City Of Dreams | KUOW News and Information

City Of Dreams

Erin Austin, singer and songwriter for Ok Sweetheart
Credit KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, with thousands of newcomers arriving each year. Many come with big dreams they hope to realize in our city.

What is it about this place that invites these dreamers? And why do they stay?

We’ll tell you about the game-changers who put Seattle on the map as a place where we innovate in tech, arts, social activism, science and medicine. And we’ll profile today’s dreamers who are shaping the Seattle of tomorrow.

Tell us who you see creating and innovating in Seattle.

Victoria Victor gets ready to host Fashion Lab Inclusive, an all inclusive fashion show, on Friday, March 30, 2018, at Columbia Tower Club in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Most weekdays you’ll find Victor Loo at his office at Seattle’s Asian Counseling and Referral Services, where he’s the Director of Recovery Services. Loo’s been with the agency for more than a decade, but he has a thriving second career as an internationally-known high fashion model. You’ll find this Singapore-native strutting the runway as Victoria Victor, Seattle’s only genderless Asian model.

Here's Victor's story, as told to KUOW's Marcie Sillman.

Photo courtesy of Mac Witt

Most Seattle bakeries have employed graduates from South Seattle College’s Pastry and Baking Arts program. The school is a pipeline for notable restaurants and bakeries like Macrina, Bakery Nouveau, and Grand Central.

But now the college is looking to cut $1 million, and the baking program is a target.


Che Sehyun poses for a portrait on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, near his home in Renton.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Like so many children of immigrants, Che Sehyun was raised to pursue the traditional American dream: college and a professional career.

“That was, to me, to be a doctor,” he says.

Things didn’t quite work out that way.

Sameth Mell poses for a portrait on Monday, April 2, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW photo/Megan Farmer

For Cambodian Americans, April marks the Khmer new year. It's also when survivors of the Cambodian genocide remember the fall of Phnom Penh.

Sameth Mell and his family were among thousands who fled Cambodia. In Spring of 1986, through church sponsorship, they arrived in Seattle. This is his story, as told to Ruby de Luna. 

Dancers practice the traditional Kahiko dance that they will perform at the Merrie Monarch Festival, on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the halau in Federal Way.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When Kamaile Hamada found out last June that his group had been accepted into the world’s most prestigious hula competition, the first person he wanted to tell was his former hula partner, Sweetie Camacho.

“As soon as I hung up the phone, I went to visit Sweetie,” he says.

At her gravesite.

Leilani Kaaiwela-Pedreira, center, and Jessica Whalen, left, assemble their traditional Kahiko dresses on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the halau in Federal Way.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

There’s a rule to watching hula:  Pay attention to the dancer’s hands to understand the story.

But Kumu Hula `Iwalani Christian said the hands alone won't tell you everything you need to know: Clothing is part of the story, too. 

Felicia Loud poses for a portrait on Monday, March 12, 2018, at Artspace Hiawatha Lofts in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Felicia Loud barely remembers a time when she wasn’t performing. She’s been a regular on Seattle stages for more than 40 years, singing with local bands and acting with most of the major theater companies.


Bruce Lee spent formative years in Seattle. He attended the University of Washington from 1961 to 1964, majoring in philosophy. Behind him is Lake Washington, the subject of many of his poems.
Courtesy of Wing Luke Museum/® & © Bruce Lee Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Before he was a martial arts icon, Bruce Lee was a poet, philosopher and fledgling instructor in Seattle.

Now there’s an exhibit at the Wing Luke Museum that focuses on that time in his life.


Edouardo Jordan poses for a portrait on Wednesday December 6, 2017, at JuneBaby in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When you think of cities known for southern cooking, you might think of Savannah, Georgia or Nashville, Tennessee. You wouldn’t think of Seattle.

But Seattle chef Edouardo Jordan is putting Seattle on the map with his southern cooking.

Rosa Joshi poses for a portrait on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at the Lee Center for the Arts on Seattle University's campus in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Rosa Joshi wasn’t supposed to be an artist.

“I’m the daughter of Asian immigrants,” she says. “I was supposed to be a doctor.”

Family photos, including one of 2-year-old Jerry Yamashita with his father, Masahide Yamashita, are shown on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Oysters are a cornerstone of Pacific Northwest cuisine. But there was a time when our region’s oysters were in trouble, all but obliterated by over-harvesting and pollution.

Then a Japanese immigrant helped turn things around.

Jessica Rycheal poses for a portrait on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, at the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

As a kid in Macon, Georgia, Jessica Rycheal never imagined she’d become an artist. It  was something to do in her spare time.

She was the first in her family to go to college and she felt the unspoken pressure to be a professional.

Photographer Marilyn Montufar poses for a portrait on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Marilyn Montufar is fascinated by life on the edge.

Not the metaphorical risky edge; Montufar means civilization’s edge.


Visual artist Ari Glass poses for a portrait in front of one of his paintings on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, at his artist loft in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

You may not know Ari Glass now, but you will soon. This Southeast Seattle native has set his sights high.

He’s wanted to be an artist ever since childhood, inspired by masters like Pablo Picasso.

