Category Archives: Arts & Culture

Artists’ Coalition Creates Safety Net for Creatives Affected by COVID-19

by Kamna Shastri

Matthew Lang, a parkour, acrobatics, dance, and theater artist, went from teaching 13 classes a week to just one, via streaming services, all in the blink of a week. In less than a month, Lang suddenly found himself worried about being able to afford rent, with his business failing.

Ash Leon, a rapper and hip-hop artist who recently moved to Seattle from New York, has a new single that just released, and an EP scheduled to drop in April. Leon had performances and promotional events lined up, but now — “all I can do is hope that people will stream my music enough that I will be able to receive a significant royalty check,” Leon said.

Continue reading Artists’ Coalition Creates Safety Net for Creatives Affected by COVID-19

Seattle Artists Offer Hope and Inspiration During COVID-19, Even as They Struggle Themselves

by Sharon H. Chang

It has been said that life depends on science, but the arts make it worth living. So what role do artists play during a pandemic? A really big one. There is ample research showing the many benefits of the arts: improved mood, increased cognitive function, even boosted immunity. From streaming performances to online workshops and movement classes, Seattle artists are helping people find hope and inspiration during the COVID-19 outbreak even as they struggle themselves. Continue reading Seattle Artists Offer Hope and Inspiration During COVID-19, Even as They Struggle Themselves

Pivoting Creatively: South Seattle Arts Nonprofits Scramble to Find Ways to Stay Afloat

While larger arts organizations – like the Seattle Symphony – might be able to support regular streaming opportunities, smaller arts non-profits are attempting to make due with fewer resources and philanthropic support.

by Kamna Shastri

Last Thursday as I sat down at my computer to start drafting this article, I stumbled on live stream feed from independent British artist Nerina Pallott. I clicked, and through the blocky, pixelated quality I felt the tense muscles in my arms and shoulders relax as someone across the world serenaded me with her voice and accompanying piano through cyberspace. Amidst the news cycle teeming with a flurry of pandemic centered, almost dystopian coverage, music and art is a soothing salve. Continue reading Pivoting Creatively: South Seattle Arts Nonprofits Scramble to Find Ways to Stay Afloat


by Neve Mazique

A Note to the Careful Reader: At least the next three articles of mine are a series engaging with magic, art, disability justice, and societal behaviors like physical distancing (or not) in the wake of a global pandemic.

For my purposes, let’s establish a few rules for this science. Magic is medicine and medicine is magic. 

Disability is the chronic unexpected behavior of literally any part of your body (mind, heart, face, soul, personality, organs, bones, muscles, joints, inside, outside, congenital, acquired, situational, traumatic, apparent, inapparent) and there is no such thing as being too disabled, or not disabled enough.

Disability justice is magic (medicine), as is the choice to identify culturally and politically as disabled and to center access and liberation for all in one’s life. Queer people are people who identify as queer or people who are a part of the LGBTQIAAX community and culture.

Witches are people who intentionally practice magic of any kind and who invest and grow in this magical practice spiritually. 

Science fiction is just science we haven’t lived yet.

I am a disabled queer witch writing to you from the end of this world.

Before COVID (the new BC), I had already been spending most weekdays at home, as the bearings inside the wheels of my power wheelchair (Gianna) finally succumbed to their ages. This meant that when I tried to drive her I would shutter around like a grandpa driving a Jalopy in a 1930s cartoon, and Gianna would emit a long groan with every inch traveled. It was both unsafe and embarrassing. Continue reading DISABLED QUEER WITCHES AT THE END OF THIS WORLD

Black Designers Matter at Celebration of Cultural Excellence

by Beverly Aarons

In late February, days before Seattle came to a near standstill due to the novel Coronavirus, a group of Seattle Black Designers gathered in Pioneer Square to celebrate Black History Month.

Artefact, a design company, hosted the event organized by the Seattle Black Designers Community. Bekah Marcum, the founder and organizer of Seattle Black Designers Community and a product designer at Zillow, was grateful for the support the group has received from designers over the past year, and she’s glad to provide a place for Black designers to network. Continue reading Black Designers Matter at Celebration of Cultural Excellence

The Wonder of Poetry During the Social Lockdown

by Paul E. Nelson

The closures, quarantines, telecommuting, lockdowns and other responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have created an incredible amount of free time, perhaps the first of its kind in our lifetimes.

