Claudia Rankine on the Legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks


Gwendolyn Brooks in her home in Chicago. Credit Associated Press

New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks
Edited by Peter Kahn, Ravi Shankar and Patricia Smith
278 pp. The University of Arkansas Press. Paper, $29.95.

Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks
Edited by Quraysh Ali Lansana and Sandra Jackson-Opoku
Illustrated. 416 pp. Curbside Splendor Publishing. Paper, $24.95.

Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks was born in Topeka, Kan., at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 7, 1917.

But her family moved to Chicago shortly after her birth, and she was a Chicagoan until her death, in 2000. The author of more than 20 volumes of poetry, Brooks holds the distinction of being the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize (in 1950, for her second book of poems, “Annie Allen”), and she received numerous accolades, including the National Medal of Arts and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award. In honor of the centennial year of her birth, two anthologies have arrived: “Revise the Psalm,” edited by Quraysh Ali Lansana and Sandra Jackson-Opoku; and “The Golden Shovel Anthology,” edited by Peter Kahn, Ravi Shankar and Patricia Smith.

In their shared mission, these books complement each other without too much overlap. The novelist Richard Wright, in a reader’s report for Harper & Brothers in the early 1940s, declared Brooks essential: “America needs a voice like hers.” Confirming Wright’s claim are the hundreds of artists represented in these two new anthologies, poets who have used her work as a prompt or a point of engagement.


“The Golden Shovel Anthology” structures itself around the form developed by the prodigious poet Terrance Hayes, whose own poem “The Golden Shovel” opens the book. A Golden Shovel poem sneaks an existing poem into the end words of each line. That way, the new poem always remains in conversation with its precursor. In his introduction, Shankar writes that the anthology is “an inherently collaborative effort, a dialogue, a response,” and the same description works for Hayes’s form, which unites all of the poems here. Read their end words, and you’ll find a Brooks poem. In the foreword, Hayes says he came up with the idea when he was helping his 5-year-old son memorize Brooks’s “We Real Cool,” which starts with a sort of subtitle or epigraph: “The Pool Players. / Seven at the Golden Shovel.” The words of Brooks’s poem moved into Hayes’s head space and became a lyric to push against or engage:

When I am so small Da’s sock covers my arm, we
cruise at twilight until we find the place the real

men lean, bloodshot and translucent with cool.
His smile is a gold-plated incantation as we

drift by women on bar stools, with nothing left
in them but approachlessness. This is a school

I do not know yet. But the cue sticks mean we
are rubbed by light, smooth as wood, the lurk

of smoke thinned to song. We won’t be out late.
Standing in the middle of the street last night we

watched the moonlit lawns and a neighbor strike
his son in the face. A shadow knocked straight

Da promised to leave me everything: the shovel we
used to bury the dog, the words he loved to sing

his rusted pistol, his squeaky Bible, his sin.
The boy’s sneakers were light on the road. We

watched him run to us looking wounded and thin.
He’d been caught lying or drinking his father’s gin.

He’d been defending his ma, trying to be a man. We
stood in the road, and my father talked about jazz,

how sometimes a tune is born of outrage. By June
the boy would be locked upstate. That night we

got down on our knees in my room. If I should die
before I wake. Da said to me, it will be too soon.

Nestled into the last word of each line is Brooks’s canonical poem: “We real cool. We/ Left school. …” Throughout this anthology, more than 60 other well-known Brooks poems can be read the same way, with lines from “The Mother” and “The Bean Eaters” tripping down the right-hand side of the page. The anthology ends with “Non-Brooks Golden Shovels” and “Variations and Expansions on the Form.” The cross-section of poets with varying poetics and styles gathered here is only one of the many admirable achievements of this volume.


“Revise the Psalm” brings a more expansive response to Brooks. The editors have included poetry, prose, photographs and paintings created in recognition of both Brooks and her work. Essays speak back to individual poems like “The Mother,” or reflect on Brooks’s impact or on personal encounters with her. We get a keen sense of the poet and her fierce commitment to community engagement. For example, Adrian Matejka writes about attending a reading where Brooks spent more time reading poems by elementary school children than reading her own work.

The portraits represent Brooks at different points in her 83 years. Most notable is the author’s photo by Roy Lewis, for her 1969 book “Riot,” with Brooks wearing the Afro that signified her break with her mainstream publisher as she joined the voices of the Black Arts Movement. Lansana and Jackson-Opoku, the editors of “Revise the Psalm,” use the phrase “‘Gwendolynian’ influences,” describing their anthology as “a project of literary and artistic revision, the process of ‘talking back’ to works that inspire, teach, challenge and engage.” Not surprisingly, given this endeavor, the book includes some Golden Shovel poems.

More often than not, however, the poems in “Revise the Psalm” are more loosely inspired by Brooks’s subjects. Consider “Daystar,” by Rita Dove. (She is one of a handful of poets who appear in both volumes.) Though written for Dove’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Thomas and Beulah,” “Daystar” takes on a subject that was of central importance to Brooks — the quotidian outer life and the rich inner life of African-American mothers:

She wanted a little room for thinking:
ut she saw diapers steaming on the line,
a doll slumped behind the door.
So she lugged a chair behind the garage
to sit out the children’s naps.

Sometimes there were things to watch:
the pinched armor of a vanished cricket,
a floating maple leaf. Other days
she stared until she was assured
when she closed her eyes
she’d see only her vivid own blood.

She had an hour, at best, before Liza appeared
pouting from the top of the stairs.
And just what was mother doing
out back with the field mice? Why,
building a palace. Later
that night when Thomas rolled over and
lurched into her, she would open her eyes
and think of the place that was hers
for an hour — where
she was nothing,
pure nothing, in the middle of the day.

Whether one considers the breadth of writing inspired by Gwendolyn Brooks or drops down into the possibilities of the Golden Shovel form, Richard Wright was not wrong about her importance: She has served her readers across a century.

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Genesius Theatre presents the musical ‘Dreamgirls’

Thirty-five years after the groundbreaking, Michael Bennett, musical wowed Broadway audiences, Genesius, proudly presents, the regional premier of the electrifying, Motown-inspired, six-time Tony Award, and also, Olivier, Grammy and Oscar winning musical, “Dreamgirls,” that opens Friday, Aug. 4 and running thru Aug. 19. Book & Lyrics by Tom Eyen & Music by Henry Krieger.

This megawatt Broadway crowd-pleaser electrifies the stage with Motown tunes and powerhouse voices. Loosely based on, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the story follows the turbo-charged rise to fame of the Dreams. “Dreamgirls” celebrates the advent of R&B in the 1960s with a Motown-inspired score, dynamic performances, and a moving look behind-the-scenes of the entertainment business. Experience all the onstage-joy and backstage-drama as an up-and-coming girl-group learns hard lessons about love, trust, and what it takes to make your way to the top!

This modern-day classic sparkles with almost as many awards and accolades as its costumes have sequins. Take a trip back to the seminal music scene of the 1960s, when young women sang their way to musical prominence in a man’s world. Set in the Motown era that brought us powerhouse voices like Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross—and ultimately Destiny’s Child and Beyoncé— Dreamgirls explodes from the stage with legendary songs and timeless appeal.

“Dreamgirls” takes you on a journey through the evolution of American music and it’s influence by the African American culture. As a predominantly black cast with three female leads, Dreamgirls addresses the issues of sex and race. In an industry dominated by men, Effie, Lorrell and Deena quickly learn how to navigate through the music industry and become powerful black women.


With music set in the 60’s and 70’s the influence of World War II, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Black Power Movement are all relevant within this musical. After World War II, blacks from the south began to emerge up north and to western cities seeking escape from the harsh Jim Crow Laws. Rhythm and Blues was born out of the need for blacks to express themselves creatively while demanding to be heard. The tension during the Civil Rights movement inspired unity amongst blacks to thrive in a business where mostly whites were successful. Black artists were determined to make music that would break racial boundaries. The Black Power movement emphasized black-power and black-pride that eventually helped launch careers that propelled African-American music to become accessible to all audiences. Dreamgirls is a celebration of the music that helped build the foundation of many artists we have come to love. Through every dance, and every song, we pay homage to those who risked their lives to transform a nation with music. Featuring such musical hits as, “AND, I’M TELLING YOU”, “ I AM CHANGING”, “HARD TO SAY GOODBYE”, & “DREAMGIRLS”, audiences fall in love with this time-honored musical! As they sing in the show… “Dreamgirls will never leave you… all you got to do is dream, baby, and we’ll be there!”

The Genesius production is directed by Genesius artistic producer, L J Fecho, associate directed by Christopher Sperat, music directed/conducted by Kevin Cooper and choreographed by Jericho Joy of Monarch Dance Studio. Set design by, L J Fecho, Brad Hafer & Brandon Kegerize, light design by, Spencer Moss Fecho Julia Elberfeld & L J Fecho, costumes design by, Cathy Miller & Dara Himes, hair/makeup design by, Kim Siegel of United Artist Salon and sound design by, Albert Garcia. The set is constructed by John Bigos, Betty Gerstner, and Brandon Kegerize. The production is stage managed by Sarah Kiebach.

The Genesius production features a diverse cast of approximately thirty talented actors, singers and dancers. REGGIE BROWN of “BUNCH OF FUNK” (local R & B band) will play the James Brown-inspired character, James Thunder Early. THE DREAMS – The cast includes two very talented newcomers who hail from Easton, PA & Phillipsburg, NJ, who are making the trip to Berks, for every rehearsal and performance. Kiyanna Cox Jones will portray the tumultuous Effie White and Veronica Cummings is the flirtatious, Lorrell Robinson. Yesenia Mora, is back at Genesius, after her excellent performance as Danielle, in last summer’s mega-hit, In The Heights, in the role of Deena Jones, (loosely based on legendary singer, Dianna Ross)! Susie DeBooth, portrays Michelle Morris, the new back-up singer, who pushes Effie White out of the Dreams. The cast also includes: Nick Freer, as Curtis Taylor, Jr., Calvin Scott, as Marty, DeShaun Williams, as C. C. White, Anthony Disla, as Wayne, and Carroll Woodbridge, as Frank.

