Social in Seattle

Art and Community

Seattle comes together to celebrate diversity, justice, and artistic expression

By Linda Lowry January 25, 2024


This article originally appeared in the March/April 2024 issue of Seattle magazine.

Museum of Pop Culture’s (MoPOP) Contact High closing party brought together music, photography, and a panel discussion. The panelists included exhibition curator Vikki Tobak, MoPOP CEO Michele Smith, Exhibition Creative Director Fab 5 Freddy, photographers Jannette Beckman and Joe Conzo, and Def Jam Records’ Director of Publicity Bill Adler. The discussion, moderated by MoPOP Associate Curator Adeerya Johnson, provided valuable insight into the evolution of hip-hop culture.

DJ Lady Love kept the party going throughout the night while attendees had the opportunity to meet the panelists, who signed books and took photos. Adding to the excitement, Michele Smith, CEO of MoPOP, shared that the exhibit will embark on a world tour.

The Seattle City Club Legislative Preview highlighted the priorities of the 2024 Washington State Legislature. The event featured House Majority Leader Joe Fitzgibbon, a Democrat, House Republican Leader Drew Stokesbary, Senate Republican Leader John Braun, and Senate Deputy Majority Leader Manka Dhingra. Drew Mikkelsen, KING 5 News south bureau chief, and Angela King, KUOW journalist and host, moderated the discussion.

A positive outcome was the Legislature’s Democratic and Republican caucuses announcing their support for school meals accessibility for all students. The bipartisan audience cheered and applauded. The event aimed to foster transparency, accountability, and collective responsibility for the state’s well-being. You can view Seattle City Club’s YouTube discussion here.

The Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) hosted an event to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Clayborne Carson, a distinguished historian and the director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University, served as the keynote speaker. Dr. Carson emphasized the significance of collective action, community engagement, and the perpetual quest for equality, saying, “The civil rights movement is a lifelong commitment. We may experience successes, but the fight will never end.”

Activities included the King Day film screening, interactive storytime with the Seattle Children’s Theatre, and the kids King Day soccer clinic with Seattle Sounder Brad Evans.

Seattle’s art enthusiasts, including Catherine Roche, the new president of the Seattle Art Museum board, were first to witness the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s latest exhibition, Hybrid Skin, Mythical Presence by Anida Yoeu Ali. If you’re looking for inspiring art, check out this exhibition on display until July 7, 2024. Ali, a renowned artist from Tacoma, presents two of her celebrated performance-based artworks. The Buddhist Bug is a creation myth exploring transcendence, humor, and spiritual turmoil. Extending nearly 328 feet, the bug symbolizing the conflicting experiences of displacement and belonging. The Red Chador is an ongoing series that challenges perceptions and fears of the “other,” in response to the global rise of Islamophobia, misogyny, and racism.

The exhibition creates a sensory experience, highlighting Ali’s transformative garments worn during her performances. Alongside these garments are a curated display of sculpture, video, photography, and installation art. These works capture the essence of Ali’s performances and provide a glimpse into the artist’s impact on the global art scene. The photographs are by filmmaker Masahiro Sugano, Ali’s creative partner and husband. The show is curated by José Carlos Diaz, Susan Brotman’s deputy director for art.

Encanto Arts honored two Latino leaders, both recognized as among Seattle magazine’s 25 Most Influential People. Washington State Supreme Court Chief Justice Steve Gonzalez was acknowledged for his political influence, while Jose Iniguez, executive director of Encanto Arts, was celebrated for his exceptional contributions to the arts. Read their inspiring stories in the latest print edition of Seattle magazine.

In attendance were many notable guests, including Krist Novoselic, the co-founder and bass player of Nirvana; Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz; former Police Chief Carmen Best; Seattle City Councilmember Sara Nelson; Burien City Councilmember Jimmy Matta; King County Superior Court Judge LeRoy McCullough; and Mrs. Universe America, Arpita Dacy.

Once again, our city has come together to celebrate diversity, justice, and artistic expression. Let’s carry these shared experiences with us as we build a stronger, more connected Seattle community.


About the Social in Seattle Column

Linda Lowry is the director of opportunity at Seattle magazine. She has a pulse on the greater Seattle region’s social landscape and provides insight on the people and personalities that make our city vibrant and unique.

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