Photo depicting three Japanese American characters dressed in 1940s attire waiting within a wired cage on a stage.

Arts in the South End: An April 2023 Roundup

by Amanda Ong

Last Updated on April 12, 2023, 12:39 pm.

It’s April, the cherry blossoms are blooming throughout South Seattle, and so is the South End art scene! Whether you are looking to celebrate QTip of a Tribe Called Quest’s birthday or a jazzy Passover Seder, this month has some of everything in the arts.

Below, the Emerald compiled a list of art events throughout the South End and beyond, so keep reading to find what April has to offer.

“Country Boys in the Balcony” by Hugo Moro. 2019.

Hugo Moro In the Current at 4Culture

April 6 to April 27
4Culture Gallery, 101 Prefontaine Pl. S, Seattle

Born in Havana, Cuba, Hugo Moro grew up in the face of the Cuban Revolution before immigrating to New York in the 1960s as a preteen. Having grown up in Cuba in scarcity, Moro played with random discarded objects and made his own stories for them. In the Current reflects this truth in Moro, with compositions made from parts and pieces of reclaimed furniture. These objects become anthropomorphic, and as they do, the narrative Moro weaves around them invites viewers to create their own narratives too.

Caylin Morrison as Ume, Emma Chang as Kiyoko, and Isaac Tian as Torao. (Photo courtesy of the Seattle Historical Theatre Project.)

Friends Across the Wires’ 

April 7, at 7:30 p.m.
Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW, Seattle

April 16, at 3 p.m. 
Wallingford United Methodist Church, 2115 N. 42nd St., Seattle

Playing multiple nights at different locations throughout the month, Friends Across the Wires follows best friends Kiyoko and Peggy, students at Seattle’s Broadway High School during World War II as Kiyoko faces Japanese incarceration. 

Written following extensive research and oral histories with incarceration survivors, this is one of the few opportunities to see the play during its short run. The full list of performances across Washington are on the Seattle Historical Theatre Project’s website, including in Puyallup where the Seattle Japanese American community was held before being removed to Minidoka. Tickets to all performances are free.

QTip Birthday and De La Soul Tribute

April 8, at 9 p.m.
Royal Room, 5000 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle

On his birthday, The Royal Room is paying homage to QTip of A Tribe Called Quest and Plug 2/Trugoy the Dove (R.I.P.) of De La Soul with a live band playing their greatest hits. The event has been organized by Tish Gallow of Columbia City Beatwalk and Mizz Tish Productions, a production company uniting the Black and BIPOC community back in the neighborhood and resisting gentrification. The show is $20 in advance and $25 the day of, and tickets are available on Stranger Tickets. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Passover at The Royal Room

Sunday, April 9, show at 7 p.m., doors at 6 p.m.
Royal Room, 5000 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle

Looking to celebrate the Passover Seder like never before? The Royal Room and the South Hudson Music Project are hosting Chava Mirel and Ari Joshua for a night of storytelling, remembrance, and jazz! 

Joshua is a guitarist, composer, and founder of The Music Factory, while Mirel is Artist-In-Residence at Temple De Hirsch Sinai. Together, they are interpreting the Passover Seder as a jazz quartet. The night will be interactive, engaging, and truly something special. Profits will go to 10 different charities, corresponding to the 10 plagues mentioned in the Passover Seder. Tickets are available on The Royal Room website for $15.

Anastacia-Reneé With Kamari Bright

Friday, Apr 14, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave., Seattle

Anastacia-Reneé With Zola Mumford — ‘Side Notes From the Archivist: Poems’

Thursday, April 27, at 7 p.m.
Third Place Books Seward Park, 5041 Wilson Ave. S, Seattle

Former Seattle resident and poet Anastacia-Reneé is visiting Seattle to speak not once, but twice on her latest poetry collection Side Notes from the Archivist. She will be in conversation with local poet and multimedia artist Kamari Bright at Elliott Bay Book Company and local librarian, researcher, and writer Zola Mumford at Third Place Books.