For centuries many have chosen poetry as the go-to medium for comfort in such chaotic times. The great 19th century French poet Stéphane Mallarmé said that “poetry is the language of a state of crisis.” Continue reading The Wonder of Poetry During the Social Lockdown

THIS WEEK IN SOUTH SEATTLE — Share Your Story: A Social for Filipinx Professionals, The Golden Age Hip Hop Art Expo, SLOW Ride, & More!

by Emerald Staff


TWISS as we know it is going away. “Noooooo!” You say. And to that we say, “Fear not!” The Emerald is getting a new website and with it a calendar that will make submitting events to us super convenient for you and very easy for us to publish. That means we can feature more of your events! Thanks to our Rainmakers, we’re beyond excited to be able to offer this valuable resource to the community.

(Note: As of March 11, Public Health – Seattle & King County now prohibits large gatherings of more than 250 people. In addition, public events with fewer than 250 attendees are prohibited, unless event organizers can take steps to minimize risk. )

Wed., March 11:

Community Development Update

“Come learn about the development happening in the Central District. Hear from the project teams of Midtown Plaza, Yakima Ave, Bryant Manor, Community House, and Promenade 23!

Time: 6–8 p.m.
Where: Black Dot Underground — 1437 S. Jackson St
Cost: FREE (register here)

Continue reading THIS WEEK IN SOUTH SEATTLE — Share Your Story: A Social for Filipinx Professionals, The Golden Age Hip Hop Art Expo, SLOW Ride, & More!

Natural Hair Photography Book Is A Love Letter To Little Black Girls

by Beverly Aarons

In the wake of three states passing the CROWN Act, groundbreaking legislation which bans discrimination against Black women wearing their natural hair, some Black women are joining the vanguard in a movement to destigmatize kinky, coily hair. Afro-Caribbean filmmaker and photographer, St. Clair Detrick-Jules is one of those women. St. Clair is preparing to debut her photography book, Dear Khloe, May 5, 2020. Continue reading Natural Hair Photography Book Is A Love Letter To Little Black Girls

This Week In South Seattle — Artists of Color Expo & Symposium, Lego Grand Prix, The Story Collider, and More!

by Emerald Staff

Thurs., Feb. 27:

Black Dot Hosted Author Share: Marrio Matthews and Rajnii Eddins

“Join Marrio Matthews and Rajnii Eddins for an Author Share hosted by Black Dot Media exploring each writer’s journey to being published, the art they create and what inspires them.” Time: 6–8 p.m. Where: Black Dot Underground — 1437 S. Jackson Cost: FREE (we think!) —

Fri., Feb. 28:

ACES: Artists of Color Expo & Symposium

“ACES is POC-led, community-curated program with performances, exhibits, presentations, workshops, listening opportunities, and open forums. Our vision is to establish a space for us to celebrate and center ourselves. We are coming together with intentionality to value our work and to see each other as resources, while focusing on the challenges and solutions we face as artists of color in the Pacific Northwest. “We acknowledge that the creative community in the Pacific Northwest is teeming with talent and resources— especially in communities of color where crisis breeds innovation.This is a two-day event 2/28 & 2/29.Time: 9:30 a.m. (Thurs. start time) Where: The Armory at Seattle Center — 500 Harrison St Cost: FREE (register here) —

Sat., Feb. 29:

37th District Town Hall

“Join Senator Rebecca Saldaña for a town hall event to learn about the 2020 Legislative Session, pending bills and issues important to the community.Time: Noon–2 p.m. Where: New Holly Gathering Hall — 7054 32nd Ave S. Cost: FREE —

The Go For Broke Spirit Book Release and Program

“Please join the NVC/NVC Foundation in welcoming Shane Sato back to Seattle. Shane will be presenting copies of his book to the Seattle Nisei Veterans who are featured in this book. They are Shig Otani, Fred Shiosaki, Mickey Hiroo, Roy Kirita, George Kozu, Shig Tanagi, and the late Jimmy Kanaya. “Over 20 years in the making, photographer Shane Sato has been shooting moving portraits of Japanese American Nisei soldiers to create a one of a kind coffee table book — poignant images of men who fought for America while that same country put their families and loved ones in prison. They fought as a segregated unit in the 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, which became the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in U.S. military history, and as members of the MIS, the secret unit that was credited with shortening the war in the Pacific by two years.Time: 10 a.m.–12 p.m. Where: NVC Memorial Hall — 1212 S. King St Cost: Free to attend (we think!) *Also at Nisei Veterans Committee Memorial Hall today, NVC Memorial Hall – Monthly Open House w/ Special Guest Lane Nishikawa, including a screening of Nishikawa’s film, “Our Lost Years.” —

Lego Grand Prix- Free Family Event

“Come join us for a great afternoon of building and playing with your family- all for FREE! Make a race car out of Legos and race it down a huge track. When you are all done, take your creation home. Who: Children in Kindergarten to 6th grade. All children need to be accompanied by an adult. Food: Pizza provided at the awards ceremony at the end of the event.” Time: 1–5 p.m. Where: Seattle Chinese Alliance Church — 2803 S. Orcas St Cost: FREE (must register) —

