Michael Hall, better known in Seattle as Specs Wizard, has been involved in hip hop culture since the 80’s. Specs grew up in a family that was into music and that early exposure set him on course to becoming an artist himself.
Africatown-Central District hosted the Malcolm X Hip Hop Soul Rally at Jimi Hendrix Park on the afternoon of Saturday, May 22, to honor the life and legacy of the late Black activist. The event was open to the public and featured live performances from local Black artists as well as vendor opportunities for Black business owners all gathered in community. Throughout the event, emcees emphasized the importance of investing in local Black businesses and celebrating local youth and their passions.
Organizations involved with putting the event together included King County Equity Now, Africatown community organizers, Black Dot, The African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, Black Action Coalition, and many others.
Seattle Black artists will be funded and supported, and LANGSTON, a nonprofit committed to “cultivating Black brilliance,” is building a framework to do just that. But first, they have a question: “What is it that Black artists need to thrive and make meaningful impacts on the city and the world?” And they’re asking Black artists in the Seattle metro area to provide the answers in an online survey by May 24, 2021. But this survey doesn’t narrowly focus on the needs of the artist’s craft — LANGSTON wants to consider the “whole artist.”
“Artists are humans, they’re workers, they have whole lives,” Tim Lennon, the executive director of LANGSTON, said during our video conference interview. “And their art, whatever their art is, is an integral part of that, but it’s not the totality of their existence.”
A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
COVID-19 Vaccination Locations & Access Options
King County Fire District #20 Vaccine Pop-Up in Skyway —King County Fire District #20 is hosting weekly walk-up vaccine clinics in Skyway from May 19 to June 23. Beginning today, Wednesday, May 19, at 9 a.m. at the KC Fire District #20 Administration Office, individuals ages 12 and up can receive doses of the Pfizer vaccine!
The second pop-up has been rescheduled from Wednesday, May 26 to Tuesday, May 25.
In Lisa Myers Bulmash’s home, a new item commemorates her contest winner status — a cerulean pageant sash. The phrase “Miss Thang 2021” is written across it, and a rhinestone-encrusted safety pin ensures it stays in place. Bulmash can’t help but laugh when she talks about her husband’s playful gift.
A weekly round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
curated by Emerald Staff
Wa Na Wari Announces 2021 Artist Residencies
From Wa Na Wari: Wa Na Wari, based in Seattle’s Central District, is offering three one-month-long residencies in the Wa Na Wari house where a visual artist can work and create new visual artwork. The new work will then be on view at Wa Na Wari for a two-month period after the residency. The call is open to artists over 18 years of age that identify as part of the African diaspora living in King County, Washington. Each selected artist will receive a stipend of $2,000. The application deadline is on Monday, January 11, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.
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.
Last night, Seattle Arts & Lectures in partnership with the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas hosted a virtual lecture with Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham to promote their co-edited new book Black Futures.
The lecture itself was a robust conversation about the writers’ journey curating this eclectic anthology and their experiences stepping into the realm of being editors for the first time. As a writer myself, it was especially interesting to hear about the dynamics of being on the opposite side of pressing due dates and having to tackle tasks like heavy cuts to pieces submitted by contributors.
Fall is here. And with it comes rain, gloom, and days that turn to night in the blink of an eye, as well as a never-ending news cycle that circulates between Trump administration shenanigans (so glad he’s almost gone!) to constant reminders that not only is COVID still a problem, but numbers across the country — including King County —are higher than ever. You know what would be amazing right now? A free music festival!
And lucky for us, Bad Habit Media has announced Shelter Fest, a new online music festival created in response to the shelter-in-place mandate and how it has disproportionately impacted the arts and service industries, as well as communities of color. All day this weekend, Saturday November 14 and Sunday November 15, Shelter Fest will provide direct support to local artists, businesses, and restaurants by fostering a creatively designed music festival that is both socially distant and surprisingly intimate.