Last week, we interviewed some rising local and BIPOC music artists performing in the city this summer. These artists are only some of the many incredible South End singers and musicians, part of a thriving and dynamic local music scene.
After over a year of empty stages, live music has officially returned, and Columbia City Beatwalk is one grassroots organizing team that’s making it happen. Now in it’s 27th year, Beatwalk is bringing folks together from all walks of life for free outdoor music and entertainment right in the heart of Columbia City.
Their next Block Party event on Saturday, July 31, is something you don’t want to miss. Partnering for the first time with B.U.I.L.D. 206 — an organization with the vision that Black men are empowered leaders and mentors making positive changes in the lives of Black men and youth — the Block Party will feature games, contests, prizes, and a star-studded lineup of DJs, ending with neo soul and hip hop conscious group Black Stax. The family-friendly event will also include mostly Black and POC vendors with a focus on locally-made wares like oils, jewelry, candles, clothing, and more. The party takes place at “The Patio” on Rainier Avenue South and South Ferdinand Street between Geraldine’s Counter and Lottie’s Lounge.
Last spring, restaurants and bars braced themselves against a flurry of rapidly escalating news about the COVID-19 virus that led to a statewide lockdown mid-March. In the midst of so many unknowns, one unfortunate fact was certain: Live music venues were among the first to close. In the months since, it became clear that if they survived, the same venues would be the last to reopen. Now that the state has lifted pandemic restrictions, live music, performance, comedy shows, and even dance parties are returning to South End venues. Here’s what the return of live entertainment will look like for Rumba Notes Lounge, Clock-Out Lounge, and The Royal Room.
Since in-person events have been canceled this year due to COVID-19, live music venues are among the hardest hit businesses. Concerts, performances, and shows have been canceled since March, and without income, small venues are struggling to keep the lights on. Keep Music Live (KML) is a fundraising campaign that seeks to raise $10 million to distribute in grants to live music venues with occupancies of under 1,000 throughout Washington State. In their Statement of Equity, KML says they intend to prioritize women-, LGBTQ+-, and BIPOC-owned venues. KML is raising funds through merch sales, individual donations, and partnerships with Bartell Drugs and Elysian Brewing. The grant applications have yet to be announced, but you can sign up for campaign updates here, and follow their social media for developments.
“Mothers For Police Accountability will present to the Community the
History of Weed and Seed in CD, that lead to People Remover or Gentrification. More information call 206-380-1710 Rev. Walden.” Kid-friendly
Time: 6–8 p.m. Where: Liberty Bank Building — 1405 24th Ave Cost: Free to attend
“In partnership with the Association of Black Social Work Students at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work, this community dialogue series invites and highlights voices and ideas from across the Black diaspora on important topics that inform the individual and collective Black experience. These moderated conversations center the voices of performing artists, mental health professionals, spiritual and body workers, writers, authors and more from across the northwest.
“February’s topic is Loving Black – Discussing the interpersonal and intimate relationships between Black people. Examining love between Black families in a historical context and how it connects to now. An open space to talk about stigmas, challenges, and the sweet parts of loving each other.”
Time: 7–9 p.m. Where: NAAM — 2300 S. Massachusetts St Cost: FREE (register via the Facebook event)
“In celebration of Black History Month, we’re partnering with the King County Library System and visual artist Michael B. Maine for the Blacks Making History Series! Every Thursday in February will feature a different event honoring the past, and looking towards the future in celebration of our local Black community. Join us this Thursday (Feb 6th) at 7pm for our first event, an all-star panel discussion at the Skyway Library about the evolution and endurance of Black political and social movements.
“Featured panelists include Kirsten Harris-Talley, Kelle J Brown, Dominique Davis, Brianna Thomas, and Michael Charles. The panel will be moderated by Marcus Harrison Green and Bridgette Hempstead (Founder of Cierra Sisters and Vice-President of The Emerald Board of Directors). All events are free and open to everyone!” Read full panelist bios in the Facebook event description.
“Hip hop cypher backed by live jazz musicians. Hosted by SCRiBE the Verbalist with King Dre on drums and Dennis Blockman on keys. Bring your raps and your friends. Totally free and all ages. Food and drink specials all night.” All-ages
Time: 6–9 p.m. Where: Cafe Red — 7148 MLK Jr Way S. Cost: Free to attend
“Seattle is one of the wealthiest and fastest-growing cities in the nation, but that growth has come often at the expense of the Indigenous people who first lived here. In a forthcoming piece in Bitterroot and the South Seattle Emerald, writer Marcus Harrison Green examines how Native citizens in Seattle are pushing for greater representation, and how non-Native Seattle residents and officials can improve the relationship with Indigenous residents of this traditional Coast Salish territory.
“Green joins us along with Fern Renville and Russell Brooks for a panel discussion moderated by Bitterroot editor Maggie Mertens, exploring ways the city can best recognize its Indigenous roots and residents, and whether reparations should be a component of that process.
“Russell Brooks (Southern Cheyenne) is the executive director of Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre in Seattle. Marcus Harrison Green is the publisher of the South Seattle Emerald [this publication]. Rachel Heaton (Muckleshoot) is the co-founder of Mazaska Talks, a tool that supports community divestment from banks that finance fossil fuel development. Maggie Mertens is the managing editor of Bitterroot magazine. Fern Renville (Dakota) is the CEO of SNAG Productions. Robin Little Wing Sigo is the director of the Suquamish Research & Strategic Development Department and a member of the Suquamish Tribal Council.”