I am saddened to inform you that our founder, the loving and unstoppable Mike Peringer, has left this earth. It has been my extreme honor to carry his torch for the past 10 years, and to get to know his wonderful family through their hours spent volunteering and supporting Urban ArtWorks.

Mike’s spirit, as many of you know, is a unique one. His passion and energy for community exceeded what I thought was possible, and his blind and judgement free optimism not only led *me* into a career path of my dreams, but changed the lives of thousands of under served young people in Seattle. His deep love of Seattle, and his faith in its future generations, regardless of their pasts, has forged positive paths for adjudicated teens, aspiring muralists and even confused and unemployed young adults like myself when I first joined the Urban ArtWorks team. 

Founder Mike Peringer and his family with Director Kathleen Warren at Urban ArtWorks’ 20th anniversary gala, 2016.

When Mike founded Urban ArtWorks in the mid 1990s, it was out of his deep love for the SODO neighborhood, a somewhat neglected land at the time. The establishment of what he coined the Urban Art Corridor was the beginning of something that would become a city wide transformation for youth and walls — and this year we were able to honor his legacy by revitalizing the original two miles of murals along that very same corridor (now called SODOTrack). Mike’s beloved neighborhood is now flourishing, vibrant and a nationally recognized mural destination – and he was an unrelenting driver of this progressive and positive change.

Mike’s loving family suggested donations to Urban ArtWorks in his honor, and we are proud to announce that this thoughtful gesture inspired the establishment of the new Mike Peringer Scholarship Fund. This fund will provide wages for teens participating in our work training program. Thank you to the SODO BIA, who has generously donated $5,000 towards the fund, in honor of Mike’s legacy. As their Director Erin Goodman recently said “Mike is a SODO legend!”

To contribute to the fund in his honor you can donate through our website or by check made to Urban ArtWorks with “Mike” as the memo, mailed to 815 Seattle Blvd S, Suite B7, Seattle WA 98134.

While Mike will be forever missed, his spirit will forever live on – for as you drive around Seattle his legacy is painted everywhere. Thank you for supporting Mike’s vision for all these years, we look forward to continuing to make him and his family proud, by thriving in his honor for years to come.

In loving memory and in celebration of a life well lived,

Kathleen Warren 

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