What We Do

The Mission

University Heights Center promotes life-long learning, creativity, culture, community activism, and the preservation of our historic building.

 
Our Values

Above all, UHeights Center is devoted to our local community: our children, arts and culture, education, civic involvement, sustainability, and the lifelong education of individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. We believe in fostering community, culture, and educational opportunities in the U District and Greater Seattle area. Moreover, residing in one of the most historic elementary school buildings in Washington, we strive to preserve and maintain our iconic structure for generations to come.

 
What We've Accomplished

Founded in 1989 by University District residents and businesses who believed this building would serve as a vital gathering place for the community, University Heights Center has been serving the Greater Seattle area since 1902. We continually provide new programs, services & activities to the center aimed at strengthening our neighborhoods while meeting the needs of our diverse and growing communities.

Annually, University Heights welcomes over 250,000 visitors through its doors and over 200 groups choose to make us their home for classes, workshops, community meetings and more. From aerobics to belly dance, from city meetings to dance classes, from green gardening to shopping at Seattle's largest farmers market, University Heights Center has a little bit of everything.

Every year, University Heights participates in many special events throughout the University District and we are always looking for more ways to strengthen community. Have an idea for a class or a need in the area, let us hear it! We appreciate all suggestions. We are always on the lookout for new programs or services to meet the needs of our diverse and ever-changing neighborhoods.

Because we value our neighborhood, we also work closely with other organizations seeking to improve and strengthen the neighborhood. University Heights holds a variety of community events free to the public every year focusing on events that meet our mission and encourage community participation.

To learn more about our rich history, check out our timeline!

 

Our Preservation

We adore our historical wood frame building, but with it comes a need for constant upkeep. Aside from the daily maintenance associated with hundreds of daily occupants, we are constantly working to make improvements. From playground remodeling, seismic retrofits, and the development of UHeights Plaza, the preservation of our building is at the foundation of the work that we do. 

The Auditorium

In a neighborhood and city bursting with creative talent, small performing arts spaces are hard to find! We are excited to unveil the renovations made to out beloved Auditorium (Rm 209.) 

Improvements include a new stage, lighting grid, sound system, projector, big screen, and blackout curtains. These changes will allow for more versatility for performers and neighborhood groups alike.

This project would not be possible without the support of Seattle's Department of Neighborhoods and 4Culture.

 

Water Remediation and Roofline Preservation

 

In 2018, UHeights began the journey of repairing our roof, parapets, and cornices, as they started to show signs of water damage and infiltration. 

We were thrilled to receive $750,000 in state funding for this project through the Heritage Capital Project Fund (HCPF), administered by the Washington State Historical Society

In addition, this project would not have been possible without the major support of:

 

M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

4Culture

Seattle Office of Arts and Culture

Norcliffe Foundation

Norman Archibald Charitable Foundation

Joshua Green Foundation

Richaven Architecture & Preservation

U District Rotary

Pat and Ken Weber Fund 

Our preservation is an ongoing and resource-intensive endeavor that is fundamental to our continued contribution to the cultural fabric of the U District. Please consider making a donation to UHeights so that we can continue making these vital improvements. 

Our Staff

 

MAUREEN EWING

Executive Director

Maureen has served the nonprofit sector since 2000. Most recently as the Vice President of a large fiscal sponsorship organization the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center, she helped lead an organization with over 90 charitable ventures and 250 employees. She led Boulder County CareConnect as Executive Director for eight years providing services to low-income seniors and adults with disabilities. Maureen holds her Master's in Nonprofit Management and Bachelors' degrees in English and Psychology. Her favorite part of the University Heights Center are the people who work, volunteer and play at UHeights every day. 

MASON WILEY

Associate Director

Mason has been a passionate advocate for public interest projects throughout the world for over a decade. He was the founding Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Micronesia and also served as a Community Economic Development Volunteer in the US Peace Corps' Azerbaijan program. Mason holds a Master’s in International Affairs, a Juris Doctorate, and a Bachelor’s in Theater Arts.

