Schack gift brings art, life

When it comes to planning leisure time activities, it’s hard to top a trip down I-5 to Seattle where some of the most popular resident and tourist attractions are instantly recognized by their singular nicknames: the Market, the Safe and the Key. We suspect that it won’t be long before the public discovers Everett’s own single moniker destination location: The Schack.

Given the ever-escalating cost of travel, having a world-class arts destination in our community is a dream come true for artists and patrons alike. Watching this project move from concept to reality has been nothing short of remarkable, and we all know that something this incredible doesn’t just happen, especially in a sluggish economy.

The city of Everett, along with a generous community (lead by its patron angels Idamae and the late John Schack) have made a significant investment in the arts. There’s no greater example than the downtown transformation along Hoyt Avenue. What had been the site of an underutilized city parking garage has become a thoroughly modern centerpiece for a vibrant arts district.

Park your car nearby, or better yet, hop on a bus or your bicycle and head downtown. Take a stroll down the newly widened sidewalks and observe the freshly landscaped planter boxes and inlaid artistic sculptures set into the brushed concrete.

While the scenery is impressive, you’re certain to find the human dynamic in this eclectic neighborhood even more interesting.

Thanks to the synergy of the adjacent Artspace Lofts housing units, you’re likely to share the sidewalk with a wide range of talented artists who choose to live, work and play right here in Everett. Nearby apartment and condo units and the proximity to the library, restaurants, shopping, theaters and Comcast Arena all add to the excitement surrounding the ongoing transformation of downtown.

Grand opening festivities for the Schack Center took place last week, but the final touches along Hoyt Avenue are just being wrapped up, including the striping of the bike lanes and the “greening” of the landscape. It’s truly a place to take your senses for a stroll. This area has so much to offer beyond the obvious visual delights. Listen, and rising above the road noise you’re likely to pick up the sound of guitar or bongos coming from an Artspace loft or a street musician.

As the new Schack Center for the Arts emerges from the construction chrysalis, it’s time watch this beautiful new butterfly soar. The invitation has been extended and the welcome mat is out. Come explore downtown.

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