Sunday Stew: The Ecstasy of Now

by Sampson Moore

Rebirth by Piero Manrique
Rebirth by Piero Manrique

there’s a glint from a grim corpse you can see as it slithers from the dark grave

in dire search to reprise a role played so long ago that yesterday forgets

its head ascends in silence to glimpse a life it longed to live

if only it owned the courage it had to borrow

if only it possessed the passion it desired to lend

to view a vantage of life it housed in wishes and journeyed to in dreams

its bitter poison willfully swallowed now exchanged for the savory saccharine

and what was long exhaled is breathed in

the dead, the gone, mine ancient carrion so bewildered, can only peer at future yesterdays

to see me smile wide enough to stretch the boundaries of a lifetime, from what was, to what will be, all with the gleam from the exquisite today

The Emerald’s Guide to Art Walk Rainier Beach

Today delivers Art Walk Rainier Beach to the south end of Seattle. Fast becoming the Rainier Beach area’s seminal event, this year’s festival proved too immense to pack into just one day and as a result has been extended over the entire weekend for the first time in its brief history. This means you might need to start practicing your “sick” voice now – so you can hoodwink your boss come Monday- as all the food, music, art, and dance the festival has to offer promises to necessitate a day for recuperation!


Note* The intersection of Rainier Ave and Henderson will be closed for the event


Here is our guide to this weekend’s festivities


Art Walk Day 1, Saturday September 6th On South Henderson Street Between Rainier Ave And Seward

(Day 1 Events Will Take Place on Two Stages)

10:00 AM: Event Kickoff

Stage 1: Mariachi Guadalajara de Seattle

10:30 AM

Stage 2: Zumba With Toni

11:30 AM

Stage 1: Pico Blvd

Stage 2: Lion Dance Group

12:00 PM

Stage 2: Mapes Creek Walkway Opening with Yegizaw Michael

12:30 PM

Stage 2: Martial Arts Demonstration

1:00 PM

Stage 1: Salem Band

1:30 PM

Stage 2: Fly Moon Royalty

2:30 PM

Stage 1: Vote for Pedro

Stage 2: Cuban Dance Party With Reinier Valdes

4:00 PM

Stage 1: Yirim Seck

4:30 PM

Stage 2: Soyaya

5:00 PM

Stage 1: Shady Bottom

6:00 PM (End Time)

Activities Throughout Day 1: All Ages Basketball Skills Competition,Interactive Art Activities for All Ages, Art Cars

Food Trucks For Day 1: Maya’s Mexican, Neema’s Comfort, Athena’s, Quack Dogs

Rainier Beach Community Club Bake Sale


Art Walk Day 2, Sunday September 7th

(Events Will Take Place at Various Locations)

12:00 PM

@Rainier Beach Playfield (4707 S Cloverdale St): Ethiopian New Year Celebration (Food, Music and Children’s Activities)

@Rainier Beach Community Center (8825 Rainier Ave S): Rainier Dance Center Performance

@Rainier Beach Community Center: Chalk Art Contest

1:00 PM

@Buddha Jewel Monastery (7950 Rainier Avenue South): Buddha Jewel Monastery Tour

@Rainier Beach Community Center: Touchstones Beach Square Tour

2:00 PM

@Kubota Gardens (9817 55th Avenue South): Kubota Gardens Guided Tour with Artist in Residence Mary Magenta

2:30 PM

@Rainier Beach Community Center: SEED Arts Curated Tour

@ Rainier Beach Community Center: Touchstones Waterfront Tour

8:00 PM (Festival Concludes)

Civic Salvos: Pre-School for All, Maybe…

by Sandra Vanderven

There’s a plan afoot to make sure 3 and 4 year olds in Seattle have access to affordable preschool.  What great news!  Families struggle to get care for their kids, and science tells us it is crucial to offer rich learning opportunities during these years.  Unfortunately, things aren’t as straightforward as they seem.

The Good  

Access to preschool on a sliding scale is needed and important.

The Bad  

This plan was created by the city’s staff and paid consultants, while intentionally excluding the true stakeholders.  We know from experience that when collaboration does not occur, there is less of a clear shot at success.  That doesn’t mean it will fail, but it is more likely to.  The teachers, organizations who serve young children, and others who stand to be most affected by this plan are understandably upset that they have not and will not have a place at the table.  Someone needs to take the reins, but excluding people and entities whose work will either make this fly–or not–is the opposite of leadership.

The Ugly

The American Federation of Teachers and Service Employees Union International 925 have been working for a dozen years with early childhood educators to help them build an organizational voice in order to secure a living wage and job stability.  They have a plan for early childhood education. It covers birth on up, not just ages 3 and 4.  Probably politically driven, our city’s leadership has made some pretty slimy moves to ace them out of the picture.  From the look of it, it is all about who is in control.

This is disturbing, coming from what one would think is the most progressive city leadership, in a country which now has a pervasive climate of union busting.

The work of AFT and SEIU 925 laid the groundwork for Yes for Early Success, which collected 30,000 signatures to place an early childhood learning initiative on the ballot.  This initiative would provide preschool teachers with a training hub so that they can stay up to date on their profession’s best practices.  It would also phase these workers in to the $15 minimum wage more quickly, and give them a voice in determining how the program runs.

In contrast, get this:  The City would require all of the early childhood educators to get a 4 year college degree, with the exception of assistants, who would only have to have a two year degree. Where are these minimum wage workers going to get the time and money for this?  And why put such an onerous burden on them?  This is even more of a head scratcher when you realize that 38% of preschool assistants leave the profession in the space of a year.  Also, strangely, under the City’s plan, every family that enrolls is eligible for some amount of subsidy.  This would give scarce city money to some of the richest families on Earth, should they decide to enroll their kids.

It gets weirder. The city budget office created a memo fallaciously predicting the AFT/SEIU plan would incur costs calamitous to the city budget. Someone (likely a council member) leaked the memo to the press. The Seattle Times credulously used it in an editorial slamming the AFT/SEIU initiative.  But when the unions asked to see this memo to rebut the bogus claims, they were told that it is still covered by attorney client privilege.  These same predictions of budget destruction are being made to pit local trade unions against the plan.  These guys are being led to believe their livelihoods are threatened by day care workers.

But wait, there’s more. Tim Burgess and Mayor Murray are attempting to muscle the AFT/SEIU early childhood education initiative out of the way by making sure a competing initiative is presented on the ballot as either/or rather than complementary, muddying the waters as voters must choose between the two.

I am a voter, and here’s what I would choose if I could:  I would choose to be represented by elected officials who are motivated by service, not power.  I would vote for collaboration and effective leadership.  Not this nonsense.  Let’s hope kids can get a little preschool despite this mess.

Sandra Vanderven is a Community Organizer and Board President of the Backbone Campaign.

South Seattle Photographer’s Work to be Showcased at City Hall

SEATTLE – Today from 4- 6 p.m a reception for “The Gathering” Exhibit will be held at the Seattle City Hall’s lobby gallery. The reception marks the conclusion of “The Gathering” exhibit’s run at City Hall and recognizes and celebrates the community members, leaders, and artists who created the exhibit and generated a voice to address youth violence in the Rainier Beach community. The reception features brief remarks, refreshments, and a performance that was featured at the original “Gathering” event on May 31.

“The Gathering” Exhibit is composed of two featured works. The first featured work is a photo-documentary from Rainier Beach resident and artist Zac Davis titled, “The Rainier Beach Project: Overcoming Displacement.” This photo-documentary explores urban renewal and gentrification occurring in the Rainier Beach/Rainier Valley community and leverages the importance of all voices contributing to the building of community. Davis’ photo-documentary was featured as a part of the interactive event, Breaking the Pane. The second featured work is a glass mosaic, which is the result of the interactive event, Breaking the Pane. It was also designed to creatively explore the stories of the Rainier Beach community and identify collective and individual steps to address the negative perceptions of the community and reduce youth violence.

For one week in April, Breaking the Pane engaged the Rainier Beach community in storytelling to explore themes of community identity and perceptions. At five workshops, community members were asked to illustrate the words, feelings, or images that came to mind when they thought of the exact Rainier Beach location that they were standing in. The resulting clear window-like “panes” on one side illustrate how community members experience the five different Rainier Beach intersections while the other side depicts statistics of violence. The installation of assembled panes gives voice to the variety of perspectives regarding Rainier Beach and is the centerpiece that helped to turn the stories into action.

At the culminating event, “The Gathering,” on May 31, more than 150 local residents experienced the project through art, video, a photography exhibit and live storytelling, and challenged themselves (and the wider community) to let the stories inspire action. From this event, the community designed and implemented the action project, “Corner-Greeter Stands” which are weekly portable “greeting places” for the community to interact in creative and safe modes of engagement.

“The Gathering” event and Breaking the Pane are the result of a unique partnership between United Story, an organization that uses a story-telling platform to foster community-owned action, and Rainier Beach: A Beautiful Safe Place for Youth, an innovative, community-led initiative to address youth violence through non-arrest approaches.

