As COVID-19 swept through the region, a wave of closures, cancelations and concerns washed over the campus. Efforts to live into our purpose – to inspire, delight and build stronger communities – took a respectful back seat to supporting City of Seattle response efforts. Now as a result of George Floyd's death, waves of demonstrations and protests have brought attention to deep seated injustice and racial oppression in our nation. Seattle Center is different now – in place and spirit – and when the waves recede, the community's gathering place will be different than you remember. But we will still be here to welcome, engage and connect with you.
As we look forward, we see many bright spots on our horizon. While in-person events are on hold, Seattle Center Studios is primed to produce outstanding virtual programming, coming soon. Seattle Center Armory is quietly undergoing major exterior upgrades that will highlight its historic façade. International Fountain is getting a refresh, along with Seattle Center Monorail, and additional campus improvements will ready the grounds for the grand opening of Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center, with a name for its new NHL team forthcoming.
Arena developer Oak View Group and NHL Seattle leadership, staff and partners have raised $1 million to support local at-risk families in Seattle and nonprofit organizations on the Seattle Center campus. Of those funds, $200,000 in grants was distributed to 21 Seattle Center nonprofit organizations to help mitigate the continued effects of COVID-19 on artists and cultural organizations.
We are pleased to be able to provide rent relief for our resident tenants, and we continue to partner with Center organizations to move programming online and coordinate the safe reopening of our campus. We look forward to the day when the spirit and vitality of Seattle Center return. We also know that we must lean into our values of equity and inclusion to realize the Center's essential place in our greater community. In the meantime, we invite you to explore it virtually at Arts at Home and online through our resident organizations, who play an extraordinary role in creating this unique and remarkable place.
Seattle Center Director