JARON BERNSTEIN

Director of Advancement

A native Seattleite, Jaron participated in programming at UHeights growing up and is now excited to be back leading the efforts to foster support for this wonderful place-based community organization. Prior to returning to the Pacific Northwest, Jaron spent over a decade in the Midwest, where he developed a passion for creative placemaking and the intersection of arts and community development. He holds an MBA in Arts Administration from the Wisconsin School of Business, and a Bachelor’s in Theatre from Northwestern University.

SHIRIN SUBHANI

Outreach & Program Coordinator

Connect-Create-Celebrate has been the thread running through all of Shirin's varied work-life experiences. Her passion is people and she loves connecting people to each other as well as to themselves and their own passions. She likes to think of herself as a Creativity Catalyst! UHeights has been Shirin's second home for the last 8 years with both of her kids attending school in the building. As a recent addition to the UHeights staff, she is very grateful for the opportunity to serve as Outreach and Program Coordinator and fill her days surrounded by creativity and community! 

OLENA BILLINGSLEY

Operations Manager

Olena has been with University Heights since July 2006. She graduated from University of Moscow and University of Kharkov with a major in Economics / Operations Management, and a minor in Planning Engineer. She enjoys working with all types of people, building new relationships and continuously striving to learn new things and be challenged with new ideas. She is thankful for the opportunity to work in such a dynamic environment and with some of the most interesting people at University Heights.

AARON BROWN

Facilities Manager

Aaron is the facilities manager at Uheights. He enjoys his job because he gets paid to help people and make a positive impact on the community. Aaron is originally from Pierce county. He is an artist, and draws inspiration from the works of H.R. Giger and Dr. Seuss. Aaron has a cat named Butter. Whenever possible, he tries to be a gentleman.

ADDY KRAMLICH

Facilities Technician

Addison Kramlich has been at UHeights since November 2018 and thoroughly enjoys working with a diverse and friendly group of people. Before UHeights Addison had a career in stand-up and special FX make-up on local movies, commercials, and live events.

VINNY DELLI PAOLI

Facilities Technician

Vinny Delli Paoli is a resident of the neighborhood.  He enjoys gardening,  a good book, and creating art. Vinny also has a plot at the UHeights P-Patch.

MORGAN DELONG

Facilities Technician

Morgan was born in Seattle and raised in Seattle, Everett and Shoreline. Reading is his main hobby.

 

Our Tenants

ARTS, THEATER, MUSIC EDUCATION

BROADWAY BOUND CHILDREN'S THEATRE


Live Theatrical Children's Theater--Broadway Bound Children's Theatre transforms the lives of children ages 5-18 through active participation in a dynamic theatre arts program that combines a fun & supportive atmosphere with professional standards. Children of all skill levels and backgrounds are challenged to develop their mental, physical, emotional, social, and creative potential through the joy and discipline of live theater.  
 

Top Floor; South Wing; Office - STE 203 & Studios STE 204, 205 & 206
206-526-5437
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NW CHOIRS, NW BOYCHOIR & VOCALPOINT! SEATTLE


Musical Education--Northwest Choirs comprised of the Northwest Boychoir and Vocalpoint! Seattle is a non-profit organization, based in Seattle, Washington, with the stated purposes of making available music education and performance opportunities for children and young adults and contributing to the cultural life of the community by providing access to a unique choral resource. 
 

Ground Floor (Basement) - North Wing; Office & Studio - STE (S): NB2 & NB3
206-524-3234
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THREE DRAGONS ACADEMY


Music, Theater, & Art Basted Education Alternative--Three Dragons Academy is dedicated to providing an arts enrichment program for youth/students and families seeking alternative education (such as home-based and online schooling) or supplementary arts tutoring.  TDA provide art, music and theatre -based curriculum in a child-centered 'group-lesson' atmosphere that allows students to grow their love of learning while nurturing ongoing relationships with their peers.  TDA features working fine-arts professionals who help students develop talents related to theatre, music, & art (& other arts).
 

