Capitol Hill Community Post | Ride Transit to, and expect crowds and delays during, Inauguration Day events and Saturday’s Womxn’s March

From King County Metro

On Inauguration Day, . January 20, several planned civic events may cause service delays, disruptions or temporary reroutes in parts of Metro’s service area, most notably the greater downtown Seattle area.

There may also be events in other areas, and Friday’s afternoon peak period commute may be significantly affected.  Delays could occur anywhere in Metro’s service area. On Saturday, January 21,Metro Transit will be both a primary transportation resource for, and significantly affected by, theWomxn’s March on Seattle.

Inauguration Day
On Friday there are currently no planned transit reroutes.  If streets are closed or blocked, however, buses may have to travel via alternate streets until their usual routes clear.  Transit riders who may be affected are encouraged to sign up for Transit Alerts, consider alternate travel plans, be aware of conditions in their immediate vicinity, know their transit options and be prepared for delays, reroutes and crowds.

Ride Metro to the Womxn’s March
Several Metro bus routes travel to or near Judkins Park, the planned starting point for the Womxn’s March.  They are routes 4, 7, 14, 48, ST 550 and ST 554. Other routes go to within what may be walking distance for some participants. Every transit route – including Link light rail – that serves the downtown Seattle area, goes near other points along the event route where participants can join. Once the march starts, from about 11:00 AM until streets are clear, transit service will be rerouted off of S Jackson St and off of 4th Av through downtown Seattle.  There will also be reroutes in the Seattle Center area, and possible other locations along the event route as well.  Check Metro Online afternoon for all planned Saturday reroutes. Even when they are rerouted, downtown area bus routes travel only a short distance – usually 1-3 blocks – from their normal routing and stops, so it is usually not necessary to find alternate routes to get close to destinations. Some riders, however, may want to consider alternate routes depending on their specific needs. 

Transit Fares
All transit rides require payment of a valid fare.  What and how to pay are dependent on the mode, distance and time of travel. While the regional ORCA card is the most popular method of fare payment, especially for regular riders, and is available at many locations (but not on the bus), infrequent riders may want to try the Transit GO mobile ticketing app, a downloadable fare payment solution, currently being provided via a pilot project, that is fast, easy and available on Metro Transit buses, Sound Transit Link and Sounder trains and the Seattle Streetcar. Sound Transit Express buses – such as routes ST 550 and ST 554 – and Metro’s ACCESS services are not currently included in the pilot project.

Unscheduled events
In areas where there are crowds, traffic or unscheduled events disrupting normal travel patterns or activities, transit riders are advised to be aware of conditions in their immediate vicinity – such as street closures, detours, police directions, etc. – and be prepared for delays or to make revisions to travel plans – such as using a different bus stop or a different route – based on specific circumstances.

Transit riders are encouraged to know what alternate stops or routes may be in the vicinity of their starting points and destinations.

Depending on the time and the nature of such events, Metro may not be able to provide real time information or service updates via email or text.

Additional information
Visit Metro Online for complete transit information.

Visit Metro’s Service Advisories page for information about revised bus service, routing and stops for planned events.  Information posted at this site is subject to change, so it’s a good idea to check just before you travel for the most current information.  For updates on the go, sign up for Transit Alerts for the routes you ride.

Visit Metro’s online regional Puget Sound Trip Planner to plan your travel, and for bus stop, schedule and other information, including predicted times at stops.

Visit the King County Water Taxi site for information about regular and holiday Water Taxi operation.

Visit the Community TransitPierce TransitSound Transit or Washington State Ferries websites for complete information about services provided by Metro’s regional transit partners.

For non-transit traffic or other local updates, check media sources, follow @seattledot
or visit
https://twitter.com/seattledot
https://twitter.com/SeattlePD.

Thank you for riding and for using Metro’s services.

Capitol Hill Community Post | Substantial and SugarPill Launch Love is Action Campaign

screen-shot-2017-01-19-at-8-45-27-amCapitol Hill, Seattle neighboring businesses Substantial and SugarPill have launched Love is Action, a campaign meant to remind individuals about their power to affect change. Catalyzed in the days after the 2016 presidential election, the iconographic campaign is headlined by their building-wide window installation, visible to all at the heavily trafficked Pine & Broadway intersection. It has already gained support from other neighborhood businesses, and with the launch the assets are now being released to the world for others to use.

