Another World Is Possible! WTO +20 and the Justice Movements of Today

Today in Seattle and around the world, social movements are taking to the streets, striking, locking down, and engaging in multiple forms of direct action. These tactics build collective power to transform the intersecting crises of our times into opportunities for equity, healing, and sustainability. In 1919 over 65,000 workers with held their labor during the Seattle General Strike. In 1999 over 50,000 people took to the streets of Seattle and shut down the World Trade Organization’s conference.

Now 20 years later we gather to honor this history, and the power of non-violent direct action, through story-telling, trainings, and movement-building workshops, to make another world possible. Activists who were part of the mobilization share stories and lessons learned from the people’s movement which made history by successfully preventing the WTO—one of capitalism’s most powerful global institutions—from further consolidating its power. Hear from leaders of today’s movements for justice, from Washington farmworkers to global alliances. Join the WTO+20 gathering for hands-on direct action training, arts workshops, story-telling, and opportunities to plug into local organizing.

Program will include:

10:00 – 10:30

10:30 – 12:00
Dialogue on the significance of the 1999 WTO protests, and stories of direct action, from 1999 to today, with:

Ramon Torres & Edgar Franks, Familias Unidas por la Justicia
Paul Cheoketen Wagner, Founder of Protectors of the Salish Sea
Nancy Haque, Labor/Direct Action Network organizer in ’99, Executive Director of Basic Rights Oregon
Maru Mora Villalpando, Founder of La Resistencia (NW Detention Center Resistance) and Latino Advocacy
Lisa Fithian, Author of Shut It Down: Stories from a Fierce, Loving Resistance

12:00 – 12:45

12:45 – 3:45
Training and Movement-Building Workshops (Simultaneous)

Training Workshops:
Escalating Resistance, Mass Rebellion Training with Lisa Fithian
Screen-printing with David Solnit, Direct Action Network organizer in ’99, North American Arts Organizer,

Movement-Building workshops:
Seattle’s Green New Deal with Matt Remle (Lakota) Co-founder of Mazaska Talks, and Alec Connon, 350Seattle
Campaign to permanently shut down the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington, with La Resistencia

3:45 – 4:00 

4:00 – 5:00 

Co-Sponsors: 350Seattle, Earth Care not Warfare, Familias Unidas por la Justicia, Health Alliance International, LELO, Mazaska Talks, PSARA, Puget Sound Sage, Seattle Education Association, SEIU 925, Sunrise Movement Seattle, Tools for Change, US Women and Cuba Collaboration, WA Fair Trade Coalition

Community Partners: Community to Community Development, EarthCorps, JUUstice Washington, UW Geography, Village Volunteers

Presented by Town Hall Seattle, Community Alliance for Global Justice, & UFCW 21.

On the List | Volunteer Park Halloween Pet Parade, Boys in Trouble dance, Iceland invades Liberty

Spooky season is upon us, so get ready for some eerie events on Capitol Hill (and Hilloween, which is back this year). Lusio Lights festival in Volunteer Park also makes an October appearance, though the light art installations and party amidst the tropical and other plants are more festive than frightening.

Next Monday at Pettirosso, The Traveling Chef Josh Ploeg cooks up a 4-course meal that must scare some meat and egg-lovers to death: it’s completely vegan. Dishes include “The Vampire’s Garden” salad with beet and tomato “aspic” dome, red pickles, black mushrooms and greens, a “Broomstick, Moonstick, Wrapped in Gloom Thick” pastry-wrapped yellow squash with mushroom gravy, as well as “A Ghast, A Ghoul, A Grave So Cruel” dark chocolate almond cake.

For what to do in the meantime, check out the events below or take a look at the CHS calendar.

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 16: Perhaps you haven’t heard of Knife Knights yet, but maybe, just maybe, you’ve heard of a band called Shabazz Palaces? 1/2 of the group, Ishmael Butler, teams up with Shabazz Palaces’ engineer Erik Blood under the Knife Knight umbrella. The result is ambitiously and unpredictably experimental music they describe as “soul and shoegaze, hip-hop and lush noise, bass, and bedlam.” For their Earshot Jazz Festival performance, the duo will be joined by KEXP DJ Stas Thee Boss and alto-sax expansionist Darius Jones. Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, 7.30 PM – 10 PM  Continue reading

‘Emergency fundraising’ — Velocity Dance Center’s future on the Hill up in the air

(Image: Velocity Dance Center)

“Seattle’s home for dance” is in trouble. The 23-year old Velocity Dance Center says it needs emergency funds to avoid ending its year in the red and in uncertainty of whether it can keep its 12th Avenue space. Velocity says rising rents and increasing costs of operating in Seattle have made its current financial model unsustainable.

“It is an emergency,” said Catherine Nueva España, Velocity’s executive director.