Main Floor - North Wing - STE 107

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EDUCATION

ACADEMY FOR PRECISION LEARNING


Independent Elementary School - The Academy for Precision Learning (APL) is a K-12 school that educates typically-developing students and those across the autism spectrum in an academically challenging and socially vibrant community. The APL model utilizes customized curriculum and innovative instructional methods to provide meaningful access and tangible progress for every student. Our goal is for every APL student to become a curious and engaged life-long learner who celebrates diversity, practices self-advocacy, and generates impact in the community.  
 

Main Floor: Office - 104A & Classrooms STE 105 & STE 106 - South Wing; Classroom STE 11 - Center of Building
206-427-0115
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DEFENSIVE DRIVING SCHOOL


Teen & Adult Driving Instruction--Defensive Driving School provides state-of-the art drivers training to qualifying young adults and adults. We consistently apply small class comprehensive training, stressing the concept of defensive driving techniques while providing “hands on” real life situations.  We are one of the premier drivers education courses in the Northwest with and excellent record of preparing first time drivers for the highways and byways of Washington.
 

Top Floor; Center of Building - Satellite Classroom - STE 201
425-643-0116
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UNIVERSITY DISTRICT CHILDREN'S CENTER


Early Childhood Education / Childcare--University District Children’s Center is a secular, independent, 501(c)3 non-profit organization providing child care to children aged 12 months to 5 years. UDCC's overall purpose is to provide a warm, nurturing and developmentally appropriate environment that reflects, respects, and values the individual personalities, needs, abilities and cultures of the children and families we serve. 
 

Ground Floor (Basement) - South Wing - STE SB1
206-632-5189
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YUGAKUSHA SCHOOL


Japanese Language School--Yugakusha School is for Japanese and Japanese-American children who want to pursue a traditional Japanese education in the U.S.  We believe that early childhood language and culture education is the key to becoming fully bilingual and bicultural. 
 

Main Floor - North Wing; Classroom STE 110
206-719-1741
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BUSINESS

OTB SOLUTIONS


Consulting & Service Solutions--OTB Solutions is a consulting that connects people with information focusing primarily on clients in the Pacific Northwest with a variety of clients throughout the US, Europe and Asia. Our clients come from several industries including healthcare, life sciences, high tech, professional services, manufacturing, communications and media.
 

Top Floor - North Wing; Satellite Office - STE 208

 

SEATTLE DISPLACEMENT COALITION


Housing Advocate Services--A 37-year old low income housing organizing and advocacy project here in Seattle, the Seattle Displacements Coalition’s responsibility to provide organizational and technical assistance, legislative advocacy, and social services for low income households, senior citizens, and the homeless in the Seattle area.
 

Main Floor - North Wing: District Office - STE 108A
206-632-0668
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GREEN BUILDING

FORTERRA: WA CONSERVATION CORPS


WA State Dept. of Ecology Conservation Program--A partnership of two organizations, Forterra and Washington Conservation Corp, to support environmental work throughout the area.
 

Housing Station West Parking Lot & Ground Floor
206-292-5907
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NEIGHBORHOOD FARMER'S MARKET ALLIANCE


University District Farmer's Market is one of the longest running and most enduring farmers markets in the Northwest and operates as part of the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance. They are committed to supporting and strengthening Washington's small family farm businesses by creating and operating vibrant, successful neighborhood farmers markets.
 

University Avenue NE between 50th and 52th Street
206-547-2278
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UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS P-PATCH


Community Garden--This City of Seattle program manages and promotes community-stewarded open spaces for organic urban agriculture to individuals and groups.
 

East Grounds of Property parallel to University Way NE
206-684-0264
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MARTIAL ARTS/ HEALTH & WELLNESS

 

SEATTLE KI SOCIETY


Martial Arts Instruction--Seattle Ki Society teaches Ki-Aikido and Ki Development to adults and children. We teach Master Tohei's style of Aikido with Mind and Body Coordination (Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido or Ki-Aikido), which focuses on respecting and blending with your partners energy or ki to neutralize an attack. The focus of our training is on ki development taught through the movements of aikido, with the ultimate goal of applying ki principles to daily life. 
 

Top Floor - North Wing; Office & Dojo - STE 207
206-527-2151
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VIEW OUR 2017:

FINANCIAL REPORT

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5031 University Way NE, Seattle WA 98105

(206) 527 - 4278