Start off the New Year with a splash!
Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Meadowbrook Community Center Advisory Council are co-sponsoring the 17th annual Polar Bear Plunge at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 at Matthews Beach, 9300 51st Ave. NE. Registration begins at 10 a.m., and the plunge starts at noon sharp.
A 2019 Commemorative Badge of Courage will be given to all heroic Polar Bear participants who immerse themselves neck-deep in the water. The patch will show the world that participants braved the frigid waters.
Warming refreshments will be served. While people wait for the plunge to kick off, there will be a variety of food trucks available, games, a photo booth, music, and a t-shirt/sweatshirt vendor.
As in previous years, younger polar bears and anyone else who needs a little more room can take part in the Polar Cub Club part of the event immediately preceding the main plunge. For the truly hearty, double-dipping is allowed.
Seattle Parks and Recreation offers a few tips for enjoying a fun, safe swim:
- Make the plunge even more special by dressing up in a costume!
- Come early, and carpool or take the bus (you can plan your trip at http://tripplanner.kingcounty.gov/).
- If you have heart problems or other serious medical concerns, we recommend that you consult your healthcare professional before taking the Polar Bear Plunge. If you can’t go in the water, come and watch!
- Don’t drink alcohol–it doesn’t warm you up, and it accelerates hypothermia.
- Stay in the water for no longer than 15 minutes—you lose body heat 25 times faster in water than in air.
- Keep your outer clothing on until you’re ready to get in the water. After the plunge, remove wet clothing before getting into dry clothes.
The Polar Bear Plunge was the first official event of its kind in the Seattle area and has inspired other, similar events throughout the region. Janet Wilson, Aquatic Center Coordinator at Meadowbrook Pool, started the event on Jan. 1, 2003. About 300 people participated in that first Polar Bear Plunge, and since then the attendance has soared to more than 1,900 brave bears. Follow the Facebook event here for updates.
Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) and The Friends of the Conservatory (FOC) are pleased to announce that the Volunteer Park Conservatory will waive all admission fees Dec. 24, 2018 though the end of February, 2019.
Free admission to the Conservatory during this time period is made possible by a generous donation from the Bennett-Shear family – a gift from the children to celebrate their parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. Son Emmett Shear said, “We grew up walking to the Conservatory during my whole childhood, and I know my parents want everyone to be able to enjoy this beauty and peace. In their honor, I’m excited to be able to invite people to come for free to the Conservatory again.” (The Conservatory had been a free experience until 2013)
SPR and FOC encourage everyone, especially those who have never visited before, as well as school groups planning field trips, to take advantage of this opportunity to discover the Conservatory at no cost.
The Conservatory’s Poinsettia and Holiday Train Display will be up and running through January 1, 2019, and the FOC offers free docent tours by appointment Tuesdays through Sundays (except the first Saturday of the month). To schedule a tour, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Conservatory’s regular hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed on Mondays except for the upcoming holidays). The Conservatory will be open on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Regular admission will be reinstated on March 1, 2019. Adults $4; Youth $2; Kids under age 12 are always free.
Many thanks to the Bennett-Shear Family for making the Conservatory accessible to all during this holiday season.
Questions? Please contact Khue Tran, FOC Executive Administrator, at Khue.Tran@volunteerparkconservatory.org.
While Seattleites across the city will look toward Seattle Center for the spectacular 30-minute musically choreographed light show originating from the Space Needle, thousands will gather on the campus for all kind of New Year’s Eve revelry. From the fun, free Seattle Center Winterfest offerings to Straight No Chase in Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center and the many NYE events at venues on the grounds, Seattle Center is NYE-central for the region.
