Waiting for its light rail station plaza future, Capitol Hill Farmers Market still thriving on Broadway

Leah Litwak, Capitol Hill’s market manager (Images: CHS)

Someday, Capitol Hill’s farmers market will stretch out inside the plaza in the middle of the under construction development projects around Capitol Hill Station. The expansion will also likely mean added days of market shopping. For now, you can find the market every Sunday along Broadway just north of Pine.

“For 25 years we’ve been running markets with the core of providing a direct, sustainable marketplace for farmers,” said Leah Litwak, Capitol Hill’s market manager for nearly two years following her tenure at the parent organization. Continue reading

Union ready to debut in ‘a perfect gayborhood location’ on Capitol Hill — UPDATE

Nathan, Mark, and Steve (left to right)

Capitol Hill gay bar veterans Steve Nyman, Nathan Benedict, and Mark Engelmann have joined to open a brand new cocktail bar on 14th and Union in the space formerly occupied by Zoe. Wednesday, the new owners were on the new patio of the updated venue ready for a new era.

Union Bar will begin its regular 2pm to 2am service on Thursday the 26th as part of a soft opening, before a “fabulous” opening party on Sunday with an all-day happy hour which includes $4.75 wells. UPDATE: Delayed! No Thursday opening but stay tuned!

“It checks all our boxes. It’s a perfect gayborhood location — it has a patio, fireplace lounge for the wintertime, and an area where you can circulate,” Benedict said.

Continue reading

Exit Interview: Velocity Dance’s Tonya Lockyer on 16 years in the arts on Capitol Hill

Tonya Lockyer (Image: Bettina Hansen with permission to CHS)

Tonya Lockyer began as a touring artist and educator, eventually finding her roots in Seattle after joining Velocity Dance Center as an artist and completing graduate school at the University of Washington. She went on to be Velocity’s programs and communications manager, and eventually its executive director.

In June, Lockyer announced she will be stepping down from her post this fall after 16 years with the organization.

Entering Velocity in a time of instability, debt, and amid an emergency capital campaign, Lockyer implemented operational and artistic direction and, in just two years, had Velocity operating in the black.

With accolades like the Mayor’s Artz Award, Tonya’s tenure has brought national visibility to the dance center and its residents, acting as the “portal to Seattle dance,” and a destination for touring choreographers. Her leadership influenced exceptional growth in audiences and artist residencies, with consistently sold-out community events and classes.

CHS spoke with Lockyer about how she got involved with Velocity and Seattle’s dance scene, her proudest moments as Artistic Executive Director, the importance of dance for our community, and what’s next for her.

How did you get involved with Velocity?: When I first moved to Seattle, I was teaching and I ran into a Seattle choreographer and said that I was moving to Seattle. She said, “Seattle is great, and my friend KT Niehoff needs someone to stay in her house!” So the very first place I ever lived was in the home of the co-founder of Velocity, KT Niehoff. Continue reading

Northwest Film Forum performance art will explore dance, taxidermy, and 12th Ave history

(Image: Bret Doss with permission to CHS)

Earlier this year, CHS told you about the coming departure of Northwest Film Forum executive director Courtney Sheehan from the Capitol Hill nonprofit and the continuation of her work to transition the organization beyond the screen with events, speakers, and gatherings. Later this month, the final NWFF event before Sheehan makes her exit will be a showcase of the organization’s most important qualities.

What is Home will be “a participatory experience” that encompasses “movement installations, interactive exhibits, dance films, and a layered dance theater performance.”

“The work has many points of entry for both film and dance audiences, with a central question about home, belonging and change that will resonate with all walks of Seattle life,” Sheehan tells CHS. “There will be a lot of history of Capitol Hill and specifically the NWFF building woven into the piece.”

CHS talked with the show’s Christin Call of Coriolis Dance to discuss the inspiration behind What is Home, and the place performance art has in communities like Capitol Hill. Call explores the lessons from the “booms” and “crashes” in life, and the importance and meaning of “home.” Call also has plenty to say about the history of Capitol Hill, the current scope of a booming city, and what we can take away from performance art and stories from our communities in how we live day-to-day.

You describe What Is Home as a participatory experience,” “absurdly imaginary,” and “ridiculously ornate.” What does it all mean? It is a multimedia piece, with installation, with film, with live performance, and it is designed to be an event that immerses the audience. Pulling from a lot of resources is why it is ornate. This comes from the idea that we can’t help but to do that, to create, psychologically, these super intricate webs of relations between ourselves and how we fit into this web, and we just do it naturally. We don’t really have to try, sometimes, to dismantle these types of things. Continue reading

CHS Pics | From gray to rainbows with Capitol Hill 2018 Pride celebrations

Gray skies gave way to a sunny Broadway celebration of Pride this year. Appropriately themed Rain to Rainbows, PrideFest drew a large crowd of glitter and rainbows-adorned LGBTQ+ Seattleites and their allies to Broadway and Cal Anderson.

PrideFest Capitol Hill again turned Broadway from John to Roy into a party street. Hosted by local teen drag queen Rainbow Gore Cake, its main stage featured a variety of DJs, live performances, and special drag guests. An all-day karaoke stage drew performers across a variety of genres, drumlines and street performers wowed crowds, and the cast of Julia’s on Broadway put on a spectacular drag show. Continue reading

Here’s why this weird little Capitol Hill park is hosting a weekly summer DJ set

PlayThey: Top row (left to right): Jasper Fox, Brian is Ze, Jazz Goldman
Bottom Row: Kara Phoebe, Neve Be, Joy Ma
Not pictured: Christian Radler

A triangular park in front of one of the most unique office buildings in the world isn’t your typical venue for summer DJ dancing. THiRST, a weekly all-ages party, is putting the unassuming McGilvra Place Park along E Madison at 15th into motion every Friday through summer.

‘THiRST is a queer/femme DJ event. I started off go-go dancing in the gay scene being kind of like the ‘hot oddity,’ in the room,” Kara Phoebe says.

After working in many different entertainment industries and watching friends barred from different venues and areas for being “too intersectional,” Phoebe was inspired to start a collective of seven queer artists with the goal of being as accessible as possible. Continue reading

Organizers face down challenges to raise money for 2018 Seattle Trans Pride

Just after Seattle’s new symbol of trans-inclusion, the Pride flag re-design, launched, the future of the annual Trans Pride on Capitol Hill looks strong.

Organizers Trans Pride Seattle and Gender Justice League have been fundraising against the clock to meet the costs required to host this year’s event and have smashed through the $20,000 goal. The fiercely independent group has, again, done it by depending on mostly small, individual donations. Continue reading

With Seattle City Hall flag raising, new stripes for Pride in 2018

Celebrating six years of raising the Pride flag over Seattle’s City Hall, the Seattle LGBTQ Commission, in partnership with SEqual Seattle, and Mayor Jenny Durkan unveiled a new Pride flag Friday featuring five additional colors.

As the conversation of gender spectrum and people of color grows in prominence within the LGBTQ/queer community, the Seattle LGBT Commission aimed at representing all aspects of the community in one, increasingly inclusive flag.

The event organizers explain the inspiration behind the updated flag: Continue reading