Genesius is a 501-C-3 Non-Profit organization. The Genesius, 2017 Season, is sponsored by Sandy Solmon and Doug Messinger of Sweet Street and the Lead Show Sponsor is David & Melanie Mattes – The Mattes Group of ReMax of Reading & United Artists Salon & Spa. Genesius Theatre, 153 North 10th Street, Reading, PA 19601

DREAMGIRLS – opens Friday, August 4 and runs 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 18, SHOW TIMES – Wed thru Sat. show time is 7:30 PM, Saturday Matinees at 2:00 PM and Sunday’s at 3:00 PM. PRICE RANGE – Student $17.50, Senior $22.50, Adult $28.50, Premium Seats $30.00 and Deluxe Seats $33. Thursday, August 10, ONLY – Student Tickets are $15 and all other seats are $20.00. For Tickets please visit –; 610-373-9500 card fees apply. Tickets also available at the door.

The play is PG-13-Rated – Genesius Theatre is handicapped accessible and there is free parking (limited spaces available) next to the theater. For more information, call the theater at 610-371-8151.

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Horse troughs

In 1910, the National Humane Alliance and Adolph Melzer, soap manufacturer and animal lover, erected a five- ton, granite horse trough in front of the Municipal Market, located in the intersection of what was then Market and Pennsylvania Streets. About 125 similar troughs were constructed throughout the county, most at busy intersections. The troughs, including Evansville’s, were later deemed traffic hazard in an age of automobiles and were removed or relocated.

Horse trough-supporters protested the move, advocating for it to remain at the intersection in numerous letters to the editors. This photo, arranged by a photographer at the Evansville Press in January 1960, brought a horse to drink from the fountain for the first time in decades, only to find the water frozen.

In February 1962, the trough was moved to the grounds of Evansville Museum. During Main Street renovation in 1971, it was repurposed as a fountain on the walkway, where it can still be found between Third and Fourth streets.


History Lesson is a pictorial history of Evansville compiled by Daniel Smith, local history and digitization librarian at the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.

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DIA launches internship program for college students

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) recently hired five interns as part of its new paid internship program that supports professional and career development for college students and recent college graduates. The DIA also hosts academic interns within the curatorial and library sciences departments, among others, working for class credit or general exposure to museum professions.

There are two categories of paid positions: county internships, which provide broad career training to one student each from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, established as a further value for tri-county millage support; and the Nettie Seabrooks Gateway internships, created to address a lack of diversity in leadership positions in the museum field.

“The DIA recognizes the value of a robust internship program,” said Salvador Salort-Pons, DIA director. “These students will gain valuable experience by working on defined projects with identified learning objectives in a real-life work setting. While some are already focused on their career path, others might discover an aspect of museum work they would like to explore further.”

Internships will generally be for 10 to 12 weeks long for no more than 32 hours per week. Students provided information on their interests and demographic data on a form, which was then reviewed by a selection committee that hired and placed the successful applicants.

This summer’s interns are:

Wayne County: Juana Williams of Taylor, recently completed a master’s degree in art history at Wayne State University, assigned to the GM Center for African American Art.

Oakland County: Katherine Stadtmiller of Northville, working on a master’s of science degree in information science at the University of Michigan, assigned to the Registrar’s department

Macomb County: Laurén Kozlowski of Richmond, working on a bachelor’s of arts degree in archaeology and art history at the College of Wooster, assigned to Collections Management

Nettie Seabrooks Gateway: Steven Conyers of Birmingham, working on a bachelor’s degree in graphic arts and photography at DePaul University, assigned to Learning and Audience Engagement

Nettie Seabrooks Gateway: Jessica Hassel of Detroit, working on a master’s degree in art history, assigned to Learning and Audience Engagement

Image: DIA interns


The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera’s world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art individually and with each other.

Programs are made possible with support from residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

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US ‘racial terror’ laid bare in lynching exhibition

An exhibit called "The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America" showcases testimony from descendants of victims, contemporary African American art in response to racism, photographs and an interactive map showing where lynchings took place, the bulk of them in the US South.

An exhibit called "The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America" showcases testimony from descendants of victims, contemporary African American art in response to racism, photographs and an interactive map showing where lynchings took place, the bulk of them in the US South.

An exhibit called “The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America” showcases testimony from descendants of victims, contemporary African American art in response to racism, photographs and an interactive map showing where lynchings took place, the bulk of them in the US South.

A new exhibition is seeking to ignite a painful conversation in the United States about “racial terror” from the past by shedding light on the lynching of more than 4,000 African Americans.

Inspired by post-Apartheid reconciliation efforts in South Africa, memorials to genocide in Rwanda and German rehabilitation after the Holocaust, activists say US reconciliation on slavery and its aftermath is long overdue.

“The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America” opened on Wednesday and runs through September 3 at the Brooklyn Museum in New York’s most populous borough, home to a large African American population.

The exhibition showcases testimony from descendants of victims, contemporary African American art in response to racism, photographs and an interactive map showing where lynchings took place, the bulk of them in the American South.

There is a moving video about a family who traces a grandfather lynched in Shreveport, Louisiana for allegedly passing a note to a white woman.

More than 4,000 African American men, women and children were lynched in 20 states from 1877 to 1950, according to research carried out by the Equal Justice Initiative, headed by internationally acclaimed Alabama lawyer Bryan Stevenson.

They were often targeted for innocuous offenses, or on little or no evidence. White communities complicit in the violence and torture were never made accountable. More than six million blacks migrated North and West to escape.

“We’ve really done a poor job in this country in confronting this history of racial violence, this era of terrorism that so profoundly shaped America,” Stevenson told AFP.

“We really haven’t talked about slavery and its legacy. We haven’t talked at all about lynching. So I’m hoping this exhibit provokes a conversation that is long overdue and is necessary,” he added.

“We have unarmed African Americans being shot and killed by the police. There’s a lot of tension, there’s a lot of rage, there’s a lot of frustration about our lack of progress in achieving racial equality. And I think a lot of that stems from our failure to deal honestly with the roots of that,” he said.

– ‘Need to intervene’ –

Sara Softness, assistant curator of special projects at the Brooklyn Museum, says her team set up the exhibit with "utmost care and sensitivity"

Sara Softness, assistant curator of special projects at the Brooklyn Museum, says her team set up the exhibit with "utmost care and sensitivity"

Sara Softness, assistant curator of special projects at the Brooklyn Museum, says her team set up the exhibit with “utmost care and sensitivity”

Sara Softness, assistant curator, special projects at Brooklyn Museum, said the team mounted the exhibition with “the utmost care and sensitivity.”

“Perhaps we need to intervene,” she told AFP. “Art at its very best has that power to make you question and to challenge certain notions, and in that way culture can really be a catalyst for change.”

The exhibition closes with a video rendering of the first national memorial to the victims, which the EJI plans to open in Montgomery, Alabama by May 2018.

There are hundreds of memorials that honor defenders of slavery, champions of racial segregation and white supremacy across the South.

Stevenson draws a direct line between lynching and the fact that black Americans today are disproportionately more likely to be sentenced to death, incarcerated or subjected to police violence.

He calls the death penalty “the step-child of lynching.” States with the highest lynching rates are also those with the highest execution rates, he said.

Forty-two percent of those currently on death row are black. Blacks make up 34.5 percent of those executed in the United States since 1976, though blacks make up only 13 percent of the population.

The election of Donald Trump, who targeted Muslims, Mexicans and other population groups on the campaign trail, makes change more urgent than ever, Stevenson said.

“We’re not going to be a just society, we’re not going to be an evolved society if we allow fear and anger to target and demonize groups based on that group’s identity,” he said.

Stevenson has helped to win reversals, relief or release for more than 130 wrongly condemned death row prisoners, and won a ruling that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for children 17 or younger are unconstitutional.

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 Across America: Dan Gilbert apologizes for Detroit ad display

Dan Gilbert apologizes for Detroit ad display

DETROIT — A billionaire businessman has apologized for his real estate company’s controversial sign in downtown Detroit that says “See Detroit Like We Do” with an image of a majority white crowd.

Quicken Loans Founder and Cleveland Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert posted on Facebook Sunday, saying the ad was “tone deaf” and his Bedrock company “screwed up badly.”

The ad posted on a residential high-rise during the weekend of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Detroit riots resulted in social media uproar. The campaign’s photograph contradicted 2010 U.S. Census data indicating the city is more than 82 percent black.

Gilbert says the display posted Friday was only part of the final ad, but still distorted the company’s message. He says the image was removed Saturday and the campaign has been “killed.”

S.C. couple settles roadside cavity search case

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Black South Carolina couple that accused police of subjecting them to illegal body searches on the side of the road has settled a lawsuit against four white officers.

Documents filed in federal court late last week show Lakeya Hicks and Elijah Pontoon stipulated to the dismissal of their lawsuit against police officers for the City of Aiken. Court papers didn’t include an amount of the settlement, and city officials didn’t return a phone message seeking comment.

The couple’s lawsuit came after several high-profile incidents sparked a nationwide debate about how white officers treat African Americans. In October 2014, Hicks and Pontoon say they were pulled over and subjected to a humiliating search on the side of a public road. Hicks said her breasts were exposed as she was detained and searched. Pontoon said police searched his anal cavity, and officers found no drugs in their car.

The searches don’t occur on camera, but audio captured by a dash camera has been widely circulated online.

According to the lawsuit, the couple said they were pulled over because the car had a paper license tag, though an officer said during the encounter that he knew Pontoon because he had previous arrests several years earlier. Their car is then searched with dogs trained to sniff out drugs, and the couple is put in police cars before being searched themselves.

According to the suit, Hicks’ breasts were exposed as she was detained on the side of the road and searched by a female officer. During a search of his anal cavity, Pontoon explains that a mass the officer felt was not hidden drugs but was actually a hemorrhoid.

The officer is heard telling Pontoon that because of “your past history,” he summoned a police dog to check the car. When Pontoon — who has prior drug arrests but none in recent years — objected to what he described as harassment, the lawsuit says the officer told him: “You gonna pay for this one boy.”

“I felt very humiliated,” Hicks told The Associated Press in a 2016 interview, discussing the incident and lawsuit. “We don’t want this to happen to anybody else.”

Charges dropped in Ohio police shooting

CINCINNATI — A judge in Cincinnati on Monday dismissed the charges against a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed Black motorist during a traffic stop, after a county prosecutor declined to pursue a third murder trial in the case.

