Makah tribe is finalist for $750,000 grant

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

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NEAH BAY — The Makah tribe is one step closer to securing funding for a communal space and longhouse proposed for Neah Bay after being named one of 105 finalists for a $750,000 grant from a national collaboration of nonprofit foundations.

ArtPlace America, a consortium of national nonprofits and banks that promotes art and culture projects and programs across the country, made its selections from 1,200 applicants, including the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles and the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, said Mel Melmed, Makah tribal public health director.

The grant is expected to be awarded at the end of this month.

Melmed said last week, the grant, if awarded, would pay for the design and construction of an outdoor dance platform and meeting space along Bayview Avenue near the Makah Tribal Senior Center.

The grant also would fund the design of a new Makah longhouse, which would sit just behind the new dance platform and serve as a community meeting place, Melmed said.

The tribe applied for the grant in October, she said. The application involved collaboration among the tribe’s planning and public health departments and the office of the general manager, Meredith Parker.

The new longhouse and meeting place have been in the works in some form since the tribe’s downtown Neah Bay revitalization plan was completed in 2002, Melmed explained.

If funding is secured, Melmed said, the tribe would work with a Seattle-based firm called the Pomegranate Center to solicit design ideas for the communal space and longhouse from Makah tribal artists and other community members.

A design committee would be formed, and the communal space project would be built through the collective efforts of the Makah tribe.

“It’s going to be a community participatory process,” Melmed said.

ArtPlace comprises 13 leading national and regional foundations and six of the country’s largest banks, according to the organization’s website at, and has awarded 80 grants totaling $26.9 million across 46 communities in the U.S.

Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at

Last modified: February 11. 2013 6:17PM
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