by Larissa McCartney
In 2020, I attempted to participate in the Instagram #100Days challenge where artists and creatives pick one theme and medium to practice for 100 days. My goal was to digitally illustrate 100 badass women and femmes of the Pacific Northwest, from all walks of life and different professions, who inspired me for a number of different reasons. I didn’t quite make it to 100, but in the end that didn’t matter! Nominations from friends, coworkers, and people on Instagram helped curate a long list of incredible individuals who contribute to and represent the PNW, influencing this great place we call home. Below are a selection of a few of these phenomenal local people along with my illustrations.
Estela Ortega (she/her/hers) is one of the founders of El Centro de la Raza and has served as its executive director since 2009. Her social justice work began in the late 60s protesting the Vietnam war, picketing for Farmworker rights, working on political campaigns, and registering Chicanos to vote in the barrios of Houston, Texas. Ortega has spent the last 50 years helping build El Centro into a civil rights organization and a hub for all who want to engage in civic action through community empowerment, providing human, educational, housing, economic development, cultural and advocacy programs. Estela’s unwavering commitment to building community and advocating for those most marginalized has earned recognition from the Seattle Seahawks, the National Education Association, and the Northwest Progressive Institute, and in 2020 she was named one of The Seattle Times’ 13 Most Influential People of the Decade.
Jean Nakayama and Fusae Yokoyama
Maneki Japanese restaurant was founded in 1904 and is the only surviving restaurant from Seattle’s once thriving Japantown. Maneki’s century-long history includes being a place where many local Japanese Americans stored their belongings when the U.S. government forcibly incarcerated them at prison camps during WWII and and in some cases allowing only one suitcase or just what they could carry. In 1974, the Nakayama family took over ownership, with first Kozo Nakayama and now his wife Jean Nakayama (she/her/hers) being the restaurant’s owners. Fusae Yokoyama (she/her/hers), who started working at Maneki’s in 1960 as a bartender and hostess, is the restaurant’s oldest and honored employee. Until COVID/quarantine, the 90-year-old veteran of Seattle’s oldest sushi restaurant, affectionately known as “Okasan” or “Mom,” could still be found presiding over the bar a few nights a week. While Maneki is not open for its legendary inside dining experience at the moment, you can still support them and get their traditional Japanese comfort food and sushi to go. And when quarantine is finally lifted, make sure you get a reservation, because you know they’ve been missed!
Marybeth Satterlee (she/her/hers) is co-founder and program director of Coyote Central. In 1986, Satterlee, a middle school teacher, wanted to expand her teaching philosophy to kids all over the city — a philosophy that centered creativity, self-discovery, and hands-on learning. She co-founded Coyote Central to make that happen. Over the years, Coyote has expanded their offerings to youth throughout the Central District and beyond (they opened a Lake City campus in early 2020). Kids can take courses like acting, woodshop, photography, cooking, and video game production, to name a few. With Satterlee at the helm, the program has grown exponentially from serving 13 children to over 1,600 annually. Satterlee, the Coyote staff, and the teaching artists are an incredible force of creativity and mentorship for the youth of Seattle. The team even pivoted to adapt to these uncertain times and moved their programs to an online space with Virtual Coyote. So if you know a young kid or student who could use a project, definitely go check them out.
Ms. Briq House
Professional Dominant, Intuitive, and Burlesque Goddess Ms. Briq House is the founder and owner of Briq House Entertainment. Under this umbrella she produces All People of Color Burlesque Revues, Sexual Healing through Movement and Body Love workshops, spiritual gatherings, Kink based anti racism trainings, and Kink events exclusively for People of Color throughout the US and abroad. Her monthly production (co produced with Sin de la Rosa) The Sunday Night Shuga Shaq is the longest running monthly all POC Burlesque Revue in the PNW. As a proud Black Woman with a background in education, sacred intimate arts, entertainment, and LGBTQIA and Sex Workers rights advocacy; her Royal Thickness holds a deep understanding of intersectional identities. Briq’s mission is to harness the power of her bright light to stimulate and educate the masses to work towards a mutual goal of liberation.
To keep up with and support her latest love projects please go to www.msbriqhouse.com and follow @Ms.briqhouse on all social media platforms.
Pramila Jayapal was born in India, raised in Indonesia and Singapore, and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 16. After college, she started Hate Free Zone, an advocacy group for immigrants rights in the wake of the September 11 attacks. In 2016, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal became the first South Asian American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Now in her third term, she’s continued to be a leader on immigration rights, a champion against income inequality, and a passionate voice in the creation of Medicare for All. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jayapal has been a central figure in the fight for financial relief checks and raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. When she’s not spearheading progressive legislation for the good of humanity, she’s continually calling out those in power for inequity and gross incompetence. Seattle, King County, and the U.S. are lucky to have the leadership of Rep. Jayapal!
Larissa McCartney is an award-winning art director, illustrator, and crafter of creative things. Thanks to the strong and somewhat wild women in her life, she learned the importance of self-expression early. And she’s spent over a decade exploring hers through carefully-crafted color palettes, expressive line work, and dynamic textures. Her work is continuously inspired by her passion for women’s reproductive rights, cultural phenomena, her puny one-liners, and those who love her enough to listen to them. Today, she’s an advertising art director by day and an illustrator by night, creating in the name of strong women everywhere.
Featured illustration by Larissa McCartney.
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