With new leader, Capitol Hill LGBTQ film nonprofit raises curtain on 23rd Seattle queer film festival

50 Years of Fabulous, a documentary on the The Imperial Council, screens October 20th

Capitol Hill LGBTQ film nonprofit Three Dollar Bill Cinema is celebrating the kickoff of its 23rd annual Seattle queer film festival with a new leader..

TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival 2018

“Three Dollar Bill Cinema is about bringing our community together around queer film and media,” new executive director Ben McCarthy says. “Being able to see ourselves reflected on the screen is really important for our community, and it’s important to come together and see a film in a theater, the way it’s supposed to be seen, rather than on your phone or on your laptop or tablet or even your TV at home.” Continue reading

‘A free cool reading at your favorite bar, times about 30,’ here are Lit Crawl: Seattle 2018’s 19 Capitol Hill stops

Lit Crawl: Seattle 2015

The “PNW’s best and brightest in bars, bookstores, cafes, and more” — many of them right here on Capitol Hill — will host an annual celebration of the written word Thursday night as Lit Crawl returns for its sixth year in Seattle.

Lit Crawl: Seattle

Filling venues through the night with “phases” of literary events including fiction, poetry, comics, and… pie and whiskey, it’s impossible to be part of everything. The 2018 Lit Crawl: Seattle includes two extra hours, 35+ readings, and more than 80 readers and performers. You’ll have to make a plan — and revise as you go. Continue reading

Roq La Rue rises again on Capitol Hill

After some wild years, “lowbrow” gallery Roq La Rue is back in the Seattle art scene and set to debut in its new Capitol Hill incarnation on E Pike during Thursday’s neighborhood art walk.

Creatura House was initially supposed to be more of a shop concept but unfortunately things developed that made it not possible to follow the original plan, so I started showing art again. Then, I figured if I was going to be a gallery — it should be the famous one, not the brand new one!” owner Kirsten Anderson tells CHS about her decision to put her E Pike space into motion as a new home for the longtime Seattle gallery favorite. Continue reading

Seattle’s writers and creatives find Capitol Hill home again at Hugo House grand reopening

Maria Semple, best-selling author and screenwriter, speaking at the opening event last Saturday

There once was a Hugo House here / We loved its old crazy quilt cheer / This house, it would seem, an architects dream / But the spirit of quirkies still near

This poem was recited by Dick Gemperle last weekend at the grand reopening of Richard Hugo House, a beloved community workspace for writers and a home for Seattle’s “literary heartbeat.”

“This is a wonderful time for Hugo House. Everything is coming together in September. On the 4th of September we closed the transaction to purchase this space. We’re almost done with construction, almost done with our capital campaign, tonight is our grand opening, and next week classes start,” said Gemperle, board president of Hugo House. “It’s all coming together.”

The new Hugo House offers more space for readers and writers with more classrooms, along with a dedicated performance space for readings, and a front parlor space with desks and bar that will be open during events. Continue reading

Filmmaker takes the helm at Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum

(Image: NWFF)

Writer and filmmaker Vivian Hua will take the helm as the executive director of Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum.

After she assumes the role on October 11th, Hua will be in charge of the strategic direction and creative vision of NWFF, a filmmaker’s collective founded in 1995 that uses film to “incite public dialogue and creative action through collective cinematic experiences.”

“There is no more powerful medium than film,” Hua said. “I work at the intersection of using art as a means of social change and discussion.” Continue reading

‘A gift’ — first look inside Capitol Hill’s new Hugo House

Boards from the old Hugo House — complete with the graffiti encouraged at a goodbye party before its demolition — live on in the new Hugo House

The new Hugo House will be open to the public for the first time Saturday but the staff moved in Wednesday and the space has already hosted its first event — an opening preview for the more than 300 community donors and public officials responsible for the one-of-a-kind writing center across from Cal Anderson Park.

“We’re in a time right now when words really matter,” State Representative Nicole Macri said at Monday night’s pre-opening reception in the new center.

