This year, Swenson Say Fagét joined the Arts Corps community as our newest Festa sponsor! A structural engineering firm with offices in Seattle, Tacoma, and Ellensburg, Swenson Say Fagét’s work focuses on designing systems within buildings and art pieces to ensure that these remain standing even when tested by people, snow, wind, or earthquakes.
Upon learning about it, this work felt unexpectedly resonant. What is arts education if not structural support for young people? The creativity, critical thinking, sense of connection, and deepened belief in one’s abilities fostered by Arts Corps programs are all necessary assets, helping students persevere when faced with challenges and inclement climates. Moving beyond metaphor, Swenson Say Fagét highlights the importance of arts integration, since it is both math and drawing which helps to create and communicate structural system designs.
Brett Mozden, a principal engineer at the Seattle office, shared with us the impact of art education in his career. Although he did not feel like an artistic person growing up, his father kept him motivated to keep trying. In college, Mozden took architecture classes and learned much more about sketching and drawing. These skills have been very useful to him as a structural engineer, and he recommends them for anyone in the profession. Mozden reflects, “I don’t think I would be where I am today without the art programs available as a child and in college for someone like me that wasn’t naturally artistic but always had a desire to get better.”
Like Arts Corps, Swenson Say Fagét also understands the value of community. Internally, the office culture prioritizes the comfortability of its members, allowing everyone to actually enjoy what they do so that they can be better collaborators. This culture is Mozden’s favorite thing about the work: “It’s very respectful of people as people.”
Externally, the firm feels connected to the city. The Seattle office has been housed in Belltown for years and many of the company members have grown up in the city itself. This means the firm has witnessed the many changes Seattle has experienced over the last 10 years and employees such as Mozden recognize the disruption specific communities have faced. This is why Swenson Say Fagét likes to partner with organizations around town, such as Food Lifeline, the BLOCK Project, and now Arts Corps to make a positive impact.
Mozden says, “We are always looking to connect with ways to help make our city a better place. We feel Arts Corps is a great way for us to help encourage the young artists in the city to express themselves and make the environment in Seattle a better place through their passions in art.”
Arts Corps is grateful for our partnership with Swenson Say Fagét, who helps us support our city and our young people for a lasting, brighter future!
— GRECIA LEAL PARDO, Development & Communications Coordinator