Here is a schedule of the evening’s activities:
WINTERFEST ICE RINK
11 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center
Skate, glide and slide as you await the New Year. Admission/skate rental applies. Learn more at: Seattle Center Winterfest
WINTERFEST NEW YEAR’S EVE FESTIVITIES
8 p.m., Dec. 31, Seattle Center Armory and on the grounds
Celebrate the arrival of a new year with two free signature Winterfest events. Cover band Sway rocks in the New Year on the Armory Stage. Fountain of Light dance party, 10 p.m. at International Fountain, offers live electronic music and a video projection show by local DJ Freddy King of Pants and VJ Baryonyx. Sponsored by T-Mobile. Learn more at: Seattle Center Winterfest
NEW YEAR’S EVE pARTy
Doors open at 8 p.m. Must arrive by 10 p.m., Dec. 31, Chihuly Garden and Glass
Dine, dance and delight in the most extraordinary view of Seattle’s most iconic fireworks display through the glass ceiling. Information and tickets: New Year’s Eve pARTy
STRAIGHT NO CHASER
8 p.m., Dec. 31, Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center
The acclaimed a cappella group’s “One Shot Tour” highlights their unconventional, multi-part harmonies and sound effects, from boy-band classics, spiked with Britney Spears for flavor, to unique takes on holiday classics. Information and tickets: Straight No Chase, McCaw Hall
T-MOBILE NEW YEARS’ EVE AT THE NEEDLE
9 p.m., Dec. 31, Space Needle
Join the height of celebration in Seattle. The party spans two floors atop the newly-transformed Space Needle. Taste, toast and dance the night away while enjoying floor-to-forever views on The Loupe, the world’s first and only revolving glass floor. Information and tickets: T-Mobile New Year’s Eve at the Needle
SPECTRA 2019: NYE Under the Arches
Starts at 9 p.m., Dec. 31, Pacific Science Center
Dance off the last hours of 2018 with live DJs and sip drinks from an open bar, while you wait for the luminary explosions of the Space Needle’s annual fireworks show to begin. Information and tickets: SPECTRA 2019
INDULGENCE 2019 NEW YEARS BASH
Doors open at 9 p.m., Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)
Multi-flavored excitement that satisfies and delights, with music played by live bands and 2 DJs, continuous comedy and RJ, the emcee hosting the event, accompanied by the party’s dancers and stage performers. Information and tickets: INDULGENCE 2019
Seattle Center Monorail will remain in service until 2 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2019 to accommodate New Year’s Eve visitors, ceasing operations between 11:15 p.m. and approximately 12:30 a.m., to comply with fire regulations.
Seattle Center Winterfest, produced by Seattle Center, presents spirited programming for one and all in search of entertaining and enriching activities during this festive time of year. For more information, visit Seattle Center or call 206 684-7200.
About Seattle Center Winterfest 2018
Connect to the sights, sounds and spirit of the season at Seattle Center Winterfest, Nov. 23–Dec. 31. Visit the festive Seattle Center Armory, displaying its winter finery, and explore the olden Winter Train & Village. The Winterfest Ice Rink returns, along with ice sculpting, student showcases and more. Seattle Center Winterfest is sponsored by Coca-Cola, Alaska Airlines, T-Mobile, Lyft, Seattle Center Foundation, Seattle Center Monorail and City of Seattle.
Stevens Pass opened under the Vail Resorts banner today with 23 inches of new snow mid-mountain falling in the last two days, and more on the way.
Serious storm action off the top of the week brought the mid-mountain snow level up by two feet, for a 34-inch base and 49 inches mid-mountain. Snow is expected to continue throughout the week with new terrain opening daily.
“This is going to be a great season for us. We’ve just announced two new chairlifts and the snow has clearly arrived. By this time next week, we’re fully expecting most, if not all of our terrain will be open, and we’ll be enjoying new snow through Christmas and the New Year,” said Tom Pettigrew, Stevens Pass General Manager.
On Friday, Vail Resorts announced Stevens Pass will share in a $35 million investment it is making in its newest resorts, as part of its $175-180 million capital investment package for the coming season. Both the Brooks and Daisy chairlifts will be replaced with bigger, more modern lifts by the 2019-20 season, with additional upgrades to food services.
For Seattle area skiers, this season marks the first opportunity to purchase an EPIC pass, for use at Stevens Pass and the full complement of Vail Resorts properties. The EPIC pass offers access to 65 resorts, including the Colorado mountains and North America’s largest ski resort, Whistler Blackcomb, which is located just north of Washington State in British Columbia.
“This really is the start of a new era at Stevens Pass. This is an extremely successful hill, with 81 years of servicing the Pacific Northwest ski community. Joining the Vail Resorts family is only going to make it a stronger option for both core skiers and families,” said Pettigrew.
