Tag Archives: Arts and Culture

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. 

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POETRY: Power

by Kayla Blau


There is nothing powerful about trespassing for 400-odd years

But here we are,

Writing words on mistreated trees and calling them true

Tagging broad stripes and bright stars on purloined fabric

Directing lives, fancying ourselves unsung heroes,

Victorious sinners,

Bruised egos and bellies full of shame.

There is nothing brave here.

Include in us our pasts –

Which of course, include your pasts too,

All of them lined up like precarious dominoes

Leading you right here,

Leading me right here,

Leading us to believe whatever truths we can stomach

To absolve ourselves of the truest truth –

“Es completamente injusto,”

The mother told me.

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The Golden Thread Art Experience Gets Unemployed Artists Working

by Beverly Aarons 


Seattle’s arts scene has been hit hard. Galleries are closed, theatres are dark, and many artists find their cash flow completely and abruptly cut off. But some artists who find themselves positioned well during this pandemic have invested their time, expertise and energy into creating opportunities for less-privileged artists to earn some cash doing what they love. Kymberlee della Luce, an interdisciplinary artist with a calling for social change is doing just that. In April, Kymberlee launched a live online interdisciplinary arts experience — The Golden Thread that featured live painting, poetry, music, and a reading from local playwrights. Kymberlee is looking for artists, especially POC artists to participate in the May 30, 2020 show. Artists interested in participating should apply by May 8, 2020. 

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Keeping The Ark Afloat: South End Movie Theaters Without a Safety Net

by Mark Van Streefkerk


Local cinema houses still have a place in the hearts of our communities, in spite of streaming sites like Netflix or Hulu. In fact, South Seattle’s newest theater arrived on Rainier last summer: The Beacon Cinema, a single-screen 48-seat theater that features an eclectic selection of cult classics and mainstream movies. It’s proof that people still love congregating, feeling the thrill when the lights dim and the movie starts. COVID-19 has unequivocally put a stop to that for the foreseeable future. 

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Poetry: Stay Places

by Minnie A. Collins 


Stay Places

On kitchen window ledge

Eyes flicked; feathers flapped

In flights from red holly, evergreen cone seeds

Back to a sun-drenched rain sheltered sanctum

Of twigs, hair, bark, yarn, string, lichen,  

An annual ritual against covert predators;  

Without warning, wind gusts

Swirled needles, mud flecks, strings 

Once woven with time, love, immunity

Toppling the sheltered sanctum;

Flight wings, forlorn, futile 

Fluttered against the pane

Screeching as feet ensnared the screen;  

I took time to stare, to move closer to the pane

To find the scattered refuge

To understand our kindred nature:

Compassion, immunity, empathy and pain

Hopefully never alone!

Returning to the ledge, weary yet impatient

Twists, loops, mud, gird our shelters,  

Defying vulnerable agitations 

Circumventing catastrophes

Repositioning common places 

To stay places that you and I name.


Minnie A. Collins is a South Seattle poet, writer, and all-around amazing human being.

Featured image: by Stephen L. Harlow.

Tashiro Kaplan Artists Build Community Resilience to Survive COVID-19

by Beverly Aarons 


We didn’t see it coming: not the pandemic, not the emptied downtown streets, not the employee layoffs and certainly not the large slabs of wood covering closed storefronts and shuttered restaurants. When it became apparent that COVID-19 was becoming the wolf on our doorstep, everyone at the Tashiro Kaplan Artist Lofts in Pioneer Square had one question: how do we support each other during this difficult time? We wanted to be responsible to ourselves and to each other, be safe in our homes and figure out how we would all survive together. Many of us lost employment suddenly, and for the foreseeable future, and others are elderly or immunocompromised. 

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PHOTOS: Attendees share in Japanese culture during Bunka no Hi

By Carolyn Bick

Though she didn’t celebrate Bunka no Hi herself, when she lived in Japan, Arisa Nakamura now celebrates the modern holiday alongside the community and her fellow Japanese Cultural and Community Center staff and volunteers.

This year marked the organization’s 14th annual celebration of Bunka no Hi, which Nakamura said was originally a celebration of the Emperor Meiji’s birthday, changing in 1948 to commemorate the post-WWII Japanese constitution. While it’s still a national holiday in Japan, it’s now about celebrating and sharing Japanese culture and art, she said.

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THE RESIDENCY NEEDS A RESIDENCE

By Neve Kamilah Mazique-Bianco

At An Evening with the Residency Fundraiser at the Paramount Theatre on Sept. 28, Seattle hip hop community, family, and patrons celebrated five years of youth development and empowerment through the Residency, a hip hop program created in 2015 by a collaboration of the Museum of Pop Culture Seattle, Arts Corps, and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, emphasizing the need for all of us to create, remember, love, celebrate and sustain home.

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Q&A: Lady Jay The Musical Poetress Talks New Album, Struggle, and Discovering Herself

by Gus Marshall

Lady Jay The Musical Poetress is a contemporary folklorist and modern day story teller who chooses to communicate her truth through the medium of musical poetry.

Self-reflective poems, unabashed and extremely personal, are front and center on Lady Jay’s new album, The BrainBox. Production that runs the gamut from guitar-heavy arena rock, to neo-soul electronica, lays the groundwork for Lady Jay’s powerful message of self-love, perpetual struggle, and soul-filled resilience. Paired with befitting backing tracks produced by Lady Jay’s husband Allen Hunter (also known as “AFlat”), The BrainBox takes the listener on a theatrical journey.

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Q&A: Because We Are Girls writer and director talks cultural silence and breaking the cycle around abuse

Baljit Sangra is the writer and director of Because We Are Girls, a documentary film about three sisters who suffered sexual assault at the hands of a trusted relative. Sangra talked with the South Seattle Emerald about the making of the film, the difficulties in breaking away from a culture that teaches girls and women that they are lesser than their male counterparts, and how cultural dynamics between older and younger generations play into the narrative.

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