Photo depicting The Reel Deal performing on stage under red and purple stagelights.

Arts in the South End: A July 2023 Roundup

by Jas Keimig

July is the sweaty and sunny meat of the summer season and, as such, there are tons of events both indoors and outdoors to bring your friends and family to. The Emerald has compiled a list of excellent events going down in the South End during July — everything from competitive eating contests to nights of brass covers of hip-hop songs.

Think we missed something? Let us know at

Gullet Stuffer V

July 8, 7–10 p.m. (amateurs at 8:30, pros at 9:30)
Grocery Outlet

Sensitive stomachs beware! The fifth edition of competitive eating contest Gullet Stuffer is taking over the Grocery Outlet parking lot with waffles galore. In this edition, amateur and professional contestants have to wolf down as many Eggo waffles as possible in the span of 10 minutes without vomming. But don’t worry — this is all for a good cause. Proceeds from the contest will go to Seattle Community Fridge when all is said and done. In addition to food eating, there will also be sets from musicians and DJs, like Shay Rosay, Zoer, LD-50, and Larry Roze. Nothing like some waffles in a parking lot!

Columbia City Beatwalk

July 9, 2–10 p.m.

Enjoy the sunshine and all the cultural delights Columbia City has to offer at the Columbia City Beatwalk on July 9. Come through and patronize your favorite businesses and restaurants on the street, then head over to the block party on South Ferdinand Street to catch sets from DJs Graham, Mr Nyice Guy and Ya Girl Ness, as well as a performance from the Double Dutch Divas. Tutta Bella, The Royal Room, Hummingbird Saloon, and Rumba Notes Lounge will also host musical performances if you’re looking to roam around the neighborhood.

Morning Noon & Night

July 14, 6–10 p.m.
Cherry Pit, 2518 E. Cherry

Over 30 artists are presenting work at Cherry Pit’s latest color-scheme-themed exhibition called Morning Noon & Night. Across several different mediums, artists challenged themselves to work in just three color palettes — morning (pink, dark purple, sage green, and mint), noon (gray, gold, burnt orange, and black), and night (coral, teal, navy blue, and espresso brown) — with some sticking to just one palette for their piece. Come and find your new favorite local artist!

STG Presents DANCE This 

July 14, with shows at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Moore Theater, 1932 2nd Ave., Seattle, WA 98101 

Now in its 25th year, DANCE This is continuing its tradition of bringing local and national youth and adult performers together to craft dances that reflect their vibrant cultures. This year, viewers can watch the dance stylings of DANCE This artist in residence Deshawn Morton and Seattle-based groups, like Massive Monkees, Joyas Mestizas, Daughters of Royalty Drill & Dance Ensemble, and Mohini Dance School. Featured guest artists include Robert Garland of Dance Theatre of Harlem and Chloé Arnold of Syncopated Ladies, with the finale choreographed by Seattle-based choreographer Nikki Long.

‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’

Through July 23
ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98116

John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s germinal off-Broadway musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch follows a trans German rock-and-roller living in Kansas in search of her former lover. ArtsWest is putting its own twist on the smash hit with an all-Black cast and Nicholas Japaul Bernard reprising his role as Hedwig. “[The] company is all Black artists, from the music director to the cast,” Bernard toldThe Seattle Times. “[Director Eddie DeHais is] not dumbing down the fact that they are a master of their craft. They just decided that being a master of that craft is to lend their help wherever they can, by putting us as Black people in the room in the driver’s seat.”

Emily Juarez | ‘Dangerous Beauty’

Until July 31
ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98116

Digital artist Emily Juarez’s show at ArtsWest, “Dangerous Beauty,” features black-and-white drawings of poisonous plants wrapped around beautifully rendered portraits of people as a method of “exploration of gender and identity,” according to her artist statement. Juarez wants viewers to contemplate their own identity and complexity of the world that surrounds us all.

