by Emerald Staff
Community is more than just a cluster of residential buildings—it’s the person-to-person connections.
The Othello Block Party is bringing that spirit to South Seattle with a celebration of art, culture, music, and community in the South End. Saturday afternoon and evening, Othello Station will play host to visual and performing arts, supporting artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and organizers.
“At the end of the day, we’re trying to put people on who really reflect what this community is and what it values,” said Jesiah Wurtz, co-owner of Cafe Red and one of the organizers of the Othello Block Party.
Cafe Red is coordinating the event with the Artist Coalition for Equitable Development with an array of sponsors including the MLK Business Association and Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, among others. The event is inclusive to youth, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and new and old residents.
“We [of the Martin Luther King Business Association] see events like this as crucial to the existing business community, because it raises awareness of this entire area,” Wurtz said. “It elevates the entire Othello shopping district.”
Artists involved include Jerrell “Rell Be Free” Davis, Jade Dynasty, and BlkSknn.
Emcee and poet BlkSknn appreciated Cafe Red for coordinating the event and bringing this neighborhood together. At this cafe, community hub, and venue for music and arts, BlkSknn found a place for community and art. BlkSknn is performing Saturday evening and introducing a collective, Blk English, which includes himself, Zensei, Erskine, and Old Milk.
He said this event has the opportunity to bring new residents together with long-time residents at a place just a few blocks from two homes where he grew up. Currently he sees some conflict between people living in new residential buildings calling in noise complaints on people in the neighborhood. This party could show new denizens what this community has to offer.
“I’m looking forward to bringing the community closer together,” BlkSknn said.
The event begins at 12 p.m. and continues until 9 p.m. at 42nd Avenue South and South Othello Street. A schedule of stage performances and list of artists and presenters is below.
11:45 Jennifer Moore
12:00 DJ Zeta!
12:30 Bob Lovelace presents Wacky Donkey ft. Dallas Gilmore, David Day, & Vox of Seattle Drum School
1:00 Crash the Glass presents Reese Tanimura & Mariko Burhle
2:00 Sistas Rock the Arts
2:45 Nikkita Oliver
3:00 Dani Tirrell presents Northwest Tap Connection
4:00 Concuss presents hERON plus Thad Wenatchee & Diogenes of Filthy Fingers United
5:00 Blakwizard (Specswizard + Silas Blak)
5:20 Jerrell Davis presents G-Baby, Esai, Acacia, Yirim Seck, & Shakiah
6:30 Rell Be Free
6:50 Jade Dynasty & DJ Toya B
7:35 BlkSknn & the squad
8:00 Cypher/Jam hosted by Alchemy Union, #GameOverFame & Bob Lovelace
Family Fun Activities All Day:
Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, Live Art w/ Poesia, Watergun Tournament w/ Revolution Staging, Kids Bubble Station
Art: Art Surgeon, Poesia, Blue Cone
Fashion/Music: LNR, Crisis NW, Platinum Plush, Concuss
Community: Taste International/Hip Hop is Green, Homesight/Othello Square, MLK Biz Association, Rainier Beach Action Coalition, Got Green, Clockwork/Planet 39 Media, The South Seattle Emerald, IndyGenius, Green Dot, The BeetBox, New Holly Youth, HOSTED.