This Weekend In South Seattle: Art Walk Rainier Beach, Skyway Honors Its Own, and Walk to Treat Sickle Cell

WeekendEvents this weekend in the South Seattle area


Friday, September 5th

Community: VFW Meat Raffle from 4 to 7pm @ Skyway VFW Hall 7421 S. 126th St Seattle, WA 98178. More Info: email

Community: Rainier Beach 4- Corner Clean-Up & BBQ from 4:oo pm to 6:00pm @ Rainier Beach Plaza (Rainier and Henderson). Info: Get ready for Artwalk Rainier Beach  and give some TLC  to RB before it’s shown off to the 1,000++ people that are expected to come check out the event.  Should be a sunny day, perfect for a BBQ to celebrate everyone’s hard work!

Art: The Gathering Exhibit Reception featuring the photography of Rainier Beach Resident Zac Davis from 4:00pm – 6:00pm @ Seattle City Hall (6ooth 4th Avenue  Seattle, WA 98104). Info: The reception marks the conclusion of “The Gathering” exhibit’s run at City Hall and recognizes and celebrates the community members, leaders, and artists who created the exhibit and generated a voice to address youth violence in the Rainier Beach community. The reception features brief remarks, refreshments, and an amazing performance that was featured at the original “Gathering” event on May 31.

Music:  Eugenie Jones and Friends (Jazz) begins at 8:00pm@ The Royal Room 5000 Rainier Avenue South Seattle 98118.  Cost: Free. More Info: Cost: Free


Saturday, September 6th

Health & Community: 9th Annual Walk for Sickle Cell  starts at 8:00am @ 5898 Lake Washington Blvd Seattle, WA 98118 (Seward Park). To Register: Cost: $30 Adults, $15 (12-17) under 12 – free

Culture: Art Walk Rainier Beach Festival Day 1 from 10:00am – 6:00pm @ The Rainier Beach Plaza (Rainier and Henderson)  More Info:

Community: San Gennaro Festival from 10:00am – 10:00pm @1225 S Angelo St. Seattle, WA 98108. More Info:

Community:  Skyway Honors Cynthia Green (Celebrating 20 Years of Service to the Area and the Cynthia Green Scholarship Fund) from 3:00pm to 5:00pm @ RAY’s West Hill Family Center 12704 76th Avenue South, Seattle WA 98178 More Info: (Morgan Wells), ph: 206-772-2050

Community: Detective Cookie’s Urban Chess Club with Pro Chess Instructor H.R.Pitre. From 12:00pm – 2:00pm @ Rainier Beach Community Center: 8825 Rainier Ave South Seattle. Ages 7 and Older. More Info: 206-650-3621 (Detective Cookie)


Sunday, September 7th

Culture: Art Walk Rainier Beach Festival Day 2 from 10:00am – 6:00pm @ The Rainier Beach Plaza (Rainier and Henderson)  More Info:

Music: Benefit Concert with Tom Price Desert Classic/ The Swords of Fatima/ The Gallow Swings begins at 6:00pm @ The Royal Room 5000 Rainier Avenue South Seattle 98118.  Suggested Donation: $10 More Info:


If you have an event to post, please email



Local “Royalty” to Headline Art Walk Rainier Beach

Their music has been hailed as everything from spellbinding to effervescent – and that’s usually just after the first 2 minutes of pressing the play button to one of their eargasmic inducing anthems.

Fresh off their performance at Bumbershoot that transformed the notoriously diffident Seattle crowd into zealous dance mavens, the duo of Fly Moon Royalty brings their lively act to Art Walk Rainier Beach this weekend.

Made up of vocalist, and Rainier Beach native, Adra Boo and DJ/Producer/Emcee Action Jackson the duo seamlessly steers between Jazz, Electronica, Funk, R&B, Soul, and Hip-Hop to produce a sound that defies the constraints of any genre.

The Emerald was fortunate enough to catch up with Boo before her group’s appearance at Art Walk Rainier Beach on Saturday:

Emerald: You guys are well known and have played  some fairly large festivals, including Bumbershoot most recently. What made you decide to accept the invitation to perform at the Rainier Beach Art Walk?

Boo: Aside of it working out, time wise, I actually live in Rainier Beach, so it made sense to bring a performance to the neighborhood.


Emerald:  They say that music and art are tools that are catalyst for transformation, be it socially or communally. As an area, Rainier Beach has seen its fair share of adversity in the recent weeks. How do you hope having a musical group of your caliber performing at its signature event changes the perception of the community?

Boo: I think that really, it’s not so much that our band performing there will change perceptions of the area, but rather people coming out to support us and the Artwalk that will do that. I mean, yes, Rainier Beach has seen it’s share of adversity, and having these events, having bands that are excited about the music they make, having a community that will come out and really stand with us and with neighbors… that’s what will change the perception of Rainier Beach, and I hope that people who know that I  live there, will be that much more amped to have us!