Love is Action was borne out of a post-election brainstorming session between employees of digital product studio Substantial and Karyn Schwarz, owner of the apothecary SugarPill, Substantial’s downstairs neighbor. While Schwarz is already known as an active community member, Substantial’s focus until recent years has been on the tech and design communities. Over the last year however, they have placed more importance on being more participatory at the corporate level (and encouraging that among employees). Given the response of many employees to the election, it became obvious that there was an opportunity to do something.

Love is Action is meant as a reminder of the power of an individual. Rather than prescribing a particular response, it intends to share the various ways one can get involved, whether that is a donation to a dear cause, protesting in the streets, or simply listening to someone that needs to be heard. To that end, Love is Action is distributing its design assets to the world, offering Love is Action as an umbrella for a variety of activity, with the campaign’s power coming from distributed effort, both with other business owners and with individuals as they become aware.

The campaign has already garnered support from other notable neighborhood business owners, who have stated their intentions to translate the designs in their own way. These include:

  • –  Hallie Kuperman, owner of Century Ballroom & The Tin Table
  • –  Dave Meinert, bar owner and restaurateur
  • –  Molly Moon, owner of Molly Moon’s ice cream

Extending the campaign beyond the designs, there is already talk of a panel discussion being organized by a group of faith-based organizations and the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce on the topic of individual responses to current events.

The Love is Action organizers are hopeful that the list of supporters will continue to grow. More importantly, they hope that the community takes the campaign’s sentiment to heart, a reminder of Capitol Hill’s legacy as a neighborhood that values inclusion, individual influence, and political activity.
Love is Action assets can be found at http://loveisaction.us.

Capitol Hill Community Post | Century Ballroom is turning 20 years old!

1451617_10152749344334674_4196995852571575357_nFrom the Century Ballroom

How does one celebrate 20 years?  In true Century Ballroom fashion, they do it all, during the month of February.

From NYC’s George Gee Swing Orchestra (one of the first swing bands to play at Century Ballroom) to Joan Soriano (the first Bachata artist to play in Seattle), there is something for everyone during this month of celebration.   Festivities are not just for dancers: guest can choose to just listen to artist like the amazing blues singer Kelley Hunt (seen numerous times on Prairie Home Companion) or watch performances like “Century on Tap”.  Dancing guests will enjoy a wide variety of special live music nights as they dance Salsa, Swing, Tango, Bachata, Square Dance and beyond.

This month of celebration will represent the breadth of what Century Ballroom has done over the last 20 years. Be one of those folks who says “I was there!” when #CenturyTurns20.

Here is a chronological list of special “Century Turns 20” Anniversary Events
(beyond our ongoing weekly events):

Friday, 2/3 – OutDancing: A Swing Girls Reunion
centuryballroom.com/home/events/outdancing-2

Swing Girls was the organization that Hallie Kuperman (Century Ballroom owner) started prior to Century Ballroom, in the same space.  Along with her original teaching partner MaryLee Lykes, Hallie will lead a Zydeco class at 7:30pm, followed by a Bachata class with Alison Cockrill, Hallie’s teaching partner and co-runner of the Century Ballroom for the past 20 years.

Saturday, 2/4 – Live Salsa with Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca (from LA)
centuryballroom.com/home/events/live-salsa-3

Salsa, Merengue, Kizomba: Lemvo’s blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms with pan-African styles (soukous, Angolan semba and kizomba) have been described by the Los Angeles Times as “seamless and infectious.”  makinaloca.com/
cumbancha.com/ricardolemvo

Friday, 2/10 – Live Tango with Chicharra (from Seattle),
and Free Wine Tasting in The Tin Table
centuryballroom.com/home/events/live-tango-3

Chicharra plays smokey Argentine classics from the 30s, 40s, and 50s transporting the heart from the Golden Age of Tango to modern milongas.

