Tag Archives: Arts and Culture

Rising Star Estrella Gonzales-Sanders Featured in New Debbie Allen Netflix Documentary

by Jasmine M. Pulido

Estrella Gonzales-Sanders’ parents may have been prophetic when they named her Estrella, the Spanish word for “star.” The young Renton resident has already danced in front of notable stars like Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Barry Gordy, and Stevie Wonder, to name a few. Now, she has landed a small feature in Debbie Allen’s newly released Netflix documentary, Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. And at age 12, Estrella’s own rise to stardom has only just begun.

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A Backstage Look at Intiman’s Technical Theatre and Social Justice AA Degree at Seattle Central College

by Beverly Aarons


Fury-fueled crowds of chanting protestors, clever and insightful picket signs, and collective action to transform or eradicate unjust laws and cultural practices — this is how many see social justice. But when Intiman Theatre began to look for a new home and contemplated how they could advance their mission, they imagined how social justice could be advanced by backstage storytellers — costume designers, lighting designers, sound riggers, set builders, and other technical theatre artists. The answer was a two-year Associate of Arts degree in Technical Theatre for Social Justice (AA-TTSJ) and a partnership with Seattle Central College (SCC). But what does that mean, exactly? Who can participate? And what does social justice in technical theatre really look like? During our telephone interview, Intiman’s Educational Director, Dr. M. Crystal Yingling, gave a sneak peek into the program.

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New Managing Director Justin Pritchett Has Big Plans for the Ark Lodge

by Mark Van Streefkerk


When COVID-19 forced Columbia City’s Ark Lodge Cinemas to shutter their doors in March, the sudden loss in revenue dealt a staggering blow to the South End’s few independent movie theaters. Owner David McRae quickly launched several fundraising strategies, and now new managing director Justin Pritchett brings Popcorn Weekends to the Ark. Pulling from his expertise in movie theater food and beverage operations, Pritchett has big plans for keeping the Ark afloat, now and long after the pandemic.

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ADEFUA Cultural Education Workshop Leads Effort to Certify Southeast Creative District

by Beverly Aarons


Entrepreneurs, artists, and cultural workers are the heart of Seattle’s South End, but lack of visibility and underinvestment have historically harmed the community. ADEFUA Cultural Education Workshop (A.C.E.W.) and a band of community stakeholders aim to change that by creating Seattle’s first state-certified Creative District. Since 2018, the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) has certified eight Creative Districts, but not one is in Seattle — yet. If things go as planned, the new Creative District will encompass the area between Franklin High School and Rainier Beach High School. In a telephone interview, Afua Kouyate, a Seattle native and the executive director of A.C.E.W., shared details about the Creative District and the work she’s done in the southeast Seattle community since 1985.

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Washington’s Undiscovered Feminists

by Jasmine M. Pulido


I’m not sure if I’m a feminist.

I like to think I am. But what I am finding is that there are too many words in the social justice lexicon where the definition is different depending on who you are talking to. “Feminism” is a word that continues to change as our culture becomes more aware of its own social constructs. Its meaning bends as more diverse voices are allowed to weigh in on the subject.

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Creators of ‘The Black Trans Prayer Book’ Address Spiritual Needs of Black Trans People at SPL’s Online Event Friday

by Mark Van Streefkerk 


This Friday, Dec. 11, the co-editors of The Black Trans Prayer Book (TBTPB), J Mase III and Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, along with other contributors, will share readings, perform, and connect at a Seattle Public Library online event. A collection over three years in the making, TBTPB was released in April and features poems, stories, rituals, spells, and theology by Black trans people of many faiths and spiritual traditions. At once a tool for reclaiming spirituality and healing from religious trauma, TBTPB is also an important contribution to liberation theology, which views religion as a means of liberation for oppressed people. 

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Black and Tan Hall Finds New Ways to Continue Community Holiday Party During Pandemic

by M. Anthony Davis 


The Black and Tan Hall in Rainier Valley is more than a restaurant, bar, and performing art venue. It’s a staple in the community with a rich history of providing networking opportunities, social connections, and communal support to artists and residents from marginalized communities.

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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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