PHOTO ESSAY: Othello Block Party Uses Arts, Music, Merchants to Build Connections in South Seattle

by Emerald Staff

The Othello Block Party celebrated arts, culture, music, entrepreneurship, and community Saturday at Othello Station. The event was sponsored by the MLK Business Association, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, South Seattle Emerald, Homesight, OnBoard Othello, UW Commons, Office of Arts & Culture, Assembly 118, and The Grocery, and was coordinated by Cafe Red and Artist Coalition for Equitable Development.

Local artists took the stage from noon until 9 p.m., offering dance, poetry, and hip-hop to a receptive crowd under a hot summer sun. Artists included Nikkita Oliver, Rell Be Free, and Sistas Rock the Arts Collective, among others. Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Leija Farr offered several poems, including a touching piece looking at her grandmother’s battle with cancer and ongoing gentrification in Seattle.

Nikita Mathis, owner of Platinum Plush Fashions, said the event could help connect residents with local businesses.

“There are so many hidden gems in this area,” said Nikita Mathis. “Many times, people don’t have time to take a walk and learn about them.”

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Olu Dixon performs a duet with fellow Northwest Tap Connection dancer Eyoue Endries, not pictured here, during the Othello Block Party in Seattle, Washington, on July 28, 2018. (Photo: Carolyn Bick)
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Nikkita Oliver sings, during the Othello Block Party in Seattle, Washington, on July 28, 2018. (Photo: Carolyn Bick)
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Sheila Kay Blackwell sings, during the Othello Block Party in Seattle, Washington, on July 28, 2018. (Photo: Carolyn Bick)
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Vendor Sunny Wild, center, of the Sunny Wild Project, creates pieces, during the Othello Block Party in Seattle, Washington, on July 28, 2018. (Photo: Carolyn Bick)
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A resident of Assembly118 Apartments watches the festivities, during the Othello Block Party in Seattle, Washington, on July 28, 2018. (Photo: Carolyn Bick)
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Olu Dixon, center, performs with his fellow Northwest Tap Connection dancers, during the Othello Block Party in Seattle, Washington, on July 28, 2018. (Photo: Carolyn Bick)
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A small stuffed bird sits on a vendor’s table, during the Othello Block Party in Seattle, Washington, on July 28, 2018. (Photo: Carolyn Bick)

Featured Image: The Northwest Tap Connection performs, during the Othello Block Party in Seattle, Washington, on July 28, 2018. (Photo: Carolyn Bick)

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