Stevens Pass had its first big snowfall mid-October and has received a cumulative 58 inches of snow for the season. The resort opened with the Daisy, Brooks, Skyline and Hogsback lifts open, accessing 23 runs.
About Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN)
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts’ subsidiaries operate 15 world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher in Australia; Stowe and Okemo in Vermont; Mt. Sunapee in New Hampshire; Stevens Pass in Washington; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. Vail Resorts owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.
The Sincerely Royal Foundation hosted the Third Annual SRF Dinner & Auction at Ford Sports Performance Training Facility. The Event was a great success raising $100k for Ford Sports Performance Academics. These contributions and donations will allow risk and economically disadvantaged youth to have a chance to participate in elite level sports, Travel, Transportation, Academic Tutors, Cost for SAT/ACT Prep Classes.
Master of Ceremonies, Gee Scott of The Scott Legacy and ESPN SportsRadio presented the Life Time Achievement Awards to Seattle Seahawks KJ Wright and Bobby Wagner for there personal support and mentorship given to the athletes at the FSP Academie. Justin Britt and other NFL Players who have seen the process, progress and success of Tracy Ford (CEO & Head Performance Coach, Ford Sports Performance) also donated to assist in achieving FSP financial goal.
Keynote Speaker Keyshawn Johnson spoke on some of the struggles he faced growing up in a single parent low to no income home. Beating the odds and becoming a wide receiver in the NFL for eleven seasons. Keyshawn spoke on his experiences playing for the University of Southern California, where he earned All-American honors. The first pick in the 1996 NFL Draft, he played professionally for the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, and Carolina Panthers. Now retired from football and television broadcasting with ESPN. Keyshawn came to support The Sincerely Royal Foundation and Ford Sports Performance to help assist in making a difference and tackling the challenges that FSP is faced with.
Ford Sports Performance (FSP), is a dedicated program that is all-encompassing. The mission is more than just sports. FSP has been helping to mold the lives of young athletes, students, and young men; preparing them for life on and off the field for the past 10 years.
At Ford Sports Performance Academics Matters FIRST. The FSP program expects more from our athletes. Education is first! We raise the bar and help ensure those who are not achieving our minimum expectation of a 3.0 GPA are supported to get there through hard work and tutoring resources. Occasionally, economically disadvantaged students need tutoring more than others. With tutoring, our athletes have the opportunity to make enormous strides while compensating for the shortcomings of their schools.
The biggest challenge at FSP is some of the most skilled athletes come from broken homes, struggling or low-income households. Last year Sincerely Royal Foundation supported 15 of our 72 athletes; with full or partial scholarships and this year, Sincerely Royal Foundation is targeting to support 25 athletes and many more with academic tutors to prepare them for college. “Our goal is to increase the number of athletes we can help”.
Because of these challenges and our passion around getting these athletes to college, the 501(c) (3)
Foundation called The Sincerely Royal Foundation was solidified. Its focus is to ensure young athletes are afforded the opportunity to develop their skills, play on select club teams such as 7v7, participate in national tournaments and get the academic support they may need to improve grades.
The mission of The Sincerely Royal Foundation is… “To support the FSP mission of commitment to
providing positive influences through sports, education, leadership, and community. We strive to develop youth into resilient leaders of tomorrow through encouragement, perseverance and the importance of setting goals, hard work and giving back.”
“We greatly appreciate the consideration and dedication of all those who are involved in the sponsorship and partnership in changing the lives of these young men in the FSP program”.
Kimberly Stephens, Executive Director Sincerely Royal Foundation
With a snowy week in the forecast, Mt. Hood Meadows presents a December loaded with events, holiday camps and festivities, increased transportation options and an expanded operational schedule. Meadows is prepping for the holidays and is open daily at 9 AM, and all resort services including restaurants, Meadows Learning Center ski and snowboard lessons, Day Care and retail stores are offered. For conditions and daily lifts scheduled visit the resort website SkiHood.com.
The night season is scheduled to begin this Friday, December 14, when lifts will run from 9 AM to 9 PM at Meadows (conditions permitting.) Entering the holiday season, lifts are scheduled from 9 AM – 9 PM every day from December 14 through January 6, except for four evenings – December 17, 18, 24 and January 1 when lifts will run from 9 AM – 4 PM. On New Year’s Eve lifts will run until after midnight to ring in the New Year.
Night skiing offers affordable riding (tickets are just $39 from 3 – 9 PM,) and a romance “under the lights” all its own. Meadows restaurants, retail shops, rental center continue to operate until lifts close and Meadows Learning Center offers evening adult and children’s group lessons for skiing and snowboarding.
Meadows Nordic Center is open for the season with access to groomed track from 9 AM – 4 PM Thursdays through Mondays. Currently the Nordic Center has a Sprint Loop and the Sahale Falls trail open for cross country skiing, as well as offering Nordic equipment rentals and lessons. More trails will open with more snow – up to the 15 kilometers of trails offered. The Nordic Center will be open every day from December 13 through January 7 and then return to it’s regular Thursday – Monday weekly schedule.
Meadows popular Park and Ride will roll weekends and holidays starting Saturday and running every day through January 2 (except for Christmas Day.) Luxury motor coaches offer individual seating (and have onboard bathrooms) pick up at three Portland locations in Tualatin, Beaverton and Gateway, delivering guests to the ski area by 9 AM. The service allows guests to avoid the driving hassle, chaining and unchaining and helps reduce overall peak day traffic congestion heading to the mountain. Round trip bus fare is $25 and must be purchased in advance online at SkiHood.com.
Meadows will celebrate with a magnificent toast to the mountain at the annual Winter Brew Fest December 15 from Noon – 4 PM in Vertical – overlooking the base area. Local brewers will present their most popular brews and seasonals. Admission is $16 which includes a souvenir mug and four drink tickets. Additional samples are $1.50 each. The event is for ages 21 and older and features brews from Double Mountain, Full Sail, pFriem, Everybody’s Brewing, Backwoods, Widmer, Hopworks, Ninkasi and Burnside Breweries.
The Green Room an original Dub Rock band from Portland will perform live at the Brew Fest. They bring positive energy and good vibes inspired by the best of the Pacific NW – combining reggae beats, heavy bass lines, inspirational lyrics, horns and percussion with electronic effects, delays and textures. They get their listeners moving and take the room energy to a higher place!
Meadows Learning Center presents three-day holiday camps for kids and adults twice during the winter break. The three-day format allows campers to progress skills quickly, while making friends with the same group and instructors all three days. There are camps for kids, specialized freestyle camps and adult camps as well. Packages with lift ticket, equipment rentals and instruction are customized for the skill and experience level of the camper. Purchase in advance online at SkiHood.com.
It’s a waffle and parfait party with the J.O.E. (jolly old elf) fireplace-side in Vertical, overlooking the base area. Two servings at 8 AM and 9 AM are served up both Saturday and Sunday, with the chance to let Santa know what is on your list for Christmas. Reservations required ($8 for ages 6 and under | $12 for ages 7 and older.)
Our Peak Day Shuttle will run daily from December 22 – January 1 (except Christmas Day) and weekends in January and February as well as MLK and Presidents Day Holidays.
Skip the traffic, skip putting on chains and skip the long walk from the back of the parking lot! We are offering four buses, operated by First Student, that will make four round trips each from the Hood River Event Site. Parking is free at the Hood River Event Site and the shuttle ride is free as well.
Enjoy a wonderful afternoon away from the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and join us for a tour through trees and meadows with a scenic view of frosty Umbrella Falls. Our snowshoe tours are an incredible way for our guests who don’t ski or snowboard to experience the beauty and inspiration of the being on the mountain.
Welcome in the New Year at Mt. Hood Meadows! Join us for a rockin’ New Year’s party thrown by pFriem where late night lifts, fireworks, music, an amazing dinner, dancing and more will carry you into 2019! There’s a special kids New Year’s Eve party, fireworks at 10:15 and an incredible buffet dinner (reservations required.) Counterfeit Hits perform high energy songs from the 70s to now starting at 9 PM at Vertical, and count down to the champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight! Happy New Year!
Embrace our ethnic diversity and cultivate a deeper understanding of the cultures that contribute to the vibrancy of our region at Seattle Center Festál. The “Love, Peace and Understanding” theme for 2019 is woven throughout 24 free, ethnic cultural festivals. In a time of divisive national rhetoric, Festál celebrates our shared humanity to build connections, tear down stereotypes and create trust.