Saturday, 2/11 – Live Salsa with Tumbao (from Seattle)

centuryballroom.com/home/events/live-salsa-4

A Century Ballroom favorite, Tumbao is a six-piece Latin ensemble that plays a variety of rhythms from Boleros to Timba and Joropo to Danzon. They were also the house band for Century Ballroom’s cabaret Musica Vitae! Tumbao.us

Sunday, 2/12 – Live Swing with Dusty 45s (from Seattle)

centuryballroom.com/home/events/live-swing-32

The Dusty 45s have inspired and fired up crowds for almost two decades. The group melds styles ranging from Honky Tonk, Jump Blues, Surf and R&B, all while adding Dixieland and Jazz elements.  Dusty45s.com

Tuesday, 2/14 – Valentine’s Day Dinner and Dancing with Blues sensation Kelley Hunt: Blues & West Coast Swing (from Kansas City, MO)

centuryballroom.com/home/events/live-west-coast-swing

Join us for a prix fixe dinner in the main ballroom, followed by a couples

West Coast Swing lesson, then the band.  (Dancing not required – you may come and just listen.)  Roots, R&B/Americana singer/songwriter/piano player/guitarist Kelley Hunt is a rarity and a challenge to the music industry’s penchant for easy artist definitions — steeped in blues/roots/gospel traditions and a refreshing originality. Together with a commanding, passionate stage presence and superior vocal, keyboard and songwriting skills she has earned the respect of critics and fans across North America and Europe. www.KelleyHunt.com/
fb.com/pages/Kelley-Hunt/150871691625985

Tuesday, 2/14 – Valentine’s Day Tango Dance

centuryballroom.com/home/events/valentines-tango-0

Join our weekly Tango dance in West Hall! Take a one-hour couples Tango lesson to spice up your Tuesday, Valentine’s Day.

Friday, 2/17 – Century on Tap: a Tap Dancing dinner/theater event followed by a live band Swing dance with Casey MacGill (from Seattle)

centuryballroom.com/home/events/century-tap

Experience an incredible tap dance dinner/theater event followed by a live band Swing dance with Casey MacGill. Century on Tap performers will include: Alchemy Tap Project (ATP), NW Tap Connection, Jovon Miller, Sister Kate and special guest Chester Whitmore, one of the Masters of Lindy Hop and Tap.

Thursday, 2/23 – Live Bachata with Joan Soriano (from Dominican Republic)

centuryballroom.com/home/events/live-swing-32

Celebrate Joan’s birthday with him at Century Ballroom!  Born in the Dominican Republic, Joan Soriano infuses steel string Bachata with equal parts romance and grit. He is the star of Adam Taub’s The Duke of Bachata and was featured in Alex Wolfe’s acclaimed documentary, Santo Domingo Blues.

Century was first venue to bring him to Seattle and this will be his third appearance here.  iasorecords.com/artists/joan-soriano

Thursday, 2/23 – Square Dancing with Squirrel Butter Stringband w/ Charmaine Slaven calling (from Seattle)

centuryballroom.com/home/events/urban-square-dance
One of our favorite monthly events a while back was Urban Square Dancing – no experience necessary. This event will take place in Century Ballroom’s West Hall

Saturday, 2/24 – Live Salsa with Spanish Harlem Orchestra (from NYC)

centuryballroom.com/home/events/live-salsa-5

Spanish Harlem Orchestra, the two-time Grammy winning Salsa and Latin Jazz band, sets the standard for excellence in authentic, New York style, hard core salsa. Recorded or live, it doesn’t get any better.  This event is a rare opportunity to see this band in a venue made for dancing.  Don’t miss it.  The night will have a number of performances sprinkled throughout the evening, and there will be a Swing dance in West Hall. spanishharlemorchestra.com/ facebook.com/SpanishHarlemOrchestra/

Sunday, 2/25 – Live Swing with George Gee Swing Orchestra (from NYC)

centuryballroom.com/home/events/live-swing-33

The great Frankie Manning (the legendary original Savoy Ballroom dancer), said that The George Gee Swing Orchestra was his favorite modern swing orchestra; we agree! The George Gee Swing Orchestra was one of the original swing bands to play Century Ballroom when it opened.  GeorgeGee.com/
facebook.com/GeorgeGeeSwingOrchestra

Capitol Hill Community Post | Confronting Islamophobia and xenophobia, a Seattle Jewish congregation makes a statement with yard signs

welcome-neighbor-signs-higher-res-600x450“No matter where you’re from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor.”

That’s the friendly message in English, Spanish and Arabic emblazoned on dozens of yard signs around the Seattle area now, thanks to Kadima Jewish Community, a rapidly-growing congregation in Seattle that combines social activism with faith.

