The Burien Arts Association is sponsoring a free Artist’s Reception for Denise Henrikson and Susan Russell this Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Highline Heritage Museum.

Denise and Susan’s exhibit, “What Do We Need to Thrive?” features batik flags created that were made at over 40 different parks, festivals, farmers markets and encampments in King County. The free exhibit is at the museum through December.

The museum is open Thursday-Sunday, 1-5 p.m.

Denise and Susan are co-founders of eco-THRIVE Housing, which seeks to build affordable villages that are ecologically sustainable and cooperatively owned, creating attractive housing where people thrive and that surrounding neighborhoods are proud of.

eco-THRIVE has acquired land in the Boulevard Park neighborhood of Burien and has been approved for a project there by the Burien Planning Board under the Affordable Housing Demonstration Program (read our previous coverage here). The Burien City Council recently extended the Demonstration Program through 2023.

Denise helped launch the first Fremont Summer Solstice Parade. In 1996, she initiated the Village Project, a cooperative education program that connects elementary students to their local communities. The program ran at an elementary school through 2020.

In 2007, in collaboration with the City of Burien, she started “Arts A Glow,” the popular community lantern festival that takes place each fall. Denise also created the Salmon is Life performance troupe that traveled to Paris for the 2015 Climate talks.

She supported Susan’s vision to make art in homeless encampments, and ecoTHRIVE Housing was born from that collaboration.

Denise has a Master’s Degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena, CA, and a BFA in Crafts from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.

Susan is a Real Change newspaper vendor who experienced 7+ years of homelessness in SeattleKing County. Currently, she serves as the Program Coordinator for the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s hot meals program, where she leads a team of volunteers in serving meals to people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity.

In 2016 she co-founded Love Wins Love, to bring people together, both homeless and housed, to make art and share stories and ideas for reimagining housing. The conversations generated through this program planted the seeds from which ecoTHRIVE Housing has grown.

She is a keynote speaker advocating for human rights, and was awarded the 2018 Real Change Change Agent Award for her work bringing people together through art, compassion, love and action.

The Highline Heritage Museum is located at 819 SW 152nd Street in Olde Burien: