Category Archives: Arts & Culture

PONGO POETRY | Where I’m From


Pongo Poetry Project’s mission is to engage youth in writing poetry to inspire healing and growth. For over 20 years, Pongo has mentored poetry with youth at the Children & Family Justice Center (CFJC), King County’s juvenile detention facility. Many CFJC residents are Youth of Color who have endured traumatic experiences in the form of abuse, neglect, and exposure to violence. These incidents have been caused and exacerbated by community disinvestment, systemic racism, and other forms of institutional oppression. In collaboration with CFJC staff, Pongo poetry writing offers CFJC youth a vehicle for self-discovery and creative expression that inspires recovery and healing. Through this special bimonthly column in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald, Pongo invites readers to bear witness to the pain, resilience, and creative capacity of youth whose voices and perspectives are too often relegated to the periphery. To partner with Pongo in inspiring healing and relief in youth coping with mental and emotional turmoil, register for Speaking Volumes 2022, its fall celebration.

Where I Come From

by a young person, age 14

I’m from a street where a lot have died
for little to nothing

I’m from faith in drugs, guns, and street runnin’.

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Julie Pham’s ‘7 Forms of Respect’ Explores New Ideas of Respect at Work

by Amanda Ong


Seattle-based writer and businesswoman Julie Pham recently released a new kind of leadership and management book, 7 Forms of Respect: A Guide to Transforming Your Communication and Relationships at Work. 7 Forms of Respect derives from Pham’s own experiences with culturally relative respect, from growing up as a refugee and living abroad, as well as working in business as a Woman of Color, and it charts out how coworkers can better practice respect in the workplace.

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Seattle Summer Concerts Highlight Rising South End and BIPOC Music Artists

LIVt, Talaya, TeZATalks, and Jai Wolf tell the Emerald what it’s like to perform in Seattle this summer.

by Amanda Ong


Summer is in full swing, and with it comes live outdoor music — finally. Outdoor concerts have returned this summer after many were canceled during the last two years due to the pandemic. From acts raised in the Pacific Northwest and based out of the South End to national acts with enduring local connections, Seattle has been a longtime hub for music artists, including many of the incredibly talented BIPOC musicians performing throughout this summer. Recently, the Emerald got to chat with a few of them. Check out their profiles below, and keep an eye out for our August South End Concert Guide, coming soon. 

Most importantly, get out and support these artists if you can. You just might find your next local favorite.

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POETRY | Beacon Hill Dreams

Duwamish Land, Seattle

by Nic Masangkay


I. March 2021 

It’s a gorgeous night to fall in love. 

It’s a perfect moment to redefine “love.” 

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Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and Robyn Maynard Reimagine Liberation Together

Two writers and movement builders reflect on their new book, written as letters throughout the pandemic.

by Amanda Ong


This Wednesday, July 27, acclaimed writers, movement builders, and academics Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and Robyn Maynard will virtually visit Elliott Bay Book Company. The two are releasing a new book, Rehearsals for Living, a series of letters between the two written mostly over the pandemic. The book in itself is a dialogue between the two authors as they processed and reimagined life and liberation amid the pandemic. 

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PONGO POETRY: List of Lies

Pongo Poetry Project’s mission is to engage youth in writing poetry to inspire healing and growth. For over 20 years, Pongo has mentored poetry with children at the Child Study and Treatment Center (CSTC), the only state-run psychiatric hospital for youth in Washington State. Many CSTC youth are coping with severe emotional, behavioral, and mental health challenges. Approximately 40% of youth arrive at CSTC having been court ordered to get treatment; however, by the end of their stay, most youth residents become voluntary participants.

Pongo believes there is power in creative expression, and articulating one’s pain to an empathetic audience. Through this special monthly column in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald, Pongo invites readers to bear witness to the pain, resilience, and creative capacity of youth whose voices and perspectives are too often relegated to the periphery. To partner with Pongo in inspiring healing and relief in youth coping with mental and emotional turmoil, join the Pongo Poetry Circle today.


List of Lies

by a young person at CSTC

I have a list of lies that I wish I could tell myself:

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What the Funk?! All-BIPOC Burlesque Festival Returns This August

by Patheresa Wells


What the Funk?! Burlesque Festival harnesses the power of funk music to showcase the art of burlesque by featuring Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) performers. The Northwest’s only all-BIPOC burlesque festival returns for its third year to the historic Triple Door mainstage Aug. 18–20. 

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Dance Company EL SUEÑO Pays Homage to Ancestry and Latin American Culture

by Fiona Dang


Founded in 2018, the dance company EL SUEÑO centers the experiences of BIPOC communities as powerful narratives worthy of being seen and celebrated. Founder Alicia Mullikin has sought to cultivate an inclusive space in the dance world that recognizes ancestral lineage and Latin American culture. EL SUEÑO seeks to dispel the myth of the American Dream as a self-made accomplishment and recognizes it as a collective effort, tied to the past.

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Southeast Seattle’s Rainier Arts Center Celebrates 100th Birthday

by Amanda Ong


On July 20, 2022, SouthEast Effective Development (SEED) and SEEDArts will celebrate the 100th birthday of Rainier Arts Center! The event will include live outdoor performances from the ADEFUA Cultural Education Workshop and musical duo Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons, followed by refreshments from Chef Tarik Abdullah of Feed The People. The event is free and open to the public, but space at the reception is limited, so anyone who wants to attend should register on their Eventbrite page.

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‘The Blue Suit’ Podcast Tells Asian American Stories Through Objects

by Amanda Ong


On Monday, July 11, Shin Yu Pai’s podcast The Blue Suit premiered on KUOW with the first of eight episodes, which will play every Monday. 

Blue Suit is a new podcast with KUOW that centers Asian American stories,” Shin Yu Pai, writer and host of the podcast, said in an interview with the South Seattle Emerald. “This is a group of stories about curated objects, but the stories themselves become like their own objects in a way. And it’s a way to kind of expand the archive, whose stories get told, whose objects get collected.”

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