Hamilton County Judge Leslie Ghiz declined to acquit former University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing in the shooting of Sam DuBose, but she dismissed the murder and voluntary manslaughter charges in a way that blocks retrial on those counts.

“It’s sort of a note of finality, which is what we were looking for, although we still have the potential for a federal civil rights investigation,” defense attorney Stewart Mathews said afterward.

Two juries couldn’t reach unanimous agreement on the state charges, leading to mistrials. County Prosecutor Joe Deters said he felt “badly” about dropping the case but had concluded that he wouldn’t be able to get a jury to convict Tensing.

Tensing, now 27, shot the 43-year-old DuBose in the head after pulling him over for a missing front license plate on July 19, 2015. The shooting is among numerous cases nationwide that have called attention to how police deal with Blacks, and it highlights the challenges prosecutors face in getting jurors to convict police officers for shooting when they say they’re under threat.

Tensing, who was fired after the shooting, testified at both trials and said he feared he was going to be dragged or run over as DuBose drove away.

An expert hired by prosecutors said his frame-by-frame analysis of Tensing’s body camera video showed Tensing wasn’t being dragged by the car.

DuBose’s family and civil rights groups wanted a third trial. They now are hoping that federal authorities reviewing the case will determine that DuBose’s civil rights were violated.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman said authorities will review evidence from the state court trials to assess whether there are possible federal civil rights offenses that might warrant prosecution.

Mathews said Monday that he hadn’t been contacted by federal authorities.

The university reached a $5.3 million settlement with DuBose’s family, including free undergraduate tuition for his 13 children.

Detroit unveils historic marker to remember uprising

DETROIT — The City of Detroit has unveiled a historic marker to reflect on the status of the city’s progress since civil unrest in 1967.

About 300 people gathered Sunday in Gordon Park, which is where the destructive uprising began.

Democratic U.S. Rep. John Conyers of Michigan spoke to the crowd in a softer tone than when he addressed rioters 50 years ago in an unsuccessful attempt to calm the violence. The 88-year-old said the city should remember the past to see how far Detroit has come and to look forward to what still needs to be accomplished.

The five-day, destructive event began when police raided a bar. The uprising highlighted unfair treatment of the Black community by police.

DIA art exhibit reflection on 1967 Detroit riot

DETROIT — An exhibit on works by artists during the civil rights movement is opening at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The museum says “Art of Rebellion” runs from Sunday through Oct. 22.

It is part of a community-wide reflection on the 1967 Detroit riot and features 34 paintings, sculptures and photographs mostly by Black artists working both collectively and independently in the 1960s and 1970s.

The exhibition also includes works by artists who were not part of a collective and artists working in later decades who were inspired by art from the civil rights movement.

The exhibit is in collaboration with the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. The Wright Museum features a complementary exhibit: “Say It Loud: Art, History, Rebellion.”

August Wilson Center gets new CEO and president

The August Wilson Center for African American Culture didn’t have to go far to find its new CEO and president. After a three-year search, the board on Thursday named Janis Burley Wilson to lead the center into the future.

Burley Wilson, 52, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust vice president for Strategic Partnership and Community Engagement and director of Jazz Programs, has been a primary events programmer for Downtown’s August Wilson Center since it was acquired in 2014 by the Pittsburgh Foundation, Heinz Endowments and Richard King Mellon Foundation.

AWC board chairman Michael Polite said nearly 50 applicants were vetted in the search for a leader.

“They did a national search, and I’m glad that they did. I love working at the Trust and I will miss it but it is right down the street, and this is the best of both worlds,” Burley Wilson said. “We will be working together closely. We will be putting together a strategic plan in the coming weeks and months. but my main focus now is putting together a really strong team.”

“Janis brings a deep knowledge of the Pittsburgh arts and cultural scene, and strong relationships with the community stakeholders and grantmakers,” Polite said.

Polite would not disclose her salary, other than saying it is six figures. He praised her as a proven fundraiser, which will be a key part of her job.

Burley Wilson officially steps into her new role on Sept. 1.

New group talk race in New Hampshire

EXETER, N.H. — It was the 2015 massacre of African Americans in a Charleston, South Carolina church that made local activist Ken Mendis take action.

“We had a memorial service and invited people from different churches,” said Mendis, of Stratham. “We remembered the nine people that were killed. After that I was sitting there and I said, ‘That’s not enough.’”

From there, the Racial Unity Team of Exeter was formed. At first a “loosely-held group,” they began to form a community vision.

“We decided to look at history in Exeter and create a Walk a Mile for Racial Unity,” Mendis said. “That’s what kicked it off.” The walk, in its third year on Oct. 21, is a guided one-hour tour exploring how race has shaped Exeter’s history. The walk highlights sites of importance in the racial history of town, where Native American, African-American and Chinese-American lives made contributions or experienced discrimination.

The group, who pairs with organizations and institutions such as the NAACP, Phillips Exeter Academy and We The People, doesn’t have a religious focus but meets at various churches in Exeter including the Red Brick Church and the First Unitarian Universalist Church.

“The nine people that died [in South Carolina], that is our focus here,” Mendis said. “Dylann [Roof] wanted to start a revolution of hate, this group is a revolution of love and unity.”

Member Joy Meiser Mendis, also of Stratham, said slowly others started joining the group, which now has seven core members and at times up to 12.

Congregation works to save century-old chapel

EDENTON, N.C. — A Black congregation and leaders of one of North Carolina’s oldest towns are teaming up to save a hurricane-damaged chapel built more than a century ago.

Grants from prestigious national organizations and fried chicken dinners made by local cooks play some of the parts.

Hurricane Isabel in 2003 flooded much of Edenton, sending waters more than 4 feet surging around the foundations of some of the state’s oldest structures. That included the Kadesh A.M.E. Zion Church.

The towering walls creaked and leaned with the wind until they were shored up with thick metal braces. Carpenters removed the tall, Tiffany stained-glass windows to protect them from breaking. The bell heard for generations from its three-story tower went into storage. Congregation members scrambled to find another place to meet.

“Those were terrible times,” said Audrey Bond, lifelong church member and owner of a clothing alteration business on Broad Street. “It was a beautiful sanctuary.”

Most of this town’s stately homes and public buildings tell the story of white officials and proprietors who incorporated the town of 5,000 in 1722, attorney and town Councilman Sambo Dixon said. The church’s restoration will start a greater focus on Black-owned structures, he said.

“This is one of the most important African American sites in the state,” Dixon said. “This will be a wonderful symbol of our ability to come together as a community.”

The church’s beginnings go back to 1857. Forty years later, the expanding congregation hired local carpenter Hannibal Badham and his two sons to build a sanctuary on Gale Street large enough for 400 . Badham and his sons were highly regarded craftsmen and built many houses in Edenton, a town known for some of the oldest structures in the state.

The carved door frames and the ceiling arching two stories above the chapel floor are among the examples of woodworking mastery, said Mike Ervin, executive director of the Edenton Historical Commission.

“This is before there were power tools,” he said. “It was an amazing feat by hand.”

Bond remembers when the ringing church bell drew hundreds to the services. The largest funerals and community gatherings in the Black community were held at Kadesh Church.

Now parts of the original wood floor are rotting. Weathered plywood has replaced the missing windows in attempts to block the elements. Bats and pigeons inhabit the bell tower. Termites chew at the wooden frame.

— Compiled from The Associated Press

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Exhibit reflection on ‘67 riots

DETROIT (AP) — An exhibit on works by artists during the civil rights movement is opening at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
The museum says “Art of Rebellion” runs from Sunday through Oct. 22.
It is part of a community-wide reflection on the 1967 Detroit riot and features 34 paintings, sculptures and photographs mostly by African American artists working both collectively and independently in the 1960s and 1970s.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Your Complete Guide To August 2017 Events in Seattle

August may be the final full month of summer, but, thankfully, there are plenty of ways to go out and enjoy it in Seattle. Below, we’ve rounded up the 100 biggest events that you should know about, including art events like Seattle Art Fair and the opening of Storme Webber‘s show at the Frye Art Museum, Seattle Opera’s Madame Butterfly, the Tim & Eric 10 Year Anniversary Awesome Tour, food events like the Ballard Burrito Fest and Sunset Supper, the 70mm Film Festival at Cinerama, iconic festivals like Hempfest and Seafair Weekend, and big-name concerts like Lady Gaga and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers with the Lumineers. Click through the links below for complete details, and, as always, find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.

recommendedGet all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app—available now on the App Store and Google Play. recommended



1. Green Day with Catfish and The Bottlemen
It’s probably fair to say that, back in 2004, most Green Day fans thought American Idiot would be an aberration—a heavily conceptual political record coming from a band known for writing extremely catchy songs about youthful slackerdom. Instead, it informed the trio’s arena-rock trajectory for the next decade. First came another rock opera (2009’s 21st Century Breakdown), then a triple album released incrementally in 2012. Last year’s Revolution Radio somewhat pares down such highfalutin tendencies, but there’s still a multi-suite rock epic, a song that rhymes “photobomb” with “Vietnam,” and a song about our troubled times called “Troubled Times.” At least American Idiot is more relevant than ever, even if Green Day aren’t. ANDREW GOSPE

2. Kendrick Lamar with Travis Scott and D.R.A.M.
To Pimp a Butterfly was 2015’s best album, a breathtakingly ambitious funk/jazz concept epic finding Kendrick Lamar at the showy height of his considerable powers, conscripting a who’s-who cast of collaborators for its messy race opera. By contrast, 2017’s follow-up DAMN. was almost alarmingly spare, harrowing, and solitary-feeling, but sniped K. Dot’s usual demons and targets with an even finer motor control. When the very few guests showed up—modest talents Rihanna and U2—they merely served as well-utilized bit players in service to a deceptively linear internal monologue. Here’s a master of the form who’s racked up almost as many indispensable volumes as a Tribe Called Quest—and though he’s always hotly debated, his crown is indisputable. Thank you, Kendrick, for bringing it back West. LARRY MIZELL JR.



3. ZooTunes
ZooTunes is a 30-plus-year Seattle tradition that brings big-name artists to the North Meadow of the Woodland Park Zoo. Kids are welcome, and can play in the Seattle Gymnastics Academy play area, but, if you’re attending without kids, there are also two beer gardens. This month, don’t miss the Violent Femmes (Aug 2), Cake (Aug 10), Blind Pilot (Aug 13), Pat Benatar (Aug 15), and St. Paul & the Broken Bones (Aug 20). Plus, on Aug 17, come for Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home “Love & Comedy” Tour.



In May, Rich Smith wrote, “Mount Analogue, Cold Cube Press, and Gramma are set to open up shops in Pioneer Square’s Tashiro Kaplan Artist Lofts later this summer. You know Mount Analogue because they published two beautiful, one-of-a-kind books this year—Ted Powers’s Manners and Halie Theoharides’s Final Rose. You know Gramma because they published two incredible books of poetry this year—Sarah Galvin’s Ugly Time and Christine Shan Shan Hou’s Garden For Lonely Girls. And you know Cold Cube Press for publishing two gorgeous and fascinating risograph comics and literary arts anthologies, plus Taylor Dow’s terrific comic book, Apocalypse Dad.” The three groups listed above will be joined by a fourth—Specialist, an art gallery. Celebrate the opening of this exciting new spot with performances and a site-specific interactive installation by the beloved Mary Anne Carter (at Mount Analogue’s Y SPACE), original artworks by Mungo Thomson, Sandy Skoglund, Nobuyoshi Araki, Linda Connor, and Shirin Neshat (at Cold Cube Press and Gramma’s ZZZ SPACE), and paintings by Alexi Brown-Schmidt and benches by William E. Shields (at Specialist’s X SPACE).



5. Seattle Art Fair
This mammoth art fair began in 2015 under the auspices of Paul Allen. In terms of the quality of art and the enthusiasm of the gallery-goers, it’s been a great success, drawing Seattle and West Coast galleries and 18,000 participants. This year’s edition will also be immense, with at least 80 galleries representing 25 cities, from as close as Pioneer Square to as far as Seoul, Korea. Seattle exhibitors include Bridge Productions, Foster/White, Greg Kucera Gallery, Davidson Galleries, James Harris Gallery, and Linda Hodges Gallery, among many others.



6. WE ARE PUSSY RIOT: Or Everything is PR
Playwright Barbara Hammond uses actual language from Anna Politkovskaya, Putin, Patriarch Kirill, and even Madonna to create this punk musical (with symphonic inflections!) about the show trial and imprisonment of the neon balaklava-clad feminist art collective, Pussy Riot, and the uprising their actions sparked in the streets of Moscow in 2012. But why should you trek out to Kent to see it, if you’re not already there? Because it’s a vision from Russia of the America to come. And because the play will extend outside the four walls of the theater, with special post-show forums conducted by mayoral and city council candidates. Local, national, and international politics all in one spot! Plus Russians! Woo! RICH SMITH



7. Out of Sight
In 2015, Jen Graves described Out of Sight, a spectacular featuring big and small works by a huge variety of local artists, as “the real Seattle Art Fair.” In 2016, she wrote, that Out of Sight “can signal-boost what’s fresh. It can lay down lineages, broadcast love letters, and dance at the edges of the insular commercial and academic art worlds. It can celebrate, bemoan, and document longstanding Northwest furies, fears, prides, jokes, voluptuousnesses. And it punches up.” This year, the event looks just as promising, and will feature works by impressive artists including Bruce Bickford, Riley Donovan, Electric Coffin, Femail, Gregory Fitz, Gary Hill, Lisa Radon, Jody Rockwell and Junko Yamamoto. Plus, the bar proceeds from their opening night party on August 3 will go towards a laudable, ambitious, and relevant-as-ever local organization: the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.



8. Joe Rogan
Noted Fear Factor host, podcaster, and opinion-haver Joe Rogan will perform standup comedy.


9. J Mascis, Steve Gunn, James Elkington
By this point, J Mascis—both as a solo artist and as the leader of Dinosaur Jr.—is a reliable generator of sonic comfort food for rockers whose favorite Neil Young LPs are Zuma and After the Gold Rush. J keeps doing what he does with minimal variations, and because he’s an emotionally resonant songwriter and guitarist, his output continues to satisfy those who dig his melodious turbulence. Steve Gunn ranks among the most compelling of the folk-rock guitarists who’ve been ruffling buckskin-jacket fringes over the last decade. The Time Off and Way Out Weather albums reveal Gunn as a fluid player who respects Takoma Records’ avant-folk-blues tradition while also questing into expansive psychedelic realms. His 2016 full-length on Matador, Eyes on the Lines, sounds richer and slightly tighter compositionally, but it retains Gunn’s knack for unspooling iridescent ribbons of six-string bliss. DAVE SEGAL

10. Taking Back Sunday, Every Time I Die, All Get Out
Sad boy careerists and purveyors of the ascent, plateau, and descent of the vast genre known as emo, Taking Back Sunday have returned to Seattle, alongside Every Time I Die and All Get Out, in support of their seventh full-length album, Tidal Wave.


11. Camille Dungy
Poet and author Camille Dungy (Smith Blue, What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison, and Suck on the Marrow, among others) will share two new works. The first is Trophic Cascade, a collection of poems “written in the face of despair to hold an impossible love and a commitment to hope,” and the second is a series of personal essays titled Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History, her prose debut that Roxane Gay called “an elegant, meditative love letter to the life of the writer, the natural world, histories from which we cannot nor should not extricate ourselves, black womanhood, black motherhood, and the unabashed joy of raising up a black girl.”



12. Pretty Lights
Pretty Lights is the stage name of electronic music producer Derek Vincent Smith, whose sample-strewn, untz-fuzzy mixes call on hiphop production qualities and sounds that verge into down-tempo territories, but always remain groove-and-beat-oriented. Like, perfect head-bob music that amps up the pace enough to prompt you to break into easy hip shakes and full-body sways. These two nights at the Gorge aren’t just any Pretty Lights shows, either, but campouts jam-packed with quality warm-up from other artists of similar persuasions. Friday highlights include five-piece livetronica group STS9, who have a righteous light show, and Jurassic 5 rapper Chali 2na; Tipper, Cherub, and Marvel Years also perform. Saturday sees fine support in Rhymesayers-repped Minneapolis hiphop duo Atmosphere and brass-blasted funk ensemble Lettuce, with additional warm-up from Manic Focus, Kasbo, and Maddy O’Neal. LEILANI POLK



13. Mike Epps
Mike Epps—known for his comedic performances in movies including Friday After Next and Next Friday—will perform.


14. Seafair Weekend
One of Seafair‘s centerpieces, this weekend (which also caps off Seafair Fleet Week) includes the Boeing Air Show, the Graham Trucking Seafair Cup race, the Albert Lee Cup hydroplane boat race, music, and food.


15. Emerging Artist Showcase
The Emerging Artists Program offers up-and-comers the chance to thrive under Intiman’s guidance (and the guidance of the hilarious and talented Co-Curator Sara Porkalob) and train for careers in theater. They add, “For 2016, the cohort was 73 percent people of color and 63 percent female-identified.” At this production, you can see some of what they’ve been working on during their time at Intiman.



16. Chateau Ste Michelle Summer Concert Series
Every year, Chateau Ste. Michelle lays out a full summer season of music legends and cultural luminaries to grace their beautiful landscape of flowing wine. This month, don’t miss Allen Stone (Aug 4), Michael McDonald & Boz Scaggs (Aug 10), Bryan Ferry (Aug 11), ZZ Top & the Doobie Brothers (Aug 25), and Chicago (Aug 26).



17. Tim & Eric 10 Year Anniversary Awesome Tour
For the first time in a decade, comedy duo Tim & Eric of Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (and about a million other strange things) will hit the road on a national tour in honor of 10 years passing since the last time they did this.


18. Tater Tots & Beer Festival
Potatoes and beer are one of life’s great combinations. Be they frites, au gratin, hashbrowns, wrapped in tinfoil and baked in a campfire, or whatever, the humble potato is the perfect sponge for beer. This festival takes great advantage of that heaven made match, as well as the current popularity of tots (“totchos” are totally a thing these days). Get thee to Jefferson Park and try all eight of their crispy, bite-sized tot preparations. There will be beer, there will be tots, and there will probably be at least one human in a Utilikilt. What’s not to love? TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE


19. AFI and Circa Survive with Citizen
Pop-rock chameleons AFI have come a long way since their origins as a snotty, Misfits-loving punk outfit from California. Their early-’00s mainstream crossover lumped the band in with the ascendant emo scene of the time, but that assessment ignores the details that elevate their music. Prior to that, with the addition of lead guitarist Jade Puget, the band wrote a melodic hardcore masterpiece with Black Sails in the Sunset. And even their coldwave experiment, Decemberunderground, employed subtle use of odd time without sacrificing hooks. These days, Davey Havok and crew write pure and restrained goth music, but still play the sly licks that made them famous. JOSEPH SCHAFER

20. The B-52s
Sometimes lumped in with weirdo new-wave contemporaries like Talking Heads and Devo, the B-52s bridged sing-along pop melodies with a retro quirkiness that belonged in a campy ’50s sci-fi film. Vocalist Fred Schneider has described the band as “a combination of rock ’n’ roll, funk, and Fellini, and game show host, and corn, and mysticism.” With their bright, instantly identifiable sound—the female/male call-and-response vocals, ’50s rock ‘n roll-meets-wonky futurism style, and driving dance beats—the B-52s inspired legions of bands. Straight-up party jams like “Rock Lobster” and “Love Shack” will be sure to get feet moving for those lucky enough to have scored tickets. Are they “the world’s greatest party band?” EDM may be ruling the dance charts, but after nearly 40 years as a group, the B-52s can still dance that mess around. BRITTNIE FULLER

21. Heart By Heart
Steve Fossen and Michael Dressier got kicked out of and/or left the legendary rock group Heart years ago, but they regrouped and revamped, with a new group playing the old hits. Heart By Heart will play all your favorite Heart tracks, just with a different line-up, and no Wilson sisters.

22. Lady Gaga
I saw Lady Gaga at Lollapalooza in 2010 as a part of her Monster Ball Tour. She wove the string of hits from her first album and LP into an autobiographical rock opera, a journey through a nightmarish New York City complete with a fountain of blood in Central Park and giant tentacle puppet that Gaga battled to the death at the show’s climax. Even people who don’t like her music ought to try and see her perform. (She hasn’t released a perfect album since, but she has written a few more great songs.) Her latest record, Joanne, is a little more subdued and country-inspired than the dance juggernaut that was The Fame Monster, but since then she’s performed at the Super Bowl and collaborated with Metallica, she’s far from out of ideas. JOSEPH SCHAFER

23. Steve Miller Band with Peter Frampton
Steve Miller, the king of classic rock FM radio, brings his whole band to White River for a whole evening of flying like an eagle with Peter Frampton.



24. Madame Butterfly
Internationally beloved but also classically racist, Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly has enchanted as many as it has offended. The narrative recounts the whirlwind romance of an American naval officer and a Japanese geisha, dealing with the themes of tradition, honor, and the tragedies of passion. Due to the work’s complex background, Seattle Opera is hosting an exhibit in the lobby of McCaw Hall about the trials of American imperialism in Asian countries.



25. Storme Webber
Storme Webber is a Two-Spirit First Nations (Alutiiq/Black/Choctaw) interdisciplinary artist, curator, writer, and performer who creates socially engaged texts and images at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, memory, and spirit. Through the exhibition of archival photographs, installation, and experimental storytelling, Webber uses the pre-Stonewall working-class LGBTQ history of the Pioneer Square neighborhood as a point of departure to shed light on the hidden stories of the marginalized people in Seattle’s present and past. Expect to see the historical made timeless, and the timeless made tangible. EMILY POTHAST



26. Dota 2 Championships 2017
For the fourth year in a row, teams of Dota 2 video game players will battle it out to win the “Aegis of Champions.”



27. Belle and Sebastian with Big Thief
More than two decades into Belle and Sebastian’s career, one knows what to expect from Stuart Murdoch’s Glaswegian indie-pop group: well-constructed tunes that are plenty bookish and sometimes cloyingly cute. Rarely, though, as can be the case with bands who have a penchant for $5 words and literary references, does the music get bogged down by its pretensions. The band’s recent work dabbles in electronics and dance beats—a common antidote to creative inertia. In contrast, there’s nothing twee about opener Big Thief, a vehicle for Adrianne Lenker’s vivid storytelling and beautifully malleable vocals. The group has put out two strong LPs in the past 12 months; on June’s Capacity, Lenker spins emotionally resonant tales of death, romance, and abuse. ANDREW GOSPE

28. Bomba Estéreo
Bomba Estéreo hail from Colombia’s capital, Bogotá, and in general manifest the necessary tropes for electronic dance music: chanted, sometimes distorted vocals, more fun with the pitch bender, regimented drum computers snapping to attention at the end of phrases, bouncy beats, sounds like somebody’s dropped a guitar in a vat of vegetable oil, chimes, echoes, whistles, and of course, the bass drop. I regret that I cannot understand most of the lyrics (some of it’s in English), but Liliana Saumet’s singing sounds passionate, even when it sounds like it’s being recorded by a recorder in the next room over (shades of Exile on Main St). The male singer, Simón Mejía, sounds like he’s having a hell of a time at his own karaoke party. ANDREW HAMLIN



29. Greg Adams and East Bay Soul
Greg Adams exhibits his musical signatures with East Bay Soul, showcasing legendary arrangements that made the Tower Of Power (of which he was a founding member) horn section a stand-alone entity. Adams continues to make his mark on today’s music landscape, especially with regards to jazz, soul, and funk.



30. Eyehategod with Guests
I first heard sludge-metal deities Eyehategod at my pot dealer’s house in East Detroit a gazillion years ago. It was 1996’s Dopesick. Man, that album is HEVVVV-VEE! Dealer dude always made me sit a while, so there wasn’t obvious traffic at his place. He was a pit bull breeder, and it was terrifying to watch him fist-pump, shirtless, to Eyehategod while I sat, petting one of his gigantic monster-dogs. 2013 marked the band’s 25th anniversary. It was also the year they lost their drummer, Joey LaCaze, at age 42. The New Orleans natives have been through a lot in two decades—including death, drug addictions, and Hurricane Katrina. But is it slowing them down? “We don’t know how to give up,” singer Mike Williams told NPR in an interview. “That’s been the story of our entire career, our lives, even without the band. We just don’t know when to quit.” KELLY O

31. Metallica with Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat
Metallica will come to Seattle on their US-Canada tour in support of their well-received new album Hardwired … to Self-Destruct. Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat will provide support.


32. Jac Jemc: The Grip of It
Unless you’ve spent a lot of time hanging around the experimental fiction/poetry scene (or unless you went to APRIL Fest in 2014), you might be unfamiliar with with the dark, lyrical, dread-filled worlds Jac Jemc created in her novel My Only Wife and in short story collection A Different Bed Every Time. But you’d be forgiven! That stuff is great, but it isn’t for everybody. Her new novel, The Grip of It, is reportedly a page-turning literary thriller that everybody can get behind. It’s getting starred reviews all over the place, big-name literary types are comparing it to Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, and the first 10 pages creeped me the fuck out. The book is basically about a young couple who moves into a house that emits a creepy, constant, horrifying noise that never goes away. I can think of no better (contemporary) novel to read midway through the summer of Trump. RICH SMITH



33. Amadou & Mariam
Known as much for their story as their music, Mali duo Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia first met as children at Mali’s Institute for the Young Blind, having both lost their vision at an early age. They eventually began performing together in the institute’s Eclipse Orchestra, eventually getting married and starting their own band. Over the last three decades, Amadou and Mariam have developed an international following for their eight albums worth of dynamic world pop.



34. Marymoor Park Summer Concert Series
The 640-acre Marymoor Park again hosts its annual outdoor concert series, so pack your blankets and wine Nalgenes and head out into a sonic woodland experience. This month, don’t miss Willie Nelson & Family (Aug 9), Primus with Clutch (Aug 15), 107.7 The End Summer Camp (Aug 12-13), Idina Menzel (Aug 22), and Beck (Aug 25).



35. Baddies Summer Splash with Trina and Guests
Trina, baddest bitch in the game and unofficial rap queen of Miami, will stop by Seattle on her Northwest Issa Rock Star Summer party tour. Join in for a chance to get wild with a legend.

36. GZA, SIMS, Dyme Def, Kung Foo Grip
The Wu-Tang Clan contributed six albums to the hiphop canon, one of which is GZA’s Liquid Swords, which was released in the year of the supergroup’s peak, 1995. GZA’s claim to fame and distinction as a rapper is not flow (that goes to Method Man), or street ruggedness (that goes to Raekwon), or surly surrealism (that goes to Ghostface Killah), but instead raw and driven intelligence. His raps relentlessly reach for a level of consciousness and understanding that is high above the ordinary. Yes, he is abstruse, yes, he can be difficult, but he also never loses his balance as the line of his raps moves from complex thought to complex thought. GZA is the oldest member of the Clan. CHARLES MUDEDE

37. Temples
This evening presents a handy micro survey of twenty-teens psych rock. They’re solid practitioners of the venerable art, if not particularly mind-blowing or form-dissolving. Instead, Temples operate within well-established parameters that privilege songcraft and indulge in judicious use of effects pedals, with sporadic forays into more expansive freak-outs when the drugs kick in. This is the sound that Tame Impalas have taken to the bank, albeit without the big-budget production of that Australian group. As someone who’s spent decades listening to psych rock, I wish these younger bands would slither their way out of the threadbare paisley shirts their forebears wore. But for all their obeisance to tradition, they do execute the moves with panache. DAVE SEGAL

AUGUST 10-13


38. Keiko Matsui
Not just her career, but Keiko Matsui’s life itself as a Japanese producer, contemporary jazz pianist, and composer spans genres, borders, and decades. She tours constantly and has brought her music to every corner of the globe with over 20 albums of original music. She has also utilized her voice for causes dear to her heart, like The United Nations World Food Programme, Be The Match Marrow Registry, and The National Donor Program and Marrow Foundation.

39. Summer Meltdown 2017
Nestled in the mountains of central Washington, Summer Meltdown aims to provide a weekend of high energy live music performances in a lush woodland setting. Featured artists will include the String Cheese Incident, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Elephant Revival, The Wailers, The Grouch, TAUK, The Floozies, the Infamous Stringdusters, and many more.



40. SAM Remix
SAM Remix is a recurring and ever-changing art party that includes performances, sculpture tours, and dancing. This one promises extra joyful pop trippiness, because it’ll be based on the work of Yayoi Kusama, as seen in the new exhibit Infinity Mirrors at SAM.


41. South Lake Union Block Party
Every year, South Lake Union throws itself a party, featuring diverse musical pleasures from local band talents, as well as food trucks, a grilling competition, beer garden, letterpress salon, and other things that crowds like.


42. Joyce Moreno Quartet
One of Rio’s best exports, Joyce Moreno has been writing and performing solo and with popular collaborators like Paulinho da Viola and Caetano Veloso for five decades now. She’ll sing her own lilting Brazilian paraiso, samba, and jazz-inflected pop works in an intimate set.

43. Nacho Picasso, King Leez, Gifted Gab, :30, Reklez, Bryn King
There are two—nay, three—things I love about Nacho Picasso. One, you can tell from his sometimes funny, sometimes perverse (sometimes both at once) rhymes that dude gives zero fucks. Two, he blithely raps about cocaine and other vices, providing an antidote to Seattle’s sometimes squeaky-clean rap scene. Three, every time I hear that name, I picture Picasso eating nachos. AMBER CORTES

44. Raekwon, Carter Wilson, Relevant References, B. Cole, DTL
One of the original nine members of legendary New York hiphop outfit Wu-Tang Clan—and one of its core members alongside RZA, GZA, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, and the dearly departed Ol’ Dirty Bastard—Raekwon should need no introduction. But, here we are. If you’ve never listened to a Wu-Tang album, stop reading this and then go jam Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), and pursuant to that, check out Rae’s first solo LP, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. Both records present a master class in atmosphere and lyrical ferocity as primary drivers of the music, as opposed to dance beats, hooks, or choruses in general. In other words, Raekwon is everything most modern hiphop is not, and that’s a point in his favor. JOSEPH SCHAFER

45. Young the Giant, Cold War Kids, Joywave
Los Angeles-based posi vibe alt rockers Young the Giant manifest their dreams in their third album, Home of the Strange with their tour of the same name. They’re joined by equally indie rock groups Cold War Kids and Joywave.