“I’m so grateful that the state came through.”

Rep. Macri inside the new Hugo House Monday night

Continue reading

New Capitol Hill story ready to begin at Hugo House

A rendering of the soon to open new Hugo House

Construction of the new 9,600-square-foot Hugo House writing center at 11th and E Olive St. is fully imbued with the creative process — right down to the burning spirit that drives any author, poet, or journalist: a deadline.

“Construction always take longer than they think it will and there have been some unavoidable delays,” Hugo House executive director Tree Swenson tells CHS. “They say they’ll be ready.”

Like a publisher awaiting that final draft, Swenson is planning for Saturday, September 22nd — the planned official grand opening of the new Hugo House inside the six-story mixed-use apartment building that stands at the site the old Hugo House previously called home.

Opening Celebration: New Hugo House

“The celebration will be a chance for everybody to explore the whole space in a design that invites creativity,” Swenson said.

Designed by the architects at NBBJ, the new Hugo House is centered around a 150-seat auditorium but Swenson said the first thing any visitor will see from the 11th Ave entrance is the front salon with built-in writing nooks, seating areas, and a small stage. Continue reading

Consulate of Mexico in Seattle and its Mexican Cultural Institute celebrate nation’s arts — plus, Mexican wine and mezcal

Capitol Hill’s Harvard Exit didn’t just become the new home Consulate of Mexico in Seattle when the diplomatic facility moved in this summer.

The Mexican Cultural Institute also now calls the building home.

You can join the effort to embrace and growth Mexican culture and arts in the Northwest this month with El Festival MEX AM Northwest events across the neighborhood including a reception on Thursday along with the monthly Capitol Hill Art Walk showcasing the work of sculptor Adrian Gomez in the institute’s gallery inside the consulate:

NosotrUS: Adrían Gómez

Meanwhile, you can enjoy some more of the nation’s creations with a Mexican wine tasting event at Capitol Hill’s Aluel Cellars and a night of mexcal at Mezcaleria Oaxaca on E Pine.


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What has bubbled to the top of ’30 ideas’ for saving — and developing — Seattle studios, galleries, and music venues

Not everything is about preservation. The new Hugo House is set to open soon on 11th Ave.

As Seattle once again wrestles with the fragility of its arts spaces in the face of continued growth, change, and development, the Seattle City Council this week heard an update on City Hall’s efforts to preserve and grow the number of studios, galleries, and performance venues on Capitol Hill and across the city.

Tuesday, the Seattle Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development & Arts Committee convened to discuss the cultural space access and stabilization project currently being undertaken by the Office of Arts and Culture (ARTS).

ARTS has been working for the past eight months to implement concepts proposed in The CAP Report: 30 Ideas for the Creation, Activation and Preservation of Cultural Space (PDF), which was published by ARTS last year. ARTS is assessing the feasibility of the project and working on a racial equity toolkit to ensure the communities of color that will be impacted have their voices heard.

Council member Lisa Herbold, chair of the committee, expressed her support for the project and its research.

“Our ability to preserve cultural spaces is really important,” Herbold said. “It goes beyond one particular threatened cultural space and we really need to figure out what the tools are that we have available.” Continue reading

Artful nights on Capitol Hill: Art Walk, 3rd annual Lusio lights in Volunteer Park, ANiMA in Cal Anderson

In addition to August’s second Thursday bringing this month’s Capitol Hill Art Walk to the neighborhood’s galleries, cafes, restaurants, and bars, the next couple of nights will also fill Capitol Hill’s parks with art and performance.

Thursday, check out the monthly art walk including a few friends of CHS — a full roster and map is available at capitolhillartwalk.com. Make sure to stop by the Ghost Cabin installation, echoing with the spirit of a long-gone Capitol Hill farmhouse in Chophouse Row.

Friday, you’ll be faced with an artful choice — bright lights in Volunteer Park or a “future without borders” in Cal Anderson. Continue reading