Tag Archives: Community Events

Guide to Local Events to Celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

curated by Emerald Staff

Seattle is about as far as you can get from Atlanta, where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born and led this country’s civil rights movement. But Seattle activist Larry Gossett would argue no city compares to Seattle’s fervor for celebrating Dr. King:

“Remember, y’all: No other citizenry from any city in our country, has been as able as Seattle’s activists — especially its Black, other People of Color, and progressive white community leaders — in attracting thousands of folks from all walks of life to come together every year to pay tribute to Dr. King’s legacy.”

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PHOTO ESSAY: Santa’s Back

by Susan Fried

I’ve taken photos of kids with Santa Claus for many years, including a brief stint as a Santa photographer at the downtown Seattle Nordstrom in the mid ’90s. Christmas hasn’t officially arrived for me until I see a child staring up into the eyes of Santa, trying to remember what they want him to bring them for Christmas. 

This year, Santa made an appearance at Rainier Avenue Radio’s First Annual Holiday Bazaar in the Columbia City Theater. Unlike last year, a fully vaccinated Santa was able to spend a little time with each child, receiving their Christmas wish lists and allowing their family to get a quick photo. 

When I first started taking photos of children visiting Santa, it was pretty rare to see a Black Santa in our city. Thankfully, we now have Santas nearly as diverse as the South End community. 

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Winter Wonderland Event Celebrates Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren

by Elizabeth Turnbull

Women United ensures that “kinship caregivers” — grandparents who are raising their grandchildren — are taken care of and celebrated all year round, including Christmas. 

This Saturday, Dec. 18, the nonprofit is hosting a Winter Wonderland event at Renton’s Angel of Hope Engagement Center from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. There, under the glow of Christmas lights and immersed in Christmas music, caregivers and children are invited to celebrate the holiday with chili, cornbread, Christmas cookies, hot chocolate with marshmallows, and spiced apple cider. Gifts will be provided for those in attendance. 

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Adefua’s Legacy of African Dance and Culture

by Kathya Alexander

The Odunde Festival is an annual harvest festival that celebrates the fruits of labor of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. The word itself means “New Year,” and Adefua Cultural Education Workshop has been celebrating the event here in Seattle for the past 36 years. The theme this year is Reunion, an opportunity to come together and give thanks for life as the city comes out of COVID-19 restrictions. 

The two-day event begins Friday, Nov. 19, at 6 p.m. with a community dance party at the Rainier Arts Center and continues Saturday, Nov. 20, with an African marketplace that opens at 3 p.m. and culminates with a symposium and performance from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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Estelita’s Library Turns the Page on a New Chapter in the Central District

by Amanda Ong

This past Saturday, Nov. 13, was the grand opening of Estelita’s Library’s new location in the Central District (CD). The justice-focused community library opened in 2018 in Beacon Hill, but their brand new space in the CD represents an exciting new chapter for the library and the community. This move has been months in the making.

“We own this space now,” said cofounder Edwin Lindo in an interview with the Emerald. “And that’s a powerful place to be in for the community. To not be displaced.” Lindo previously rented the Beacon Hill location with his cofounder and wife, Dr. Estell Williams.

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PHOTO ESSAY: T’Challaween 2021 — Another Outstanding Celebration of the South End!

by Emerald Staff

After weeks of hiding stubbornly behind gray skies and frequent downpours, the fall sun lit up north Beacon Hill in a golden brilliance for the second-annual T’Challaween parade on Saturday, Oct. 30. 

This year, the South Seattle Emerald’s signature event “T’Challaween — A South End Tribute to Our Heroes” saw even more impressive turnout than its debut last year. Community turned out in droves in stellar costumes to catch candy and celebrate South Seattle.

The T’Challaween 2021 costume parade started again on the Beacon Hill Stay Healthy Street at South College Street but this year ended at Jefferson Park where festivities continued with live music and entertainment. The Emerald partnered with the Artist’s Way to livestream the event. Artist’s Way founder Shaina Shepherd cohosted the stream along with Nikki Barron, and they brought local performers like Da Qween, The Pazific, and Smokey Brights who made beautiful music in the sunny park for live audiences and those who couldn’t attend in person. The livestream was produced by Blazin’ Space, kittenteeth, and Ground Control Recording.

The South End Public Market — a project of Beacon Arts — also set up shop in the park. Hyper-local artists and craftspeople sold their goods, from lovely jewelry to charming crocheted creatures and ink-printed artwork. You can catch the South End Public Market again on Saturday, Nov. 20, at Day Moon Press, one block south of Jefferson Park on Beacon Avenue South.