AUGUST 11-12


46. The Halal Guys Grand Opening!
What started out as an open-air Manhattan gyro stand in the 1990s evolved incredibly fast to become a booming company, with franchises dotting the entire world. Now, The Halal Guys are bringing their insanely popular gyros and combo dishes to Seattle, for their very first foray into the Washington State market.

AUGUST 11, 18 & 25


47. Three Dollar Bill Cinema: Parental Advisory
Three Dollar Bill will screen films about those folks your parents warn you about: Rebels, tricksters, and weirdos. Bring your own chairs and blankets and buy yourself (or a cute friend) a popcorn. The films are Beetlejuice, But I’m a Cheerleader, and Juno.



48. Lusio: A Night to Awaken
This is a free, family-friendly, inviting evening of light, art, and sound, featuring multiple light installations and generally relaxing, immersive experiences. You’ll have to roam around the park to take it all in.


49. DJ Quik & Scarface with a Live Band
Compton rapper/producer legend DJ Quik’s debut, Quik Is the Name, came out in 1991—a full 20 years before his most recent full-length, The Book of David—but the quality of his output has barely (if at all) faltered in that time span. He’s still producing all of his own classic Way-2-Fonky West Coast beats and still running circles around suckers with his effortless flow and rapid-fire, smooth-yet-sharp rhyme patterns. Quik’s refusal to let his game slip has rewarded him the kind of career longevity that very few rap veterans get to enjoy. Expect his live set to include nothing but hits and very few signs of aging. MIKE RAMOS

50. Slayer, Lamb of God, Behemoth
Thirty years ago Slayer were one of the most important heavy-metal bands in America. Now they’re a money-making institution, sponsored by Jägermeister and thrashing through later middle age without founding drummer Dave Lombardo—whom they fired—and guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who passed away. Capitalism shows no mercy. Their most recent album, Repentless, is lame, but if you want to hear them play “Raining Blood” and watch a whole audience turn into bloodthirsty Neanderthals, Slayer will still deliver. JOSEPH SCHAFER



51. Rhythm In Colors Closing Day
Through this exhibit, the library is paying its respects to Seattle’s rich jazz history, an expression of local black artistry and culture attesting to the strength of its musical education programs and heritage. Hear recordings of interviews conducted with great area musicians as part of the Seattle Jazz Archive project, hear special performances, and attend talks.


52. Mama Tits in “Sweet Like Candy”
Eminent drag giantess Mama Tits will star in her new jazz and blues tribute show Sweet Like Candy, yet another chance to showcase her talents as a vocalist and performer.



53. VNV Nation with Ivardensphere
For the past 22 years, VNV Nation have achieved cultlike status by offering monster-sized servings of thinking person’s industrial, spicing up the harsh beats with lush orchestration and synth-pop subtleties. Fans of everything from trance to EBM and electro pop will find something danceable throughout their release, Automatic, the group’s 11th release. Unlike much of the industrial underground, VNV Nation have always provided a dose of melodic accessibility alongside the darkness. KEVIN DIERS

54. Steve Earle & The Dukes with The Mastersons
Country and folk outlaw-cum-pagan-bard Steve Earle is a bonafide Americana legend. Many country stars making music today owe their style to this guy. He’ll be joined by his backing band The Dukes, and The Mastersons.



55. Rancid & Dropkick Murphys
Aged punks Rancid helm the From Boston to Berkeley tour with (apparently) their friends the Dropkick Murphys, purveyors of all thing Irish and East Coast aggro.



56. Redhook Brewlab Grand Opening Party
Redhook, long considered the “grandaddy of craft beer,” is set to open a brand-new brewery-pub in the almost-as-new Pike Motorworks space. The grand opening event for the “brewlab” will feature a DJ set from KEXP, live music, and a tap list featuring collaboration brews by head brewer Nick Crandall and others. The new space also boasts patios, fire pits, a custom mural by Sub Pop Director Sasha Barr, and a 1930s vintage bar salvaged from a Greyhound station in Soap Lake.


57. Summer Slaughter 2017
The annual onslaught of metal, rock, thrash, and general devastation is back with ten straight hours of live sets by bands like The Black Dahlia Murder, Dying Fetus, The Faceless, Devilation, and Primordial Atrocity to keep your Satanic bods busy.

AUGUST 17-20


58. Chief Seattle Days
Every year, the Suquamish tribe honors Chief Seattle in a tradition dating back to 1911. As in the first year, the organizers hold a salmon, canoe races, drumming, dance events, a baseball tournament, and a memorial for the Suquamish leader. That’s not all, though: Over the years, new traditions have been added, like golf, hardball, a Youth Royalty Pageant, a market, the Coastal Jam, a fun run, and a pow wow. The events take place at the House of Awakened Culture and elsewhere in town.



59. One OK Rock with Palisades
Fusion rockers One OK Rock meld emo, rock, and metal into a loud and surging live act performed in both English and Japanese. They’ll be joined by Palisades on their Ambitions US Tour 2017.


60. Sunset Supper
Chefs, vintners, brewers, etc. from dozens of local restaurants, wineries, breweries, etc. will assemble on the cobblestones at the Market, and food, drink, live music, etc. abound. This year, they’ll have a great view of the Sound, thanks to their expansion onto the MarketFront Plaza and Canopy. Funds raised go to the very worthy Market Foundation, which includes the Pike Market Medical Clinic, Senior Center, Child Care & Preschool, and the Downtown Food Bank.


61. Anastacia Reneé Tolbert
Tonight, Anastacia-Reneé Tolbert will celebrate the recent release of three new books: (v.), Forget It, and Answer(Me). Rich Smith writes, “If you haven’t seen Reneé at a reading around town in the last year or so, you haven’t been going to readings around town. She’s everywhere, either performing her dramatic, multi-persona poems from one of those three books, or starring in her ever-developing solo show, 9 Ounces. She’s swept up tons of local and national awards and residencies recently, and for good reason: her poems are smart and powerful, her delivery is varied and compelling, and she’s got great style.”

AUGUST 18-19


62. Sylvan Esso with Dana Buoy
Heavily hyped electro-pop group Sylvan Esso just dropped their equally hyped second album What Now, and will be touring in support of it, along with Dana Buoy.

AUGUST 18-20


63. 26th Annual Hempfest
Hempfest! It’s a word that floods love into the hearts of countless marijuana activists and pot aficionados (tie-dyed Phish-shirt division). Since its 1991 kick-off as the “Washington Hemp Expo” in Volunteer Park, Hempfest’s grown into a nationally recognized destination event on the Seattle waterfront, where hundreds of thousands of weed-curious citizens gather for a three-day festival of weed-themed music, speeches, and tchotchke commerce, and law enforcement looks the other way as dense puffs of smoke sporadically fill the air. Hempfest is a HUGE EVENT that’s helped make the tremendous progress we’re now seeing in Washington’s weed laws, and every year it seems to get bigger, with more and more people trekking to Seattle to cement Hempfest’s reputation as “the premier flagship event of the global cannabis culture,” as the Hempfest website puts it. This year 1000 volunteers will help run the event, which has five stages of speakers, music, and more than 400 arts, crafts, food, and informational vendors. Admission is free, but if you set foot in Hempfest without dropping at least ten bucks in a donation jar, you suck. DAVID SCHMADER

64. Gigantic Bicycle Festival
First you ride your bike (for 50 miles) and then you’re done and you get to hang out and listen to music. You also can just drive. Cyclists take off from Centennial Fields Park on Saturday morning and follow an established route throughout Snoqualmie and then back to the park, where artists like La Luz, Lemolo, Star Anna, and Carrie Akre (among many others) will be waiting to play live sets over the weekend, all in celebration of the Northwest’s favorite populist transit option: The bicycle.

65. Seattle Tattoo Expo
For enthusiasts of permanently decorated flesh, here are three days to admire the art of the tattoo needle-wielder. See displays, attend seminars, and find the right artist to punch that sweet Bob Ferguson tat into your skin.



66. Ballard Burrito Fest 2017
We all know burritos pack so much into one food missile that they cause gravitational distortion. Well, this Burrito Fest might actually prove dangerous to the fabric of space-time, because with thousands of enthusiasts planning on gorging themselves, the ratio of beans, rice, and tortilla to empty space in Ballard is going to tilt radically. Celebrate the food-induced end of the universe with live music and kids’ games.

67. Mercer X Summit Block Party
Founded this year, Mercer X Summit Block Party intends to be a free all-ages music festival held at the intersection of Summit and Mercer on the north end of Capitol Hill. The lineup for this new summer fest includes local heavy-hitters like Smokey Brights, Acapulco Lips, youryoungbody, Sleeping Lessons, Spirit Award, Versing, Great Spiders, Bod, Black Whales, Wyatt Blair, Moon Darling, Eastern Souvenirs, Mirror Ferrari, LovFmly, Senor Fin, and Haunted Horses. The day-long fest will take place in the center of beloved local businesses Indian Summer, Summit Pub, Toscana, Sun Liquor, Generations, and Top Pot, so support your community and shop around.


68. Incubus, Jimmy Eat World, Judah & The Lion
Rockers of the early and mid ’00s are taking over White River for a night of what will surely be some very intense high school recollections for everybody. Incubus and Brandon Boyd’s locks will headline, with support from Jimmy Eat World and Judah & The Lion.

69. Kip Moore with Jacob Davis
For the last few years, Georgia boy Kip Moore has been gigging around the globe, building his brand as a steady yet fired-up country music star. He’ll be joined by Jacob Davis on this tour stop promoting his sophomore album, Wild Ones.

70. Mew with Monakr
Chart-topping superstars in their native Denmark, Mew are Pitchfork-beloved art rockers in the U.S., where their poppy, proggy, melodic swoon storms have earned them a small but impassioned fan base.

71. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Lumineers
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (and his beautiful hair and teeth) will grace Seattle with the smooth pop-rock tunes that have been stuck in your head for the past 40 years. They’ll be joined by local indie rock stalwarts The Lumineers.