Entering its 22 year, Festál offers an opportunity for communities to gather and share deeply rooted traditions and contemporary influences with the greater Seattle area through live music, dance, visual exploration, literature, film, workshops, demonstrations, hands-on learning and play for kids and adults. Many festivals also feature authentic foods and goods available for purchase.
Newly added this year is the “Alaska Airlines Fly Away Giveaway.” Guests who obtain a passport inside the Armory and collect stamps by attending festivals can be entered to win two round-trip airfare tickets to any Alaska Airlines destination. Each stamp is an entry to win; the more Festál events attended and stamps collected, the higher the odds of winning! More information at seattlecenter.com/festal.
Here are the festivals in the 2019 series:
Têt in Seattle – Vietnamese Lunar New Year, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 26 – 27
Inviting the community to a celebration of the lunar new year with lion dances, firecrackers, martial arts, dance and visual arts. tetinseattle.org
Irish Festival, Saturday and Sunday, March 16 – 17
Highlighting the Irish heritage of the Pacific Northwest with traditional music, step-dancing, art exhibits, genealogy workshops and Celtic handcrafts. irishclub.org
Seattle’s French Fest: A Celebration of French-Speaking Cultures, Sunday, March 24
Celebrating the place of French language, culture and joie de vivre in over 30 countries worldwide with francophone fashion, fine cuisine, wine tastings and a wide array of musical performances. fenpnw.org
Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival, Saturday and Sunday, April 26 – 28
Underscoring the deep friendship between Seattle and Japan as it honors the renewal of life with springtime cherry blossoms, booming Taiko drums, contemporary Japanese arts and a traditional tea ceremony. cherryblossomfest.org
Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration, Sunday, May 5
Recognizing Seattle’s strong ties with Asia and the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in our region through culturally influenced music and dance and a celebrity hum bow eating contest. apiheritage.com
A Glimpse of China – Chinese Culture & Arts Festival, Saturday, May 18
Illuminating the colorful and ancient palette of Chinese arts with dance, painting, calligraphy, workshops and martial arts. chinaartandculture.org
Northwest Folklife Festival, Memorial Day weekend, May 24 – 27
Weaving a cultural tapestry of art and music for all to enjoy at this packed, participatory four-day community-wide celebration. nwfolklife.org
Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival, Saturday and Sunday, June 1 – 2
Observing Phillippine independence from colonial rule and the strength of Filipino identity and imagination through art exhibits, songs, spoken word, films and martial arts. festalpagdiriwang.com
Indigenous People Festival, Saturday, June 8
Instilling better understanding for American Indian and Alaska Native tribes in the Pacific Northwest through a blending of traditional and contemporary music, dance, drama and arts. sihb.org
Festival Sundiata presents Black Arts Fest, Saturday and Sunday, June 15 – 16
Sharing the profound stories of African Americans through an entertainment-packed weekend featuring hip hop, dance, gosepl, visual arts, soul food, exhibits and a marketplace. festivalsundiata.org
Iranian Festival, Saturday, June 22
Deepening community and understanding for the rich cultures of Iran with Persian poetry, tea, modern music and and traditional dance. iaca-seattle.org
Spirit of Africa, Saturday, June 29
Fostering greater inclusivity, awareness and appreciation for the varied traditions of music, movement and storytelling of the African diaspora. thespiritofafrica.org
Polish Festival Seattle, Saturday, July 13
Promoting Polish heritage and presence in our region through a lively day of traditional foods, exhibits, workshops, vodka tastings and a beer garden. polishfestivalseattle.org
Seattle Arab Festival, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10 – 11
Highlighting the sights, sounds and tastes of 22 Arab nations with henna dying, live music, calligraphy, coffee, cooking and folk dancing reflective of the varied Arabian cultures. seattlecenter.com/festal
BrasilFest, Sunday, Aug. 18
Uniting traditional and contemporary Brazilian drumming, dance, music, visual arts, capoeira and celebration during the week of Brazilian Folkore Day. brasilfest.org
Tibet Fest, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 24 – 25
Bestowing messages of love, compassion and kindness through a fusion of ancient and new Tibetan arts and culture to engage, entertain and educate. washingtontibet.org
Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival, Sunday, Sept. 8
Cultivating passion and appreciation for Hawaiian culture with BBQ and poke, hands-on workshops, island music and dance and a marketplace. seattlelivealohafestival.com
Seattle Fiestas Patrias, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 14 – 15
Commemorating Latin American independence with art and craft displays, dancing horses, mariachi bands, folk dancers and tantalizing, time-honored foods.
