Photo depicting a colorful installation from 2021's Seattle Design Fest.

Summer in the South End: August Arts Events

by Amanda Ong

The South End is brimming with creative talent, art shows, and performances, as well as opportunities for artists to get involved. Looking to plug into the arts scene but don’t know where to start? Good news! The Emerald has done the heavy lifting of compiling some of the best of them so you don’t have to.

Whether you’re an artist seeking opportunities or just looking to support local creatives, we have some amazing arts opportunities to dip your toes into this month. Check these out!

For more info on live music and South End Block Parties, stay tuned for an upcoming guide. Know of an arts event that should be on our calendar? Let us know at

Grant Programs

Working Washington Grants: Round 5 and Convention Center Grant Programs

The Washington State Department of Commerce and the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) will open applications for Working Washington Grants: Round 5 and Convention Center Grant Programs on Aug. 17. These grants are for both for-profit and nonprofit small businesses, including tribal member-owned businesses operating on a reservation with a license issued by a federally recognized tribe in Washington State. Grant amounts can vary and are subject to review. 

Check out Working Washington Grants Frequently Asked Questions, Working Washington Grants Round 5: Eligibility And Program Guidelines, Convention Center Grants Frequently Asked Questions, and Convention Center Grants: Eligibility And Program Guidelines webpages for more information. Look out for more information and links to the application portal to be posted on ​​the Washington State Department of Commerce website. Applications are due Sept. 9.

2022 Grants for Artists’ Progress (GAP) Awards

Artist Trust has an exciting opportunity for BIPOC artists and artists residing outside of King County to receive funding to support their work! The 2022 Grants for Artists’ Progress (GAP) Awards are unrestricted project-based grants of $1,500 for artists working in all disciplines across Washington State.

The GAP awards were reimagined to begin reversing historic inequities in Artist Trust’s funding programs. The award application opens on Aug. 15 and has 15 grants available for artists living in King County and 10 grants designated for artists living in Island, Kitsap, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties. Applications are due Sept. 26; see the 2022 Grants for Artists’ Progress (GAP) Awards file for more information.

Festivals & Events

Logo depicting the 2022 Seattle Design Festival with the word, "connection" in black text with colorful strings circling it.
Photo courtesy of the Seattle Design Festival.

Seattle Design Festival

Aug. 20–26

The Seattle Design Festival is the Pacific Northwest’s largest design event. Now in its 12th year, the citywide event’s theme is “connection,” highlighting ideas of exchange to make a better world. This year several “community spotlight” events feature design activities happening in specific neighborhoods, including a Columbia City-centric afternoon on Aug. 24. Events include creative activities such as a blindfolded walking and rolling neighborhood tour with Code Unlimited that highlights accessible neighborhood design.

The opening weekend Block Party is a free outdoor street festival in Lake Union Park with 40+ interactive art installations and activities. Check out the Seattle Design Festival website for more activities throughout the week!

Photo depicting a black-and-white headshot of Felicia Loud on a background of a green treasure map.
Photo courtesy of Arts West.

Here There Be Dragons

July 28–Aug. 14
Arts West, 4711 California Ave. SW

“Here There Be Dragons” is a dynamic, one-woman, hip-hop storytelling show about a child with big dreams, a love of art, and a willingness to shed conventional expectations. The story follows them through life and music, combining hip-hop, soul, cabaret, and storytelling.

Felicia Loud of renowned Seattle performance group Black Stax has collaborated with ArtsWest Artistic Director Mathew Wright to create this original show. Joined onstage by musicians Cydney Johnson and Greg Fields, with a special appearance by Jace Ecaj of Black Stax, Felicia Loud creates a whole new kind of show. Buy tickets on the Arts West website.

