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.
Metropole Building (2nd Ave and Yesler):
Once the home of “Emerge,” a mural created by Seattle-based artist Jeff Jacobson, AKA Weirdo in 2009- the Metropole Building at 2nd and Yesler now hosts three giant plywood finches which once graced the exterior of the former Honda of Seattle dealership on Boren in Capitol Hill. The finches, created by artist Will Schlough, were part of a collaboration with Urban ArtWorks and Alliance for Pioneer Square to update the plywood façade which “Emerge” once covered. In a statement about their hopes for the future location of the finches following the news that the art piece would need to be relocated Urban Artworks said- “if people can walk by and enjoy it, that’s the ideal scenario.” The finches now have a home in Pioneer Square at 2nd and Yesler, which is front and center in a highly visible for visitors of the neighborhood exiting the Light Rail Tunnel in Pioneer Park. Until long term plans to update the Metropole building take place, the public art piece is present to greet people to the neighborhood. The artwork is representative of a larger indication of what to expect in the neighborhood as the Alliance for Pioneer Square strives to position the Pioneer Square neighborhood to become an arts destination for local Seattleites and visitors alike.
Jennie This Week:
This week Jennie is focused on collaboration- an example being Jennie’s collaboration with Urban ArtWorks to revive the facade of the Metropole Building at 2nd and Yesler. Since working with the Downtown Seattle Association, Jennie has strived to champion local artists in public spaces. As Communications Director of the Alliance for Pioneer Square, Jennie has the opportunity to do just that in the Pioneer Square neighborhood. “A rising tide lifts all boats,” Jennie posits when speaking about the addition of the finches art piece to the neighborhood. The incorporation of the finches into the public art portfolio of the neighborhood is demonstrative of Jennie’s ability to build partnerships. “I’m a connector,” Jennie mentions when speaking about the project. Jennie is referring to the StrengthFinder theme of Connectedness. People with the StrengthsFinder theme of Connectedness believe that everything happens for a reason. Jennie is the designer behind this reason, as she endeavors to make Pioneer Square a more welcoming place and an arts destination in Seattle. Jennie states, “when I first moved to Seattle, people would say ‘Pioneer Square is my favorite neighborhood in the city’ and that ‘it has transformed so much over time’ but I did recognize those changes as a newcomer to the city”- alluding to her relocation to Seattle in 2017. “Now that I am in the neighborhood every day, my vision is that the Alliance for Pioneer Square is the neighborhoods’ champion. In addition to the business development, advocacy, leadership, and communications work that we engage in, it is also our task to keep Pioneer Square authentic and intentional for future generations to come.”
Chris Woodward is the newest staff member of the Alliance for Pioneer Square. He adds to the organization a diverse skill set including marketing and communication strategy development, social media community management, and project management. As Marketing Manager, Chris helms the Alliance for Pioneer Square’s social media, email communications, website management, amongst other duties.
Founded in 1968, Foster/White Gallery is a premier gallery on the West Coast and has been a prominent landmark in the Seattle arts center of Pioneer Square. The Gallery has attracted worldwide attention with its diverse and exceptional contemporary painting, sculpture, and glass exhibitions. The gallery maintains a high level of aesthetic quality through the representation of emerging, mid-career and established artists whose works are varied in scope yet similar in mastery of materials.
Phen Huang, the director of Foster / White has managed the gallery for many years. After founder Donald I. Foster sold one of Seattle’s oldest galleries, Foster/White, to Canada’s Bau-Xi Gallery, the acquiring Huang family appointed their daughter, Phen, to take care of matters in Seattle in 2002. The gallery regularly experiences a high number of visitors throughout the year, with each First Thursday Art Walk seeing hundreds of art connoisseurs observing the newest exhibition on display. First Thursday Art Walk, an organic event first took place in 1981, and is a pillar of the Pioneer Square culture. Each month, art lovers flock to the neighborhood to visit the neighborhood’s countless galleries. The gallery is an anchor of Pioneer Square’s arts area.
What’s Chris Excited About This Week
Each week, Chris manages a variety of marketing projects for the Alliance for Pioneer Square. This week, Chris is focusing his attention of an emerging video series which will highlight the unique businesses and business owners operating in the Pioneer Square neighborhood. This week’s production schedule focuses on three business areas of Pioneer Square- tasty restaurants, hand-crafted cocktails, and the robust arts scene. “It’s incredible to hear the business owners and key business staff tell their story,” Chris comments after sitting in for an interview with Megan, the owner of Lady Yum.
The video production is a part of a larger effort to tell the story of the folks making the Pioneer Square neighborhood great. Chris is excited to use storytelling as a communications and marketing tool to promote the businesses in the area. “Storytelling is a powerful tool to show the community what these businesses are all about, and what I’ve observed consistently a sense of authenticity across the interviews with business operators,” Chris states.
The video series will be released in the coming months following post production work. “I think the impact of the videos will be profound. We are using new media to lift up the businesses in Pioneer Square. I’m really excited to see how they turn out,” Chris says. Keep an eye out for the videos on the Pioneer Square social media channels.
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