Supported by a grant from the Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, the Washington Foundation started in Artist in Residence Program in Spring, 2008. The artists who participate in the program will reflect Dr. Washington's strong belief in the healing and transcending value of art in the human spirit. They will live and work in the Washington house and studio, bringing new artwork to life and interacting with the Seattle community. This programming will include mentoring, lectures, open studios and workshops which will serve to inspire and add meaning to our lives.
Two wonderful Librarians, Randi Mason and Vicki Ruskin, have volunteered to organize James W. Washington's collection of books. The Washington Library has significant holdings by African American authors. The books span from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance to the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements. Color, by Countee Cullen is a good example.
Countee Cullen was born in New York City in 1903. He was raised in a Methodist parsonage. He attended De Witt Clinton High School in New York and began writing poetry at the age of fourteen. In 1922, Cullen entered New York University. His poems were published in The Crisis, under the leadership of W. E. B. Du Bois, and Opportunity, a magazine of the National Urban League. In 1923, Harper published his first volume of verse, Color, and he was admitted to Harvard University where he completed a master's degree.