Raft Hollingsworth III laughs with his sister Joy Hollingsworth on Thursday, January 18, 2018, at The Hollingsworth Cannabis Company in Mason County.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Last year sales of legal marijuana reached $1.2 billion. Despite the growth, people of color are left out. Less than 10 percent of current licensed retailers and producers are minorities.  One reason: stigma.

When Joy Hollingsworth and her brother Raft decided to grow pot as a family business, they told only a few about it. Joy says growing up, pot was taboo.


Christopher Paul Jordan poses for a portrait in front of a wall of spray paint cans on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, at his studio in Tacoma.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

2017 was a banner year for artist Christopher Paul Jordan.

It started with Jordan curating an exhibition of work by African American artists titled "Colored 2017." Mid-summer, Jordan’s temporary installation "Latent Home Zero" was on display at Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park. The  year ended with him winning the prestigious Neddy Award for painting, along with a $25,000 prize.

Courtesy of Bellevue Arts Museum

Join Marcie Sillman for the fifth Front Row Center of our 2017-2018 season at Bellevue Arts Museum's "Humaira Abid: Searching for Home."

Jade Solomon Curtis poses for a portrait on Tuesday, January 2, 2018, at Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle has a rich and diverse arts community, but many people believe the city's African American artists don't get the widespread attention they deserve. 

We asked you for the names of local artists you're excited about; we received more than 80 names. Here are four of those artists.

The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute is shown on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The Central Area is the historic heart of Seattle's African-American community.

But many longtime residents have moved away from the neighborhood they once called home.


Photo courtesy of Leslie Coaston

Holidays often evoke family traditions and food memories. So we asked Leslie Coaston and Laurie Minzel, the former owners of the Kingfish Café, about theirs.

The sisters' Kingfish Café was a favorite fixture in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood before it closed in 2015. And it all started out as a dream.

You may not have heard of Edouardo Jordan, but he's been getting a lot of local and national praise.  He’s chef owner of Salare and JuneBaby in Seattle’s Ravenna neighborhood.

This year he was a finalist for the James Beard Award, the Oscar’s of the food world. Last year, he was listed in Food and Wine’s Best New Chefs. Lately, he’s breaking new ground in the Northwest with his southern cooking.

Activist group Backbone Campaign hung this banner in September 2015. Chief Seattle is often quoted by environmental groups.
Flickr Photo/Backbone Campaign (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/yJnSzW

“The earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth.”

These words are from an 1854 speech that made Chief Seattle famous, inspiring environmental movements in the city that bears his name and beyond.

Except, he never really said that.

Julia Yesler, pictured, is the offspring of a Duwamish woman and white settler Henry Yesler.
Courtesy of Kathie Zetterberg

Chief Seattle was the leader of the Duwamish tribe in the days when white settlers were entering the region that would eventually bear his name.

The chief had an unusual way of brokering peace: encouraging his family members to marry the settlers.


Kristin Leong, creator of the Roll Call Project and Christina Joo, junior at International School in Bellevue
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Bill Radke talks with Kristin Leong and Christina Joo about finding common ground between students and teachers.

Leong is a former middle school teacher and founder of the Roll Call Project, which asks students and teachers to think about what they have in common, and why it matters. Joo is a junior at International School in Bellevue, and a participant in the project.

Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/aiu7zy

Kim Malcolm talks with University of Washington nursing professor Josephine Ensign about the Doorway Project, the UW's effort to address youth homelessness.

The long-term goal of the project is to open a navigation center and hub in the University District that caters to homeless young people. Ensign is coordinator of the project.

Mayumi Tsutakawa poses for a portrait on Friday, December 1, 2017, at her home in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Mayumi Tsutakawa is the only daughter of an influential arts family in Seattle. Her father was a sculptor, her mother and brothers musicians. During her career as an arts administrator, Tsutakawa focused on advocating for artists and communities of color.

Marcus Tsutakawa, former orchestra director at Seattle's Garfield High School, poses for a portrait with his double bass on Tuesday, November 28, 2017. Marcus is the youngest of George and Ayame Tsutakawa's four children.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Marcus Tsutakawa is the youngest in a family of famous Seattle artists. He found a way to make his own mark on the cultural landscape of the city by molding Garfield High School into a classical music powerhouse.

Deems Tsutakawa, the third of George and Ayame Tsutakawa's four children, plays his grand piano on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, at his home in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Deems Tsutakawa is the third child of a family of legendary Seattle artists. You can still see the fountains his father, George Tsutakawa, installed all over Seattle. But jazz pianist Deems says he was more influenced by his mother, Ayame Tsutakawa. 

Gerry Tsutakawa's Mitt, at the north entrance of Safeco Field
KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman

If you’re a Seattle Mariners fan, you’ve probably been to Safeco Field. And if you’ve been to the Safe, you’ve probably seen the large bronze sculpture near the north entrance.

It’s a nine-foot baseball glove with a circle cut out of its middle, fittingly titled "The Mitt." The sculpture has become a beloved spot for selfies, family portraits and meet ups.

Flickr Photo/Andrew Malone (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/4unt5o

Every healthcare worker in Washington is required to undergo suicide prevention training. That includes nurses, dentists and even chiropractors. Now, University of Washington researchers have developed an interactive, online training program called All Patients Safe.

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