The Italian Festival, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28 – 29
Offering a spotlight on this inventive nation with food and wine, music and musings – and spirit that is uniquely Italian. festaseattle.com
CroatiaFest, Sunday, Oct. 6
Preserving the customs and creativity of Croatian culture with musical ensembles, colorful dress, savories and sweets and imported goods. croatiafest.org
Turkfest, Saturday and Sunday, Oct 19 – 20
Integrating Eastern and Western influences through Turkish arts and expression, textile displays, workshops and rich cuisine. turkfest.org
Diwali: Lights of India, Saturday, Oct. 26
Inspiring a day of joyful celebration that marks the Indian festival of light with art workshops, succulent foods, henna tatooing, folk dancing and more.
Dia de Muertos – A Mexican Celebration to Remember Our Departed, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 2 – 3
Honoring the departed in a celebration steeped in ritual and tradition through elaborate community altars, sugar skull making, processions and festive music.
Hmong New Year Celebration, Saturday, Nov. 9
Marking the end of the harvest season and the coming of a new year for this deeply rooted Asian highland culture with ornate clothing, traditional dances, visual arts and ball-tossing competitions. hmongofwa.org
Seattle Center Festál is a public program presented by Seattle Center. Admission is free-of-charge. For more information on this collection of ethnic cultural events and other Seattle Center public programming, visit www.seattlecenter.com or call 206-684-7200.
About Seattle Center Festál
This illuminating series of 24 ethnic cultural festivals on weekends throughout the year seeks to connect people in ways that build understanding, dispel stereotypes and generate pride among the generations who participate in these shared experiences. Seattle Center Festál is produced with the generous support of KUOW 94.9 Public Radio, Coca-Cola, Alaska Airlines, T-Mobile, Lyft, 4Culture, the City of Seattle and Seattle Center Foundation.
Yo! I’m excited to announce that I’m going to be hopping off the road again for the holidays and a dope ass night of comedy in Tacoma for one night, on Thursday, December 27th.
I’ll be hosting and our headliner, will be none other than YouTube sensation, James “JayMac” MacCowan aka BloodCuz! He’s a super funny favorite of ours and everybody that comes out will surely have a great time!
All of the shows this year have sold out days before the show… be sure not to procrastinate on getting your tickets for this one. You can get your tickets online or from a member of Team Nate. I’m looking forward to seeing you at the show!
– Nate Jackson
I’m reaching out to share news of the growing momentum behind breakout female literary voice Ayesha Harruna Attah’s new novel THE HUNDRED WELLS OF SALAGA (Trade Paperback Original; On-Sale: February 5th, 2019). Centered around the lives of two women during the scramble for Africa in pre-colonial Ghana, “Attah uses these protagonists to challenge prevailing ideas of religion, slavery, and gender roles in Africa at the time. Her view of domestic slavery and especially its consequences for women is one that has rarely been told.” [Library Journal]. Attah wrote this book because she is the descendant of a woman who was called ‘the slave’. She ended up in the Salaga slave market of northern Ghana and not much else is known about where she came from. This book is to allow her to speak through Ayesha of the family she lost, of the routes she was forced on, of the man she would marry; of the time when probably unknown to her, the country was just on the throes of being colonized. A lot has been written on the trans-Atlantic slave trade, but less so on slavery within the continent of Africa, which has often been described as benign. This book is also an attempt to deconstruct ‘benign’ slavery, which to Ayesha was an oxymoron, and to piece together life on the continent before colonization. Attah did extensive background research for this novel, particularly relating to West African slavery’s connection to the emergence of slavery in the U.S. and is primed to discuss facts and themes relating to the transatlantic slave trade from before the point of transport from West Africa, her grandmother/family backstory and more. Attah will take part in a national tour, beginning with a launch event at THE AFRICA CENTER on 2/5 in conversation with Africa Center CEO, Uzodinma Iweala, Author of the acclaimed Beasts of No Nation & Speak No Evil. A poignant essay by Attah, tied to themes in the book, ran The New York Times recently. It touches on dreams, what it means to migrate and what is filtered from the past through to the present. Attah has always been drawn to the idea that a cuisine has the power to preserve a people’s identity and mirror the cultural, religious, and socio-economic tides of history. Just checking in to see if you have any plans for this one? Thanks for your time.
