers, tech companies, architects, and more. Meet the Makers will utilize the unique mix of businesses in Pioneer Square to demonstrate that our neighborhood is a great neighborhood. Jennie notes that her own community often expresses an appreciation for the transformation that Pioneer Square has undergone in the past five years, “friends tell me that Pioneer Square is their favorite neighborhood and say that the area has seen an incredible aesthetic transformation of public spaces, including Occidental Square Park.” Jennie also enjoys showing newcomers around the neighborhood and showcasing her favorite spots in the neighborhood. The Meet the Makers campaign intends to do just that for the greater Seattle community- “the campaign will make people love or fall in love again with what Pioneer Square has to offer,” Jennie states.
“Something Yasuaki Sato from the London Plane during our video shoot for the Meet the Makers campaign has stuck with me- ‘we are a place for community’,” Jennie reflects. Jennie believes that the folks in Pioneer Square are connected, and collectively create a sense of place exuding authenticity in the heart of Seattle. You might find Jennie around the neighborhood picking up flowers from the London Plane, championing women empowerment at Velouria, or enjoying the vibe at The Pharmacy.