Sheila Blackwell’s ‘Our Stories’

July 29
Rainier Arts Center, 3515 S. Alaska St, Seattle, WA 98118

Artist, soloist, and promoter Sheila Blackwell has put together a series of shows called “Our Stories,” which brings together artists and community members to share their stories of experiences that will “motivate, inspire, and uplift to bring healing through the arts,” says Blackwell. Come through to have a drink or some food, and settle in to listen to untold stories from our community.

South Sound Music Festival

July 23, 12–9 p.m.
Hughes Group Outdoor Facility, 3701 S. Lawrence St., Tacoma, WA 98409

Were you absolutely tickled by Juvenile’s incredible Tiny Desk performance and have a deep need to see him live in the flesh? Well, you’re in luck! The iconic New Orleans rapper is headlining Tacoma’s second annual South Sound Music Festival and will be joined by host Chris Crayzie and rappers Jordy Nino, Vony, and Rayven Justice. Not only will there be music, but also vendors, like tooth gem specialist Danni’s Tooth Spa and tattoo shop Stay Fresh, as well as a car show!


July 29
Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109

After gaining popularity around the globe, the United States is finally catching up and getting with the musical greatness that is Afrobeat. And now, Seattle has a new Afrobeat festival called BLASTFEST going down at Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center. The lineup includes Nigerian singers Asake, Tiwa Savage, and Ayra Starr, South African rapper Focalistic, and tons of excellent food from local food trucks and cool wares from local vendors.

Junko Yamamoto’s ‘All is One’

July 6 through Aug. 3
4Culture, 101 Prefontaine Place S., Seattle, WA 98104

Seattle artist Junko Yamamoto’s vibrant, squishy sculptures take many shapes and colors — a green squiggle, a rounded yellow star, a pink pillow. And throughout the month of July, Yamamoto has a show up at 4Culture called “All is One,” which features more than 400 (!!!) of her hand-stuffed soft cotton sculptures, all custom-printed with her own designs. “My wish for this exhibition is to inspire individuals to accept and resonate with each other’s energies and existences,” Yamamoto said in her artist statement. The exhibition will also have special hours on Saturday, July 29, to be open in conjunction with the Seattle Art Fair.

Brass Beats

Every Wednesday night
The Royal Room, 5000 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118

Every Wednesday in July, The Royal Room hosts Brass Beats, a special show where musicians take rap and hip-hop classics and remix them using brass instruments. Each week features a different artist’s discography, and they’re covering everything from Tupac and Dr. Dre to Kanye and Lupe Fiasco. Be sure to make a reservation so you can have guaranteed seats to the action! Featured musicians include Peter Daniel on sax, Medearis Dixson on keys and sax, Earnie Ashwood on guitar, Jerome Smith on sousaphone, and Conrad Real on drums.

Einar and Jamex de la Torre

July 29 through Sept. 9
Koplin Del Rio, 6107 13th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98108

Mexican American artists and brothers Einar and Jamex de la Torre pull from Mexican and border culture to craft psychedelic, surreal, multimedia sculptures that critique colonialism but also make you feel like you’re straddling 12 different realities at once. And in late July, the de La Torre brothers are debuting a new solo exhibition of in-progress works done in their Post-Columbian Futurist style at Koplin Del Rio in Georgetown, which will overlap with their teaching residency at Pilchuck Glass School in August.

Jas Keimig is a writer and critic based in Seattle. They previously worked on staff at The Stranger, covering visual art, film, music, and stickers. Their work has also appeared in Crosscut, South Seattle Emerald, i-D, Netflix, and The Ticket. They also co-write Unstreamable for Scarecrow Video, a column and screening series highlighting films you can’t find on streaming services. They won a game show once.

📸 Featured Image: The Reel Deal performs at The Royal Esquire Club during the 24th annual Beatwalk in Seattle, Washington, on July 8, 2018. (Photo: Carolyn Bick)

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