72. Washed Out
Washed Out’s endless, shimmering synth is like taking an Ambien at noon, in the summer, and then drifting down to the beach with a cooler of peach mimosas. You lie on the sand, feeling vaguely buzzed, but mostly drowsy and disoriented as layers and layers of warm dance pop wash over you. In between dehydrated naps, a blurry voice assures you: “It feels all right” and “You’re far away”—at least you think that’s what he’s saying. A couple hours or days later, you wake up draped in seaweed and sunburned. EMILY NOKES

73. Zac Brown Band
Singer and bandleader Zac Brown is pretty much on perma-tour, sharing his roughly hewn sound around the country with his backing band. He’ll play tracks from his three platinum-certified studio albums.



74. 2 Chainz, Young Dolph, Trap Karaoke
There’s a tendency, for some, to enjoy the music of 2 Chainz ironically. It’s a mistake: The more seriously you take the claims of the man Tauheed Epps (who used to go by the nicely subtle nom-de-rap Tity Boi), the more you are liable to enjoy it. Songs like “Livin’” and “Big Meech Era” (the latter from the recently released Trap-a-Velli Tre) reveal Chainz as a man-made myth of paranoia, groan-worthy puns, and obscene luxury. His bars aren’t bound to blow anybody’s mind, but on top of beats as gold-plated as “Feds Watching” or “I’m Different,” he sounds a thousand times larger-than-life than his already imposing 6’5”. He’s like a way more fun Rick Ross, and that’s something we could all seriously use right now. KYLE FLECK

AUGUST 20-21


75. War on the Catwalk
In the recap of the Season 9 finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Chase Burns wrote about Sasha Velour, the winner: “Truly, each of her lip syncs was among the best in all nine seasons of the show. I want to watch them over and over and over again. They are master classes in acting, drag, storytelling, gender… Ugh. But the show couldn’t demonstrate Sasha’s skills because the show is small and Sasha is big. Or rather, the world is small and Sasha is big. The world wants Sasha to wear a wig, and she comes bald. The world wants beauty, and she gives a unibrow. Sasha continuously showed us that in drag the highest beauty is not the illusion, but what inspires the illusion. It’s not about the wig, but the imagination underneath.” See Sasha alongside other contestants from Season 9—including Trinity, Shea, Aja, Farrah, and Alexis—as they perform live, in a big way, and strut down the catwalk.



76. The Seattle Poke Contest 2017
At this point, everyone knows about the poke craze sweeping the city. It’s not an exaggeration to say that one seems to open every single week. So it’s no surprise that a poke contest will take place, highlighting the best versions of the dish that the city has to offer. About time! The contest will feature local chefs who will share their interpretations of the dish, which will be judged by a mixed group of influencers and attendees. In addition to poke, there will also be music, drinks and other Hawaiian dishes.


77. David Cook with Kathryn Dean
You may recognize David Cook as the winner of the 7th season of American Idol. Well, now he’s bringing his throwback country-infused rock sound to Seattle, with support from singer-songwriter Kathryn Dean.

AUGUST 21-27


78. Seattle Highball Week
Here at The Stranger, we know just what you need, given the current state of 2017, life, the universe, and everything: You need GOOD BOOZE, and you need it NOW! So prepare yourself (and your liver) for The Stranger’s HIGHBALL WEEK! We’ve teamed up with 15 of the finest bars and restaurants in Seattle to bring you this one-of-a-kind boozetacular! At each of Highball Week’s locations, you’ll find specially crafted cocktails that are available only to Highball Week participants. Even better? Each of these fantastic, sanity-saving cocktails will be available ALL DAY (not just during happy hour!) and cost you a mere $5!



79. OneRepublic, Fitz & the Tantrums, James Arthur
Colorado Springs band OneRepublic made radio history with “Apologize,” which received the largest amount of airplay in history with 10,331 plays in one week. Now on their third full-length album, the chart-toppers continue to assault the Top40 on their 2017 Honda Civic-sponsored tour, joined by Fitz & the Tantrums and James Arthur.

80. Sawyer Fredericks, Gabriel Wolfchild and The Northern Lights, Haley Johnsen
The Voice standout Sawyer Fredericks will be joined by local group Gabriel Wolfchild and The Northern Lights and singer-songwriter Haley Johnsen for an evening of blue-eyed soul and neo-folk tenderness on the Triple Door stage.

AUGUST 22-23


81. Otis Taylor Band
Otis Taylor still hasn’t cut anything so essential since 2001’s White African, when, with hints of grim humor, he reminded us that the blues came from people the rest of society had forgotten. An executed killer who might have been innocent, wandering the train tracks as a ghost; a man watching his little daughter die; and other tales to still your breath. Since then Taylor hasn’t frightened us with honesty quite so much, but he makes surprising, stark, frank, brutal music to remind us that the blues is alive so long as it speaks to hurtful truth, and the desperation that drives us away from it into the arms of excess. Also, his last album contains epic discursions on “Hey Joe.” ANDREW HAMLIN



82. Actress, as_dfs, Raica, Bardo:Basho
Founder of acclaimed label Werkdiscs and seminal experimental techno artist Actress comes to Seattle for a headlining set, with local support from as_dfs, Raica, and Bardo:Basho.

AUGUST 23-27


83. Gender Odyssey Seattle
The annual, international Gender Odyssey conference will have workshops and keynote speakers who’ll teach professionals and students about gender identity diversity in all age ranges. Sign up according to the category you fall into: The Professionals and Students conference (August 23-24), the Families conference for those raising trans kids plus students and professionals (August 24-27), or the Community conference open to all (same dates as Families).



84. Terracotta Warriors After Hours
If you haven’t yet seen the Pacific Science Center’s Terracotta Warriors exhibit, you can still catch it at the end of the month—with a cocktail in hand. At this after-hours event, you’ll get to listen to the GuZheng performed live, and you’ll see real figures of the terracotta army. Food will also be available for purchase, and so will additional drinks (your first one is included in the admission price).


85. Mark Lanegan Band, Duke Harwood, Lyenn
Mark Lanegan, with a voice as gravelly and powerful as anyone to ever touch the alt-rock charts, could have parlayed his grunge-era success into a lucrative career on the mainstream metal circuit, croaking aggressive lyrics over chugging riffs right along side Phil Anselmo and dozens of others. And though he registered a few heavy numbers with Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age, his solo career is characterized by a much subtler shade of darkness. Since his 1990 solo debut, The Winding Sheet, Lanegan has chased demons through stripped-down acoustic and understated band arrangements, always leaving his voice at the fore, bare to tell twisted stories of love and death like a less traditional, more haunted Tom Waits. His release, 2014’s Phantom Radio, is another strangely beautiful collection of stinging lyrics crooned through cavernous folk and oddball electronic instrumentals that only add layers to his distinctive style. TODD HAMM


86. Ben Percy: The Dark Net
Before we go any further, it’s important to know how deep Ben Percy’s voice is. It’s comically deep. Takes you a few minutes to overcome its startling deepness. But once you get past his sound and into his sense, you’ll realize he’s a strong advocate for and excellent executioner of the literary/genre novel hybrid. “Why can’t the helicopter explode with pretty sentences?” he once asked a room full of Canadians during an event for the National Writers Series. Percy tests that question yet again in his new book, The Dark Net, which is about a Resistance forming in the shadier parts of the web. It’s set in present day Portland, so there’s a little pleasing local connection there, too. RICH SMITH

AUGUST 24-26


87. Bruce Bruce
Comedian Bruce Bruce (as seen in Think Like a Man, Maron and Top Five) will perform his stand-up routine. A 2015 Los Angeles Times article describes Bruce as priding himself “on not using vulgarity for his laughs.”

AUGUST 24-27


88. Camp Rahh
Cut yourself off from Twitter and enjoy the outdoors with no distractions—not even alcohol or drugs. Spend your time horseback-riding, seeing concerts, climbing, having paint ball battles, and more.

89. Maceo Parker
Soulful saxophonist Maceo Parker has spent decades exploring and rewriting the history of funk in collaborations with icons like James Brown, George Clinton, and Prince, while simultaneously honing his own brand of creative showmanship.



90. 70mm Film Festival
Adventure, sci-fi, horror, comedy, and epic films, from 2001: A Space Odyssey to Lawrence of Arabia to Inherent Vice, will be shown in spectacular detail on 70mm film in this yearly celebration of the medium.



91. FIDLAR with Thee Commons
Greasy punx FIDLAR (it’s short for “Fuck it, dawg, life’s a risk”) will headline the Showbox for the first time in two years, with help from Thee Commons.

92. SWANS with Okkyung Lee
Consider Swans. Not migratory (and mean!) waterfowl, but the legendary-to-some NYC rock outfit that sprang out of the no-wave movement and reduced loud rock music to minimal, crushing repetitiveness. After a long retirement, the band reawakened seven years ago sans vocalist Jarboe (now involved with her own successful solo career), and has since released a string of critically adored records, each supported by notoriously loud live shows. Swans main man Michael Gira likes to jam, and used to insist that the band play with every volume knob maxed and every house light on. White light, white heat and all that. JOSEPH SCHAFER

93. Tower of Power
The ’70s soul and funk icons Tower of Power have been performing for over 40 years. They bring their decades of genre-blending skill back to Seattle for an evening of unparalleled groove and rhythm.



94. Kings of Leon with Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats
Kings of Leon’s effort, Only by the Night, features the unstoppable song “Sex on Fire,” on which Caleb Followill’s vocals absolutely soar. “Yooouuuuu, your sex is on fiiiyaaah.” Ears are held in the honey and strength of his vocal grip. The song goes off. The rest of the album, however, lacks that fire. It falls into a midtempo rut. KOL have said they’re upset by lack of sales in the U.S. compared to those in Europe. Maybe if their albums were more full of the fire, sales would increase. We Americans like fire. KOL still need to be seen, though. They’re carrying the Southern-rock torch. TRENT MOORMAN

The second annual TUF FEST is an all-day/all-night extravaganza spotlighting musical performances, visual art installations, workshops, and artist discussions by female/nonbinary/trans members of the electronic-music community. Powered by the local TUF collective, the event features live sets by acclaimed DJs and beatmakers, with a TUF FEST ’Til Dawn after-hours party. In a field dominated by male-centric bills, TUF FEST is a spring-loaded step into a fresh future. DAVE SEGAL



96. Celebrate Little Saigon 2017: Banh Mi Fest!
This year marks the seventh annual Banh Mi Fest, sponsored by Friends of Little Saigon. It’s a community festival celebrating Vietnamese American food, culture and entertainment. You can expect a bevy of vendors offering up their versions of the sandwich, as well as activities and games, a “Banh Mi Throw Down,” a Pho and Banh Su Eating Contest, and a 21+ outdoor beer garden.


