Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute

Built in 1915, the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (LHPAI) is a historic landmark in the historic Central Area of Seattle. Designed by B. Marcus Priteca, and formerly the Jewish Synagogue of Chevra Biku Cholim, the building became a community center and part of the City of Seattle's facilities in 1972. It underwent extensive renovations in 2011 to preserve its architectural character and update the facilities. It is now a community facility that may be rented for events and community programs. LHPAI partners with the new non-profit LANGSTON to continue being a center for African American arts and culture in Seattle. It is also home to the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas and The Historic Central Area Arts and Cultural District.

LANGSTON is the new non-profit arts organization created to continue the programmatic mission of the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. LANGSTON, the culmination of a community-led three-year review and engagement process with the vision of transforming the programming arm of Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute into an independent and thriving arts organization, is envisioned as a steward for an African American arts and cultural hub in Seattle. LANGSTON is based out of the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute building and is the primary contact for programming partnerships.

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LHPAI Facilities Grant

Plan an event

LHPAI Theatre

Whether you are planning a reception, wedding, performance, birthday celebration, or organization meeting, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute's unique facilities and attentive staff will ensure the best possible event for you and your guests.


The 285 black-plum velvet seat theater boasts beautiful acoustical sound. It is the perfect setting for performances including plays and film, conferences and weddings. Capacity 285 seats.

Grand Rehearsal Hall LHPAI Grand Rehearsal Hall

A unique venue boasting sprung, dance studio floors, it is ideal for professional dance rehearsals, performances, cocktail parties, wedding ceremonies or luncheons. Capacity: standing 300; seated 150.

West RoomLHPAI Kitchen

The West Room is a comfortable venue and is perfect for small conferences, meetings or workshops. Capacity: seated 45.


Green Room
Dressing Rooms
Free Parking
Audio/Video support
ADA accessibility
Kitchen access

Any individual, group, organization, or corporation may apply for use of the facility.

A contract and an estimate of total expenses may be provided at the client consultation.  To proceed with promotion of your event, a deposit based on the total rental amount is required and the formal signed contract.

For hourly room fees and charges contact us at (206) 684-4758 or

Getting There

Contact Us

(206) 684-4758

Office Hours

LHPAI is open to the public during scheduled events and by appointment only for event booking and building tours.

COVID Safety

In accordance with King County Public Health guidelines, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (LHPAI) will no longer require visitors to show proof of vaccination or wear face masks when visiting. We ask that you stay home if you feel sick and remain mindful of our community’s varying levels of comfort as we go through this transition.


104 17th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98144

LHPAI is conveniently located on the Southeast Corner of East Yesler Way and 17th Avenue South.
The entrance of the building is located on the east side of 17th Avenue South.

Driving (From I-5):

Take the Dearborn Street exit to Rainier Avenue South.
Go north on Rainier Avenue, which turns into Boren Avenue.
Turn right on Yesler Way.
Turn right on 17th Avenue South.
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute will be on your left.

Take James Street exit.
Continue south through James Street.
Use the right lane to proceed to Yesler Way.
Turn left on Yesler Way.
Turn right on 17th Avenue South.
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute will be on your left.

By Bus

LHPAI can be accessed at the East Yesler Way and 17th Avenue South bus stop for bus route #27.


LHPAI offers a variety of options for parking free of charge. Street parking is available along with parking lots on the northeast corner of East Yesler Way and 17th Avenue South. There is additional parking behind the building in the southeast parking lot.


LHPAI is dedicated to providing access to patrons with disabilities to make your visit enjoyable. We comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and hope to enhance your visit with us.

If you require special services and auxiliary aids when visiting LHPAI, please contact us at (206) 684-4758 10 business days in advance to allow for your personal assistance to be arranged.

If we can improve our service to our patrons with disabilities we encourage you to let us know.