Photo depicting colorful-patterned floor tiles in one of Carlos Brache's works.
Carlos Brache. “piso,” 2020. Acrylic on vinyl. 4 x 9 feet

pan con timba – Carlos Brache

Aug. 4–26
Gallery 4Culture, 101 Prefontaine Pl. S

From Aug. 4 to 25, Gallery 4Culture is hosting pan con timba, by Cuban American artist Carlos Brache. Through a mix of representational and abstract techniques, Brache uses relics and mementos like floor tile motifs from his grandparents’ automobile dealership to tell a story of loss and generational distance. Pan con timba references a simple sandwich of the Cuban diaspora, invites us to experience colors, patterns, images, and objects from Brache’s familial past overlapping and connecting as Brache’s reflects on generational hardships and loving relationships in his search for belonging and becoming.

Brache received both a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts. His work has been shown in galleries across Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle and is included in multiple private collections.

Seattle Theatre Group Presents an Evening With Amanda Seales

Aug. 12, 7 p.m.
The Moore Theatre, 1932 2nd Ave.

Comedian, actress, writer, and producer Amanda Seales will be visiting the Moore Theatre on Aug. 12. Amanda Seales is a comedian and actress with a master’s in African American studies from Columbia University. She is best known for her role as “Tiffany DuBois” of HBO’s Insecure, her debut stand-up comedy special, “I Be Knowin”, as a former cohost on daytime talk show The Real, host of NBCs Bring the Funny, and the host/writer of the groundbreaking 2020 BET Awards. She also hosts a weekly podcast, Small Doses, and has written a book by the same name. Centering community building in her comedy, she is also the creator/host of the touring variety game show, Smart Funny & Black and of Smart Funny & Black Radio on Kevin Hart’s LOL Network on SiriusXM. As an advocate for Black voices, Seales has a talent for tackling serious issues with wit and humor. You can buy your tickets to see Seales in person on Aug. 12 at Seattle Theatre Group’s website.

Augment Seattle 2022

Aug. 12–28
9th and Thomas, Westlake Park

Augment Seattle is a mixed reality showcase for immersive, Spark AR-powered outdoor installations and mixed reality food and drinks. The event welcomes the community to experience meaningful stories through digital storytelling. Featuring local, national, and international artists and creative technologists, the international showcase will be running on 9th and Thomas until Aug. 28, and features a lineup of artists from local to international.

A preview of #GLITCHGODDESS by Marjan Modhaddan is also showing in Westlake Park daily, a three-part large-scale inflatable female form, an adjoining AR-activated structure, and an AR digital animation commenting on the art world’s depiction of the female form in a singular manner, while switching from slender, heavy, young, old, pregnant, glitched, stylized to artistically abstracted, set to a voiceover of women complaining about inequality in the art world.

Flyer advertising the upcoming comedy show Men Aren't Funny. Flyer includes an illustration of a cat on a stage performing stand-up to a silhouetted crowd of cats.


Aug. 19, 9 p.m.
The Royal Room, 5000 Rainier Ave. S

Living under the patriarchy isn’t funny, but these women and enbies are! MEN AREN’T FUNNY is monthly stand-up comedy show featuring women and nonbinary comedians, every third Friday at the Royal Room. Each month features a new lineup of comedians.

Buy tickets on the Stranger Tickets website.

2022 Sundance Institute Indigenous Shorts Tour

Aug. 17–26
Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave.

The 2022 Sundance Institute Indigenous Short Film Tour is a 91-minute theatrical program of six short films directed by Indigenous filmmakers. The tour features titles from the 2022 Sundance Film Festival shorts program and from alumni of Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program. With a range of narrative and documentary films, the shorts celebrate Native perseverance and creativity. The lineup includes the Headhunter’s Daughter, Kicking the Clouds, Long Line of Ladies, Maidenhood, The Original Shareholder Experience, and ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (Udeyonv) (What They’ve Been Taught). Buy tickets for any of the available screenings on Brown Paper Tickets website.

Amanda Ong (she/her) is a Chinese American writer from California. She is currently a master’s candidate at the University of Washington Museology program and graduated from Columbia University in 2020 with degrees in creative writing and ethnicity and race studies.

📸 Featured Image: Seattle Design Fest is a hands-on way to explore how city design shapes everyday life. Check out the community spotlight in Columbia City on Wednesday, Aug. 24, as well as other free, interactive events throughout Seattle Aug. 20–26. Pictured is an installation from a previous Design Fest. (Photo: Trevor Dykstra)

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