by Hazel Choi
The Columbia City Historic District is a nationally recognized historic district located in the Rainier Valley’s Columbia City neighborhood. According to HistoryLink.org, there are 14 historic spots in Columbia City. Over the past few decades, the area has undergone a tremendous amount of change as a result of development and gentrification.
Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: History in Motion — The Columbia City Historic District
by Chamidae Ford
This Wednesday, Aug. 11, the Rainier Arts Center will be hosting its second installation of the August Porch Festival. From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. you can find local BIPOC artists taking the stage to perform music for their community. Each week offers a wide range of styles and genres of music and performances.
The Center was opened in 1997 and has served as a gathering space to support the arts for the Rainier community since. Throughout the summer, the Center hosts a wide array of events and activities located in Columbia Park. As a part of that, the Porch Festival aims to provide local artists the space to demonstrate their talents while keeping everyone safe and socially distanced.
“We primarily wanted to showcase South End artists that were BIPOC,” said Ben Leiataua, manager of the Rainier Arts Center.
Continue reading Rainier Arts Center Hosts Weekly Porch Festival Showcasing BIPOC Artists
by Jasmine J. Mahmoud
There was no campfire at “The Campfire Festival.” Rather, warmth came from other sources: Rheanna Atendido’s energizing voice in duet with an amplified acoustic guitar, Dedra Woods’s staging of her and her mother’s memories, storytelling about ghosts and pandemic boredom and political change, and the enthusiastic incredulity of safely and finally engaging in live theatre again alongside other strangers.
Last Friday evening, I nervously walked north through the very green Columbia Park, hugged by Alaska Street and Rainier Avenue South. What would this post(ish) pandemic theater look, sound, and feel like? Upon nearing the outdoor box office table, I viewed the outdoor theater setup on an upwards sloping lawn, where empty hula hoops lay on the grass designating socially distant seating clusters. Once seated, I stared at the facade of Rainier Arts Center, the stage for this theatrical event. There, affixed on white columns were blue banners with the words “Create,” “Celebrate,” “Perform,” or “Connect,” messages that further amplified this theatrical event.
Continue reading Staging Black Memories, Singing With Ghosts: The Williams Project ‘Campfire Festival’