The success of T’Challaween 2021 was made possible with generous support of sponsors: The Station, Beacon Arts, Boon Boona Coffee, Amy’s Merkato, Victrola Coffee, Jefferson Advisory Council, the ACLU-WA, Alaska Airlines, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and Safeway.

We look forward to celebrating with you all again next year, South End heroes!  

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All That Jazz: The Life and Legacy of Ernestine Anderson

by Kathya Alexander

Ernestine Anderson was just 16 years old when she announced to her parents that she was going to leave Seattle and go on the road to sing with a big band. She’d only recently moved to the city from Texas and was attending Garfield High School. Two years later, when the Johnny Otis band came to town, she made good on her promise, leaving Seattle in 1946 to eventually live in New York, Switzerland, and other cities throughout Europe during an illustrious six-decade career, during which she recorded more than 30 albums. But, no matter where she lived, her heart always pulled her back to her family and the city she loved. 

Seattle’s Central District in the 1940s and ’50s was a jazz mecca. Fellow Garfield High School alum, Quincy Jones, described it as “screaming around the clock.” Both Anderson and Jones performed with Garfield’s jazz band and in various clubs on Seattle’s Jackson Street. Music journalist Paul De Barros’ book, Jackson Street After Hours: The Roots of Jazz in Seattle, has become the standard historical text on the Central District of Seattle and the jazz scene that was going on during the 1940s through the early ’60s. But Anderson felt she needed to make it elsewhere before she would be recognized professionally at home. 

“There were a lot of clubs in the Central area of Seattle: The Black and Tan, The Rocking Chair, and a whole bunch of other[s],” said Eugenie Jones, jazz singer and coproducer of “Celebrating Ernestine Anderson,” a series of community events being held this month to honor the life and legacy of this incredible Seattle icon, who died in 2016.

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24-Hour Asian American Play Festival Aims to Diversify Asian Stories in Theatre

by Amanda Ong

The oldest Asian American theatre group in the Pacific Northwest will put on a 24-hour play festival this Saturday, Nov. 13. Pork Filled ProductionsResilience! An AAPI 24-Hour Play Festival will showcase seven 10-minute plays, conceived, written, rehearsed, and performed all within 24 hours. Each play will be put on by a team of distinguished Asian American writers, directors, and actors. The online production will be livestreamed on Youtube

Pork Filled Productions was founded in Seattle in 1998 as an Asian American sketch comedy group dedicated to blending community activism with theatre. While their genres have expanded in years since to include science fiction, noir, fantasy, steampunk, and more, they have continued their mission to imagine fantastical universes informed by diverse perspectives. 

Resilience! was conceived by senior producer Kendall Uyeji in response to the surge of Asian hate crimes and the #StopAsianHate movement in the spring of 2021, particularly after the shooting of six massage parlor workers in Atlanta, Georgia.

Uyeji said he felt he wanted to do something to help raise the profile of the movement. “We want to write about the now,” he told the Emerald. “And the best way to write about the now is to literally have [playwrights] write the night of and then produce it the next day.”

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PHOTO ESSAY: MLK60, Honoring the Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

by Susan Fried and Phil Manzano

Seattle celebrated the 60th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s visit to Seattle over the weekend in song, recognition, and celebration. 

The three-day event, held by the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM), hosted Dr. King’s oldest son, Martin Luther King III, at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, where America’s civil rights leader of the 1960s stayed on his only visit to Seattle.

Saturday, Nov. 6, at Garfield High School where Dr. King spoked to packed audiences 60 years ago, NAAM announced the first group to be inducted into the Circle of Elders, “exceptional Black community leaders over the age of 75 who have led and won victories in the struggle for civil rights, social equity, and opportunity in Seattle’s Central District and greater Pacific Northwest.”

Other events included a prayer vigil at Mount Zion Baptist Church featuring local clergy and culminated in King III’s keynote address at the University of Washington. 

“Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s most inspirational affirmation was hope for a better tomorrow and a brighter future for everyone. It was that hope that mobilized the Civil Rights Movement, and it is that very same hope that continues to shape efforts today to create Dr. King’s vision for a more equitable society,” states NAAM’s MLK60 website.

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Where to Celebrate Diá de los Muertos in the South End and Beyond

by Amanda Ong

Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican and Latinx holiday honoring those who have passed through celebration, dance, offerings, art, and food. Just following Halloween, Día de los Muertos is celebrated on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2. It is a joyful celebration and remembrance of family and friends who have died. Scenes of colorful flowers and dresses, skeleton painted faces, and decorated altars are all hallmarks of this holiday. 

This year, we rounded up an assortment of events in Seattle,  South King County, and beyond. Be sure to check them out for days of celebration, rich cultural traditions, and more. If we missed an event and you would like us to add it, please fill out our event form here.

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