Suspicious Item Cleared at African American History Museum

A suspicious item at the National Museum of African American History and Culture was cleared by police.

The item was found on the second floor about 6:45 p.m., U.S. Park Police said. 

The entire building was evacuated out of an “abundance of caution,” Park Police said.

The museum was closed to visitors at the time, but it was hosting an event that got interrupted — a conversation with civil rights photographer Steve Schapiro.

“It was extremely orderly when we left, and they told us that there was a threat and we needed to evacuate the building,” Monaude Daverne said.

With help from the Metropolitan Police Department, officers determined the item was not a threat almost an hour after it was found.

Park Police said they don’t believe the museum is being targeted. They did not describe the item or say whether they thought it was placed intentionally.

About two weeks ago, a noose was found on the floor in the museum in front of a display about the KKK inside an exhibit on segregation.

The Five Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Celebrate the LGBTQ at Pride

His pride is showing.

His pride is showing.

Photo by Jack Gorman

Houston is nothing if not diverse and is known for celebrating that diversity. Houston is also known for hosting one of the largest, and quite possibly best, Pride celebrations too. To prove just that, Houston is set to party with Pride this Saturday in downtown Houston from what’s basically a dusk ’til dawn type style. After you’re done with that, check out the visual arts and stage offerings this weekend. And by all means, don’t miss Repticon.

From first time playwrights to those filled with experience, all will have the opportunity to share their words with you.EXPAND

From first time playwrights to those filled with experience, all will have the opportunity to share their words with you.

Photo by Rudy Mui

Even as diversity onstage blossoms, playwrights of color can have difficulty getting their words produced. But thanks to showcases like Fade to Black Play Festival, ten more up-and-coming wordsmiths will have an opening night. Founded by writer/director S. Denise O’Neal in 2012, the event was designed to correct “a lack in support” for the African-American playwright in Houston, says festival Artistic Director Trey Morgan Lewis. “She realized there was underrepresentation, even with Encore and The Ensemble — theaters that do celebrate the African-American artist.” Among this year’s lineup are plays by out-of-staters Chuck Cummings, Evonne Fields-Gould and Markietha Ka’Von, alongside Houston’s own Rachel Dickson and Lorna Taylor. “I’m so proud of Lorna,” says Lewis, “because she started volunteering with us two to three years ago. She always said she wanted to write a play, and she surprised us all with what she created.” Houston can catch the celebratory productions of diversity this Friday night  at the the MATCH. 

8 p.m. Friday, continues 8 p.m. Saturday. 3400 Main. For information, 713-521-4533 or visit $25.

Slimy and slithery but just as likable as the furrier friends we're used to.

Slimy and slithery but just as likable as the furrier friends we’re used to.

Photo courtesy of Repticon

Forget lions and tigers and bears. This weekend’s “oh my” comes from the amazing reptiles and amphibians at Repticon Houston. Manager Chaz (Charles) Gavitt says it’s fun to watch the visitors react to the “yes, you can touch it” live animal presentations during the hourly shows and seminars: “It’s really something to see. [Kids] get so excited.” Gavitt says adults get pretty psyched, too, although “you have some that are too scared to mess with them.” So come chat with the rescue groups this Saturday (snakes, iguanas and larger monitor lizards are up for adoption), meet with top breeders and educators, and stock up on your exotic pet supplies. They stocked up on feeder insects and rodents for your hungry herps.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 24 (VIP entry gets you in at 9 a.m.), continues 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 25. Pasadena Convention Center and Fairgrounds, 7902 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena. For information, visit Free to $12.

After a night of celebrating in one the nation's largest Pride parties remember one thing if need be: it's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A-hay.

After a night of celebrating in one the nation’s largest Pride parties remember one thing if need be: it’s fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A-hay.

Photo by Francisco Montes

The rainbow flag will fly high this weekend for the Houston Pride Festival and Pride Parade. What started as a protest at New York City’s Stonewall Inn has become a national movement, and 2017 marks Houston’s 39th year commemorating the dignity and colors of the rainbow, with an expected 700,000-plus people swarming downtown to celebrate. Saturday afternoon’s festival will be an entertaining playground of all things Houston, culminating in a performance by headliner LeAnn Rimes. Then there’s the parade itself, which begins at Smith and Lamar and continues on Walker to the intersection of Milam and Jefferson. If the barely dressed boys and glitter-covered girls have you ready for a night full of fun, slip on over to Rich’s Houston for the official Pride afterparty, Beyond Wonderland.

Noon to 11 p.m. Saturday. The intersection of Smith and Lamar. Rich’s Houston, 2401 San Jacinto. For information, visit Free to $200.

