IDENTITY- A Visual Artifact is the first of a series of three exhibitions, each featuring a select group of long-time Koplin Del Rio (KDR) gallery artists. As KDR transitions its footprint to the Pacific Northwest, the exhibitions will unveil the gallery’s distinct identity and unique visual program through the artists it represents. These artists produce work that taps into the pulse of our current point in history in order to examine identity on multiple levels—self, community and nation.
In 2016, Seattle Center and community organizations in our region present 23 ethnic festivals on weekends throughout the year. The acclaimed series, which fosters unity by honoring diversity, opens with Tết Festival – Vietnamese Lunar New Year in mid-February and concludes with a celebration of Dawali in Festival of Lights, the first weekend of November.
As Seattle Center Festál prepares for a public program milestone in 2017, the 20th anniversary year of this illuminating series of ethnic cultural events at Seattle Center, we look to the depth and breadth of the individual festivals that comprise the outstanding collection. They form the bedrock of our free, public offerings at Seattle Center, captivating and enlightening festival-goers as they experience the distinct cultures that influence the character and course of our broader community
Following is information and details on the 2016 series:
Seattle Center Festál: Tết Festival – Vietnamese Lunar New Year, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 13-14, Seattle Center Armory and Fisher Pavilion. Traditional dress, lucky money, martial arts and Children of the Dragon preserve the rituals, joys and learnings of an ancient culture – celebrating its 20th year at Seattle Center in 2016.www.seattlecenter.com/festal.
Seattle Center Festál: Irish Festival, 12 p.m.-6 p.m., Saturday andSunday, March 13-14, Armory Irish gigs, genealogy, dance and drumming enliven Irish culture and heritage in the Pacific Northwest – now marking its 45th year in Seattle.Learn more at: www.irishclub.org.
Seattle Center Festál: Seattle’s French Fest: A Celebration of French-Speaking Cultures, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday, March 20, Armory. The young festival – in its 4th year at Seattle Center – presents music, dance, food and fashion to highlight French influence around the world and in our region. À bientôt! Learn more at: www.fenpnw.org.
Seattle Center Festál: Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival, 10 a.m-6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, April 22-24, Armory, Fisher Pavilion and Seattle Center Pavilion. A feast for the senses, articulated by Taiko drums, ikebana flowers and intricate artwork, illuminate ancient views of a modern culture. Celebrating 37 years at Seattle Center in 2016. Learn more at: www.seattlecenter.com/festal.
Seattle Center Festál: Asian-Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration,12 p.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, May 1, Armory. Lion dances, martial arts, live music and expressive art forms explore Cambodian, Thai, Laos and Tongan civilizations. Learn more at: www.apiheritage.com.
Seattle Center Festál: A Glimpse of China – Chinese Culture and Arts Festival, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, May 21, Armory. Journey from Beijing to Seattle through 5,000 years of visual arts, crafts, traditional dance and music of China. Learn more at: www.chinaartandculture.com.
Northwest Folklife Festival, Friday – Monday, May 27-30, throughout the grounds. This Northwest tradition – observing its 45th year at Seattle Center – evolves with our communities as it presents multicultural arts and traditions through lively music, dance, stories and art. www.nwfolklife.org.
Seattle Center Festál: Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival, Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., June 4-5, Armory and Mural Amphitheatre. The 30th annual festival presents pageantry, music, martial arts, drill teams and visual arts to celebrate Filipino independence and showcase the beauty of the country and people. Learn more at: www.festalpagdiriwang.com/.
Seattle Center Festál: Festival Sundiata – Black Arts Fest, Saturday, 12 p.m.-9 p.m., Sunday, 12 p.m.-6 p.m., June11-12, Armory, Mural Amphitheatre and Fisher Roof. Continuous live music and Southern spiced foods illuminate African-American heritage and inspiration in this soulful and fun-filled event – celebrating 36 years in 2016. Learn more at: www.festivalsundiata.org.
Seattle Center Festál: Spirit of Indigenous People, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, June 25, Armory and Mural Amphitheatre. Colorful costumes, rhythmic dance and storytelling preserve the sacred and promote the value of indigenous ancestries throughout the world – now in its 7th year at Seattle Center. Learn more at: www.sihb.org.
Seattle Center Festál: Polish Festival, 12 p.m.-8 p.m., Saturday, July 9, Armory and Mural Amphitheatre. Polish food, thrilling performances, cultural workshops and vibrantly decorated costumes and crafts celebrate this jubilant culture – now in its 5th year at Seattle Center. Learn more at: www.polishfestivalseattle.org.