Screening and discussion of Los Eternos Indocumentados

“A documentary exploring root causes of forced migration from Central America and the experiences of people who make the perilous journey to the United States from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The film, with both Spanish and English dialogue and subtitles, tells the story of exploitative corporate control in Latin America, backed by the US government, which led to the plundering of natural resources and incitement of brutal wars to cover up and exacerbate the crisis. We will follow the screening with an audience discussion with support from local experts. The event is hosted by the Seattle Interfaith Migrant Rights Network (SIMRN) and the Seattle chapter of the International Migrants Alliance (IMA).” Time: 2–4:30 p.m. Where: Washington State Labor Council — 321 16th Ave S. Cost: FREE (register here) *Also this week, catchFree Mt. Baker Meaningful Movie: The Best of Enemies, on Thurs., 2/27 at Mt. Baker Community Club. —

NAAM Presents Descendants Series

“NAAM’s Descendants Series brings living descendants of notable African American civil rights figures and activists to Seattle for conversation. We recently launched this series by featuring Michelle Duster, the great-granddaughter of legendary civil rights and women’s suffragist icon Ida B. Wells. “Our February 2020 program will highlight descendants of enslaved freedom-seekers who were contemporaries of Frederick Douglass. The event features 6 panelists, including the great-great-great granddaughter of Solomon Northup, upon which the feature film 12 Years a Slave was based. The panel will be followed by a screening of Regina Masons’s film Gina’s Journey.Time: 2–6 p.m. Where: NAAM — 2300 S. Massachusetts St Cost: $15 (members) / $25 (non-members) *Also this week at NAAM2020 Youth Curator Program: Open House, on Wed., 3/4. —

Rajnii Eddins, Julie-C, open mics and more, hosted by Jerm Dee

“Do you support local creativity? Rajnii, co-founder of the historic Poetry Experience, and conduit plus connector of culture and community in Seattle, is back town, and it’s a reunion plus celebration of past, present, and future featuring- “7-10pm Open Mic hosted by The Hydrant’s Diana Rodriguez and Aurelio Valdez “10-12pm Performances by Rajnii Eddins, Julie-C, Sage, and ZAG and maybe more? With DJ Melonic and hosted by Jerm Dee!” Time: 7 p.m. (doors) Where: Cafe Red — 7148 MLK Jr. Way S. Cost: $15 Adv. / $20 DOS —

A Wine Savoy Tasting

“Come sip with us! The premier wine tasting event in Seattle that exclusively features wines from underrepresented winemakers. Wines to be tasted will be from a Black winemaker, a Latina winemaker, Native winemakers and Women. “Also in attendance will be designer Jacinta Green! she created customized, vintage-inspired clothing for women. Do check out Shop Jacinta Green!Time: 8–11 p.m. Where: The Station — 1600 S. Roberto Maestas Fest St Cost: $20 —

Mon., March 2:

Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth

“Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth. presents the history of more than two dozen known and unknown leaders, past and present, illuminating their change-making contributions through bold, contemporary visual art, fresh literary excerpts, and vibrant stories. The exhibition highlights men such as Muhammad Ali, James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, W.E.B. Du Bois, Kendrick Lamar and more, whose journeys altered the history and culture of our country through politics, sports, science, entertainment, business, religion and more. “Join Mary Mikel Stump, Director of Audience Engagement for a preview of the Smithsonian traveling exhibition that is currently on display at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma until March 15, 2020.” Time: 6 p.m. Where: Skyway Library — 12601 76th Ave S. Cost: FREE *Also, Skyway Library has a ton of other great programming on the regular, including the bi-monthly, youth-centered Restorative Social Hour, the (also bi-monthly) tweens/teens-focused regular event Community Circles and an Election Day Assistance Booth. And that’s just a snapshot of what’s currently on the calendar. —

Tues., March 3:

The Story Collider

“The Story Collider is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to true, personal stories about science. Since 2010, we have been working with storytellers from both inside and outside science to develop these stories, and we share them through our weekly podcast and our live shows around the world. Join us for our debut Story Collider show in Seattle featuring five personal stories on Environmental Science.” The Royal Room is all-ages until 10 p.m.Time: 6:30 p.m. (doors) Where: The Royal Room — 5000 Rainier Ave S. Cost: $12 adv. / $15 DOS —

Wed., March 4:

Como el Aire: An Evening of Flamenco

“An evening of Flamenco music and dance featuring guitarist Carlos de Jacoba, Singer/percussionist DIego Amador jr. and dancer Savannah Fuentes.” Time: 8 p.m. Where: Columbia City Theater — 4916 Rainier Ave S. Cost: $25–$35 —

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