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election and the vitriolic anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rhetoric he and his campaigners promoted, Kadima members decided that as a first step, it was important to demonstrate solidarity. Fortuitously, a church in Virginia had already begun to create signs declaring support for neighbors of different faiths and backgrounds and had made them available to other faith communities. Kadima members simply replicated the signs at a local union-friendly print shop.

“We want our neighbors to know where we stand,” said Michal Pearl Waldfogel, a Kadima member who was delighted to snatch up one of the signs and post it in front of her home in Tukwila. “We live in a community full of immigrants and refugees, and we wanted to publicize what we believe to be a fundamental message for our community.”

“I proudly display my ‘Welcome Neighbors’ sign to let all comers know that they will be received with a full heart and we will stand by them both in good times and challenging ones,” added Lauren Plawner, a member of Kadima’s board of directors.

Kadima members are quick to note that their Jewish faith obliges them to take action in the face of hate speech and hate crimes, even if they are not directly harmed.

“The Torah tells us again and again to ‘love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.’” noted Jonathan Rosenblum, board president of Kadima. “We know as a people what it’s like to be victimized by hate. In standing up with our Muslim cousins and immigrant neighbors, we are standing up for ourselves as well, and we are living out the teachings and values of our Torah,” he said.

Kadima members plan to have signs available at upcoming marches and protests around Martin Luther King Day and Inauguration Day. Individuals wanting signs can contact Kadima at 206-547-3914. Donations for the signs are appreciated but not required.

Based in Madrona, Kadima belongs to the Reconstructionist branch of Judaism. A welcoming community for Jews and allies alike, Kadima is committed to racial, economic and gender justice, bridging spirituality and social justice through Shabbat and holiday celebration, inter-generational learning, and solidarity work with #blacklivesmatter and movements to end the Israeli occupation.

More information about Kadima’s activities can be found on our website (www.kadima.org) or on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/kadimaseattle/) .

Capitol Hill Community Post | Sen. Pedersen’s Legislative Update – Jan. 13, 2017

From Senator Jamie Pedersen, 43rd Legislative District

Greetings from Olympia!

We are wrapping up the first week of the 2017 legislative session. I continue to serve as ranking member on the Senate Law & Justice Committee, which has jurisdiction over civil and criminal law issues such as gun regulation, the death penalty, and police use of deadly force. I also continue to serve on the Ways & Means Committee, which writes the state’s operating and capital budgets and reviews every bill with a fiscal impact.

Earlier this week, I was pleased to hear Gov. Inslee share his strong commitment for ample funding of our public schools during his second inaugural address. The governor also spoke forcefully about our state’s commitment to equal rights and human dignity. I have heard from many constituents who are concerned and frightened following the national election. I will work tirelessly to safeguard Washington’s strong tradition of protecting civil and human rights and to fight discriminatory laws introduced in the Legislature.

Funding Public Education

As the father of three students at Stevens Elementary and one at Thurgood Marshall Elementary, I care deeply about public schools. The Supreme Court has ordered the state to provide ample funding for the schools and reduce its reliance on local property tax levies to fund teacher pay and other aspects of basic education.

For the past seven months, a bipartisan group of legislators has been meeting to develop a plan to provide sustainable school funding. Democrats released a plan before the statutory deadline, but we have yet to see a plan from Senate Republicans. I’m hoping the 25 members of their caucus will release a plan soon so we can start negotiating a solution that will reduce class sizes, increase teacher salaries, and give us the ability to build or renovate schools.

The most pressing concern for Seattle Public Schools is a $74 million shortfall facing the district next school year. A large part of that shortfall is created by the so-called “levy cliff,” which is an artificial limitation in state law on local districts’ ability to collect money that has been approved by district voters.  Just this week the Seattle school board met to approve a “worst-case scenario” budget that would cut programs, reduce staff and increase class sizes.

I’m working with our local school leaders and my colleagues in the Legislature to remedy this situation by allowing districts to continue to collect the full levies approved by voters through the end of 2018. I am a co-sponsor of the Senate bill (SB 5023) and strongly support the House companion, which we expect will be the first bill passed out of the House this session. This would give school officials in Seattle and across the state the certainty they need to plan for the 2017-18 school year and forgo the painful exercise of sending layoff notices to hundreds of teachers and staff.