The second annual Arts Sound Off - Chalk Edition is this Saturday at the Jamail Skatepark.EXPAND

The second annual Arts Sound Off – Chalk Edition is this Saturday at the Jamail Skatepark.

Photo by Savannah B

For creative makers and lovers of the new, the second annual Arts Sound Off — Chalk Edition is bringing good food, drink and culture to the Jamail Skatepark for one fair Sunday. “This is all about bringing exposure to the new, local artists,” says event planner Savannah B, whose group, Go Savvy, is coordinating the shindig. “This is a competition, and also an opportunity for these talents to show off their works.” After last year’s spray paint-themed battle royal, B was at a loss on how to top its insanity — until a bit of childhood inspiration struck. “This year is all about showcasing chalk murals, as well as acrylic murals on skateboard decks, which we’ll raffle off to the audience. Just come ready to be impressed!” The opportunity to win one of these usable or gallery ready pieces of art is yours this Saturday evening.

6 p.m. June 25. 103 Sabine. For information, call 281-745-8413 or visit Free.

Picking up at the start of the Mexican Revolution, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, exhibit “Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910-1950,” is “like a textbook of Mexican art,” says Mari Carmen Ramírez, the museum’s Wortham curator of Latin American Art. Though it features los tres grandes — José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros — Ramírez says “the exhibition seeks to go beyond those figures to show the scope of artistic production [during] the period,” a cultural renaissance. Beginning this Sunday the MFAH is thus showcasing more than 175 works from many of their contemporaries, both unknown and known, such as Frida Kahlo and Rufino Tamayo be.

12:15 to 7 p.m. Sunday. Continuing 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 12:15 to 7 p.m. Sundays. February 26 to August 13. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit Free to $18.

Sam Byrd, Natalie de la Garza, Vic Shuttee and Susie Tommaney contributed to this post.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Triangle events celebrate African American artists

— From concerts to festivals to art displays, a multitude of events will celebrate African American culture in the Triangle this summer.

The Triangle Friends of African American Arts ​(Triangle FAAA), a group that strives to expand awareness, understanding and support of African American arts and artists, put together a full list of events on their website, but here are the big ones.


June 17 – Juneteenth Celebration in downtown Durham – This celebration includes banquets, luncheons, marches, a ceremony of songs, prayers and speakers, as well as national and local performers, food, and African and African-American crafts and clothing.

July 8 – Saba! Saba! Festival at Durham Central Park – Celebrate Durham Sister Cities’ partnership and rich cultural exchange with Arusha, Tanzania with African-inspired music, dancing, fashions and local food vendors. There will also be a drumming circle.

July 15 – Jubilee Music Festival at Historic Stagville – Bring your lawn chair or a blanket and help celebrate African-American musical traditions and their legacy.

September 9 – Black Genius Fest at Northgate Park – This annual community celebration of black culture features music, dance ensembles, science activities, food trucks and more.

Live music

June 21 – Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles at The Pour House – See the Brooklyn, New York native, a two-time Grammy Award-winning keyboardist with musical roots in gospel, jazz and soul, perform at 9 p.m.

July 8 – Al Strong at Bond Park – The trumpet player, who is well known in the Triangle’s growing jazz scene, will play at the amphitheater at Bond Park in Cary. Strong has performed for artists like Brandford Marsalis, Aretha Franklin, Clay Aiken and Linda Eder.


June 24 – Martin Luther King: An Interpretation at Carrboro Arts Center – This is an original, thought-provoking one-man interpretation of Martin Luther King, Jr. as a human being. There will be a Q&A immediately after the performance.

August 1-6 – Motown at DPAC – The musical, starting in August, tells the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and Smokey Robinson.


RACE at the North Carolina Museum for Natural Sciences – This exhibition, on display through October 22, looks at race through the lens of science, history and personal experiences to promote a better understanding of human variation.​

Get a full list of events celebrating African American artists.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

NAJEE’S NOTES: Obama Boulevard proposed in South Los Angeles

Are you ready for Obama Boulevard? City Council President Herb Wesson has put forth a motion that would direct the city engineer to begin the process of renaming a segment of Rodeo Road — a major east-west corridor in South Los Angeles — as Obama Boulevard. The proposed name change in honor of former President Barack Obama, is a great ideal by Wesson.

The name change would be applied to an approximately 3.5-mile stretch of Rodeo between Arlington Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard on the Culver City border. The street passes directly by Rancho Cienega Park, where then Sen. Obama held his first Los Angeles campaign rally after announcing his candidacy for president in 2007.