Side Notes from the Archivist is a reflection on Black culture viewed through the breadth of Black femme perspectives, from poems on a Black girl coming of age in Philadelphia’s pre-funk ’80s  to “the Black Girl” whose life is depicted through the white gaze, Anastacia-Reneé uses an experimental style to explore Blackness. 

Both events are free and open to the public. Registration is required in advance for the Third Place Books event.

The Disabled List Comedy Show

April 14, at 7 p.m.
Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., Seattle

The Disabled List is a bimonthly show at the Northwest Film Forum that features disabled stand-up comedians. Hosted by Dan Hurwitz and Kayla Brown, each show has a changing lineup. The April 14 show includes Michael Bellevue, Howie Echo-Hawk, Cheri Hardman, Laura Lyons, and Jeremy McDonald. Get tickets at the Northwest Film Forum website.

Amy Thone and Varinique “V” Davis in “The Niceties.” (Photo: Joe Moore)

Intiman’s ‘The Niceties’ 

April 18 to April 29
Erickson Theatre, 1524 Harvard Ave., Seattle

In Seattle’s premiere production of The Niceties by Eleanor Burgess, Amy Thone and Varinique “V” Davis will co-star as a white baby boomer and a Black millennial at an elite university. What starts as a personal fight becomes a campus-wide issue, as American history, slavery, and more are debated. Tickets are available on the Intiman Theatre’s website.

Smoke n Word Writing Workshop (21+)

April 20, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Made Space, 2002 E. Union St., Seattle

Join authors Chelsea Richardson and Ebo Barton for a writing workshop and open mic at Made Space, an arts and culture hub that seeks to connect Black creatives and entrepreneurs. This monthly workshop is 21+ and 420 friendly. Register and get tickets at the official Eventbrite page.

The ‘Hot Girl’s Healing Podcast’ Launch Party

April 20, 7–10 p.m.
4431 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S, Seattle

Salenna Green started the Hot Girls Healing Podcast last month, but the official launch party takes place April 20. There will be karaoke, dancing, networking, food and drinks, and a prize for the best dressed. Attendees are encouraged to bring hygiene products to donate to Abundance of Hope Center. Hot Girls Healing Podcast events center Black people and hold space for the most vulnerable in the community. Allies and supporters are welcome. Purchase tickets at the Eventbrite site.

Seattle Theatre Group Presents Indigenous Enterprise ‘Indigenous Liberation

Friday, April 21, 7:30 p.m.
The Moore Theatre, 1932 2nd Ave., Seattle 

Indigenous Enterprise, a Native American dance troupe, will perform “Indigenous Liberation” on Friday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. at the Moore Theatre. Indigenous Enterprise has toured internationally and domestically since 2015, with a mission to share Indigenous culture and identity through film, fashion, and dance. Now they are coming to Seattle with a dance performance that will reflect on Indigenous liberation. Tickets are on sale on Ticketmaster for $22.50.

African-American Writers’ Alliance (AAWA) Presents An Evening of Poetry & Prose … April is Poetry Month!

Apr 29, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The Forum Space at Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave., Seattle

In honor of poetry month, the African-American Writers’ Alliance (AAWA) will present original works of poetry and prose by AAWA writers. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for pre-event activities such as an open bar and book sales, with programming from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


2023 TRANSlations

May 4 to May 7
Ark Lodge, Beacon Cinema, and Online

The 18th annual Trans Film Fest returns, this time for a Columbia City takeover! This year’s theme Trans Through Time includes features and shorts that celebrate the vast array of trans experience. TRANSlations is a hybrid festival, with options to stream online, or attend in person at Ark Lodge or Beacon Cinema. Follow @translationsfilmfestival on Instagram for up-to-date info.

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: Japanese American characters in a performance of “Friends Across the Wires” are held in horse stalls at the Puyallup Fairgrounds while waiting to be taken to camp after being forcibly removed from Seattle. (Photo: Laurence Wulfe)

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