Category Archives: Arts & Culture

It’s ‘About Time’ for the 2020 Seattle Design Festival

by Beverly Aarons

It’s that time again: Design in Public and AIA Seattle have announced the schedule for this year’s Seattle Design Festival (August 15 – 23, 2020). And the good news is that the pandemic hasn’t put much of a wrinkle in the festival’s style. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Seattle Design Festival is offering a full slate of free activities: over 100 program partners will host online events and workshops alongside physically-distant scavenger hunts, tours, art installations, and other physical, place-based activities across greater Seattle. This year’s theme is “About Time.” Continue reading It’s ‘About Time’ for the 2020 Seattle Design Festival

New Comedic Web Series Asks: What Happens When a Black Woman Becomes President?

by Beverly Aarons


What happens when two totally-not-into-politics middle-aged sisters become President and Vice President of the United States of America? Sister President explores just that in this hilarious and timely episodic comedy on YouTube. Produced by veteran Hollywood actress and She Shed Cheryl viral sensation Nicole J. Butler, Sister President follows the adventures and hijinks Shona Washington (Nicole J.  Butler) and Kitara Washington (Michelle N. Carter), as they take the helm of the U.S. and try to run the country their way while keeping everything from falling apart. 

Continue reading New Comedic Web Series Asks: What Happens When a Black Woman Becomes President?

BIPOC Founders Disrupt Tech Bro Narrative

by Beverly Aarons


The quintessential Tech Bro is a powerful archetype in the American imagination. College-educated, middle-class, white, male, armed with a STEM degree, and frequently seen sporting khakis/jeans and a fitted t-shirt emblazoned with the logos of top American tech firms: Google, Facebook, Amazon, or some scrappy startup you’ve never heard of. Tech Bros are the “revenge of the nerds” come home to roost. But what if I told you that Tech Bro culture was experiencing a disruption — a sort of fissure? What if I told you that a new archetype is emerging? One that is sometimes Black, Brown, immigrant, and/or female. 

Continue reading BIPOC Founders Disrupt Tech Bro Narrative

Black Deaf Artists Create, Discuss, and Command Respect

by Beverly Aarons

Black Deaf artists will host a free online panel discussion, Respeck Our Black Deaf Arts!, exploring the Black Deaf artist experience, their needs, their challenges, and their hard-won victories. Deaf and non-signing community members are invited to attend on Saturday, July 25, 2020 at 2 p.m.. Featured panelists include Earl Terry (curator), Fred Beam (performing artist/art collector), Michelle Banks (actress), Teraca Florence (writer), Awet Moges (artist), and Nyke Prince (model/entertainer), and Rezenet Moges-Riedel will moderate. I had the opportunity to talk to three of the panelists via a text interview where they shared more about their experience, the panel event, and how they hope this discussion will impact the community. Continue reading Black Deaf Artists Create, Discuss, and Command Respect

Virtual Reality Engineer and Game Designer Evie Powell Breaks the Social Boundaries of Games

by Beverly Aarons


Imagine yourself in a cathedral-sized classroom. You are surrounded by thousands of classmates from all over the world — Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, and beyond. There is a multitude of languages — a cornucopia of cultures. Now imagine an instructor standing at the helm of the class, her pen racing across a whiteboard. She speaks French or Spanish or Mandarin. Imagine that what language she speaks doesn’t matter because everything she writes and everything she says is instantaneously translated into the language you speak and the language that your classmates speak. And THAT is the future of technology according to Evie Powell, PH.D. 

Continue reading Virtual Reality Engineer and Game Designer Evie Powell Breaks the Social Boundaries of Games

Stay-at-Home, Read-at-Home With KCLS: Summer of Imagination

by Maggie Block


At the beginning of Governor Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19, the King County Library System (KCLS) and the South Seattle Emerald teamed up to offer digital book recommendations to help readers get through the pandemic shutdown. While there may be more opportunities to get out and about now, many of us continue to spend time at home and could still use some great reading material to consume during the reopening process.

All you need is a KCLS library card to access our digital collections. If you don’t have one, residents in the KCLS service area (in King County, outside the City of Seattle) can sign up instantly for a digital eCard. When you get your library card and PIN number, all you have to do is enter them to search for titles in BookFlix and hoopla. And the Libby app makes it especially easy to download digital titles through OverDrive. Contact Ask KCLS if you need assistance with your account or to get help finding and downloading titles. KCLS has also started offering Curbside to Go at select locations.

Continue reading Stay-at-Home, Read-at-Home With KCLS: Summer of Imagination

POETRY: FREE

by Nakeya Isabell


Many people talk about the struggle

But I wonder if they know the story of pain

How our ancestors journeyed through the terror and the rain

See Harriet Tubman said she freed a thousands slaves

But could have freed a 1,000 more if only they knew they were slaves………

See, If we knew we were trained to be modern-day slaves, would we really choose to live?

What would happen if we acknowledged our reality and made steps towards change?

If we as people could recognize our identity, with a propensity to embrace our strengths, we could change this world

Continue reading POETRY: FREE

Blues Singer, Lady A, Battles With Country Band Lady Antebellum Over Name

by Beverly Aarons


America is still engulfed in the flames of civil unrest and even the largest corporations such as Amazon and Spotify have declared BLACK LIVES MATTER as their rallying cry. And the music industry, a sector infamous for its institutionalized racism and misogyny, has asked the world to black out their social media profiles in tribute to Black lives lost to police violence. But just beneath the slick veneer of Instagram-worthy social justice memes, pithy hashtags, ominous blacked-out profiles, and well-funded musicians pledging their fealty to racial equality, another conflict has emerged. The conflict involves two artists — Lady Antebellum, a white country band, and Lady A, a Black blues singer. Lady Antebellum is a well-funded trio that has sold millions of albums, while Lady A is an independent artist with a small but dedicated following of fans in the U.S. and Europe. Continue reading Blues Singer, Lady A, Battles With Country Band Lady Antebellum Over Name

LANGSTON’s Newly Rebranded Seattle Black Film Festival Moves Online to Celebrate Black Cinematic Brilliance

by Vivian Hua 華婷婷


Celebrating the diversity of Black cinematic brilliance, the 17th-annual Seattle Black Film Festival (SBFF) begins Friday, July 10, and runs through Sunday, July 12. Hosted by LANGSTON, a hub for Black arts and culture in the Central District, this year’s festival will be presented online for the first time, in partnership with the independent film screening and music platform, Couch-a-thon. It comes three months after the festival was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Creatives need their works to be shown more than ever and to connect with other filmmakers telling Black stories. We feel the acute need [to show] solidarity and amplify voices,” explains SBFF Director Andrea Stuart-Lehalle. “This is really an important moment for Black creatives, so I’m really happy we found a way to keep our platform going.”

Continue reading LANGSTON’s Newly Rebranded Seattle Black Film Festival Moves Online to Celebrate Black Cinematic Brilliance

Does This Poem Bring You Joy? A Conversation With Arianne True

by Beverly Aarons


Does this poem bring you joy? Does it move through and speak to your body? Does it make you think and feel something deeply? Arianne True, a Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations poet and experiential educator, has important questions for all poets, both young and old, but especially for the middle-school students at Hugo House’s Scribes summer writing camp. How can the experience of poetry shape how you see yourself and history?

Continue reading Does This Poem Bring You Joy? A Conversation With Arianne True