Emerald: Your music is almost impossible to pigeon hole into one genre. How would you describe your sound and who are some of your influences?

Boo: Our music tastes are vast, haha! We each listen to classic hip hop, old soul and R&B, 90’s jams, and alternative sounds, music with fresh sounds and textures, like Bjork, Little Dragon, and so forth. We grew up on good music… Stevie, Dilla, Parliament, Prince and MJ… A Tribe Called Quest, Roots, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott… to name a few.


Emerald: What can someone who has never seen one of your acclaimed live performances anticipate this weekend?

Boo: You might make some stank face, you might feel some good feelings, and you might be hungry afterward!


Emerald: You guys have been described as having a “rocket strapped to your back” in terms of a meteoric rise. What’s next for you guys?(Album, touring, etc)

Boo: Towards the end of the month, we’re kicking off our Fall Tour with a show in Everett, a Battle of the Bands show- pre game for the Seahawks vs Broncos game, and then we’re going through the Midwest, down the east coast, and performing in The Recording Academy’s first ever Grammy Festival At Sea!! We’l even have some unreleased music and visuals drop online! There’s a lot going on, but people can follow it all at our website,!


Faith Leaders Protest Against “Youth Jail”

by Marcus Harrison Green

Faith Leaders stand outside  King County Council Offices
Faith Leaders stand outside King County Council Offices

Christians bound in solemn prayer with Muslims. Jews and Gentiles with arms interlocked in solidarity. In a world of ever increasing religious polarization those scenes may seem producible only by a literal act of God. However, on Tuesday such was the reality as a diverse assemblage of religious leaders gathered together to march on the King County Courthouse, located on 3rd Avenue and James, to protest the building of the controversial King County Youth and Family Justice Center.

The $210 million Center’s construction was funded by a levy initiative passed by 53% of King County voters in 2012, and has since become a tinderbox of controversy in the South Seattle community. Many of its members view it as a pernicious perpetuation of what they feel is an already harrowing juvenile justice system. A contention that resonated with several of the clergy members in attendance.

“This is important to me because I think it’s at the core of what Christ was talking about in the Gospels- justice for those that are oppressed and release for those who are imprisoned unjustly. It’s the core of the gospel to have equity. Us being here is trying to embody that message, that we’ve heard Jesus talk about.” Said Brandon Duran, an Associate Minister with Plymouth Church UCC.

The multi-faith protest was the brainchild of Rashaud Johnson, a local teen and member of Youth Undoing Institutionalized Racism (YUIR), who wanted to show that the issue of youth incarceration was a cause that unified all religions that purported to stand against social injustice, irrespective of contrasting doctrines.

“This is a justice issue. And as a  people of faith, if it’s a justice issue, it’s a faith issue. So, this protest is putting feet to our faith, about the intrinsic worth of every individual,  be they black, white, young, old, or whatever.” stated Masha Williams, Pastor of the Eastgate Congregation in Bellevue.

The collected clergy – whose affiliations seemed to comprise an entire Religious Studies course syllabus, and included Christians, Muslims and Transcendentalist-  were joined by dozens of youth advocates as they temporarily encamped on the Courthouse’s 12th floor, forming a circle that stretched from hallway elevators to just a few feet away from King County Councilmember offices, as they engaged in 15 minutes of silent prayer.

As curious onlookers, including some King County Council Members, glimpsed  the sight of heads bowed and hands clasped in prayer they were also privy to signs that read, “Invest in Education, Not Incarceration,” as they made their way passed the group.

The protesters’ goal was to shift the attention of council members to the issues the protesters say are at the forefront of the Center’s development – including a broken juvenile justice system that dis-proportionality imprisons youth of color- and in doing so, hopefully make County decision makers reconsider constructing the Center.

Similar actions were successful in halting development of a youth detention center in Baltimore, MD.

“I would hope that the powers that be, rethink their perspective on this. This is such a backwards way of dealing with this entire issue of youth violence. It’s very reactive. It just makes more sense to put more energy on the front end (in schools and education), and to help youth succeed and be successful whether than locking them into this box.” Said Tara Barber,  a pastor with the United Church of Christ, in response to what she hoped the protest accomplished.

While it is too early to conclude as to the impact the protest had on county decision makers, the faith leaders who participated in the protest viewed their efforts, whatever the outcome, as a religious obligation.

Offered John Helmiere, pastor at Valley & Mountain Fellowship: “My faith calls me to have greater imagination than what the County is planning to do. Their imagination seems to be that things are only getting worse and we should build bigger, larger prisons to incarcerate our youth, while I think we’re called to have an imagination about the potential and possibility of our youth. I believe that we should be investing their potential rather than guarding ourselves against their danger.”

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