» Is Third Place Commons part of Third Place Books?

The Commons and Third Place Books are separate entities, but we both serve the same mission of bringing the community together. When the bookstore opened in 1998, it immediately became a vital part of Lake Forest Park and beyond. People of all ages and interests found the perfect place to spend time together, hear music, schedule performances and meetings. Initially, bookstore staff handled all these requests, a task that quickly became overwhelming. Friends of Third Place Commons was founded to schedule and manage over 800 free public activities and events each year. The unique relationship between Friends and Third Place Books models a mutually beneficial and sustainable collaboration between the business and nonprofit worlds.

» Who runs Third Place Commons?

Third Place Commons is managed by three paid staff members. The Executive Director (1 FTE) oversees programming, outreach, and partnership development; the Financial Director (.25 FTE) deals with Friends’ budget and books; the Music Manager (.75 FTE) books performances and coordinates stage technical needs.  An active Board of Directors determines policy to ensure that programming decisions put the community‘s needs and interests first.

» What activities does Third Place Commons offer?

Following is a small, but representative, sampling of our regular offerings. To find out what is going on this month, take a look at our calendar.

For young children and their caregivers:
* Weekly sessions of Playtime!, facilitated by the Center for Human Services
* Stage Programs during the summer and during the holiday season, sponsored by the King County Library System
* Annual community Halloween celebration

For younger school-aged children:
* Pinewood Derbies with local Cub Scout Packs
* Outreach programs with the Girl Scouts
* Concerts with elementary school musicians in the Shoreline and other neighboring School Districts, as well as private music and dance studios

For high school students:
* Lake Forest Park Youth Council talent show
* Shorewood African Arts Show
* Area school jazz band performances

For people of all ages:
* Weekly language conversation groups in French, Spanish and German
* Seattle Opera Previews
* Weekly T’ai Chi Classes
* Mah Jongg Mondays
* Friday Night Knit-Ins
* LFP Garden Club Meetings with public presentations
* Monthly Computer Q and A
* Regular Town Halls with elected officials
* Sunday Game Days

» How does Friends of Third Place Commons raise funds?

Friends of Third Place Commons has grown incrementally, from a volunteer–run organization in 2000 to a healthy, sustainable, small nonprofit with an annual operating budget of approximately $125,000. We rely on the generosity of individual donors, as well as financial support through grants, funding from the City of Lake Forest Park, Merlone Geier, partner agencies, and corporate sponsors. You can learn more about our wonderful supporters on the Third Place Commons Sponsors page.

We welcome people to become members for as little as $40/year. Members are entitled to reserve the Stadler Meeting Room (for more information, go to the Meeting Room Page). Our primary fundraiser, the annual Third Place Commons Community Breakfast, is held on the second Thursday of February.

» How is this money used?

Donations and sponsorships make possible a full range of free public programs for the community. Generous funding from the Church of the Redeemer, Lake Forest Park Rotary, the Lake Forest Park Garden Club and individual donors support our food assistance program at the Lake Forest Park Farmers Market.

» Who are Third Place Commons Partners in the community?

Over time, Third Place Commons has developed many vital partnerships with other organizations and agencies in the north end of King County. Among them are:

  • City of Lake Forest Park to offer special events such as the Home-Based Business Fair, the Earth Smart Green Fair, and candidate and issue forums;
  • King County Library System System to provide free WI-fi and Friends of Lake Forest Park Library to provide and support special events on our stage;
  • Shoreline School District to produce student concerts, art shows, and other cultural events, and to provide space for PTSA meetings;
  • Center for Human Services to offer weekly Playtime sessions for young children and their caregivers;
  • 4Culture to support programming and equipment acquisitions through grant funding
  • Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center to provide space for Mah Jongg Mondays, informational public programs on Aging Independently, and cooking demonstrations;
  • Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Arts Council to host annual awards ceremonies, poetry readings, and other special events;
  • North Urban Human Service Alliance to host annual and special meetings;
  • Town Center Merchants to convene quarterly merchant meetings in the Commons, and to offer collaborative opportunities such as day sponsorships at the farmers market, participation in events such as the community Halloween party and the Ciscoe Morris broadcast at the Garden Tour.

Through the Lake Forest Park Farmers Market, we offer a food assistance program, and partner with the following agencies to distribute Market Bucks:

  • Hopelink
  • Shoreline School District Family Advocates
  • Center for Human Services
  • Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center
  • Dale Turner Family Y

» How can you support Third Place Commons?

We welcome your donation anytime of the year! To donate, simply go to our Donate page. We would love to see you at our annual breakfast in February. How about buying a table and asking your colleagues and friends to join in the celebration? Watch our website for details.

Friends of Third Place Commons is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and donations are tax deductible. We are registered with the Washington State Charities Program as required by law. For additional information regarding the organization’s activities or financial information, call 800-332-4483.