Los Angeles already features a number of streets named for former presidents, including Washington Boulevard, Adams Boulevard and Jefferson Boulevard. That is a fitting tribute to Obama, who was also a student at Los Angeles’ Occidental College from 1979 to 1981, and will likely see a segment of the 134 Freeway renamed in his honor following a vote earlier this year by the state Senate. All the residents I spoke to concerning the change of Rodeo Road to Obama Boulevard are excited and I see how this could reduce confusion between Rodeo Road and Rodeo Drive. I’m looking forward to being at the name dedication in the future. Great job, Council President Wesson.

Comedian Bill Cosby’s legal team was quick to declare victory on June 17 when a Pennsylvania judge declared a mistrial in the aggravated indecent assault case against the 79-year-old entertainer.

The promise by Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele that the case will be retried within a year did not seem to upset the Cosby legal team. They acted as if it was expected. But they know they still have an ace up their sleeve. And it’s the power of Cosby’s celebrity status.

The issue of power was indeed at the heart of the sexual assault allegations brought by Andrea Constand over the 2004 incident at Cosby’s suburban Philadelphia mansion. A jury of seven men and five women was asked to determine if Cosby used his power — aided by drugs that he admitted giving Constand — to have a sexual encounter with her without her consent. Based on the questions the jury asked of the judge during 52 hours of deliberations, it appears that one of the issues that led to the deadlock among jurors was the question of consent.

The Constand prosecution began the symbolic quest for justice for more than 40 women who came forward with allegations of having been drugged and assaulted by Cosby as far back as the late 1960s. Although the judge allowed the testimony of only one other accuser, the volume of past accusations against Cosby undoubtedly was not lost on at least some of the jurors.

This is my last word on the Cosby controversy. Cosby did this to himself. He admitted in a prior court deposition that he procured drugs to use to have sex with younger women. So please stop with conspiracy theory.

Cosby deliberately placed himself in a position of high quality, moral standards that told black people who they should be, while at the same time he was lying to his wife, family, fans and the entire black race.

I grew up watching and loving the Cosby show, but Cosby in my opinion is a liar and admitted adulterer. I’m not about to show any support or concern for him when he is retried on this case.

My concern is for more pressing issues, such as the continuation of black people being shot and killed by police nationwide, the fight to save our health care as the Trump administration seems intent on undoing every policy that the first African-American president could establish to benefit all Americans.

So, Cosby and what happens to him is last on my agenda for community concerns.

June is Black Music Month. My friends who truly know me, understand that it’s not too many concerts or music festivals that I miss once summer comes. This weekend, June 24 and 25, I will be in attendance as I have been for the last few years at the 31st annual Long Beach Bayou Festival as they continue its time-honored legacy in the city by the sea.

The Long Beach Bayou Festival offers patrons a weekend filled with cultural music, cuisine, and dance from a place called ‘home’— New Orleans and the Louisiana Bayou Country. I love this festival because it highlights the best parts of Louisiana Bayou and New Orleans Culture with Long Beach.

The food is always a delight with a focus on the specialties of Cajun and Creole cuisine. Rich in cultural music traditions, the Long Beach Bayou and Blues Festival presents a wide range of groups, featuring Cajun, Zydeco and Blues artists. The dance floor is always open. So, if you’re looking for family fun, you should join me at the Long Beach Bayou Festival. For more information

For news tips, email or follow me on Twitter@Najeeali.

Last-Minute Plans: 85 Cheap Easy Things To Do In Seattle This Weekend: June 23-25, 2017

The Seattle Outdoor Cinema‘s 25th season begins on Saturday with a free, all-ages screening of Star Wars: Rogue One. Get there early—the rest of the summer’s screenings are at least $5 and 21+ only, so this one is sure to have crowds. Seattle Outdoor Cinema

Even if you aren’t planning on participating in Pride festivities this weekend, there are still plenty of events that won’t cost more than $10 and don’t require (much) advance planning. We’ve rounded them all up below, ranging from the Around The World With KEXP Mash-Up Patio Party to the Spirit of Indigenous People festival, and from Urban Craft Uprising and the Beacon Hill Pop-Up Bazaar to the Dog Day Afternoon & Parade. See all of your options below, and check out 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

Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday



1. Artist Talk: Qing Qu
The annual DePoi artist exchange allows a Seattle artist to travel to Perugia, Italy, and brings a Perugia artist right to Pottery Northwest—this time, it’s Qing Qu, who at this event will speak about her ceramic practice.
(Seattle Center, free)


2. Milk: Film Screening and Discussion
David Schmader credited Milk’s success to its “comfortably unabashed sexuality” and Sean Penn’s “quietly amazing, simultaneously lived-in and spontaneous” performance. See the film about openly gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk and discuss it afterwards with new friends.
(West Seattle, free)

