Preservation Sustained Support Kicks Off Two Years of Funding

“Heartbomb” photo event, Nuclear Reactor Building at University of Washington © 2015, photo by John Shea, courtesy of Docomomo WEWA.

Through our Sustained Support grant, we assist with the day-to-day needs of organizations doing cultural work in King County. The funding provided by this grant rolls out over two-year cycles, with another one kicking off in fall 2016.

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“Heartbomb” photo event, Nuclear Reactor Building at University of Washington © 2015, photo by John Shea, courtesy of Docomomo WEWA.

Through our Sustained Support grant, we assist with the day-to-day needs of organizations doing cultural work in King County. The funding provided by this grant rolls out over two-year cycles, with another one kicking off in fall 2016.

We’re proud to be funding 18 organizations and municipalities through Preservation Sustained Support for the next two years! The panel awarded a total of $99,000 in funding, with 9 applicants receiving increased funding due to their increased activity levels and preservation-specific programming. Applicants represented 7 of 9 King County Council districts. Here are a few highlights:

The City of Bothell is great example of how municipalities can put Preservation Sustained Support funds to work through a variety of projects. They installed a historical road sign commemorating “Lazy Husband Road,” a road built by inmates sent to the Bothell Stockade as a result of the Lazy Husbands Act of 1913. They’ve nominated a small district of World War II-era cottages to their local historic register, and are planning the same for two 1930s former bank buildings on Main Street. They’ll continue to focus on Main Street revitalization over the next two years as they develop design guidelines, help property owners interested in façade restoration, and extend Main Street to connect it with new downtown development and UW Bothell Campus.

Docomomo WEWA focused their advocacy efforts this year on their Save the Reactor campaign, a collaboration with Historic Seattle and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation to prevent demolition of the National Register-listed Nuclear Reactor Building at the University of Washington. Although the building was torn down in July 2016, Docomomo raised broad community awareness about what we can learn from our built environment, and they continue to advocate for other historic resources on the Seattle campus and other properties owned by the UW.

2016 was the first time the Volunteer Park Trust applied for Sustained Support funding, seeking support for their upcoming goal of restoring the park’s great lawn. It’s an ambitious project—they’ll construct a new amphitheater slightly north of the current one, allowing them to restore the lawn to its original Olmsted design and reconnect the pathway from the Volunteer Park Reservoir to the lower loop road. With support from neighbors, performance groups, Seattle Parks, the Landmarks Board, and, now, Sustained Support funding, they’ll move forward with design and plans for a Capital Campaign to fund landscape restoration and construction.

Check out the full list of Preservation Sustained Support recipients online, and make sure to keep an eye out for the great work they’re all doing!

Guest Post: the Youth-Led Campaign to Educate, Entertain and Empower

Photo by Tim Aguero.

Jamil Suleman served as the Mentor Artist to the most recent session of Creative Justice, our program offering an arts-based alternative to incarceration for court-involved youth in King County. In this Guest Post, Jamil shares insight into what the group of participants learned and accomplished:

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Photo by Tim Aguero.
Photo by Tim Aguero.

Jamil Suleman served as the Mentor Artist to the most recent session of Creative Justice, our program offering an arts-based alternative to incarceration for court-involved youth in King County. In this Guest Post, Jamil shares insight into what the group of participants learned and accomplished:

I’ve done this before, but there was something different about this group…

The process for me as a Teaching Artist focusing on Hip Hop Culture is usually the same every time, no matter the location or age bracket. Take a group of young people, have them produce music and film, lace the classes with relevant cultural studies that influence the content to be more socially conscious, crank out a legit business plan for merchandise and performances, and build a mini-movement in a handful of months. The result is a cohesive group of artists who, after taking some risks to express themselves, if everything worked out as planned, come out with a stronger sense of self-confidence and reaping the rewards as a team.

There’s nothing like seeing all the weeks of hard work pay off when your shirts sell out after you rocked a set of music that really puts your thoughts and feelings out there. To share your story, and to see it being appreciated by people from all backgrounds, is a life changing experience that sets the tone for a young person’s dreams and pursuits from there on forward. It’s experiential proof. Now, there is no doubt, if they put their mind to it and work hard with a small group of their friends, they can do it.

It can be done.

We started with a group of youth, some who knew each other, and some who were completely new to the area. We’d come in, twice a week, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, and start with a brief activity or meal. Considering the political climate we are in, with everything from the protests at Standing Rock to the election of Donald Trump occurring during our session, you can imagine the dialogue was always lively. It was these conversations that gave a foundation for our art work.

Once we started to form a cohesive core, we looked at all of the various social and cultural issues we discussed and experienced, and decided to pick a campaign to focus our creative project on. With #BlackLivesMatter and #NoDAPL going viral, the youth chose their own movement: #FreeTheYouth. Stemming from the idea of the everyday struggle, the class picked #FreeTheYouth as a way to give voice to youth experiencing incarceration and the school to prison pipeline. That message is what fueled the music, video, shirt design, and the overall purpose of our Creative Justice session.

Photo by Tim Aguero.
Photo by Tim Aguero.

And in early December, after having wrapped up our last session of Creative Justice 2016, I look at our class of young high schoolers, who’ve gone through their own personal journeys of ups and downs in and out of the courts and foster homes…beaming. They did it. And each one of them is taking home $40 tonight after selling several of their #FreeTheYouth shirts and wristbands they designed while in class. One of our students had a breakthrough moment when she performed in front of a crowd for the second time, now without needing her lyrics. Fear conquered, mission accomplished.

Proof. It can be done.

That’s the main mission for me. To be able to be given a real opportunity, to be vulnerable with students, to be their friend, their ear, their family member…to just be there for them. After having worked several jobs in the field, I can say with confidence that Creative Justice really gets to the core of what our youth and community needs. The heart to heart relationships we build, that lay the groundwork for the foundation of educating and learning from one another, and using our creative talents to express that growth. It allows us to build the necessary trust with each other, so when we make our art, it can be true and authentic, and when we share it, it’s that much more impactful.

I was right about this group being different. I felt, this time, that I was closer to my purpose while teaching with Creative Justice, and the dynamics of the class really prove that. There are always obstacles, and you can expect that things won’t be easy some times. But the way we were able to navigate throughout the quarter allowed us to grow in ways I wasn’t expecting, which gave us a synergy that I feel lasts past the program, and resonates with our entire community.

Photo by Tim Aguero.
Photo by Tim Aguero.

#FreeTheYouth is a movement, and it’s not going anywhere until our youth are free. Free from the shackles of judgement from systems that have been created to silence us. In the time and age we live in, it’s going to be up to our youth to make sure we make it through, for them and their children. After having gone through this session with a dozen very strong and confident young people, who are now seeing their own potential to inspire, I have faith.

It can be done.

#FreeTheYouth

January at Gallery4Culture: David Jaewon Oh

David Jaewon Oh. Stefani, 2014. Digital C-print. 25 x 38 inches.

David Jaewon Oh
Combatants
Gallery4Culture
January 5—26, 2017
Opening: January 5, 6:00—8:00 pm

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David Jaewon Oh. Stefani, 2014. Digital C-print. 25 x 38 inches.
David Jaewon Oh. Stefani, 2014. Digital C-print. 25 x 38 inches.

David Jaewon Oh
Combatants
Gallery4Culture
January 5—26, 2017
Opening: January 5, 6:00—8:00 pm

David Jaewon Oh’s Combatants captures the strength, honesty, and endurance of women in combat sports. The sights and sounds of the often male-dominated gyms where they train come to life in this series of intimate photographic portraits that explore personal identity and gender roles.

Although there has been an increase in the number of women participating in boxing and ultimate fighting over the past two decades, they continue to be underrepresented in the media, seen as novelty acts, and confined by the paradox of accepted norms. Since 2012, Oh has traveled to Washington, Oregon, California, New York, and British Columbia, capturing the changing face of the field and helping to break stereotypes related to athleticism and physical ability.

Oh states, “I’ve photographed a world champion boxer who had to wait tables at a pancake spot a few days after winning her title, a single mom who lost everything after a natural disaster and needed a way to cope, a woman who was drawn to the sport as a way to build her sense of self, and a teenager who just “likes to fight.” I’m working with fighters who are participating in, arguably, one of the more historically male-dominated sports and yet, it serves as an opportunity for them to find their identity and strength as women.”

About the Artist: David Jaewon Oh was born is Seoul, South Korea and now resides in Seattle, Washington. He received a BFA in Photomedia from the University of Washington, where he was honored with the Harold and Sylvia Tacker Award in Photography. His work is focused on the subjects of culture and gender in sports. Recent projects include the documentation of an LGBTQ running club and the Rat City Rollergirls. Combatants is his first solo exhibition in Seattle, but images from the series have been shown at Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon, Gallery CLU in Los Angeles, California, and featured in online and print publications such as VSCO, Float Photo Magazine, Vice Fightland, and Good Sport Magazine. Oh was awarded a 2016 GAP Grant from Artist Trust.

Website: upsetspecialistphoto.com

Up next: Chris McMullen’s C.S.E. (Collaborative Stacking Extravaganza!)

We Love the Junction: Preservation Grants at Work

The Campbell and Hamm buildings – in West Seattle’s primary business district, The Junction © 2016 Southwest Seattle Historical Society

As our region rides its biggest boom cycle since the 19th century Gold Rush and construction cranes fill our skies, many communities are coming together to figure out ways to grow and change while also preserving the historic character of our neighborhoods. What does that work actually look like in action?

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The Campbell and Hamm buildings – in West Seattle’s primary business district, The Junction © 2016 Southwest Seattle Historical Society
The Campbell and Hamm buildings – in West Seattle’s primary business district, The Junction © 2016 Southwest Seattle Historical Society

As our region rides its biggest boom cycle since the 19th century Gold Rush and construction cranes fill our skies, many communities are coming together to figure out ways to grow and change while also preserving the historic character of our neighborhoods. What does that work actually look like in action?

Often, preserving a historically significant building or space starts with something critical, yet unglamorous: surveys and studies! Funded by our Preservation Special Project grant in 2014, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society partnered with four other West Seattle organizations to conduct the West Seattle Junction Historical Survey. A professional architectural historian assessed more than 50 buildings lining California Avenue, identifying two that are strong candidates for landmark status.

The Campbell Building, located at 4218 SW Alaska St, built in 1918, now occupied by Cupcake Royale, and the Hamm Building, located at 4302 SW Alaska St, built in 1926, currently occupied by Easy Street Records, help define the character—old and new—of the West Seattle Junction. They house local, small-business tenants and provide rental housing at lower rates than the new buildings that seem to pop up overnight in and near the Junction. Long-time West Seattleites support the preservation of these cornerstone buildings, but, SWSHS argues, so do newer residents—their surveys found that historic buildings like the Campbell and Hamm were a big draw for those who had moved to the neighborhood recently.

At the beginning of this year, the SWSHS received another grant through the same program, this time to research and write a Landmark nomination for each of the two buildings. Written by recently retired 4Culture staff member Flo Lentz, the nominations were submitted to the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board in September—stay tuned to the SWSHS to find out the future of the Junction!

Guest Post: Providing Access in South King County

Jean McFee Raichle, Summer Flowers. Image courtesy of The Art of Alzheimer’s.

Led by Barbara McMichael, SoCoCulture provides South King County, arts, heritage, and botanical organizations with networking opportunities, advocacy support, and professional development. Here, Barbara provides an update on a recent meeting designed to help the group’s members improve their services and engagement with the public:

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Jean McFee Raichle -- Summer Flowers -- Elderwise ® creative outreach class
Jean McFee Raichle, Summer Flowers. Image courtesy of The Art of Alzheimer’s.

Led by Barbara McMichael, SoCoCulture provides South King County, arts, heritage, and botanical organizations with networking opportunities, advocacy support, and professional development. Here, Barbara provides an update on a recent meeting designed to help the group’s members improve their services and engagement with the public:

At a recent meeting, our topic was access—we put together a panel of terrific folks who are working to provide meaningful cultural access to both artists and audiences with special needs.

Marilyn Raichle, founder of The Art of Alzheimer’s, talked about discovering how her mother, who had dementia, found a way to express herself even after she became nonverbal. With a paintbrush in her hand, Raichle’s mom created beautiful art with interesting content and vibrant colors. With this newfound evidence that her mother still had a creative spark and stories to share, Raichle has been working to spread the word about this way to connect. Earlier this year at Seattle City Hall, she presented The Artist Within, an exhibit that featured the art of dozens of individuals living with dementia. The disease affects about 100,000 people in Washington State alone.

The Jack Straw Cultural Center has developed several different audio production programs for blind and visually impaired individuals of all ages. Joan Rabinowitz, executive director at Jack Straw, noted that some of these programs have been running for more than 20 years. The Blind Youth Audio Project is an extracurricular workshop series that runs in conjunction with a University of Washington-based summer youth employment program for blind and visually impaired high school students. Students can get involved in radio theater production, interviewing, music recording and mixing, or soundscaping projects. Another program involves visually impaired high school students interviewing visually impaired adults about their careers, and how they achieved their goals. These and other initiatives have been collaborations with organizations including Humanities Washington, the Washington State School for the Blind, Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences, and the Washington State Department of Services for the Blind. And Jack Straw would love to find groups to partner with in South King County.

Our other two panelists focused on programming for special needs youth. Sammamish Arts Commissioner Lin Garretson has developed Special Arts 2Go, which partners special needs kids with high school student mentors to work together on hands-on art projects facilitated by professional instructors. Students are encouraged to express their creativity in a variety of mediums. Garretson said that the events are geared for youngsters on the autism spectrum, but that students with other special needs are welcome. Both they and their teen mentors have been enthusiastic about the program, and both sets of young people have benefited from the teamwork. The program has become immensely popular and has grown significantly in just a short period of time.

And South King County’s own Elisa Lewis, founder of the Maple Valley Youth Symphony, shared the story of how her organization formed a Jam Club when she learned that a couple of musicians in the Youth Symphony had special needs siblings. When the Jam Club started out it served just a couple of children. But as word spread about this Music Therapy based music education program, Jam Club has expanded over the last couple of years to include musicians from second grade through high school. Jam Club participants work toward musical and social goals, and perform with the Maple Valley Youth Symphony on specially selected pieces at every concert.

This program has had the additional advantage of connecting the parents of these kids and giving them a chance to share experiences and resources.

Marilyn, Joan, Lin and Elisa all provided inspiring and concrete examples of how to reach out to under-served populations in our communities. In South King County and elsewhere, let’s dedicate ourselves to doing more to dismantle barriers to participation!

Guest Post: “The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop” Hits a National Stage

Jazmyn Scott and Aaron Walker-Loud accept the American Association for State & Local History 2016 Leadership in History Award of Merit for The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop. Photo courtesy of MOHAI.

Jazmyn Scott and Aaron Walker-Loud partnered with the Museum of History & Industry to curate and present The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop, an exhibit celebrating the people, places, and events that make up one of our region’s most vibrant cultural communities. The exhibit ran from September 19, 2015 through May 1, 2016. We at 4Culture were proud to help fund it! Here, Aaron and Jazmyn give us some insight into how the exhibit evolved, and where it’s taken them:

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Photo courtesy of MOHAI.
Jazmyn Scott and Aaron Walker-Loud accept the American Association for State & Local History 2016 Leadership in History Award of Merit for The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop. Photo courtesy of MOHAI.

Jazmyn Scott and Aaron Walker-Loud partnered with the Museum of History & Industry to curate and present The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop, an exhibit celebrating the people, places, and events that make up one of our region’s most vibrant cultural communities. The exhibit ran from September 19, 2015 through May 1, 2016. We at 4Culture were proud to help fund it! Here, Aaron and Jazmyn give us some insight into how the exhibit evolved, and where it’s taken them:

After six years of constructing a brighter light to help the world better understand the Hip-Hop scene in Seattle, both past and present, we found ourselves in Detroit receiving national acclaim for these efforts. On the evening of September 16, 2016, we were overjoyed to receive, along with MOHAI, the American Association for State & Local History 2016 Leadership in History Award of Merit for The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop exhibit: “the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.” To think that two people who have never curated an exhibit before could partner, receive great acclaim and public engagement—approximately 31,000 guests attended the exhibit throughout the run—then also receive national accolades, was beyond what we’d ever imagined.

To think that two people who have never curated an exhibit before could partner, receive great acclaim and public engagement—approximately 31,000 guests attended the exhibit throughout the run—then also receive national accolades, was beyond what we’d ever imagined.

In 2010 we were involved in an exciting project with Steve Sneed of the Seattle Center for the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair, in the multi-faceted “Next 50” project. Originally approaching Aaron to look at the possibility of producing a Seattle Hip-Hop compilation album, Steve was quickly open to expanding the concept. We built a team that included the two of us, brother Avi Loud, and several community collaborators and created 50 Next: Seattle Hip-Hop Worldwide, which launched in 2012. The project includes a free compilation of 76 Seattle/Northwest Hip-Hop tracks spanning from the early 1980s through 2012, as well as a short film documentary on this region’s unique culture.

To grow the long-term scope of our work, Steve then immediately introduced us to the Black Heritage Society of Washington State, who then introduced us to MOHAI to produce a Black History Month Celebration in February 2014. Showcasing film, visual art, dance, music, and a community conversation about gentrification in Seattle, over 700 guests were in attendance. We were later invited to meet with MOHAI, and presented with the opportunity to co-curate an entire exhibit about Seattle Hip-Hop. After our initial shock at the invitation, we eagerly accepted!

Collecting artifact loans that represent over 1,000 Seattle Hip-Hop artists, along with vital support from Blend, Dr. Daudi Abe, DeVon Manier, Margo Jones, 206 Zulu, the Coolout Network, as well as our teams at 50 Next: Seattle Hip-Hop Worldwide, The Town Entertainment and Big World Breaks, we embarked on our journey. Tasked with engaging the spectrum of museum goers, from toddler aged youth through elders, enlightening those new to Hip-Hop as well as “Hip-Hop Heads,” honoring cultural originators in parallel with new artists, composing the supportive text, having the patient persistence to build trust and collect loaned artifacts from artists spread all over the region—these were the challenges to embrace.

Hip-Hop is ever-evolving. Originating as a Black American art form in New York City in the late 1970s, it is unique among all other music genres as a multi-medium cultural force that is directly tied to the roots of the Black Power movement of the 1960s and still consistent with the ongoing fight against institutional racism through the efforts of Black Lives Matter and many more active entities. To have activists and artists participate in events that brought honest conversation around these vital issues was extremely important to us. We were grateful that MOHAI not only supported us in creatively exploring elements of Hip-Hop within the exhibit—Graffiti, Deejaying, Dance, Emceeing, Production and Fashion—but also co-produced over 20 events with us during the exhibit run, that included the participation of over 45 community members and organizations represented.

Sharing Seattle’s stories in Detroit this September at the AASLH award ceremony, all we could help feel is that this is just the beginning, a surprisingly explosive start to both of our life’s work in amplifying Northwest culture on the world stage.

Guest Post: Northwest Seaport Expands

Photo courtesy of Northwest Seaport.

Nathaniel Howe is the Executive Director of Northwest Seaport, an organization dedicated to preserving the rich maritime heritage of the Pacific Northwest. Their floating fleet at Lake Union Park just received a new addition:

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Photo courtesy of Northwest Seaport.
Photo courtesy of Northwest Seaport.

Nathaniel Howe is the Executive Director of Northwest Seaport, an organization dedicated to preserving the rich maritime heritage of the Pacific Northwest. Their floating fleet at Lake Union Park just received a new addition:

I am very proud to announce that we are expanding our historic fleet, which presently includes the tugboat Arthur Foss of 1889 and Lightship No. 83 Swiftsure of 1904. We have now raised the funds to acquire a “new” 105 year-old vessel, the 75-ft. halibut schooner Tordenskjold (pronounced tore-den-sk-yool-d). After more than 100 years of commercial fishing, this true Northwest icon is about to become Seattle’s newest museum ship.

Built in Ballard by John Strand in 1911, Tordenskjold is now one of the oldest halibut schooners left. In its century of fishing it has worked up and down the West Coast catching not only halibut, but also crab, shrimp, tuna, and even sharks—a catch highly valued by the US armed forces during WWII. Fishing with dories, long-lines, pelagic trawl nets, and bottom trawls, Tordenskjold worked in more fisheries than any other halibut schooner and is believed to have the rare distinction of being the only boat in the fleet to have never lost a man at sea.

Drawing of Tordenskjold courtesy of Northwest Seaport.
Drawing of Tordenskjold courtesy of Northwest Seaport.

After the 2012 fishing season, Tordenskjold’s owner, Marvin Gjerde, decided it was time to retire from fishing. The boat still had a lot of years left in her, but with bigger, more powerful longliners on the market, finding a buyer who wanted to invest the time, cash, and energy needed to keep a vessel like Tordenskjold in prime fishing condition was hard to find. Gjerde felt that Northwest Seaport would give Tordenskjold the care and devotion it needs and deserves—just as he has for the past 38 years.

As an operational museum ship, Tordenskjold will become a living education platform, carrying school children and tour groups on short excursions along our city’s one-of-a-kind working waterfront, visiting Fishermen’s Terminal, the locks, and teaching about the innovation and sustainable practices that enable these amazing 100 year-old vessels—designed and built here in Puget Sound—to keep on fishing for over a century. When I was seven years old, I had that very same privilege aboard the halibut schooner Masonic. To this day, I have never forgotten that excursion aboard a true Northwest fishing vessel and I am very excited that we will soon be offering the chance to hundreds of others each year.

The first in-depth survey of Tordenskjold, funded by 4Culture and conducted by Ocean Bay Marine last month, found this boat to be in astoundingly good shape. Gjerde took excellent care of the boat during his tenure.

In the coming weeks, the boat will be drydocked for a detailed survey of the hull and for taking measurements to generate a set of plans (none exist). Volunteer work parties have already begun to clean the boat and prepare her for painting. Anyone who wants to come get to know this amazing vessel and the interesting mix of shipwrights, fishermen, and volunteers working on her now are welcome to come on down!

Guest Post: Celebrating Filipino-American Elders

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Penaloza Quote

Michelle Peñaloza is the author of two chapbooks, and has had her poetry and essays featured in several publications. She received a 2015 Art Projects grant supporting her work on a collection of in-progress poetry. This Friday, she’ll read from her manuscript alongside other Filipino-American writiers at a location that deepens and enriches our understanding of her work: 

Arroz caldo for lunch. Blaring speakers and a dance floor full of women and men moving in the delightful unison of complex and funky line dances. Their smiling faces remind me of my lola, my parents, my titos and titas. Here, there is a room for bingo, a room for praying the rosary, a room for checkers, a room for pinoy teleserye.

This is the magic of the International Drop-In Center (IDIC), a community-based senior center in the heart of Beacon Hill that primarily serves Filipino and Filipino-American elders. The IDIC is a warm gathering place for senior citizens, retirees, widows, first-generation immigrants, and war veterans. The sense of community here is palpable upon entering. When I first visited, I went back in time to the many parties I attended as a child—laughter, food, song, dance, chatter all happening simultaneously in every room.

So, what does the IDIC have to do with my project? With what I care about as an artist? With my poetry?

My full-length manuscript-in-progress, Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire, is steeped in storytelling, in processing and interrogating the legacies of colonialism, and in honoring, questioning, and remembering family. While the elders at the IDIC are not my blood family, the warmth with which they welcomed me felt like family. I wanted this event to highlight the rich legacies of the Filipino-American community in Seattle and bring attention and homage to the elders of our community. I’m proud to be doing this event with other Seattle-based, Filipino-American writers; we will host story-telling workshops groups, perform our own work, and join in celebration for an open mic and karaoke with our elders. Yes! Karaoke! I hope you’ll join us. It’s going to be a delightful time.

Event details:
Celebrating Filipino-American Elders: Reading and Karaoke
October 7, 1:30—4:00pm
International Drop-In Center
Seattle-based, Filipino-American poets and writers Maria Batayola, Robert Flor, Donna Miscolta, Michelle Peñaloza, Jen Soriano, and Maritess Zurbano will lead Filipino American elders, at the International Drop-In Center in Beacon Hill, in a story-telling workshop, which culminate in writers, elders, and visitors participating in an open mic reading, sharing their stories and participating in a karaoke-singing session. Free to attend.

This event is made possible through support from 4Culture, Poets & Writers, the International Drop-In Center (IDIC), the Filipino American National Historical Society – Greater Seattle Chapter, and Kundiman.