Seattle Center Festál: Iranian Festival, Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., August 13, Armory. Expressive performances, poetry, face painting, puppetry and authentic cuisine offer a glimpse into this rich and multifaceted culture – in its 10th year at Seattle Center. Learn more at: www.iaca-seattle.org.
Seattle Center Festál: BrasilFest, 12 p.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, August 21, Armory, Mural Amphitheatre and Fisher Roof. The 18th annual tropical “carnival” showcases the lively music, martial arts, food and cultural roots of this South American ethnic mosaic. Learn more at: www.brasilfest.com.
Seattle Center Festál: Tibet Fest, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, August 27-28, Armory and Fisher Rooftop. The ancient and unique thrives at this 21st annual festival highlighting Himalayan arts, music and stories that express a cultural pride rooted in kindness, compassion and love. Learn more at: www.washingtontibet.org.
Seattle Center Festál: Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 11, Armory, Mural Amphitheatre and Fisher Roof. As the festival enters its 9th year, the resourceful aloha spirit comes to life in the Hula, Ono food, music, crafts, tourism resources and a Hawaiian marketplace. Learn more at: www.seattlelivealohafestival.com.
Seattle Center Festál: Seattle Fiestas Patrias, Saturday, 12 p.m.-11 p.m., Sunday, 12 p.m.-6 p.m., Sept. 17-18, Armory, Fisher Pavilion, Seattle Center Pavilion. Wellness and community intermingle in this Latin American independence celebration – in its 38th year at Seattle Center – filled with lively music, tantalizing foods and family. Learn more at: www.seattlefiestaspatrias.org.
Seattle Center Festál: The Italian Festival, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday, and10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 24-25, Armory, Fisher Pavilion and Seattle Center Pavilion. Pasta and pizza, popular music and wine, grape stomping, and expressive displays recognize the remarkable contributions of this dynamic and artful culture – in its 29th year at Seattle Center. Learn more at: www.festaseattle.com.
Seattle Center Festál: CroatiaFest, 12 p.m.-8 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 2, Armory. Acclaimed dance ensembles, art exhibits, foods, tourism information, intricate costumes and historical displays explore this rich culture at the 12th annual CroatiaFest. Learn more at: www.croatiafest.org.
Seattle Center Festál: TurkFest, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 15-16, Armory. Folkdances, elaborate costumes, culinary delights and a tempting bazaar underscore Turkish linkages to East and West – now in its 16th year at Seattle Center. Learn more at: http://www.turkfest.org.
Seattle Center Festál: Dia de Muertos – A Mexican Celebration to Remember Our Departed, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 29-30, Armory. Exquisite arts, elaborate altars, face masks, processions, special foods and ritual honor the past and celebrate our departed at this 15th annual festival of the dead. Learn more at: www.seattlecenter.com.
Seattle Center Festál: Hmong New Year, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 5, Armory. This family celebration preserves the ancient highland cultures of China, Laos and Thailand as it brings together Hmong people from across the region. Learn more at: www.hmongofwa.org.
Seattle Center Festál: Festival of Lights, 12 p.m.-6 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 6, Armory. The final Festál event is also the newest – in its first year at Seattle Center – sharing the story of Diwali as it presents Indian music and dance, crafts, children’s activities and flavorful Indian food. Learn more at: www.seattlecenter.com.
Seattle Center Festál is a program of Seattle Center Productions. Admission is free-of-charge. For more information on this collection of ethnic cultural events and other Seattle Center public programming, visitwww.seattlecenter.com or call 206 684-7200.
About Seattle Center Festál
Seattle Center Festál 2016, a collection of 23 cultural events presented on weekends throughout the year, highlights the diverse cultures and common threads of ethnic communities in our region with traditional and contemporary art, music, foods, youth activities, workshops, marketplaces and more. Seattle Center Festál is produced with the generous support of KUOW 94.9 Public Radio, Coca-Cola, Alaska Airlines and T-Mobile. Additional support is provided by the City of Seattle and Seattle Center Foundation.
Dave Malloy, Marisa Michelson, Amanda Green converse and perform
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4
TACOMA, Wash. – Three significant composers of American musical theater are coming to Tacoma to discuss their influences, to perform and share excerpts of their work, and to engage in an intimate conversation about the changing world of staged musicals.
