Our mission is to curate welcoming arts & cultural experiences where people of all ages and incomes can explore creativity, enjoy beauty, grow empathy and increase awareness.
We aim for Abbey Arts produced events to be focused on the beauty of live music and the arts. Music & arts events help people take time away from the busy distractions of daily life, put down their digital devices, and really engage in an experience. We believe this can help us all grow more empathy and build awareness while connecting more with others in the community.
Abbey Arts focuses especially on local music, visual art, spoken word, storytelling, and contemporary dance. Formats include multi-arts collaborative performances like The Round, intimate close-up concerts, new dance performances with live music, community gatherings like The Moth storytelling event, our special Cathedrals series, dance classes, workshops and artistic life celebrations.
Abbey Arts programs are non-religious and all are welcome.
For more about our events style, past performers, and what to expect at a show, click here.
For Portland Abbey Arts, click here.
If interested in joining the “New Abbey Movement”, renovating an old building, or starting The Round in your town, visit www.LonelyBuildings.com.
We are an independent nonprofit 501(c)3 providing creative events at unusual spaces around Seattle including our home venue, Fremont Abbey Arts Center. What began in 2005 as a small nonprofit producing one or two events a month has grown to now host 100’s of events a year in multiple venues across Seattle.
As of 2014 we expanded to curate music & culture events at Ballard Homestead and we present select events at St Mark’s on Capitol Hill in the Cathedral, Bloedel Hall, and Skinner Auditorium.
We aim to create affordable and welcoming experiences where people can learn & develop through education & performance in many different art mediums.
Striving to be a community driven, volunteer powered organization, Abbey Arts events are a comfortable safe space where a wide
variety of people from different income levels, skills, ethnicities & backgrounds can interact.
In November 2015 we celebrated our 10 year anniversary with 10 events culminating in a big party at the Abbey.
Our home venue, the Fremont Abbey is a hub for creative community.
A beautiful brick church building (originally St Paul’s Lutheran), the Abbey went from being vacant in the late 90’s to undergoing major renovations in late 2007. The building renovations were funded in part by Church of the Apostles (Episcopal/Lutheran) who took on the building in 2005 with the ELCA.
Major renovations work including seismic upgrade, leveling the floor, new paint, and many other features wrapped up in March of 2008 and was celebrated with a Grand Re-opening party. Ongoing improvements continue each year, often powered by volunteer teams and local supporters. Abbey Arts Director, Nathan Marion (LonelyBuildings.com), managed the renovation project 2006-2008 including final designs & interiors.
We continue to improve the building through the “Greening the Abbey” project which is funded by Church of the Apostles and select fundraiser events. This project aims to help make the community center more affordable and more efficient including energy savings like insulation, water use reduction, LED lighting, etc.
More about the Renovation Project:
A broad base of support from many volunteers from the nearby community made it all possible along with major donations of materials and labor from Belfor, Hermanson, Gary Luke (painter), and other contractors. Approximately $50-80k value was added to the project via volunteer hours and in-kind product & service donations. Architectural plans developed by Vandervort Architects with initial design work supervised by Karen Ward & Ryan Marsh. The name Fremont Abbey was developed by Karen Ward (founding pastor of Church of the Apostles).
Very special thanks goes to Church of the Apostles (COTA), the young progressive church with Lutheran & Episcopal roots who bought the building in 2005 and invited the Arts Center to manage the building and curate community activities Monday-Saturday. The Arts Center is a separate nonprofit entity and COTA only asks us to pay our share of the ongoing building expenses. Since we are fulfilling a portion of their mission to serve the community, they do not charge the Arts Center market rate rents.
This unique new model of sharing a beautiful old building means you know your donations are going to support programs at the Arts Center and helping to grow our important community work (not to a corporate entity charging high rents for a space in such a busy part of Seattle).
We provide a space for both instruction & performance opportunities in a beautifully restored historic building and encourage 100’s of developing artists each year from ages 1 years old to 81 years and older! We strive for collaboration and multi-arts events (like The Round), concerts, dance events, storytelling series like The Moth, community workshops, and more.
Our unique location in the center of Seattle & low operation costs allows audiences to attend events & performances that are accessible for all ages, incomes, and skill levels. The Fremont Abbey also fulfills the Fremont Neighborhood Plan’s directive to have a community Arts Center. We also provide space for local nonprofits and artist groups to create exciting new events and programs, not to mention lots of benefit auctions and events!
To encourage a welcoming atmosphere, we have the following policy: Respect for everyone is encouraged and Abbey Arts does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin. Freedom of expression & creativity is encouraged within the boundaries of respect for all peoples.
No violence, hate speech, verbal or physical assault or other abuse will be permitted by anyone on the premises. We reserve the right to refuse service to any customer who’s presence in the Abbey detracts from the safety, welfare, and well-being of other patrons.
We are prohibited from renting to or hosting groups, organizations, or individuals whose teachings and/or employment practices are discriminatory based on age, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, class, or sexual orientation.
We are an all ages venue for public events. Some events may be labeled or rated (ie. PG-13, etc.) so parents will be aware of potential content.
is achieved in part through being community driven and volunteer powered with a small staff. We also partner with existing non-profits & neighborhood teachers. In addition, we’ve renovated & re-purposed an old 1914 building to encompass a myriad of uses so our carbon footprint is very low. It’s an ongoing process, but we’ve built in various “green” elements as well with efficient furnaces, lighting, insulation, as well as green cleaning supplies, toilet paper, composting, etc. We even require events to reduce their waste and compost/recycle.
Through our community membership program, we also allow the space to be used for weddings, receptions, and events which fund our staffing, supplies, rent and building costs. We work hard to set a good example for sustainability on the Environmental side as well by using natural handmade cleaning supplies, efficient heaters, insulation, composting, recycling, reduced waste, and more.
is a program to help low income families and nonprofit workers be able to consistently experience arts events, concerts, and more. We offer free tickets and scholarships through our wide nonprofit network. Read more…
your community Arts Center today! Click to our DONATE page to make an ongoing monthly or one-time donation.
are a critical part of our operation. We hope you’ll join us! This is a great way to get involved on many levels, whether helping with events & concerts or volunteering around the Abbey during the weekdays on projects, teaching classes, cleaning, maintenance, carpentry, design, admin, or even joining the Board of Directors.