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Community and Family: Seattle in the Photographs of Al Smith


Pianist Palmer Johnson at Faurot’s Ballroom on Capitol Hill around 1939. Photo by Al Smith.
View towards Lake Union as Interstate 5 was being built in the 1960s. Photo by Al Smith.

Last night at the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI), the excitement in the grand reception room was palpable. Museum donors gathered for a preview of Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith, for which LNWM is very proud to be one of the sponsors, especially since our firm turns 50 this year and has grown over the decades along with Seattle. Thanks to Al Smith, we now have these fantastic images of an important, fascinating part of Seattle’s history, said Howard Giske, curator of photography at MOHAI. … Read More

#Future50NW: The Future Is Now, and It’s Younger than You Think

#Future50NW, Community

The following is a guest post by Leonard Garfield, Executive Director of the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI).

Starting this Saturday, November 18, a special exhibit called Seattle On the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith will take MOHAI visitors on a journey through the Central District in the mid-20th century, as seen through the distinctive documentary lens of a local photographer named Al Smith. Chronicling Seattle’s African American community, the local jazz scene and the life and the work of this unique artist, Smith’s pictures give a peek into a vibrant part of Seattle’s history and culture.

But there’s something more. Al Smith wasn’t just a photographer. He was a young innovator who received his first camera at the age of 12, worked his way around the world as a steamship steward as a young man, and spent his life following the ideas of his own curiosity. Fittingly, Seattle On the Spot’s last room will feature current images taken by young photographers from Creative Justice, NAAM Youth Curators from the National African American Museum and Photographic Center Northwest, examining the changing communities of Seattle through their own individual paradigms and originality.

What does this trip through Seattle’s past have to do with the future? Our history and culture have always been shaped by the young people of our region. And putting the spotlight on young people as we talk about the ideas, institutions and individuals that will define the Pacific Northwest over the next 50 years helps us understand what we can look forward to.

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#Future50NW: Accelerating Access to Opportunity

#Future50NW, Community

The following is a guest post by Lori Otto Punke, President of the Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT).

With all the attention on Seattle’s booming technology sector, it might be counterintuitive to say it won’t necessarily be the biggest beneficiary of our changing economy. But, while tech is certainly the driving force behind recent growth, its real impact will be a new access to opportunity for those outside its traditional reach.

So, when Laird Norton Wealth Management began #Future50NW, its community-wide conversation on the ideas, institutions and individuals that will shape the Pacific Northwest over the next 50 years, we at WCIT wanted to make sure that this accelerating access to opportunity, driven by the changing nature of international trade, was part of the discussion.

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Why Start a Foundation?

Community, Giving, Money Matters

What is the best way for you and your family to create a lasting legacy? Starting a foundation is one answer. Whether it’s the right answer is what we help our clients fully explore. Heading that effort is Jeanne Goussev, head of Fiduciary Services here at LNWM. Last week, Jeanne was featured in the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Non-profits and Philanthropy issue, in an article by Melissa Crowe. In that, Jeanne explained that foundations are a way to connect family with legacy, and do not have to be the only answer. Some people back donor-advised funds, says Jeanne, along with their own foundation. For more on Donor-Advised funds, read this post by LNWM’s Brian Whitaker.