The free, public event at University of Puget Sound will feature Off-Broadway Theatre Award (OBIE) winner, composer, and performer Dave Malloy, who is on the brink of his Broadway debut with Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812; Jonathan Larson Award-winning composer and performer Marisa Michelson, co-writer of the acclaimed musical Tamar of the River; and Tony-nominated lyricist, composer, and performer Amanda Green, the first woman recipient of the Frederic Loewe Award for Outstanding Composition.
The summit, The Changing Sound of American Musical Theatre, will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4, in Schneebeck Concert Hall on campus. Everyone is welcome and entry is free, with no tickets required.
The evening will move between short lectures, live performances from the guest artists, a video presentation, and a discussion between the guests and audience, moderated by Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts Jess K Smith. The multimedia review of the three composers’ bodies of work and unique creative processes will aim to uncover some of the significant ways in which the sound, structure, and needs of American musical theater are continually evolving.
One example that Smith gives of the shifting musical theatre frontier came in 1996, when RENT opened off-Broadway. Audiences suddenly were seeing challenging themes such as AIDS and addiction at the center of a Broadway musical. Moreover, the score blended Puccini’s La Bohème with the rough timbre of classic rock, to create an entirely new sound on the Great White Way—the nickname for New York’s Midtown section of Broadway. The hit play changed the sound and scope of musical theater.
Summit speaker Dave Malloy, too, has pushed boundaries. His Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812,slated for a highly anticipated Broadway run this fall, takes 70 pages from Tolstoy’s iconic War and Peace, and transforms it into an electropop opera. His earlier opera, Beowulf—A Thousand Years of Baggage, was named in The New Yorker’s “Best of the Year” list and featured original music combining Weillian cabaret, 1940s jazz harmony, punk, electronica, and Romantic Lieder, turning the stage into a cacophonous swirl.
Similarly, composer Marisa Michelson has transported audiences to spaces that can be at once familiar and eerily foreign. She has taken inspiration from the Bible, Sappho’s poetry, and The Arabian Nights, weaving together contemporary, Middle Eastern, and American musical influences, with patter song, electronics, Meredith Monk-inspired sound play, and the harmonics of traditional Tibetan singing bowls.
Tony-nominated lyricist and composer Amanda Green is known for striking a balance between honoring Broadway traditions and simultaneously expanding the form. Through diverse collaborations with artists such as legendary guitarist Trey Anastasio, of rock band Phish; Lin Manuel Miranda (Hamilton); and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights David Lindsay-Abaire and Doug Wright, Green has contributed significantly to the sound of modern American musical theatre, with shows such as Hands on a Hardbody, On the Twentieth Century, Bring it On, and High Fidelity.
All three of the participating composers’ work is influenced by their perspectives as performers, composers, and scholars. Below is further information on each of the presenters.
Dave Malloy is a composer, writer, performer, sound designer, musical director, and pianist. He has won numerous creative awards, including two OBIE (Off-Broadway Theater) Awards, a Richard Rodgers Award, and a Will Glickman Award. He wrote the music for eight full-length musicals, most recentlyGhost Quartet, which sold out at performances in Brooklyn and New York. In 2012 Malloy wrote and performed in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, an electropop opera based on Tolstoy’s War and Peace, which received rave reviews and numerous awards. He co-createdThree Pianos, a drunken romp through Schubert’s Winterreise, and composed the highly acclaimed Beowulf—A Thousand Years of Baggage. Other musicals include Black Wizard/Blue Wizard, a philosophical musical fantasia with co-creator Eliza Bent; Beardo, a Russian-ballet inspired retelling of the Rasputin myth, written by Jason Craig and including a string quintet and 40-piece choir; and Ten Red Hen’s Clown Bible, a gypsy-jazz infused set of Bible stories, from Genesis to Revelation, told through clowns. Molloy has been a guest professor in devised music theater at Princeton University and Vassar College, and has worked with numerous theater groups.
