Students at Sawhorse Revolution are making progress on Estelita’s Kiosk, a new community space in the Central District, sponsored in part by Rushing. This 220 square-foot kiosk will serve as a new satellite location of Estelita’s Library, with its main location on Beacon Hill. It will display items from the library’s collection as well as provide space for events.
Sawhorse Revolution is a Seattle-based non-profit that teaches teens carpentry and design through local community projects. Estelita’s Kiosk is one of the organization’s all-girls projects.
The concept for this kiosk was submitted by Estelita’s Library in response to a call for proposals by Sawhorse Revolution and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. The two groups issued and invitation to local organizations to submit proposals for a “tiny cultural space” last fall and design on this project began November 2018. The winner, chosen by Sawhorse Revolution students, receives a space designed and built by the students, as well as a piece of unused city property, called a “snippet,” for free, in perpetuity.
The endeavor, according to Sarah Smith, executive director of Sawhorse Revolution, is the first in the nation for a city to give land back to the community in this manner. “I hope this project is a safe place for people who have experienced displacement and gentrification,” said Smith, “I hope it is so well loved and used and that it serves as an example for returning property to the community.”
Eventually, the structure, designed by Sawhorse students with the mentorship of Olson Kundig, will host what Smith says is the world’s largest collection of Black Panther Papers, as well as hundreds of social-justice history and theory books for all ages, community working space and a large deck for public gatherings.
Students completed framing on the project last spring and the structure was moved to its permanent location on Martin Luther King Junior Way South this week. The project team is aiming to finish installing windows, roofing and doors, as well as begin siding the kiosk by the end of the year. Rushing is donating electrical and mechanical engineering as well as lighting design work for the space.
“This library is making historic documents more accessible to a community and enabling people to have pride in their culture and come together as a community,” said Rae Anne Rushing, Rushing CEO and co-founder on why she wanted to be part of this project. “It is so important for spaces like this to exist.”