In 2014 Maya Leites presented her Master of Arch. Thesis 'A Music Campus at Fort Lawton in Discovery Park' at the University of Washington School of Architecture; a proposal to integrate performing arts into Historic Fort Lawton in Discovery Park with an adaptive re-use of 8 City-owned boarded-up vacant historic buildings.
In 2016 Maya formed the community leadership group Discover Music in the Park (DMitP) with the mission to promote Arts in Discovery Park, and to advance the idea of a Performing Arts Center at the Fort Lawton Historic District in Discovery Park.
In August 2017, DMitP invited the entire community to gather around music, dance and nature at the Daybreak Star in Discovery Park, and to learn about the idea of a Performing Arts Center. The outdoor concert was funded by a Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund, a grant from 4Culture and many donations from the community.
The idea of an Arts Center at the Fort Lawton Historic District gained a lot of support from Magnolia and the larger Seattle community, local Arts organizations, historic preservation groups, and is endorsed by the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce, Magnolia Community Council and Magnolia Rotary Club.
In 2018 DMitP became DISCOVER ARTS IN THE PARK; a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Discover Arts in the Park seeks to integrate arts, nature and history in a revitalized and sustainable Historic District in Discovery Park. We encourage people to engage with the natural environment by providing arts and environmental education, as well as fostering collaboration and performance opportunities.
The power of collaboration and community partnerships.
Our environment, our heritage and Human creativity.
It is our responsibility as a community to conserve both Discovery Park's nature and history.
Historic Preservation is an integral part of environmental stewardship.
People of all ages, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds should have an equal opportunity to experience arts, nature and history in Discovery Park.
Collaborative arts and environmental center in Discovery Park that provides artists, environmentalists and scientists much needed spaces to collaborate, create and educate, in well-designed facilities, and in an inspiring environment.
Historic buildings that are re-used to serve the entire community.
People of all ages, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, having the opportunity
to experience Arts, nature and history in a thriving public space.
To provide economic value to our city, along with health and environmental benefits. By re-purposing the vacant historic buildings in Discovery Park which will provides artists, environmentalists and scientists much needed spaces to collaborate, create and educate.
To contribute to the city of Seattle’s cultural historic preservation. By honoring what came before us, and restoring and enhancing it, will provide more diversity and inclusion within our community.
To offer more activities for youth and adults, that will make the historic district a valuable hub to foster positive engagements both with nature, and with each other.
Maya Leites, President
Architectural Designer/ Artist/ Educator/ Founder of Discover Arts in the Park
Janis Traven, Vice-President, Treasurer
Magnolia-based Community Organizer/ Former Small Business Owner/ Oboe Mom
Cheryl Jacobs, Secretary
Architect, Senior Associate NAC Architecture/ Co-Chair Women in Design Committee AIA Seattle
Violinist/ Pianist/ Educator/ Former Marketing and Artistic Director, Academy of Music NW
Retired College Faculty Biology and Botany / Community Activist