Black Imagination: Sites of Power, a Conversation With Natasha Marin

by Beverly Aarons “What happens if we regard each other as powerful beings?” That’s Natasha Marin’s essential question in “Black Imagination: Sites of Power,” a virtual exhibition/experience originally slated to open at the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) pre-pandemic. “I’m thinking about individuals as power conduits,” Marin said during our telephone interview. But in mainstream … Continue reading Black Imagination: Sites of Power, a Conversation With Natasha Marin

Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic: A Glimpse Back May Offer a Path Forward

by Beverly Aarons The World Health Organization (WHO) ranked the United States 37th in overall quality of healthcare, right behind Dominica, Denmark, and Chile, but way behind our northern neighbor Canada, which ranked 27th, and our European ally, France, which ranked number 1. More babies per capita die (5.9 per 1000 births) within days (or … Continue reading Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic: A Glimpse Back May Offer a Path Forward

Junebug’s Hallelu-jah! Sauce — a Resurrected Central District Favorite

by Beverly Aarons “Finger-licking good!” Gail Thompson laughed as she described the first time she got a taste of Hallelu-jah! Sauce. She was eating hot and crispy chicken wings with the sauce drizzled on it.  “It was so delicious,” she said. She rubbed the wings into the sauce. “I just could not get enough of … Continue reading Junebug’s Hallelu-jah! Sauce — a Resurrected Central District Favorite

Northwest Film Forum: A Hyperlocal 2021 Sundance Festival Venue

by Beverly Aarons A 1960s beat poet, a 12-year-old auntie, and an army of activists walk into a room. That’s not the start of a riddle set in 2020 but a sneak peek of films and panels hosted by the Northwest Film Forum (NWFF), a satellite venue for the 2021 Sundance Film Festival (Jan. 28–Feb. … Continue reading Northwest Film Forum: A Hyperlocal 2021 Sundance Festival Venue

GardnerGlobal Serves Up a Plan for Generational Black Wealth

by Beverly Aarons Global pandemic, year one: Many businesses are shuttered or providing restricted service, but Seattle’s real estate market is still booming. We even have the most cranes in the sky — again. Despite the strained economy, Seattle housing prices continue an upward trend.  When thinking about Seattle’s construction boom, most people think of … Continue reading GardnerGlobal Serves Up a Plan for Generational Black Wealth

A Backstage Look at Intiman’s Technical Theatre and Social Justice AA Degree at Seattle Central College

by Beverly Aarons Fury-fueled crowds of chanting protestors, clever and insightful picket signs, and collective action to transform or eradicate unjust laws and cultural practices — this is how many see social justice. But when Intiman Theatre began to look for a new home and contemplated how they could advance their mission, they imagined how … Continue reading A Backstage Look at Intiman’s Technical Theatre and Social Justice AA Degree at Seattle Central College

Black’Butta Co. Delivers Love-Kissed Sweets to Pandemic Weary Seattle

by Beverly Aarons Winter is here. The long, dark days. The cold wind. The wet and freezing rain. And since this is 2020, we can probably add quite a bit of snow to that list. But just beneath the blanket of gray is a golden thread of sunshine — a Seattle cook, born and bred … Continue reading Black’Butta Co. Delivers Love-Kissed Sweets to Pandemic Weary Seattle

ADEFUA Cultural Education Workshop Leads Effort to Certify Southeast Creative District

by Beverly Aarons Entrepreneurs, artists, and cultural workers are the heart of Seattle’s South End, but lack of visibility and underinvestment have historically harmed the community. ADEFUA Cultural Education Workshop (A.C.E.W.) and a band of community stakeholders aim to change that by creating Seattle’s first state-certified Creative District. Since 2018, the Washington State Arts Commission … Continue reading ADEFUA Cultural Education Workshop Leads Effort to Certify Southeast Creative District

Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Director, Randy Engstrom, Steps Aside

by Beverly Aarons After overseeing some of the most aggressive and innovative arts initiatives in Seattle’s history, Randy Engstrom is stepping down as Director of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS). The Emerald spoke with Engstrom in a telephone interview about his work in the department for the past eight years, his reasons for … Continue reading Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Director, Randy Engstrom, Steps Aside

Che Sehyun’s ‘The Future Ancient’ Embraces Culture Without Borders

by Beverly Aarons Certain human qualities are innate: the suckling instinct of a newborn baby, eating when hungry, drinking when thirsty, a reflexive kick when your knee is thumped. But there are other human qualities that only emerge through collective agreement, or what we call culture: the belief in individualism or the nuclear family, the … Continue reading Che Sehyun’s ‘The Future Ancient’ Embraces Culture Without Borders