by Mark Van Streefkerk
At the end of March, 4Culture announced this year’s Arc Artist Fellows: six BIPOC artists and activists all between the ages of 18 and 25. The annual Arc Artist Fellowship supports each artist with an unrestricted $12,000 grant. The fellows will receive marketing support through 4Culture’s website and social media platforms and come together later in the year as a cohort to publicly present and celebrate their work. This year’s Arc Artist Fellows are multimedia artist Diego Binuya, dancer, artist, and maker Mikhail Calliste, storyteller and visual artist Monyee Chau, visual artist Joyee Runninghawk, storyteller, director, and aural producer Kayla Stokes, and visual artist and clothing designer Saiyana Suzumura.
Now in its fourth year, the Arc Artist Fellowship is unique in that it is intended to be flexible to the needs and feedback of the fellows, who also get to determine the eligibility requirements for next year’s cohort, thus creating the “arc” of the program. The 2020 fellows were five artists over 40 who identify as transgender, Two Spirit, nonbinary, genderqueer, or gender nonconforming. When it came time for their input on the next cohort, they wanted to shift the focus to youth artists and activists.
Continue reading 4Culture 2021 Arc Artist Fellowship Recognizes Six BIPOC Youth Artists and Activists
by Mark Van Streefkerk
It’s been almost three months since Moses Sun finished his mural “Flourish Together” on the south-facing exterior wall of The Columbia City Theater. The ground-to-roof-sized mural is made up of floral designs in gold, green, and light blue, set against an indigo background, with two abstract hands clasped together in the middle. It wasn’t easy working on an outside mural during the rainy months. The process officially started on Dec. 16, with Sun and his team patiently on call, showing up to paint as the weather permitted. Finished in early January, “Flourish Together” pays homage to a space where cross-cultural connections thrive. Since then, Sun has been hard at work, completing another mural for Starbucks in January and sharing dynamic artworks fused with jazz and hip hop on Instagram, and he’ll be part of a Vivid Matter Collective show debuting this week at Vermillion Art Gallery & Bar. Though his next projects are under wraps, expect to see much more from Sun in the coming months.
Continue reading The Art of Moses Sun Reflects Seattle’s Diaspora, Cultures, and Jazz
by Mark Van Streefkerk
Xavier Raymond Kelley’s Instagram bio reads “Jumping and Art,” two concepts he says are more interrelated than you’d think. The 19-year-old sophomore competes on Seattle University’s (SU) track and field team in the Long Jump, Triple Jump, and High Jump events, and is also an artist rising to citywide recognition, poised for his first gallery debut “Going Thru thEMOTIONS” at Columbia City Gallery from March 21 to May 9.
An alumni of Franklin High School, Kelley’s athletic and artistic expressions only keep on growing. His first love was basketball, but Kelley picked up track his senior year where he excelled, eventually leading to a spot on SU’s team. Always an artist, Kelley explored drawing with markers and pastels long before moving to acrylic paint on canvas within the last year and a half. His latest work features Black athletes, basketball, ancient Egyptian imagery, and symbols that point to the complexities of racism.
“My background is definitely in athletics — that really informs my art and the concepts and motifs that show up in my art,” Kelley said. “Art and sports are very intersectional, and they’re both very acute forms of self-expression. Just like dance is a form of art, I believe sports is also a form of art and self-expression.”
Continue reading Xavier Raymond Kelley Debuts ‘Going Thru thEMOTIONS’ at Columbia City Gallery
by Beverly Aarons
“What happens if we regard each other as powerful beings?” That’s Natasha Marin’s essential question in “Black Imagination: Sites of Power,” a virtual exhibition/experience originally slated to open at the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) pre-pandemic. “I’m thinking about individuals as power conduits,” Marin said during our telephone interview. But in mainstream society, Black existence is not contextualized within the framework of power — not in the media, not in the movies, books, or games. “How does that change?” Marin asked. “How can we hear each other?”
Continue reading Black Imagination: Sites of Power, a Conversation With Natasha Marin
by Betty Jean Williamson
Beacon Arts is the all-volunteer nonprofit arts council for Beacon Hill. We grew out of a small art-making studio called ROCKiT Space, founded in 2009 by Jessie and Marti McKenna, which was housed in the building that is now Tippe and Drague Alehouse. At that time, there were no galleries or venues for music on the Hill. ROCKiT Space partnered with Beacon Hill Music (Paul Ray and Betty Jean Wiliamson) to create Beacon Rocks, a monthly summer music and art event. ROCKiT Space grew into Beacon Arts after moving our office into the historic Garden House in 2011.
Our mission is to create opportunities for Beacon Hill artists and audiences by activating under-utilized spaces such as Roberto Maestas Festival Street, Jefferson Park, Garden House, and the warehouse on the corner of 15th Avenue South and Beacon Avenue that became Dozer’s Warehouse. For over ten years, Beacon Arts volunteers have created and run various projects and programs including concerts, art installations and markets, poetry readings, public mural painting, and documentary screenings.
Continue reading Beacon Arts Guild: Supporting Working and Emerging Southeast Seattle Artists
by Susan Fried
On the afternoon of Feb. 26, as unpredictable weather loomed overhead, the students in Franklin High School’s (FHS) Art of Resistance & Resilience Club hung their latest project outside, a group of handmade signs celebrating Black lives and social justice. They attached the project to the fence next to the school’s mural honoring the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panthers, which was vandalized late last year.
Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Franklin High School Club Responds to Vandalism With BLM Art
by Carolyn Bick
In this special photography series, Emerald writer and photographer Carolyn Bick shares some of the challenges of being a breaking news reporter and investigative journalist and how they find release, healing, and resilience in nature.
I am bad at being vulnerable.
I am equally bad at asking for help, asking to take a break, saying no — you know, those classic perfectionist traits. These traits are really good at getting a person through the sprint … but what about the marathon?
This year, Reader, I nearly burned out. I think it took longer than anyone who was concerned about me expected, but it was quite a shock for me to find myself crying on the floor of my closet and unable to figure out why. I’d been doing the requisite therapy sessions (that’s what you’re supposed to do in a pandemic, right?), signed up for a Calm membership, kept up with my regular morning exercise, and (grudgingly) agreed to take time off when my publisher and managing editor said I needed to.
Continue reading UNBOUND: Nature Heals
by Mark Van Streefkerk
“You see that I am always getting in trouble
Trouble follows me
like a shadow right behind me, always
You see that I am always in fights
Always rebel fights, arguments
But you don’t know me. I’m not that type of person
I’m really caring, giving
Always trying to help people”
Those are the opening lines to “Josiah,” a poem by 16-year-old Damian, a youth incarcerated at Seattle’s Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC), formerly King County Juvenile Detention. “Josiah” appears in The Shadow Beside Me, a new anthology of poems from youth at CFJC, published by the Pongo Poetry Project. In the poem, Damian writes about how life changed when his friend Josiah was shot and killed. “Josiah was the only person we knew who had graduated / had a job, and had something going for him / When he left, it broke me.”
Continue reading ‘The Shadow Beside Me’: Seattle Nonprofit Debuts Poetry From King County Juvenile Detention
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.
Continue reading Rising Star Estrella Gonzales-Sanders Featured in New Debbie Allen Netflix Documentary
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.
Continue reading A Backstage Look at Intiman’s Technical Theatre and Social Justice AA Degree at Seattle Central College