- Seattle, WA
- 2/20 – Seattle Public Library
“The strength of Attah’s novel is in these two fully realized women, who must navigate their own ever changing circumstances against the backdrop of an increasingly volatile political landscape, in which feuding royals are competing for power among themselves but also with the Germans and the British…On the whole it is a rich and nuanced portrayal… Attah is adept at leading readers across the varied terrain of 19th-century Ghana and handles heavy subjects with aplomb.
Two memorable women anchor this pleasingly complicated take on slavery, power, and freedom.”
“A 2016 Miles Morland Foundation Scholar whose Harmattan Rain was short-listed for the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Attah here focuses on two women in precolonial Ghana who might be seen as enemies but together become stronger in their discovery of the other…Attah uses the essence of Ghana– its distinctive landscape and the particularities of its people– to demonstrate what this changing time must have felt like. It was, indeed, the end of a civilization…Analogous to Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Commonwealth Writers’ Prize-winning Nervous Conditions…”
“Attah’s independent, female protagonists will engage readers in this heart-wrenching look at a system that devalued women’s potential, from the most highly regarded all the way down to the slaves. Aminah and Wurch defy odds because of their strength and intelligence, and readers won’t be able to help but wonder what they may have accomplished had they been untethered from society’s shackles . . . Attah’s striking imagery illustrates her love of the country and its people, but she also doesn’t shy away from the ugliness of the slave trade . . . The dichotomy of The Hundred Wells of Salaga makes for an alluring story. It is at once horrific and resplendent. . .
This is a novel with the power to open eyes and hearts while filling minds with plenty of food for thought.”
More About THE HUNDRED WELLS OF SALAGA
Already drawing comparisons to Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon, Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, Toni Morrison’s Sula, and Marlon James’ The Book of Night Women, it’s a novel of great empathy and talent. In this exciting moment in publishing that’s ushering in a wave of voices who are sculpting characters, crafting narratives, and highlighting perspectives born from circumstances too rarely presented to a western readership, THE HUNDRED WELLS OF SALAGA spins unforgettable tale of two women steeped in an historical epoch unknown to many.
Aminah lives an idyllic life until she is brutally separated from her home and forced on a journey that turns her from a daydreamer into a resilient woman. Wurche, the willful daughter of a chief, is desperate to play an important role in her father’s court. These two women’s lives converge as infighting among Wurche’s people threatens the region, during the height of the slave trade at the end of the 19th century. Set in pre-colonial Ghana, The Hundred Wells of Salaga is a story of courage, forgiveness, love and freedom. It offers a view of internal slavery in Africa and how the scramble for Africa affected the lives of everyday people.
THE HUNDRED WELLS OF SALAGA deepens and expands upon a vibrant terrain of storytellers like NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names and Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing, who seamlessly map the personal onto the political, and with great authority and literary skill, chronicle the lives of those straddling the fate of countries and colliding personal histories. The talented Loveis Wise, donned only the second African American female artist to design the cover of The New Yorker, oversaw the design for our beautiful original trade paperback edition.
More Praise for THE HUNDRED WELLS OF SALAGA
“A skillful portrayal of life in pre-colonial Ghana emphasises distinctions of religion, language and status…it complicates the idea of what “African history” is…Attah emphasises often overlooked distinctions of religion, language and status. Nor are the entwined fortunes of Aminah and Wurche presented in simple terms: the power that Wurche has over Aminah as her mistress muddies any sense of shared solidarity they might feel in a deeply patriarchal society. Attah skilfully portrays this volatile, doomed civilisation and has a careful eye for domestic and historical detail. The era is an interesting choice for a novel…
it is heartening to see a broader set of themes and periods tackled by this new generation of African writers.”
“An instant modern classic. Gave me the same feeling as when I finished reading Things Fall Apart; like something deep within me had shifted, and would never be the same again.”
