Category Archives: Arts & Culture

Delbert Richardson’s “American History Traveling Museum”

by Susan Fried

(Editor’s Note: This article contains images that may be triggering to some readers)

The white, replica, Ku Klux Klan robe seemed to emit an eerie glow as the sunlight from the skylights in the ceiling of the Armory at Seattle Center put a spotlight on it during Festival Sundiata, the annual Black Arts Festival at the Center. Every year Delbert Richardson sets up his American History Traveling Museum during the event to highlight the “unspoken” history of African Americans. He’s been collecting artifacts, like this robe, for over 30 years and estimates he has several hundred items, along with over 100 storyboards he created. Continue reading Delbert Richardson’s “American History Traveling Museum”

Review of Seattle’s Latest Walking Guide

by Emily Moore Smargiassi

Walking guides of Seattle abound, but Take a Walk Seattle by Sue Muller Hacking, out now in its 4th edition, remains the ultimate guide to walking in nature in the Puget Sound region. A book for those who look forward to scenic walks close to home and work, Take a Walk Seattle includes only walks, “at least a mile in length…surrounded by greenery or close to water, and allow no motorized vehicles.” Continue reading Review of Seattle’s Latest Walking Guide

Robert O’ Hara’s Satirical Barbecue is Inappropriately Appropriate

by Sharon H. Chang

Barbecue, by satirist and playwright Robert O’Hara, is a play full of twisty turns, politics, tons of f-bombs, and the kind of dark comedy you’re not sure if you should laugh or grimace at. One (of only two) full-scale productions put on by Intiman Theatre for their 2017 season, the play is quick-witted, inappropriately appropriate, and an experience you won’t likely forget. It opened in Seattle last week at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, under the direction of Malika Oyetimein who previously directed O’Hara’s Bootycandy for Intiman in 2015. Continue reading Robert O’ Hara’s Satirical Barbecue is Inappropriately Appropriate

Profile of an Anarcho-Leftist, Poet/Librarian, Gentrifier, Greg Bem

by Paul Nelson

When you think of the kind of person gentrifying the Rainier Valley, a man who could be described as an “Anarcho-Leftist, Poet/Librarian” might not be tops on your list. Greg Bem is a Rainier Valley person you should know, a compelling performance poet, who has spent hundreds of hours tutoring at-risk people, many of them people of color in places like the Rainier Valley and Philadelphia. We caught up with him to talk about his background, life in the Othello neighborhood, his performance aesthetic and his recent coverage of Paul Allen’s attempt at creating a Northwest version of the South By Southwest music festival, Upstream. Continue reading Profile of an Anarcho-Leftist, Poet/Librarian, Gentrifier, Greg Bem

“A Good Day for a Revolution”: Our review of Columbia City Youth Theatre’s The Defiance

by Sharon H. Chang

The house lights go down. Three young dancers in ripped white t-shirts and iridescent gold boots stride on stage. Beyoncé’s  “Freedom” starts to play. The dancers move, gesture, stomp. More dancers join them and the dance gets fiercer, stronger, bolder. “I’m keep running,” sings out Beyoncé, “cause a winner don’t quit on themselves.” Then–gunshots ring out and all the dancers drop to the floor, dead. Continue reading “A Good Day for a Revolution”: Our review of Columbia City Youth Theatre’s The Defiance

Pain, Growth, and Healing: Brother Ali Brings Recipe for World Changing Hip-Hop to South Seattle

by Jake Uitti

Since his debut album in 2004, Shadows On The Sun, Brother Ali has represented a powerful voice in hip-hop. He’s reflective and eloquent. You can hear his heartbeat pound through his music. He’s the sort of person you’d want to ask for advice – not, say, if you wanted to buy a new car, but if you needed guidance on how to deal with a sick family member. Continue reading Pain, Growth, and Healing: Brother Ali Brings Recipe for World Changing Hip-Hop to South Seattle

Acclaimed South Seattle Bassist Evan Flory-Barnes Assigns “Spiritual Homework”

by Paul E Nelson

What if the richest local businessmen in Seattle knew that their own legacy would depend on how much they supported the arts in their town, like the Medici Family in Florence? Can it happen here? We can dream can’t we? If there is an emerging Seattle culture, it sounds more like Jazz than the grunge of the 90s or even artists like Macklemore, if Evan Flory-Barnes is any indication. See his band, or “brotherhood” as he likes to call it, Industrial Revelation, and know that something swinging AND spiritual, something informed by Hip Hop AND Bebop sounds like it could only come out of multicultural Seattle. Continue reading Acclaimed South Seattle Bassist Evan Flory-Barnes Assigns “Spiritual Homework”

Liberty Bank Building Art Evokes Black History

by Doug Trumm

(This article was originally posted on The Urbanist and has been reprinted with permission)

Community members gathered at Centerstone in the Central District Wednesday evening to get a first glimpse at the art planned for the Liberty Bank Building, which will bring 115 affordable homes to the site of the region’s first Black-owned bank at 2320 E Union St. The immense artistic talent of the Central District was on full display at the art open house, and early indications are that the Liberty Bank Building will be a beautiful structure permeated with creative works. Continue reading Liberty Bank Building Art Evokes Black History