Photo collage of 2022 content contributors.

2022 Retrospective | Mark Van Streefkerk

by Mark Van Streefkerk

The Emerald will be observing a team-wide wellness pause from Dec. 15 to Jan. 2, and most publishing will be on hiatus, with the exceptions of four pieces, of which this is one, wherein editors look back at 2022 and some of the work that made the Emerald shine.


Happy Holidays from the Emerald

When it comes to art, entertainment, food, and community events, there is just so much going on in the South End! Trying to cover it all (or as much of it as we can) is the hardest part of my role as Arts, Culture, & Community editor. Thankfully, working with this amazing team makes it easier. This year, I’ve worked with talented Emerald contributors Patheresa Wells, Amanda Ong, and Victor Simoes, along with many other incredible freelance writers and photographers. Each one of them brought their own unique insights and expertise to articles that helped amplify the people, events, food, and arts of the South End. I am deeply appreciative of their work! 

This year, partly as an attempt to at least highlight the many happenings and resources in South Seattle, we’ve pivoted to include more guides and events roundups. We have an ongoing series of South End Guides that includes everything from where to access abortion services to mutual aid groups and crisis resources. My hope is for these to be useful, evergreen guides that are consistently updated. 

As always, if you have a story tip, an idea for a South End Guide, or suggestions, please reach out to us at Arts@SeattleEmerald.org or Community@SeattleEmerald.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

The following are some of my favorite Emerald stories of 2022.


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Patheresa Wells contributed so many incredibly valuable articles this year, including one of my favorites, Doing the Most: Curve Collective Cabaret Is the Cure for Fatphobia in Burlesque. Mx. Pucks A’Plenty, burlesque performer and producer, has worked tirelessly for years to highlight burlesque that’s typically overlooked. By producing shows like the Curve Collective Cabaret and What the Funk?! Fest, Pucks continues to carve out space for BIPOC, fat, and queer performers. 

I’ve always admired the way Amanda Ong writes with a clear sense of connecting individual stories to greater themes, histories, or complexities. In Former INS Building, Now Largest Seattle Artist Enclave, at Risk of Redevelopment, Ong writes about the Chinatown-International District’s Inscape Arts — a facility that was once the Immigration and Naturalization Service building. In a follow-up article, Artist Tori Shao Shares More Than Just Studio Space at Inscape, Ong explores the complex link Shao has with the building: The place where her parents were naturalized is now the space where she has her artist studio. 

Victor Simoes is a newer writer at the Emerald, and brings an insightful approach as an international student from Brazil. In their article Against Imperialism: International League of Peoples’ Struggle Hosts Assembly in Seattle, Simoes connects Filipino youth activist group Anakbayan South Seattle with greater global struggles for liberation and anti-imperialism. 


I’d like to give a warm thank you to you for reading the Emerald! Our work this year would not have been possible without your support, story ideas and tips, and input. If you feel inspired by our work here, please consider becoming a Rainmaker, a consistent donor to the Emerald. Even a small contribution each month makes it possible to expand our coverage on issues that are important to you. 

With gratitude, 
Mark Van Streefkerk
Arts, Culture, & Community Editor


Mark Van Streefkerk is a South Seattle-based journalist, freelance writer, and the Emerald’s living in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. He often writes about specialty coffee, LGBTQ+ topics, and more. Visit his website and follow him on Instagram at @markthewriter

📸 Featured Image: Photo collage of 2022 Emerald content contributors created by Emerald team.

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