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Station Space opens, marking new chapter for Seattle arts nonprofits

A man wearing jeans and a black suit jacket with long hair speaks to people standing around him inside a music studio.
Jim Bennett from Photo Bakery
Totem Star celebrated the grand opening of Station Space with tours for the public of their brand new recording studio.

The city of Seattle celebrated the opening of Station Space, a brand new arts and culture hub in the Chinatown-International District, on Saturday.

The project broke ground last year on the second floor of the historic King Street Station. Five nonprofits, all led by people of color with a focus on youth and the arts, will occupy the new space. This includes Red Eagle Soaring, The Rhapsody Project, Jackson Street Music Program, Wh!psmart, and Totem Star which works with young recording musicians.

Daniel Pak started Totem Star back in 2010 with fellow musician Thaddeus Turner. Eventually, the program outgrew its 200-square-foot space in the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in White Center. Pak said that in 2019, the nonprofit was offered a spot in what would be Station Space, a new arts and culture hub. Their space would be ten times the size and house a brand new recording studio for them.

"We tell people this is the people's studio, where young people will never again have to ask permission to make their music a reality," Pak said.

The new space includes three recording rooms with state-of-the-art equipment. Pak said some of the equipment was donated by Sir Mix-a-Lot, who made remarks at the grand opening.

"We've been working with some amazing folks in the music industry," Pak said. "Some crazy producers like Steve Fisk, who recorded Nirvana and Soundgarden. Eric Lilavois, who is one of the co-owners at London Bridge."

Station Space was a collaboration between the city and the Cultural Space Agency, a public development authority. The nonprofits have a 60-year lease on the space with the Cultural Space Agency acting as the property manager.

Pak feels like being located in King Street Station is more than fitting.

"All the jazz greats passed through this through this train station on their way to their gig on Jackson Street," Pak said. "That's one really amazing fact, that this hallway has been the hallway that has helped all these legends in music get to their gig."

Pak also said it’s a very central location in the Chinatown-International District, easy to get to on public transportation which is important for their students. Pak said they will likely get fully moved into the new space by early next year.

Grace Madigan is KNKX's former Arts & Culture reporter. Her stories focused on how people express themselves and connect to their communities through art, music, media, food, and sport.