During a “Community Forum” in the main performance studio of the center’s 12th Ave space on Tuesday, Velocity’s leadership answered questions from fifteen or so supporters. They also tried to galvanize them to rally support for its “Save Our Studio” campaign.

“We’re trying to raise $120,000 by the end of the year so that we can afford to stay in our space and to stabilize moving forward,” Colleen Borst, Velocity’s development director, told CHS.  Continue reading

Ready for big decisions on center’s future on Capitol Hill, Velocity Dance names new executive director

(Image: Ron Rogers/Velocity Dance Center)

Catherine Nueva España (Image: Timothy Mowrer)

Catherine Nueva España is the new executive director of Velocity Dance Center. Nueva España, a Seattle-based nonprofit consultant, dancer, and teacher, has been chosen to fill the shoes of Tonya Lockyer, who departed Velocity after 16 years with the organization.

Former associate producer Erin Johnson, who has taken on the role of interim artistic director in December, will oversee programming in 2019 as Velocity “explores different options for how to fill the role of artistic director in the future.”

Nueva España will start on February 19th. She comes to Velocity from local nonprofit 501 Commons, where she served as the program manager for arts and development and consulted with arts organizations and nonprofits to streamline and stabilize operations. Continue reading

Capitol Hill arts group launches ‘phone book’ with over 500 local artists

Carolyn Hitt’s high school years are far behind her. And yet she cannot wait to get her yearbook signed this Tuesday. This time around, though, it is actually her yearbook. As in: she’s created it. In it are not her classmates, but over 500 black-and-white headshots and social media handles of Seattle artists, chefs, curators and creatives from all mediums. The book, a creative “phone book” for the city will be officially released this Tuesday during The Relevant Unknowns: 2018 Yearbook Release Party at Fred Wildlife Refuge (Free, 21+).

“My goal is to connect artists in the city,” Hitt said. “There are so many pockets of communities. Those pockets make us insular. How do we connect beyond that?” Continue reading

‘Merce 100’ celebrates past and future at Velocity Dance as director says goodbye

Merce Cunningham (Image: Merce Cunningham Trust)

Ella Mahler is lying on her back on the marley floor, stock-still, like a bear has been chasing her and playing dead is her last resort. But then, suddenly, she gets up and scurries across the vinyl floors of the back studio of Capitol Hill’s Velocity Dance Center. In hurried movements, she lifts her knees up, combat-style, only to later duck and then balance gracefully on one leg, outsmarting an invisible assailer purely with poise.

Mahler, a Seattle-based dancer, choreographer and Velocity’s 2019 Made in Seattle Artist, is running through the movements of her solo choreography Absolute. Less than two weeks to go before showtime, December 14th. Mahler is one of the nine dancers performing newly created choreographies for MERCE 100: Seattle Artists Respond to Merce, a four-day long, Capitol Hill-centered celebration of and response to the centennial of world-famous dancer and Washington native Merce Cunningham (1919 – 2009), running December 13th through 16th.

Cunningham, who was born in Centralia and studied at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, became one of the most influential artists of the 20th century thanks to his radical, innovative approach to dance, for example by using dice and other chance-based processes to decide how his dancers would move. Continue reading

Meet the Hill’s new literary impresario: Kate Berwanger

Surreal Storytelling With Strange Women’s Kate Berwanger (Image: Margo Vansynghel)

Kate Berwanger is a strange woman. Those are her own words. She just can’t really explain what it means, exactly. She just knows that like many other women writers in Seattle, she identifies with the epithet.

“One of my favorite writers is Aimee Bender, and I feel like her writing is kind of strange,” Berwanger offers up as an example of a strange female writer she admires, while she swirls around the whiskey in her small shot glass. It’s only four o’clock, but in the darkened back of bar-cum-art gallery Vermillion, it feels like the clock jumped to midnight.

Here, in the back bar, she hosted the two first iterations of Surreal Storytelling With Strange Women, a new literary event she’s created. For a pay-what-you-can-price, Berwanger —who uses the online alias ‘The Coy Hyena’, is dressed in all black, wears a hat and at least five rings— curates a mix of known and lesser known writers from “different pockets of the literary community,” ranging from established poets like Anastacia-Renée to multidisciplinary writers such as Amanya Maloba, aka Kenya Ku$h.

Surreal Storytelling With Strange Women returns to the Hill for a third iteration Saturday, December 8th at Ghost Gallery. Readers will include G.G. Silverman, whose short fiction was most recently nominated for the Best Small Fictions anthology and writer and singer-songwriter Symone La Luz, among others.

“If I weren’t curating it, this would be an event I’d go to,” says Berwanger, who also organizes a new pop-up art show during Capitol Hill Art Walk, Scream for Queer Art. Continue reading

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