Marisa Michelson is a Jonathan Larson Award-winning composer, singer, and voice teacher. The music for her experimental musical, Tamar of the River, written with Joshua H. Cohen and staged by Prospect Theater Companyin 2013, was called “exquisite” by The New York Times. The work also was produced as a theatrical oratorio by New York Theatre Barn and Choral Chameleon. Michelson composed the music for The Other Room, a musical theater piece that ran for a month at The Barrow Group theater. The music was praised by The New York Times as producing “real chills.” Musicals in development include Scheherazade—a musical adaptation of Jason Grote’s acclaimed play, 1001—and a new work, with playwright Dipika Guha, about the nuclear testing that took place in Las Vegas in the 1950s. Previous musical-theater pieces include Still Life with Toe Shoes; Hotel Sarajevo; and The Lovers. Michelson’s songs have been featured at New York venues including The Kennedy Center, York Theatre, New World Stages, and The Flea, and at Signature Theatre, in Virginia. Her recordings include Tamar of the River (Yellow Sound Label) and “All New,” sung by Nikki M. James (The Broadway Lullaby Project).
Amanda Green is a lyricist/composer and an award-winning performer. Her Broadway credits include her role as co-composer and lyricist for Hands on a Hardbody, in collaboration with Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio, which attracted four 2013 Tony Award nominations. She wrote the lyrics for the original musical An Americain Boy, collaborating with Olivier Award-winning British composer Richard Thomas, on a work directed by Tony-nominated director Leigh Silverman. She was the first woman awarded the Frederic Loewe Award for Outstanding Composition, from the Dramatists Guild of America, for her music for Hands on a Hardbody. For television Green wrote additional lyrics for NBC’s Peter Pan LIVE! and special lyrics for the Kennedy Center Honors on CBS (2014). She is developing an original dramatic series for television, co-writing with Tony winner Lisa Kron (Fun Home), for producer John Lyons (Sisters, The Young Pope). Green produces and performs in concerts of her work, alongside Broadway guest stars, in New York theater venues including Joe’s Pub, Birdland jazz club, Second Stage Theatre, and Feinstein’s 54 Below. She received MAC Awards both for outstanding musical comedy performer and for comedy song. She also received a Bistro Award for Outstanding Comedy Song.
The Changing Sound of American Musical Theatre is sponsored by the Matthew Norton Clapp Endowment for Visiting Artists, Department of Theatre Arts, and School of Music, at University of Puget Sound.
For directions and a map of the University of Puget Sound campus: pugetsound.edu/directions
For accessibility information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 253.879.3236, or visitpugetsound.edu/accessibility.
Mayor Murray signed legislation today creating the Historic Central Area Arts and Cultural District, the second Seattle neighborhood to be named a designated Arts & Cultural District. The Central Area is a center of African-American heritage and history as well as a neighborhood undergoing rapid change. The Arts District designation recognizes the culturally rich neighborhood and seeks to preserve its character.
“With this designation, we recognize the importance of the Central Area and the contributions of African Americans to Seattle’s rich and diverse cultural traditions as we seek to both honor and shape the legacy of the neighborhood,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We also seek to build a vibrant arts environment and opportunities for creative industries to thrive in the Central Area for years to come.”
“The idea of an arts and cultural district in the Central Area actually predates the recent efforts to establish these districts,” said Steve Sneed, Historic Central Area Arts and Cultural District co-chair. “We’ve talked about and dreamt about something like this for more than 20 years, and now we’ve been able to turn that into action.”
The Historic Central Area Arts and Cultural District designation is dedicated to:
- Preserving an African and African-American legacy in the Central Area.
- Sustaining and strengthening the physical identity and sense of place for Black cultural relevancy.
- Establishing continued support of artistic creation, economic vibrancy, livability, affordability, desirability and artistic vitality.
“The heritage of African-Americans in the Central Area has served this city in so many ways and now we have an opportunity to bring new life and meaning to a sacred past, and to be a force that helps to shape the future,” said Stephanie Johnson-Toliver of the Black Heritage Society of Washington. “The arts offers unlimited opportunity to stand firm in the present while giving honor to the past, and creating new paths to the future.”
The arts district designation creates access to the Creative Placemaking Toolkit, a suite of tools designed to preserve, strengthen, and expand arts and cultural places. The district will have access to $50,000 to be used towards the toolkit’s programs: signs to identify neighborhood borders and provide directions to significant places and landmarks; music and art in public places; pop-up activation; and parklets. The toolkit was designed by the Seattle Office Arts and Culture to support artists, art spaces, and neighborhoods in maintaining and investing in their cultural assets.
The Central Area is Seattle’s historically African-American neighborhood and in a rapidly changing environment remains the nucleus for black art, business and culture. The Central Area has been home to some of the world’s most respected artists, including Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones, Theaster Gates, James Washington, Vitamin D, Ernestine Anderson, Ray Charles, Art Chantry and numerous others.