97. Air Supply
Air Supply are the spray cheese in my musical diet-I know they’re bad, I know they’re bad for me, and I know they barely qualify as “music,” but every now and again I still feel that awful, undeniable urge to indulge myself in the sheer (pardon the pun) cheesy brilliance of classic power ballads like “All out of Love,” “Lost in Love,” and, of course, “Making Love out of Nothing at All.” (Does this count as a cry for help?) BARBARA MITCHELL



98. Yasiin Bey (Mos Def)
Two things to set straight right away: (1) Rapper Yasiin Bey used to go by the name Mos Def. (2) It’s not controversial to acknowledge that Bey’s best work happened early in his career, as half of Black Star (the other half being Talib Kweli) and on his promising initial solo endeavors. Black Star’s self-titled first album and Black on Both Sides, Def’s debut, carved a middle path between socially conscious backpacker rap and silver-age b-boy boom-bap, with dexterous flows and a metric ton of charisma backing it all up. Since then, I’ve increasingly dug Bey’s work as an actor (seriously, he’s magnetic as Ford Prefect in A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) in direct inverse to my enjoyment of him as a rapper, but he remains a consummate performer and chameleonic talent. KYLE FLECK


99. Sculptured Dance
Huge crowds are expected for this year’s Summer at SAM showcase of local dancers in site-specific pieces, so show up early—even RSVPing isn’t a guarantee of a spot. Performers will include Stranger Genius Award winner Noelani Pantastico and Dani Tirrell with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Eva Stone with Au Collective, and Price Suddarth and the YC. Each group will be paired with a specific sculpture, like Richard Serra’s Wake or Alexander Calder’s The Eagle. There’ll also be music by Jyun Jyun, a sculpture workshop with Romson Regarde Bustillo, a kids’ corner, and food truck fare.



100. Cécile McLorin Salvant
In 2016, Cécile McLorin Salvant won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album for her record For One To Love. She is celebrated for her ability to bring together the connections between jazz, vaudeville, blues, and folk music with her strong tone.

recommendedGet all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app—available now on the App Store and Google Play. recommended

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Phoenix’s First BlakTina Festival Packed an Emotional Punch

Emotions ran deep at Phoenix’s first BlakTina Festival, a single-evening performance of dance created and performed by artists of color.

Through thoughtful choices of movement, subject matter, music, and spoken word, these creatives drew the audience into both inner and outer struggles.

The festival took place on Saturday, July 22, at Black Theatre Troupe’s performance space, where choreographers presented 10 pieces exploring both the universal human experience and the complexities of contemporary life for people of color.

It included eight pieces by choreographers based in metro Phoenix and two by choreographers from the Los Angeles area. That’s where the festival was founded back in 2013.

Phoenix-based choreographer and dancer Liliana Gomez partnered with festival founder Licia Perea to create the Valley’s first BlakTina Festival.

They selected the choreographers, who chose their own dancers. And together, these artists delivered a powerful evening of dance. The performance was sold out, and Gomez is already planning for another BlakTina Festival in Phoenix next year.

Three solo performances, each choreographed by the dancer who performed it, were particularly strong.

For Self Portrait of a Dying Soul, Jenny Gerena sought to free herself from the century-old trappings of polite society, embodied in a long dress and traditional European décor. While seated in a formal chair with her hair in a bun, Gerena’s twitching belied her feelings of being trapped.

Although she broke free for a time and let loose a long cascade of dark curls, she returned to that chair to close out her piece – powerfully conveying how western civilization continues its death grip on those who aren’t part of the dominant culture, including women and people of color.

Gerena, a Phoenix-based Latina performance artist, received her master of fine arts in dance from Arizona State University in 2016. Recently, she was part of a cross-disciplinary team that created Roda-Viva through the new work development nonprofit [nueBOX] and Mesa Arts Center. Roda-Viva coupled contemporary dance and live music with visual art by Rossitza Todorova.

Ashley Baker, a black artist who holds a bachelor of fine arts in dance from ASU, also created a compelling work. Titled Mulato, her piece for the BlakTina Festival explored the prejudices faced by people of color, when that color doesn’t meet others’ expectations. But her work also raised the issue of how race informs identity, and its implications for real lives beyond mere theoretical considerations.

But the real stand-out was Alexander Patrick, a black dancer who recently moved from New Orleans to Phoenix, where he’s now dancing with several companies, including Scorpius Dance Theatre.

Patrick choreographed the festival’s opening number, titled Scarred From Being Scared, with black artist Malikah Fernandez. But he also choreographed and performed a solo piece titled Mirage, which also featured his own costume design.

Donning all white, including a flowing tunic that conveyed a yearning for transcendence, Patrick conjured the vicious persistence of self-doubt through music by New Orleans artist Ledisi and recordings of his own voice incessantly repeating “you’re so stupid” and similar messages. While doing so, he explored the use of pharmaceuticals in attempts to control one’s wilder impulses – even acting as though he was taking pills to reluctantly calm the noise in his own head.

There was humor in the festival’s lineup, too.

With Ni Fú, Ni Fá, a four-member Los Angeles-based dance company called Primera Generación Dance Collective played with America’s cultural appropriation of the holiday Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican celebration of victory over French forces in 1862.

Collectively, these artists addressed issues at the heart of contemporary culture, where racism, sexism, and other social injustice continues to fuel strong rhetoric and feelings. And they took the audience on a moving journey through anger, love, fear, and frustration. Ultimately, the BlakTina Festival’s greatest accomplishment was demonstrating the ongoing power of dance to capture and convey human emotions.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Lost pilots, the stubborn French and £80k salaries: what you didn’t know about air traffic control

Last week the body in charge of the UK’s airspace was preparing to handle a record number of planes: as the British school holidays kicked off in earnest, 8,800 flights would arrive, depart or pass through our skies. It would be the country’s busiest day in aviation history.

Only, it never happened.

“We actually broke an earlier record on June 20 with 8,747 planes, and we thought we would break it again but we were about 20 short in the end,” explains Martin Rolfe, CEO of NATS, formerly National Air Traffic Services.  

AIR Airspace 070459

In numbers: Britain’s busiest day for flights


“It depends on the number of business jets flying, and the weather. There is a decent chance we might break it this Friday [today], or maybe the bank holiday Friday in August.”

NATS announced the prospective record as a way of highlighting the urgent need to modernise the UK’s ageing airspace structure.

“The record is a double-edged sword,” says Rolfe. “From a thriving economy point of view it’s very exciting to break the record – we host more traffic than any other air space on earth, considering our size. We’re a funnel for the North Atlantic.

“We’re very proud of what we achieve safely but at the same time, the trend can’t continue without a massive overhaul of the airspace,” he says. “We’re still working to a design from the Fifties, a period where aircraft were using their own navigation systems and we knew where they were to within about half a mile. Now, all aircraft are equipped with much more accurate GPS. We know where aircraft are, and they know where to fly probably to within 20cm.”

Rolfe explains that we are giving aircraft airspace corridors to fly in that provide miles of buffers, even though they are capable of existing much closer together. It’s a waste and it’s one that NATS and the Department of Transport think will contribute to a steep rise in flight delays in the coming years.

The difficulty, Rolfe says, is the people on the ground. He says that, on a policy level, the Government is supportive of modernising the airspace, but when it comes down to a local level – for example, at Heathrow – it becomes an incredibly contentious issue.

The UK's skies are getting busier

The UK’s skies are getting busier

“If you take any airport to maximise capacity, you would probably have more routes in and out of it, and this means more people would potentially be affected. It becomes very sensistive to local people,” says Rolfe.

“But we can now fly planes a lot more accurately so that they can fly over rivers, estuaries, industrial areas and reduce the number of people affected. The modern aircraft are also much quieter and can ascend and descend much quicker.

“There will also remain some avenues that are busier than others – all planes have to get to an airport, and there will only be one best route between Heathrow and Edinburgh – but with more routes we can alternate them.”

Five things you didn’t know about air traffic control

1. France is the only country not to use English in the skies

“The good news for the UK is that aviation is done in English around the world, except in France,” said Rolfe. Yes, the international language for pilot and air traffic control communication is English. But our stubborn cousins over the Channel still insist on sticking to their native tongue.

2. The problem with drones could be easily solved

Drones pose a huge challenge to air traffic controllers. “We absolutely recognise that drones are from on an economy and future business point of view a great thing but people need to use them responsibly,” said Rolfe. “Most of the times when reported near to aircraft, people just don’t understand the rules.” He added that working with drone manufacturers can be applying “geofences” to drones so they are unable to function as soon as they near commercial airspace.

Drones are an issue – but they need not be

Drones are an issue – but they need not be

© Jakub Gojda / Alamy Stock Photo/Jakub Gojda / Alamy Stock Photo

3. Summer weather is worse than winter weather

“Weather is the biggest thing we have to contend with, and it’s in the summer when the thunderstorms come that we have the most difficulty,” said Rolfe. “Most pilots won’t fly through thunderstorm. Not only does it upset the passenger but it can be quite dangerous. The lightning is not so much the problem – more the turbulence, the up-drafts and the down-drafts. We have our own Met Office forecaster, and though we’re getting better at predicting them, it’s still a bit of a black art.”

4. Light aircraft sometimes wander into busy flight paths

“We generally are able to track them down, sometimes with the help of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and have a chat with them,” said Rolfe. “People in Cessnas and light aircraft. They will take off and either get lost because something happens to them or they haven’t briefed themselves well enough and they fly into controlled airspace and then we have to fly passenger jets a different path. We go into local flying clubs and talk about the dangers of flying into our space.”

Private pilots sometimes get lost

Private pilots sometimes get lost

Credit: Colin Underhill / Alamy Stock Photo/Colin Underhill / Alamy Stock Photo

5. Strikes in France hit British flights

“When our European counterparts go on strike, the traffic still needs to go somewhere so our skies can become quite congested,” said Rolfe. “The French are particularly prone to going on strike and it can in essence shut down huge swathes of air space above the country.”

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment