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arts

Front Row Center 2017-2018 Season

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Join KUOW’s Marcie Sillman as she pulls back the curtain on the creative process, giving participants a glimpse of why and how an artist creates work, and we hope, a greater appreciation for the rich and diverse cultural community in our region. 

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Are 'good Seattleites' failing the city's Native people?

Oct 19, 2017
Colleen Echohawk, executive director of the Chief Seattle Club.
KUOW Photo/Katherine Banwell

Many Native people who are homeless in Seattle say they feel invisible.

“We are a city that’s named after a great chief of Suquamish-Duwamish descent, and we don’t always know and feel that in this city,” said Colleen Echohawk-Hayashi, executive director of the Chief Seattle Club. “I think that we have an issue where we don’t really want to engage in it.”

Ijeoma Oluo, Kate Harding and Samhita Mukhopadhyay at Seattle First Baptist Church
KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

On the night of November 8, 2016, many writers and journalists were preparing pieces on what it would mean for the United States to elect its first woman president. Those works obviously didn’t make it to print.

Few of us would want the love letters we wrote to our sweethearts at age 21 released to the public. But when you've been president everything in the past is ripe for perusal by historians, researchers and journalists.

And so it is with the love letters of former President Barack Obama — excerpts of which have been released by Emory University's Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, where the letters a young Obama wrote to then-girlfriend Alexandra McNear are now part of the collection.

When you buy cheap, someone pays

Oct 12, 2017
Author Raj Patel said that, among other things, we don't pay enough for our food.
Flick Photo/Jo Ann Deasy (CC BY ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/7E5ZEP


Seattle (or Amazon-town, if you prefer) is ground zero for cheap things. Amazon has built a world-altering business out of discounting products online.

 

And author Raj Patel says that’s not a good thing.

It's not often you'll find these 24 names in the same place. They are historians and musicians, computer scientists and social activists, writers and architects. But whatever it may read on their business cards (if they've even got business cards), they now all have a single title in common: 2017 MacArthur Fellow.

Nikk Dakota of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe walks into the Indigenous Peoples' Day Celebration at Daybreak Star Cultural Center on Monday, October 9, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle celebrated Indigenous Peoples' Day on Monday with a march from Westlake Park to Seattle City Hall.

"It means we're still here and I'm proud," said Frieda Eide, an Alaskan native and member of the Tlingit Tribe. "I'd like to see more involvement with other communities joining together and acknowledging whose land we're on." 

Bhangra and skateboarding: 'I can do my own thing and that’s fine with me'

Oct 4, 2017
Flickr photo / joellofving https://flic.kr/p/8bouzQ

Two stories on our podcast this week about Seattleites breaking free and breaking stereotypes:

  • Jesse Weinstock is an avid skater. “Most of my best friends I met through skateboarding. My oldest friend, Andy, I met on the first day of seventh grade. I was like, 'You have a skate shirt on, do you skate?' We’ve been friends now for 30 years.” 
  • Ashveen Matharu has been dancing Bhangra since middle school (she recently graduated high school). “I was motivated to dance Bhangra because it’s a stereotype for girls not to dance Bhangra.” 


Author Celeste Ng at KUOW in October, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Celeste Ng’s sophomore novel, "Little Fires Everywhere," is set in her hometown of Shaker Heights, Ohio. But she sees more than a few commonalities between her town and ours.

“Seattle, like Shaker Heights, tries to live with its eyes on the world,” Ng said, speaking with Bill Radke on KUOW's The Record

Inviting a cat to live in a distillery is like offering a child free room and board at a Disney World theme park. In a distillery, there are tall stacks of shipping pallets to climb, oak barrels to jump on, pipes to nimbly tightrope-walk across and — of course — a steady supply of rodents to hunt.

A watercolor by Takuichi Fujii painted between May 1942 and October 1945.
Courtesy of Washington State History Museum

A newly exhibited, hand-painted diary from an internment camp is shedding light on wartime experiences here in the Pacific Northwest.

Sara Jacobsen, left, never gave much thought to the Chilkat robe hanging over her dining room table. Until she took a class in high school, when she saw another robe that looked eerily similar to the one at home.
Courtesy of Sara Jacobsen

Sara Jacobsen, 19, grew up eating family dinners beneath a stunning Native American robe.


Doug Pray, director of the Grunge documentry Hype! (L) and Megan Jasper, CEO of Sub Pop Records
KUOW PHOTO/ Megan Farmer

The year was 1992. Nirvana and Pearl Jam were all over MTV, and everyone was sweating in flannel. Seattle’s grunge scene had ballooned into a global phenomenon.

So of course, The New York Times came calling.

The Luminata lantern parade begins with a performance on Thursday, September 21, 2017, at Green Lake in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Lanterns of all colors, shapes and sizes illuminated Green Lake on Thursday for the Luminata lantern parade. The parade, hosted by the Fremont Arts Council, signifies the autumn equinox and the beginning of fall. 

An Alaskan Copper Works employee walks in the  warehouse on Friday, September 8, 2017, in front of a mural painted by artists Blaine Fontana, Sneke, Hews and APaul, along the Sodo Track, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The second summer of painting is complete for the Sodo Track mural project, with 26 artists painting on 14 properties.

The project, when complete after next summer, will consist of over 50 artists from all over the world, with painted murals relating to one common theme – motion.

Courtesy of Nation Books

Who are the most dangerous people in America? According to author John Nichols, the answer to that question includes the following: Betsy DeVos, Scott Pruitt, Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions, Elaine Chao, Kris Kobach and Rex Tillerson.

The list goes on to include over 40 members of President Donald Trump’s inner circle.

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Ben Blum about his new book "Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family, and Inexplicable Crime." The book tells the story of his cousin, Alex Blum, and how he turned from an Army Ranger to a bank robber.

Noelani Pantastico and Lucien Postlewaite in 'Romeo et Juliette' in 2008 at Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Courtesy Pacific Northwest Ballet/Angela Sterling

Lucien Postlewaite remembers exactly how he felt the first time he danced with Noelani Pantastico.

“I was this young boy,” he recalls. “I’d always admired Noe’s dancing. The first time she talked to me I was like, ‘Oh my god!’”

Mimi Noyes, a volunteer instructor, decorates a lantern for the Luminata parade at Green Lake next Thursday.
KUOW Photo/Casey Martin

Fall is just around the corner with less than two weeks of summer left. To celebrate the changing of seasons, the Fremont Arts Council is hosting Luminata — a light parade that goes around Green Lake on the last night of summer.

Drawings made using dirt swept from the street are featured in Tatiana Garmendia's installation, 'No Hiding Place Down Here.'
Courtesy Tatiana Garmendia

Something we see throughout Seattle are unsanctioned homeless encampments: tents, tarps, and makeshift shelters. And now there's one more as you enter Seattle's Municipal Tower downtown.

Flickr Photo/Daniel Hartwig/(CC BY 2.0)https://flic.kr/p/6eDGEA

Jeannie Yandel speaks with NPR music critic Ann Powers about her most recent book, "Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music."

Last Friday, a federal judge in Manhattan ordered that the first and most famous verse of the Civil Rights era anthem "We Shall Overcome" belongs in the public domain.

Plaintiffs in the case had asked the judge to negate a half-century-old copyright by four songwriters, including the late Pete Seeger.

Latoya Peterson is a gamer, a SJW, and Deputy Editor for Digital Innovation at ESPN's The Undefeated, where she produces stories about the intersection of race, sports and culture.

"You're just data and data doesn't bleed."

Author and filmmaker Sherman Alexie waits with dancers backstage for his turn on stage as the keynote speaker at a celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day Monday, Oct. 10, 2016, at Seattle's City Hall.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Who better to talk sex with than self-described "old, gray-haired dads" Sherman Alexie and Daniel Handler? KUOW’s Bill Radke sat down with the two authors to talk about how adolescence has gone from treehouses in the woods to porn on phones.

Plastic trash that honors the sea life it kills

Sep 8, 2017
A trash sculpture honoring sea life, designed by Oregon-based artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi.
©WashedAshore.org

At Tacoma's Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium you can see penguins, wildcats, and now sculptures of marine life made from plastic trash.

The author Salman Rushdie has set his books all over the world. His most famous novels — Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses — take place in India and the United Kingom, both countries where Rushdie has lived. His latest, The Golden House, is set in the city he now calls home, New York, and its themes are deeply American.

KUOW's Marcie Sillman with book hugger Nancy Pearl.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

KUOW's Marcie Sillman speaks with Seattle librarian and author Nancy Pearl about her first novel, "George and Lizzie."

Nathan Watkins, the designer of 68 Interstate 5 pillars between Cherry and James Streets in downtown Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Casey Martin

It may be cloudy, but if you're downtown you can still see a sunset tonight thanks to a new public mural.

Below Interstate 5 between Cherry and James Streets, 68 pillars have been painted as part of a project between Urban ArtWorks and the First Hill Improvement Association.

A Public Works Seattle rehearsal
Courtesy Seattle Repertory Theatre/Jim Bennett

Racial and economic equity are priorities for government leaders and community activists in the Pacific Northwest.

The same holds true for regional arts organizations.

Nobu Koch / Sealaska Heritage Institute

When Bruce Jacobsen moved to Seattle in 1986, he fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. He wanted to express his appreciation with a piece of Native art, and found one at a gallery Pioneer Square: an antique Chilkat robe.

"I just thought it was so beautiful, and it was like nothing I had seen before," Jacobsen said.


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