Tag Archives: Arts

UNBOUND: Nature Heals

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.

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‘The Shadow Beside Me’: Seattle Nonprofit Debuts Poetry From King County Juvenile Detention

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.” 

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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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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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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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Beaconettes Serenade the Season With Columbia City Caroling

by Carolyn Bick

From declaring that they put the ‘ho’ in ‘holiday’ to cheekily taking Amazon to task to listing the various woes I-90 commuters face, the Beaconettes lit up the Columbia City Gallery on the evening of Dec. 14, performing as part of the Columbia City Caroling Extravaganza. Continue reading Beaconettes Serenade the Season With Columbia City Caroling

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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Queen Street Examines Identity Through Dance

by Leija Farr

Queen Street is an original work by Randy Ford that uses dance to highlight intersectionality through the lens of queer, trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconfirming people of color. The show plays at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center Sept. 20 and 21. The event is community- and grant-funded. Visit Brown Paper Tickets to purchase seats. Continue reading Queen Street Examines Identity Through Dance

Black Pride Play Examines the Black Male Body

by Bri Little

NW Black Pride kicked off last night with Black D*ck Matters, written by Kathya Alexander (co-writer of Black to My Roots: African American Tales from Head and the Heart) and directed and produced by Tyrone Brown. The multimedia experimental experience premiered at Gay City in front of a full house, and much like Black Pride itself, the play was provocative. The piece both asks and answers a question aimed toward Black men: How does “it” feel? The answers, revealed throughout the play, unmask the tenderness of Black pain alongside Black pleasure.

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