Photo depicting an individual in a yellow shirt standing on an interior staircase of the Wing Luke Museum.

NEWS GLEAMS | Wing Luke Museum Vandalized; Inspire Washington Hosts Cultural Candidate Forums

A roundup of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!

by Vee Hua 華婷婷

Photo depicting an individual in a yellow shirt standing on an interior staircase of the Wing Luke Museum.
Looking down the main staircase of the Wing Luke Museum, June 22, 2008. Photo is attributed to Joe Mabel (under a Creative Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 license).

Wing Luke Museum Becomes Target of Vandalism and Alleged Hate Crime

A 76-year-old man is being held at a King County Jail on $30,000 bail for allegedly using a sledgehammer to smash the windows of the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific Islander Experience on Thurs., Sept. 14. The incident took place just as a local organization, Tsuru for Solidarity, began their group tour around one of Wing Luke’s recent exhibits “Resister: A Legacy of Movement from the Japanese American Incarceration.”

Detective Valerie Carson wrote in an email to The Seattle Times that, “The suspect told police, ‘the Chinese have been torturing [him] for years and [he] had to do something.’”

SPD has been receiving criticism for their delayed incident response time, as it took 52 minutes for police officers to be dispatched to the scene. Wing Luke Director Joël Barraquiel Tan told KIRO 7 that — following multiple calls placed to 911 — they were asked by the dispatcher not to call back.

In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, Tsuru for Solidarity wrote, “We are grateful to our members and to the Wing Luke staff for immediately addressing the situation, de-escalating, and keeping those at the program safe. Tsuru for Solidarity leaders and staff pivoted to support community members and Wing Luke staff who were involved. Unfortunately, given the violent nature of the situation, the police were called. Please look out for ways to support the WIng Luke as they rebuild physically and emotionally.”

This incident happens closely on heels of home invasion robberies against South End residents of Asian descent, which seemed to especially target elderly individuals from immigrant communities who did not have English as their first language. It also follows a heightened period of violence against Asian American community members in part due to anti-Chinese rhetoric around the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yet community leaders such as Barraquiel Tan continue to highlight the impact of community in keeping one another safe. Barraquiel Tan told KING 5, “We can create safety by being together more often and with more of us, and ultimately, that will result in more dignity for everyone — that is the currency of this moment. How can we afford more dignity for everyone in this confusing time?”

Stan Shikuma, president of the Seattle chapter of the Japanese-American Citizens League, was among the many community members who vocalized his disappointment with the police and government response. In a message to Mayor Bruce Harrell, he wrote that he was “appalled and very angry.”

“I am appalled to learn about the apparent hate crime that occurred at the Wing Luke Museum yesterday. The targeting of our AAPI community is unacceptable, and I condemn the attack — and the hate-fueled motivations of the suspect who was arrested — in the strongest possible terms,” Mayor Bruce Harrell said in a public statement. He added that his office has been in contact with the museum and City departments to explore potential repair assistance and offsetting of financial impacts.

Located in the heart of the Chinatown-International District, the Wing Luke Museum is the only pan-Asian art and history museum in the country. The museum estimates a repair cost of upwards of $200,000.

Flier advertising the Cultural Candidate Forums hosted by Inspire Washington prior to the 2023 elections.
Flier courtesy of Inspire Washington.

Inspire Washington Hosts Cultural Candidate Forums for King County and Seattle

Inspire Washington, a statewide advocacy organization focused on science, heritage, and the arts, will host three free candidate forums around this year’s November general election. In addition to discussion with a number of candidates from the King County Council and Seattle City Council, each event will include performances by local artists. Each forum will give candidates the opportunity to “outline their plans for restoring, supporting, and expanding the region’s science, heritage, and arts programs,” by answering a number of questions pre-crafted by cultural leaders in each district. Topics of focus include specific needs, areas for growth, and threat mitigation. Audience members will also have an opportunity to ask their own questions.

All events take place at Town Hall Seattle and will also be livestreamed for those who cannot attend in person. The venue is ADA accessible, and the event will have closed-captioning.

King County Council Forum: Sept. 22 at 7:00 p.m. — RSVP

Show will open with a performance by Sah Pham, Seattle’s first Vietnamese American Youth Poet Laureate. Candidates participating in the Forum are:

  • D2: Girmay Zahilay
  • D4: Jorge Baron & Sarah Reyneveld
  • D6: Claudia Balducci
  • D8: Teresa Mosqueda & Sofia Aragon
Seattle City Council (Districts 2, 3, 5): Oct. 3 at 7:00 p.m. — RSVP

Show will open with a performance by Northwest Tap Connection, a race and social justice-oriented dance studio focused on styles such as African, jazz, modern, ballet, swing, ballroom, and hip-hop. Candidates participating in the Forum are:

  • D2: Tammy Morales & Tanya Woo
  • D3: Joy Hollingsworth & Alex Hudson
  • D5: Cathy Moore & ChrisTiana ObeySumner
Seattle City Council (Districts 1, 4, 6, 7): Oct. 4 at 7:00pm — RSVP

Show will open with a performance by Zara Martina Lopez, a Seattle-based Colombian dancer, performer, filmmaker, and photographer. Candidates participating in the Forum are:

A market-goer purchases purple radishes from Kirsop Farm on opening day of the Columbia City Farmers Market.
A market-goer purchases purple radishes from Kirsop Farm on opening day of the Columbia City Farmers Market in May 2021. (Photo: Susan Fried)

SNAP’s Market Match and Produce Match Programs Open for Applications

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) now has two programs open to work with farmers, farmers markets, or grocery stores to assist with the purchase of buying fruits and vegetables for individuals who use SNAP benefits. Farmers markets or farmers are eligible through the SNAP Market Match program, and grocery stores or retailers are eligible through the SNAP Produce Match program.

SNAP Market Match for Farmers Markets and Farmers

Currently, over 100 farmers markets and farm stands participate in a SNAP Market Match, which allows SNAP/EBT customers to receive $25 per customer, per day to use on qualifying produce items such as fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, herbs, and plant starts. For more information, please visit the Washington State Department of Health website, read the FAQ, or apply now. Any other inquiries can also be made to or (360) 485-6430.

  • Sept. 15, 2023: Applications open.
  • Oct. 20, 2023 at 5 p.m.: Application due.
  • Nov. 1, 2023: Recipients notified.
  • Jan. 1, 2024: Contracts begin.
SNAP Produce Match for Grocery Stores and Retailers

Through the SNAP Produce Match program, SNAP/EBT customers who spend at least $10 on fruits and vegetables may receive either a $10 coupon to buy additional fruits and vegetables or take an immediate $5 discount, depending on the eligible purchase location. Qualifying produce items include fruits and vegetables that are fresh or frozen, with no added sugar, fat, or salt. For more information, please visit the Washington State Department of Health website, read the FAQ in English or Spanish, or apply now in English or Spanish. Any other inquiries can also be made to or (360) 490-6230.

  • Sept. 15, 2023: Applications open.
  • Oct. 31, 2023 at 5 p.m.: Application due.
  • Nov. 15, 2023: Recipients notified.
  • By or before April 2024: Program launches.

Both programs are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Washington State, then administered through the Washington State Department of Health.

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the editor-in-chief of REDEFINE, a co-chair of the Seattle Arts Commission, and a film educator at the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they previously served as executive director and played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences. After a recent stint as the interim managing editor at South Seattle Emerald, they are moving into production on their feature film, Reckless Spirits, which is a metaphysical, multilingual POC buddy comedy. Learn more about them at

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