Photo Essay: BAAMFest Features Music, Dance and Pop-Up Museums

by Susan Fried

More than 2,500 people attended this year’s BAAMFest (Rainier Beach Arts and Music Fest) on Aug. 19th at the Rainier Beach Community Center Plaza. The annual event featured more than 40 acts on four stages, four pop-up museums and 40 booths.

Rainier Beach Merchants Association and numerous other organizations, including the Seattle Neighborhood Group, sponsored the Rainier Beach Arts and Music Festival.

One of the goals of BAAMfest is to educate the community about the history and diversity of the Rainier Valley. Over the years, the festival has highlighted the contributions of the Duwamish people, the African American Community and the many immigrants who came to the Rainier Valley starting in the 1860s. This year BAAMfest emphasized the Japanese American experience with music, dance and the Wing Luke Asian History pop-up museum.

In addition to the music and dance performances, artist Amaranta Ibarra-Sandys worked on a painting throughout the day, several members of the Seattle Police Department reprised the lip sync of Macklemore’s “Downtown,” and the Max Mobile Animal Adoption offered cats for adoption. People could ride horses provided by the Buffalo Soldiers 10th Cavalry, register to vote or purchase food from a variety of food trucks.

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A Wing Luke Museum staff member answers questions about the current Bruce Lee exhibit at the Museum. (Photo: Susan Fried)
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The Deems Tsutakawa Band performs on the Planet Fitness Main Stage. (Photo: Susan Fried)
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A member of the Buffalo Soldiers 10th Cavalry. (Photo: Susan Fried)
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A little boy takes a ride on one of the Buffalo Soldiers 10th Cavalry horses during BAAMfest. (Photo: Susan Fried)
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The Nam Myoho Renge Kyo Buddhist group chants on the Black Business Matters Word Stage. (Photo: Susan Fried)
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Belly Dancing by Zaphara invites the audience and other dance groups to join them on stage for their final dance. (Photo: Susan Fried)
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Artist Amarantha Ibarra-Sandys works on a painting during BAAMFest. (Photo: Susan Fried)
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A member of the the Tacoma Buddhist Temple puts away her instrument after playing music for traditional Obon Dance.
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Medearis Dixson played Saxaphone with the band D-1 Experience on the Planet Fitness Main Stage. (Photo: Susan Fried)
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Johnny Moore and his band performed Jimi Hendrix on the Safeway Center Stage during BAAMfest. (Photo: Susan Fried)
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Shae Yoshida, 5, gets a dance lesson from dance instructor Gustavo El General during BAAMfest. (Photo: Susan Fried)
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Some Girls with the FCS Kalahi Dance Company perform a traditional Philippine dance at the Rainier Dance Center Movement Stage. (Photo: Susan Fried)

Featured Photo: The Deems Tsutakawa Band Performs on the Planet Fitness Main Stage (Photo: Susan Fried).