Because we continue to see rapid enrollment growth in Seattle Public Schools, I’m also working closely with our capital budget leads and the Superintendent of Public Instruction on increasing state support for school construction. Both the Supreme Court and voters have directed the state to reduce class sizes. To achieve this mandate and to relieve the overcrowding that many of the schools in our district are experiencing, the state needs to revise the formula for school construction funding. I will again sponsor legislation to address overcrowding and fix the flawed formula that disadvantages Seattle Public Schools and others throughout the state.

Thank you for the privilege of representing you here in Olympia. I welcome your comments and questions anytime.

Best wishes, Jamie

Senator Jamie Pedersen
43rd Legislative District

Capitol Hill Community Post | Volunteer Park Trust’s Fall Campaign a Success

Thank-you-2-Hi-ResVolunteer Park Trust, the non-profit group formed to restore, preserve and enhance Volunteer Park, has just announced the success of their Fall Campaign.

“Thanks to the incredible outpouring of community support, we met our 2016 fundraising goals,” says Ellen Look, Chair of the Trust’s Development Committee. “We are starting 2017 with renewed energy for caring for the park.”

In addition to hosting free community-wide events such as the December Holiday in the Park and July Picnic in the Park, the Trust harnesses the power of community volunteers to help maintain Volunteer Park’s 48 acres. Monthly “2nd Saturday” work parties and semi-annual restoration events bring scores of people to weed, prune, clean, and mulch its many garden beds.

“We already have two school groups scheduled to work in January,” says Look. “And plans are underway for this year’s Spring Restoration event.”

Volunteer Park Trust is also leading the Amphitheater Project to replace the park’s aging performance stage with a modern new facility. The project is currently in the schematic design phase. A public meeting to share information and provide an opportunity for input is planned for late February.

More information on Volunteer Park Trust can be found on their website: http://volunteerparktrust.org/

Capitol Hill Community Post | Parking Changes Coming to Capitol Hill Pike-Pine Corridor

pike-pine-parkingFrom the Seattle Department of Transportation

There’s more demand than ever for parking near businesses and restaurants in Capitol Hill.  To improve parking availability and turnover, we are expanding the existing paid parking along Pike-Pine east to 15th Avenue.  Hours and rates will match existing paid parking along 12th Avenue and to the west.  These changes will be installed starting in the middle of this month.

 

While parking on these streets is free and limited to 2 hours, SDOT studies show that parking is full as early as 9 AM, remains over 90% full for most of the day, and that most vehicles stay longer than the posted time limit. This makes it extremely challenging for customers and visitors to find available on-street parking. These study results contrast with the adjacent paid parking area which, while well utilized, generally has parking available until 6 PM.

To provide more predictable, consistent parking regulations, we are also relocating Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ) 4 parking from commercial blocks to residential blocks.  Finally, in areas that are already No Parking at the corners for intersection visibility, we will  add on-street bike corrals.

Get more information and background on parking changes here.

Capitol Hill Community Post | First Hill Improvement Association seeks artists for painting columns under I-5

i5-columns-2From the First Hill Improvement Association (FHIA)

Call for Artists

Request for Qualifications

Painting Columns on Cherry and James Streets I5 Underpass


INTRODUCTION

The First Hill Improvement Association (FHIA), in partnership with the Seattle Office of Economic Development, seeks an artist or artist team to develop an art concept to be painted on the columns below Interstate 5 between Cherry and James Street.

SCOPE OF WORK

The artist will work with project managers, a steering committee and the public to develop a design to be painted on  the columns underneath Interstate 5 between Cherry Street and James Street in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood. Urban Artworks will be responsible for painting and installation of the art design. The final deliverable is a full design and site plan that is approved by WSDOT, adopted by the community, and executable by the installation team.

PROJECT OVERVIEW

FHIA received funding from the Seattle Office of Economic Development’s Infrastructural Improvement Program to improve and signal and important and prominent vehicular and pedestrian entry into First Hill, beautify the streets near coming redevelopment projects and organizations, enhance place-making and identity for First Hill, create opportunities for art in our community. and make significant visual and safety improvements to a harsh edge where First Hill meets Downtown.

This project will be a highly visible and prominent series of paintings on the columns for a busy junction in Seattle. The design will need to be approved by WSDOT based on their evaluation criteria.

