Enriching Burien Through the Arts

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About Us

Our Mission

To enrich the lives of members of the Highline area communities through the arts. The Highline area comprises Burien, Normandy Park, Des Moines, SeaTac, and White Center.

BURIEN ARTS NAMED CHARITY OF THE YEAR 2016

DiscoverBurienplaque500

Discover Burien, our town’s cross between a chamber of commerce and a board of tourism, named the Burien Arts Association Charity of the Year 2016.

History

Burien Arts Association (BA) formed in 1964 as Burien Arts Gallery, an informal group of local artists, art enthusiasts and activists who wished to increase access to art in local schools and secure a place to display artists’ work. BA incorporated in 1968.

The first gallery was in the Burien 400 Building on SW 152nd where it operated for two years under the name The Burien Festival Shop. The gallery then moved to 4th Avenue SW and Ambaum Boulevard SW. BA offered arts instruction in schools and at the gallery for both students and adults into the early 1990s.

In 1974, the gallery moved to the former home of Harold and Bonnie Kampinski, the “little blue house” in Dottie Harper Park, 4th Avenue SW and SW 146th Street, next to the then Burien branch of the King County Public Library. The  gallery occupied the little blue house until 2009.

During most of the 35 years in Dottie Harper Park, the gallery thrived and spawned the Highline Historical Society and the annual Heritage Fair and Strawberry Festival (originally a celebration of the U.S. Bicentennial.) The historical society continues to operate, independently of BA, as does the Strawberry Festival, now run by  Discover Burien.

In its later years at Dottie Harper Park, BA expanded its scope to include performing arts events as well as visual arts programming. BA sponsors free Shakespeare in the Park plays each summer; life drawing; the Highline Classic Jazz Festival; free face painting at city cultural events in the summer and fall; and the annual Vision 20/20 Art Event as well as poetry readings and humanities offerings. Returning to its roots, BA now offers free student art workshops and adult drawing and painting workshops.

In 2009, the library moved to the new City Hall complex at its current location on SW 152nd Street. This move left the gallery in a foot traffic vacuum, which combined with the widespread recession, led to economic difficulty. The gallery closed that year. The old library building became the current Burien Community Center, 14700 6th Avenue SW, Burien, WA 98166.

BA continued its non-gallery programs and events, however, with help from donors and business sponsors, together with grants from 4Culture, WA Arts Commission, and the City of Burien.  BA was by then a registered non-profit (501)(c)(3) corporation. BA had also become an outspoken and proactive advocate for the expansion of arts experiences and opportunities in our community.

In October 2013, BA reopened a gallery at 826 SW 152nd Street in Olde Burien. Exhibits were juried in by a three-member committee and rotated on a monthly schedule. Art works exhibited included two-dimensional works in every possible medium, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, and art gift cards. The gallery was staffed on a volunteer basis. Most volunteers were members of local artist group Artists United, which displayed members’ work in their own separate exhibition space within the gallery in exchange for their help. BA closed the gallery in Olde Burien in December 2016.

In January 2017, BA debuted its Pop-up Art Exhibit program in the City Hall lobby in the Burien City Hall complex where we displayed for two years. We also displayed art in the lobby of the Burien Actors Theatre at the Annex (now demolished) from time to time. From 2019 on, BA presented monthly exhibits on the BA wall at the Burien Community Center. From 2020-present, BA has presented bimonthly art exhibits on its designated walls at the Highline Heritage Museum, 819 SW 152nd Street, Burien, WA 98166. BA also retains an exhibit wall at the Burien Community Center.

BA looks forward to many more years of serving the Burien/Highline area with the finest in arts programming, experiences and opportunities as well as arts advocacy. We thank the community for its support.

Contact Us

Mailing address:   PO Box 66574, Burien,  WA 98166

Email: burienarts@gmail.com

Event Participation & Questions: events@burienarts.org

Board of Trustees

President: open

Acting President: Grace Stiller

Grace became Acting President in 2016 after the retirement of President Lance Haslund. She serves on several local non-profit boards and two County boards as well as running her own environmental non-profit, Weed Warriors. Grace holds degrees in Education and Art, and has experience teaching in Haiti as well as the US. Now retired, she volunteers her time for both art and environmental organizations. She was named Burien Citizen of the Year in 2020.

Secretary: Open

Treasurer: Charles Schaefer

An accountant in the Burien area, Charles was Chair of the Burien Planning Commission and served on the commission for several years. He is active in Transform Burien, which provides services to the needy, and has previously run for City Council.

Board Member: Claire Yurdin:

Claire serves as Webmaster and as Chair, Shakespeare in the Park since 2018. She has also co-hosted the artists opening receptions for the past seven years and worked at our now-defunct brick-and-mortal gallery in Olde Burien for two years. She retired in 2022 after twenty years in web and marketing in the Seattle metro and is working on several writing projects. She holds a BA in English.

Board Member: Cydney Moore

Cydney served on the Burien City Council with a term expiring in December 2023. She has worked as a journalist and editor as well as in social media and digital marketing management and consulting, web design, and sales. In 2011 she launched her own digital media start-up, which became a successful small business.  Cydney has served as a Lead Organizer for ACLU Burien People Power, Co-coordinator of the Burien/White Center Migra Watch Team, and spent several years on the steering committee of statewide nonprofit Sensible Washington. She has also volunteered with the Community Visions Network, the People’s Harm Reduction Alliance needle exchange program, Burien C.A.R.E.S., Burien Clean Sweep, Burien PRIDE Festival, and the Burien Severe Weather Shelter.

Board Member: Halie Looper

Halie’s non-profit background includes Director of Artistic Operations for Seattle Choruses, Operations Manager for the NW Children’s Foundation, and work with Altruist Partners, a consultant for non-profits. She has served as a teaching artist for Youth Theatre NW, Mercer Island.

Halie currently works at ad agency Wunderman Thompson. She holds an MFA from Seattle Pacific University.

Board Member: Armando Ramos. Biography coming soon.