Category Archives: Arts & Culture

The Royal Room Staycation Festival Brings Live, Local Music To Your Home

by Mark Van Streefkerk


Columbia City’s live music venue The Royal Room remains closed for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19, but you can still get your fix of live music through their Staycation online festival. Every Sunday and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., The Royal Room will host live sets and curated recorded performances, all amplifying South Seattle musicians. Seeing music in-person might still be out of the question for a while, but for now, livestream will have to do. Continue reading The Royal Room Staycation Festival Brings Live, Local Music To Your Home

Third-Generation Visual Artist Talks Business, Art and Legacy

by Beverly Aarons


When third-generation visual artist George Jennings arrived in the Puget Sound area in 1997, he came with his grandfather’s small drafting table and a vision to transform his passion for art into a viable business. He and Nakeesa Frazier-Jennings, his wife and business partner, hoped to continue the Jennings’ family art legacy that began with George’s maternal grandfather.  

Continue reading Third-Generation Visual Artist Talks Business, Art and Legacy

Stay-at-Home, Read-at-Home with KCLS: Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

by Maggie Block


It is amazing how quickly COVID-19 has changed our world. The biggest day-to-day change for many of us is Governor Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order. Suddenly our schools, jobs, and favorite outdoor activities have been put on hold. While this is the best action in order to keep Washingtonians safe, it’s still very hard to be stuck inside. So, the King County Library System (KCLS) and the South Seattle Emerald are teaming up to bring you the best magic we know of to help get you through these tough times: books. 

Continue reading Stay-at-Home, Read-at-Home with KCLS: Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Couch-A-Thon Takes Seattle Film Festivals Online and Benefits Artists’ Relief Funds

by Mark Van Streefkerk

A number of Seattle film festivals were scheduled for 2020, but unfortunately COVID-19 had other plans. Since public gatherings are temporarily banned, this year’s in-person festivals have been canceled. But thanks to the new online film and music festival Couch-A-Thon, content from the scrapped events is now available for streaming. Continue reading Couch-A-Thon Takes Seattle Film Festivals Online and Benefits Artists’ Relief Funds

Folklife Continues to Connect Communities With Virtual Festival, “From Home to Home”

by Alexa Peters


Celebrating its 49th year in 2020, Northwest Folklife Festival is no stranger to surprising situations. As managing director Reese Tanimura says, festival staff are regularly asked to respond to some unusual radio calls — be it a Scottish bagpipe competing with the Balkan choir on the Fisher Green Stage, a band of pirates that needs a better mic, or a farm animal that’s made its way into the crowd.

“The best radio call I ever got while working at the Northwest Folklife Festival was, ‘Uh, this is Tom from the Fountain Lawn Stage. I’m just radioing to let you know there is a chicken on my stage. I repeat, there is a live chicken on my stage,’” said Devon Leger, who booked for the festival until 2010.

Continue reading Folklife Continues to Connect Communities With Virtual Festival, “From Home to Home”

What Happens to Professional Dance in a Socially Distant World?

by Beverly Aarons 


Dance is physical, primal, and ephemeral — bodies brush against each other, and sometimes audience members are so close that they could reach out and touch dancers as they glide by only a few feet away. So what happens to dance in a socially distant world where bodies must remain six feet apart and preferably masked? And how do dancers, choreographers, and the community adapt, change, and provide a sustainable model for the future? Donald Byrd, the artistic director of Spectrum Dance Theater, introspected about how he and Spectrum are transforming and how he hopes to leave a legacy that will provide a model for creating dance performance in the future. 

Continue reading What Happens to Professional Dance in a Socially Distant World?

LANGSTON and Wa Na Wari Celebrate Seattle Hip-Hop’s Past, Present, and Future

by Beverly Aarons


East Coast, West Coast, Bronx and Compton, this is what most fans think of when pondering hip-hop history. But what many don’t realize is that Seattle has played an important role in the maturity of a genre that has grown from the urban streets to the global scene. And Seattle hip-hop has its own unique story and sound. To illuminate that fact and celebrate Black Music Month, arts organizations LANGSTON and Wa Na Wari have partnered for 2(06) The Break. The seven episode series will put a local ‘spin’ on the live-streaming DJ sessions popularized by cultural icons like Questlove and DJ D-Nice via social media for the past two months. Each week, Jazmyn Scott, a Seattle hip-hop supporter and co-curator of the 2015 Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop exhibit at MOHAI, will pair two Pacific Northwest hip-hop DJs to collaboratively program and record a set composed exclusively of songs by local hip-hop artists of a specific era, from the 1980s to the present. 

Continue reading LANGSTON and Wa Na Wari Celebrate Seattle Hip-Hop’s Past, Present, and Future

“The Heart of the Dragon” Tells the Story of Taky Kimura, Bruce Lee’s Best Friend and Senior-Most Instructor

by Sharon H. Chang

Editor’s Note: We want to acknowledge that there remains disagreement in the martial arts community over who is properly credited as Bruce Lee’s senior-most student. In light of that fact, we’ve chosen to refer to Taky Kimura as Bruce Lee’s senior-most instructor.


Taky Kimura, Bruce Lee’s best friend and senior-most instructor, has been lovingly safeguarding Lee’s memory and legacy in Seattle for almost five decades. Many people know and admire legendary martial artist Bruce Lee, but few know about the close friend who helped Lee start his first martial arts school in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District (CID) and carried on Lee’s legacy after he tragically passed. Kimura turned 96 last month and Thursday, May 7, a new short film about his life and relationship to Lee, “Taky Kimura: The Heart of the Dragon,” will premiere online for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Continue reading “The Heart of the Dragon” Tells the Story of Taky Kimura, Bruce Lee’s Best Friend and Senior-Most Instructor

Stay-at-Home, Read-at-Home with KCLS

by Maggie Block


It is amazing how quickly COVID-19 has changed our world. The biggest day-to-day change for many of us is Governor Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order. Suddenly our schools, jobs, and favorite outdoor activities have been put on hold. While this is the best action in order to keep Washingtonians safe, it’s still very hard to be stuck inside. So, the King County Library System (KCLS) and the South Seattle Emerald are teaming up to bring you the best magic we know of to help get you through these tough times: books. 

Continue reading Stay-at-Home, Read-at-Home with KCLS