Tag Archives: Arts and Culture

WOW Gallery Owners’ Black Love Journey Creates Space for Healing

by Beverly Aarons


A faceless young woman in a white “number 3” jersey rests her unseen hand against her hip — behind her a running track fades into the distance. A large brimmed hat sits stylishly slanted on a church lady’s head, and a young girl lugs a book bag into a mysterious hallway — she’s flanked by a man wearing a white armband. These “Iconic Black Women’’ paintings by visual artist Hiawatha D., are just a few of many that greet visitors at the Wonder of Women Gallery (WOW) in Pacific Place shopping mall (600 Pine Street, 3rd Floor, Seattle, WA). 

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Struggling Art Sector Is Critical to State’s Recovery, Report Shows

by Agueda Pacheco Flores


A new report — quantifying the pandemic’s toll on Washington arts and culture institutions — warns the damage still isn’t done but identifies the arts as a key element in the state’s overall recovery. 

Leaders from across the state, such as Seattle Art Museum’s CEO Amada Cruz and Spokane Arts’ Executive Director Melissa Huggins, joined ArtsFund’s President and CEO Michael Greer last week to highlight the importance of the art sector. Leaders also made an urgent call for state leaders to prioritize funding for the arts. 

“Washington’s cultural institutions have been significantly impacted as a result of this pandemic,” Greer said during his opening remarks at last week’s report presentation. 

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PONGO POETRY: Curiosity

Pongo Poetry Project’s mission is to engage youth in writing poetry to inspire healing and growth. For over 20 years, Pongo has mentored poetry with youth at the Children & Family Justice Center (CFJC), King County’s juvenile detention facility. Many CFJC residents are Youth of Color who have endured traumatic experiences in the form of abuse, neglect, and exposure to violence. These incidents have been caused and exacerbated by community disinvestment, systemic racism, and other forms of institutional oppression. In collaboration with CFJC staff, Pongo poetry writing offers CFJC youth a vehicle for self-discovery and creative expression that inspires recovery and healing. Through this special bi-monthly column in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald, Pongo invites readers to bear witness to the pain, resilience, and creative capacity of youth whose voices and perspectives are too often relegated to the periphery. To partner with Pongo in inspiring healing and relief in youth coping with mental and emotional turmoil, join the Pongo Poetry Circle today.


NO HOOK

by a young person, age 17

My life’s a game of chess —
you make the wrong moves, 
you get your life taken.
Sometimes I have nothing but my brother,
I followed his steps.
I regret choosing this life — 
my mom tried her best.
But when I grow older 
I’m gonna get rich,
put some money in her pockets
and buy her a crib.
The only plotting I been 
doing is up in my cell,
Caught a fade once or twice
and sent them to hell
Got respect on my name
my name ringing them bells
Call me lefty in these streets
I never will tell.

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Cultivate South Park: Serendipity, Coffee, and Radical Community Programs

by Amanda Ong


Three years ago, a group of South Park residents and café regulars routinely met at Resistencia Coffee. Now, what started as those open mics and conversations about community building over coffee has become Cultivate South Park, an established nonprofit that is working to build spaces for connection and collaboration throughout the South Park community. The nonprofit’s robust programming provides South Park with innovative solutions in food, environmental, housing, and economic justice, and fortifies existing neighborhood strengths. 

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PONGO POETRY: Self-Discovery Jigsaw

Pongo Poetry Project’s mission is to engage youth in writing poetry to inspire healing and growth. For over 20 years, Pongo has mentored poetry with children at the Child Study Treatment Center (CSTC), the only state-run psychiatric hospital for youth in Washington State. Many CSTC youth are coping with severe emotional, behavioral, and mental health challenges. Approximately 40% of youth arrive at CSTC having been court ordered to get treatment; however, by the end of their stay, most youth residents become voluntary participants. Pongo believes there is power in creative expression, and articulating one’s pain to an empathetic audience. Through this special monthly column in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald, Pongo invites readers to bear witness to the pain, resilience, and creative capacity of youth whose voices and perspectives are too often relegated to the periphery.

Content Warning: Discussion of child abuse


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OED’s ‘Seattle Restored’ Program Will Bring BIPOC Artists to Downtown Seattle Storefronts

by Amanda Ong


On Dec. 10, 2021, the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED) and then-Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the launch of Seattle Restored — a new program focused on activating vacant commercial storefronts in Downtown Seattle neighborhoods. The program has partnered with the Seattle Good Business Network and Shunpike, as well as other property owners, to provide spaces and support for local artists and entrepreneurs who can then use their designated space for 2 to 4 months, with hopes for eventual longer-term leases and expansion into different neighborhoods. 

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Debut Collection Reveals Seattle Writer to Be Emerging Talent in Speculative Fiction

by Neve Mazique-Bianco


From the first page of Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century, the debut short story collection from Seattle-based writer Kim Fu, the author has my attention. Although “Pre-Simulation Consultation XF007867” is nowhere near my favorite story in the collection, it’s an appropriate opener, the unassigned dialogue floating in space and yet coming in as clearly and intimately as if one was listening in on their own phone. The story also establishes what world we are living in and what’s essential in this world. The answer: We are everywhere, and everything is vital.

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