—JJ Bola, author of No Place To Call Home
“The Hundred Wells of Salaga is a dazzling tale woven around two equally dazzling and spunky young women. Aminah and Wurche’s spirits triumph over even “domestic slavery”. … interesting youthful female characters do not fall from just anywhere, they are the embodiment of the essence of womanhood … this beautiful novel affirms the wholesomeness, however compromised, of the girls’ environment in their formative years. We welcome Ayesha’s The Hundred Wells of Salaga with ululation.”
—Ama Ata Aidoo, author of Our Sister Killjoy
“With this necessary examination of West African slavery as it was experienced in West Africa, Ayesha Harruna Attah presents not only a fresh perspective on the transatlantic human trade, but a nuanced exploration of the human heart. A mess of moral contradictions and inconvenient passions are par for the course in The Hundred Wells of Salaga, driving each character to unexpected detours and the story itself past predictable morals. There are no easy resolutions or neatly tied bows–only arrows amidst an arsenal of guns and ambitions urgently seeking their targets. With The Hundred Wells of Salaga,
Attah asserts the need to keep pressing toward freedom whatever the constraint or twist, until, or else, we die.”
—Nana Brew-Hammond, author of Powder Necklace
“Ayesha’s prose is festive, reminiscent of the drumbeats of old, yet with a modern rhythm and pace at its core. Her sentences are firm, muscular, vibrant and well-structured, creating an imagery that stays with you long after you have finished reading the novel. Her ability to depict joyful scenes alongside heart-breaking ones is what makes the novel thrive and gives it its exceptional realism. Ayesha’s depiction of the lives of the characters and the description of the novel’s setting and atmosphere is so incisive the reader could almost hear the sounds of the horses and the market, smell the sweat and blood of the slave girl, and even feel as if he or she is walking the streets of Old Salaga. The novel is a rich tapestry of humanity in all its ugliest and glorious forms. This is feminist writing at its best, a homage to Queen Amina and Yaa Asantewaa, women whose gallantry defied the status females were relegated to in mid to late 19th century West Africa.”
—Mohammed Naseehu Ali, author of The Prophet of Zongo Street
“Ayesha Harruna Attah’s novel, The Hundred Wells of Salaga is an enchanting narrative that keeps the reader spellbound from beginning to end. Attah’s words are cowrie shells, each one in place in soulful sentences bursting with profound meaning. The characters are exquisite and infused with uncommon dignity; these are not just unthinking stick figures, but real, breathing, thinking people drawn from the tapestry of Africa’s rich history. Love oozes out of the pores of this gorgeous book. In its humanity, in the longing and hurts of its beautiful characters, the reader comes face to face with the beauty of our shared humanity as brave women walk tall, roaming the land.. You can feel the earth throb under your eyes’ feet. And Attah does it in gorgeous prose-poetry. This is a really good book.”
—Ikhide R. Ikheloa, cultural critic
“In The Hundred Wells of Salaga, Attah expertly juggles the grand, brutal scope of Ghana’s history with the mysteries of her family’s past. The result is a novel that’s as sweeping as it is intimate–a wholly immersive story that explores loss and dignity with wit, wisdom, and astounding compassion.”
—Grant Ginder, author of The People We Hate at the Wedding
“most anticipated novels of 2018”
—African Book Addict
More about Ayesha Harruna Attah
Born to two Ghanaian journalists, Ayesha grew up in Accra and was educated Columbia University and NYU. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Asymptote Magazine, and the Caine Prize Writers’ 2010 Anthology. Her debut novel, Harmattan Rain, (Per Ankh Publishers) was nominated for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 2010. Her second novel, Saturday’s Shadows, was published in English (World Editions) and Dutch (De Geus) in 2015. Ayesha was awarded the 2016 Miles Morland Foundation Scholarship for non-fiction and she currently lives in Senegal. Ayesha will also be featured in the forthcoming anthology New Daughters of Africa, edited by Margaret Busby.
THE HUNDRED WELLS OF SALAGA: A NOVEL
By Ayesha Harruna Attah
Other Press Trade Paperback Original • ISBN: 978-159051-995-0
On-Sale Date: February 5th, 2019 • Price: $16.99