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Seattle Center Organizations and Venues Contribute to COVID-19 Response Efforts

While the COVID-19 outbreak has altered normal operations at Seattle Center, the campus is not without activity, most of it COVID-19-related. Through at least May 4, the campus community is paying tribute to COVID-19 healthcare workers and first responders, as Mercer St. passersby will discover. Along the Kreielsheimer Promenade adjacent to Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, the metal scrim lights of the art installation Dreaming in Color by Leni Schwendinger are lit in blue to honor of these courageous heroes.

Here are some of other ways organizations on the grounds are assisting with the COVID-19 emergency response.

Shelters at Seattle Center

Seattle Center, as a City of Seattle department, fulfills its role in the City’s Continuity of Operations Plan by providing needed shelter. In early March, Seattle Center opened Exhibition Hall to help Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) comply with Public Health Seattle & King County guidelines for spatial distancing between people. Currently, Exhibition Hall accommodates around 50 residents. The City and DESC provide staffing to operate and secure the facility, and Seattle Center provides support services. Similarly, Fisher Pavilion opened as a supplemental shelter in early April. The Salvation Army staffs the operation, housing around 85 temporary residents.

Cascade Public Media

Crosscut and KCTS 9, which comprise Cascade Public Media, offer a variety of resources on COVID-19 including plenty of digital content for kids and parents including game apps, videos and a daily newsletter. An online Resource Guide provides a coronavirus news hub and suggestions on ways to share cash, time and supplies with organizations in need. Site visitors can also tap into PBS digital news and resource and submit questions for Crosscut and KCTS reporters when they visit:


Although in-studio viewing and tours have been suspended, KEXP continues to broadcast at 90.3FM and live stream at The KEXP website offers a guide for musicians and fans confronting the impacts of COVID-19, with links to helpful resources and a podcast on how COVID impacts venues and artists:

Northwest Folklife

Although the 49th annual Northwest Folklife Festival is postponed, the Northwest Folklife organization has assembled a substantive list of COVID-19-related resources for financial assistance, mutual aid and advocacy and informational support compiled from community efforts:

Pacific Science Center

Pacific Science Center offers a robust landing page with contextual information, explanations, resources for kids, stories, recommended scientific articles and more at:

Seattle Opera

Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center hired Seattle Opera costume shop staff to make masks while the Medical Center is waiting for its supply chains to catch up with demand. Since starting on March 31, three Seattle Opera sewers have completed an average of 600 masks a day, for around 10,800 masks in total through April 24. Providence expects the project to wrap up on Friday, April 24. A Seattle Opera volunteer group is also making use of the Opera Center’s Norcliffe Studio for mask making, all while maintaining enough social distancing.

Seattle Rep

Providence Saint Joseph also contacted Seattle Rep in its efforts with the Costume Shop Manager at ACT to assemble a team of sewers to make masks. The group needed an industrial equipped shop, which Seattle Rep was pleased to provide. Laid-off Seattle Rep costume shop staff reached out to their laid-off counterparts at ACT, assembling seven experienced sewers willing to come into Seattle Rep’s shop to aid the cause. Providence delivered the raw mask kits earlier this month, and the team is now stitching them together, hundreds of masks per day. Seattle Rep has supplied the sewers with Lysol wipes, hand sanitizer and gloves as well as encouraged the practice of social distancing in this large costume shop.

While Seattle Center longs for the day when the community returns for events and activities, it is pleased to play a part in responding to this historic and challenging health emergency. For more information on virtual programs offered by Seattle Center organizations during this time, visit or call 206-684-7200.

About Seattle Center:

Connect to the extraordinary at Seattle Center, an active civic, arts and family gathering place in the core of our region. More than 30 cultural, educational, sports and entertainment organizations that reside on the grounds, together with a broad range of public and community programs, create thousands of events on the 74-acre campus and attract over 12 million visitors each year. At Seattle Center, part of Uptown Arts & Cultural District, our purpose is to create exceptional events, experiences and environments that delight and inspire the human spirit to build stronger communities. Activities at the Center generate $1.86 billion in business activity and $631 million in labor income.

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