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"Hope" is the thing with feathers

Emily Dickinson 3_22-4
Emily Dickinson 3_22-5
Emily Dickinson 3_22-6
Emily Dickinson 3_22-7

Our artist volunteers create street signs every quarter that are displayed outside HPIC along busy SW Holden St as a greeting and inspiration for pedestrians and for the drivers so often stuck in traffic along this route.

Thanks to Emily Dickinson, poet, and artist collaborators, from left, Judith Camann, Kelly Lyles, Kay Kirkpatrick and Monica Cavagnaro for bringing a spot of hope and a chance to reflect to travellers on Holden.

Here’s the complete poem:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
 
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
 
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

HPIC interim gathering space outdoors - still trying!

UPDATE: We are still working on organizing outdoor events after learning that we can’t use our site as-is because of insurance and safety concerns. It is very challenging but we will succeed! This experience has made us realize even more how important it is to have our own community gathering space!

We worked with our project managers at the Department of Neighborhoods to pivot our original Neighborhood Matching Fund grant (for the interior Community Gathering and Performance Space Renovation) to support outdoor gathering spaces for limited programming and events as we go through the rebuilding process. This would include tents, tables, chairs, portable outdoor heaters, two shipping containers for storage, porta-potties, lighting and other items to facilitate outside activities while the rebuilding process goes on.

It’s an unusual request to repurpose such a grant, and we thank our colleagues at the Department of Neighborhoods for their help and support in considering this revision and working with us through many changing constraints.

Time for reflection and transformation

During this time, as we make sure the physical space is safe and secure, we are also considering our internal structure and how we can rebuild and refresh that too – board structure, volunteer coordination, the meaning of membership and more. We will be reaching out to the community for your input as we begin to envision the revived physical space and what it might embody. Stay tuned!

Diversity and Inclusion at HPIC

Change is occurring on all levels at HPIC. Now, as we recover from the fire that closed our building June 25, 2021, we are also examining the club’s own history, processes and programming in order to better represent and celebrate the diversity of our community, and foster inclusion throughout all that we do as an organization.

The HPIC board cares deeply about the people of our community, and we want to be explicit about our stand for social justice. We have a lot to learn, and we look forward to sharing this journey with you. If you have ideas or suggestions of what you would like to see, please reach out to be a part of the change.

The Story of our BLM Banner

In the Summer of 2020, Members of Highland Park Improvement Club eagerly created and installed a large Black Lives Matter banner on to the garden fence to show support for the rise of the movement and to acknowledge the long overdue attention to this human issue.

Soon after, the banner was stolen and destroyed; pieces were found on surrounding streets near HPIC. In early July, the West Seattle Blog covered the story and asked for the community to keep an eye out and give any information they had regarding the theft. A local sign shop owner saw the article and graciously offered to make a replacement banner. He thoughtfully made two banners, just in case there was another theft.

The new banner was hung on the fence but vandalized with graffiti soon after. The third banner was also destroyed; sliced in a few places that were able to be repaired and re-hung, but then once again, shredded beyond repair.

With this more permanent attempt at a show of support we acknowledge that we continue to proudly believe that Black Lives Matter and that we refuse to succumb to the fear of destruction. HPIC stands proudly with the BIPOC community

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The Highland Park Improvement Club (HPIC) – the heart of our community since 1919.

HPIC belongs to our neighborhood and is powered by volunteers.

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Highland Park Action Committee: All volunteer & not for profit. Our role is to be an advocate for Highland Park and to affect positive change in our neighborhood. Currently meeting via Zoom. Check our website https://hpacinfo.wordpress.com/ or email hpacchair@gmail.com.