TIMELINE

  • January 23rd – Applications Due
  • January 30th – Interviewees Notified
  • February 17th – Proposals Due
  • March 3rd – Artist or team selected
  • March – April- Design iterations with WSDOT, and other stakeholders
  • April  – Design completion
  • Spring 2017 – Art work painted and installed

More information and application details at firsthill.org.

Capitol Hill Community Post | Motorcycle Noise Complaints

IMG_0985My partner and I reside on the north end of the neighborhood close by to all the foot traffic of 15th st. We reside at a building full of fellow motorcycle riders. My partner has to leave for work early every morning (between 5-6am) and his motorcycle is his only means of transportation. The past several months someone has left countless passive aggressive notes on his motorcycle. Ranging from asking him to start it further down the street (where there are still other apartment buildings btw), to asking him to move it entirely.

We aren’t sure if it is someone in our building, or any of the others close by, but we’re hoping that by posting here- the individual at hand will see this. We’d like for the individual to get in contact with us and discuss the situation.

Capitol Hill Community Post | Video Art by Michael Wilde Explores LGBT Issues in Capitol Hill

EdgeBecomesCenter_01At HyBrid_space on Thursday January 12th from 6-9pm, Michael Wilde is exhibiting ‘The Edge Becomes Center’ as a part of the Capitol Hill Art Walk.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1444266462251570/

Description:
The LGBT community has been both a victim and an agent of gentrification, creating “safe spaces” within ethnic neighborhoods only to be then pushed out when they have made those neighborhoods more desirable. In the 1980s Capitol Hill had already been home to the gay community before the impending construction of the convention center and nearby bus tunnel station shuttered the gay businesses in that area and pushed them up onto the hill. In more recent years young people with high incomes have replaced the previous residents and this once safe space has now seen a rise in anti-LGBT hate crimes. This piece is about how we inscribe meanings onto place and in turn places inscribe meanings onto us, the landscape becoming a physical reflection of that community which lives in it.

—-

The video will be on display and visible from the corner of 12th & Pike but please come up from 6-9pm for drinks and snacks and to view the video up close in person.

__

http://www.hybridarc.com/space/
Corner of 12th & Pike
1205 E Pike Street #2D (upstairs)EdgeBecomesCenter_02

Capitol Hill Community Post | Watch the mail for your $100 in Democracy Vouchers

From the Democracy Voucher Program
15895606_410956995913357_1848337842589863171_oYou could receive your $100 in #DemocracyVouchers as early as today! Look for these in your mailboxes. If you are a registered voter or applied for the program, your Democracy Vouchers can arrive anytime beginning January 3 – January 23. Let’s get more Seattle residents involved in city government. Look for who you can give your vouchers to here: www.seattle.gov/democracyvoucher/seattle-residents/eligible-candidates Candidates have until June 2, 2017 to qualify. Remember to check the website often and keep your vouchers in a safe place!

Capitol Hill Community Post | Children’s Film Festival Seattle 2017 at Northwest Film Forum

From the Northwest Film Forum
unnamed-7Northwest Film Forum is getting ready to roll out the red carpet for its 12th edition of Children’s Film Festival Seattle — the largest and most respected film festival of its kind west of the Mississippi.

The festival will stretch out over 12 days, from its opening night on January 26 to its awards ceremony on February 11, 2017, with all screenings at NorthwestFilm Forum, in the bustling heart of Capitol Hill.

The family-friendly extravaganza celebrates the best and brightest in international cinema made for children and young people, and will include 186films from 52 countries, spanning the globe from North to South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Events will include animation, features, shorts and hands-on filmmaking workshops, all crafted with care to appeal to a wide range of age groups.

The programming is particularly important in this era of social upheaval. Festival director Elizabeth Shepherd says the films in the festival are aimed to empower younger viewers.

“We believe it is more important than ever to champion the ideas of social inclusion, diversity, global awarenes, teamwork, empathy, environmentalism, and human rights, kindness and love, says festival director Elizabeth Shepherd. “We want children to come to the festival not only to be entertained by funny and fantastic films, but also to discover common ground, to build empathy and celebrate our shared humanity.”

OPENING WEEKEND & SPECIAL EVENTS

Festival opening night is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26. This evening’s program will be a celebration of CFFS’s new partnership with the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival — a joint initiative between the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the International Organization for Migration. The New York-based festival showcases films made by young people around the world on the themes of migration, diversity and social inclusion. The opening night program of CFFS will be a special program of prizewinning films from PLURAL+, made by movie makers ages 25 and younger in Canada, Ghana, Lebanon, France, Yemen, Malaysia, Indonesia, Slovenia and the US.

The second Saturday morning of the festival will mark a longtime tradition: an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at 9:30 a.m.Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption, at 1804 13th Avenue. After the breakfast, at 10:30 and 11 a.m., there will be showings of “Friends are Forever,” a program of live action and animated shorts, at Northwest Film Forum.

Hands-on workshops for kids will roll out both weekends of the festival, with a two-day animation workshop by British animator Charlotte Blacker onJanuary 28 and 29, and a one-day mobile filmmaking (with IPads) workshop taught by Northwest Film Forum education and equipment manager Jonah Kozlowski on February 4.

Seattle animators and filmmakers will also have a portfolio review of their work and learn more about opportunities to create content for Sesame Workshop, at a talk by Sesame Workshop Director of Creative Development, Jordan Geary. Geary’s presentation will take place at 5 p.m. Saturday, January 28, at Northwest Film Forum.

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

Festival highlights in 2017 will include several insightful documentaries for families with older children and young teens. “Mussa,” from Israel, tells the poignant story of a young Ethiopian boy who is a refugee in Israel. “Boxing for Freedom,” by Spanish filmmakers Juan Antonio Moreno and Silvia Venegas, tells the uplifting story of a teenaged girl in Afghanistan who is determined to fight for Olympic gold in boxing. “Jeffrey,” from the Dominican Republic, is a hybrid documentary/narrative film that follows a 12-year-old boy, who washes car windows on the streets of Santo Domingo to support his family, all the while dreaming of becoming a reggaeton singing star.

Narrative features include the Seattle premieres of four German films “Heidi,” “At Eye Level,” “Fortune Favors the Brave,” and “Nelly’s Adventures.” The features lineup also includes “My Parrot Mom,” from Argentina, “Mr. Frog,” from The Netherlands, and “Jill and Joy’s Winter,” from Finland. “Molly Monster,” a delightfully animated feature film in English for ages 2 and older, will ensure that all ages can enjoy watching features at CFFS. A new film from Seattle, “The Boy Who Lived Before,” by local filmmaker Stephen Anunson, will also be a part of the festival lineup.

Perhaps most notably, a slew of 17 amazing programs of short animated and live action films will also be included in the festival, with thematic content telegraphed in the program titles, including “No Bullying Allowed,” “Gotta Be Me,” “Save the Earth,” “Friends are Forever,” “Dreaming of a Better World” and “Destination.”

As in previous years, kids will also be important decision-makers and VIPS at the festival — this year’s Children’s Jury, made up of 25 Seattle-area youth ages 9 to 15, will be led once again by a group of seven teenaged jury graduates, and award coveted prizes in numerous categories. Every audience member will also have an opportunity to vote for the festival’s coveted audience awards given in several categories.

School field trip groups, as well as the public, are welcome at the festival. This year, the festival is expanding to not only offer weekday field trip screenings at Northwest Film Forum, but two special screenings at Rainier Arts Center, in the Columbia City neighborhood.

SPECIAL GUESTS

  • Jordan Geary, Director of Creative Development of Sesame Workshop in New York
  • British animator Charlotte Blacker, creator of the festival graphics and trailer, will join us to present a great animation workshop for kids, “Animate the ‘Me’ Machine
  • Dominik Wessely, the director of the German languages feature Nelly’s Adventure
  • Katrin Milhahn, German screenwriter of Fortune Favors the Brave
  • Anthony Orkin, director of the short film Sammy’s Measle
  • Cynthia Pepper, director of the short film Polka Dott
  • Lisa Cohen, Seattle director of the film Confessions of a Former Bully, will be in attendance at both screenings of her film in the “No Bullies Allowed” program
  • Erin Shea, Los Angeles animator, director of the short film Ampersand(in “Save the Earth” program)
  • Peter Marcias, Italian animator, director of the short film My Dog’s Name is Wind (in “Friends Are Forever” program)
  • Daria Kopiec, Polish animator, director of the film Bobo’s Metamorphoses (in “Pure Imagination” program)