3. Movie Night
Catch a screening of Oscillate, which June Zandona and Daniel Costa co-created during the V2 Dance Film Residency last year, and stay on for Retrospective Exhibitionist by Miguel Gutierrez. It’s free, and you’ll enjoy the company of artsy dance enthusiasts while appreciating some local creators’ work.
(Capitol Hill, free)


4. Arête Quartet
Acid jazz group Arête Quartet are all about the groove, pulling from downtempo and traditional jazz, funk, Brazilian choro, and many other styles. Current band members include West Coast legends Joe Doria of McTuff and Dave Carter.
(Columbia City, free)

5. The Bare Minimum
“Punk Rock Burrito Pizza” Toronto band the Bare Minimum will blast into Seattle.
(Belltown, $8)

6. A Breakthrough In Field Studies, Eastern Souvenirs, Heather Thomas
Bop to the music of indie pop rock fusion group A Breakthrough in Field Studies, electro-dance outfit Eastern Souvenirs, and drummer Heather Thomas.
(Downtown, free)

7. Bürien, Marc & the HorseJerks, Power Skeleton, Dystopian Anthems
Garage rockers Bürien will instill some ’70s vibes into this Southside show, with local support by Marc & the HorseJerks, Power Skeleton, and Dystopian Anthems.
(Tukwila, $7)

8. Burn Burn Burn, The Four Lights, Coyote Bred, Three Fingers
Satan-loving punks Burn Burn Burn will headline at the Kraken, with bill support from the Four Lights, Coyote Bred, and Three Fingers.
(University District, $7)

9. Champagne Campaign Presents What’s Your Patronus?
Dress up as your Patronus (for the uninitiated, the Harry Potterverse equivalent of the patron saint crossed with a witch’s familiar) and shake your magic trunk to music by DJ Pressha, Tollefsen, Hydef, and Chris Tower.
(Ballard, $10)

10. CODA: 012 (Live)
In a rare exhibition, CODA, typically an immersive and collaborative bass music night, will feature live music from Justin Hartinger, Qreepz, and Jamie Blake with Yohiness, and DJ sets from Lady Coco, Baloogz, and DJ Marvelous.
(Capitol Hill, $10)

11. Eden Seattle Grand Opening
Sodo is getting a new nightclub, and Eden aims to stay. They’re kicking their tenure off with a whole night of dancing to DJs and a live band, $4 wells, and free Italian food.
(Sodo, free)

12. Emma Lee Toyoda, Matriarch, Scorn Dog
With a lo-fi instrumental sensibility and a deep, incantatory voice, Emma Lee Toyoda makes music that only sounds simple. Her album, Sewn Me Anew, is full of rich, complex delights that evoke the kind of private sadness that often translates into unforgettable performances. It also foretells a promising future. SEAN NELSON
(Downtown, $8/$10)

13. Foresteater, Witherward, Drifter Luke
Foresteater is the live dreamy psych rock band version of Phoenix-based artist Mikey Pro’s musical vision, which was created after he had a dream about “a band playing on an island in outer-space surrounded by electric rainbows.” They’ll be joined by Witherward and Drifter Luke.
(Greenwood, $5)

14. Guardian Alien, Stereo Embers, Kim Virant
Any musician who emulates late-1990s/early-’00s Boredoms automatically earns my respect and undivided attention. For example, Brooklyn’s Guardian Alien, who feature maniacal drummer Greg Fox (ex-Liturgy, ex-Dan Deacon) and vocals/electronics manipulator Alexandra Drewchin. They came out of the gate with 2012’s maximalist psychedelic odyssey See the World Given to a One Love Entity, which captures the same centrifugal frenzy as Boredoms’ Vision Creation Newsun. That is not easy to do, people. Spiritual Emergency followed in 2014, taking a more insular yet no less brain-boggling assault on avant-rock decorum. It’s usually the case with these Boredoms-inspired groups that their live performances exceed what they achieve on record. Which means you should rearrange your life in order to catch Guardian Alien’s outward-bound excursions into sublime sonic madness. DAVE SEGAL
(Ballard, $10)

15. Hexheart, Voicecoil, Blakk Glass
Jasyn Bangert of God Module has a new project, Hexheart, which incorporates darkwave electronics, post-punk-adjacent guitar work, and low, entrenched vocals. They’ll be joined by Voicecoil and Blakk Glass.
(Capitol Hill, $9/$10)

16. Low Hums, Nurse Ratchett, The Fuzz
Seattle alt-rockers Low Hums showcase their varied shades of psych rock, power pop, and garage scuzz for a Slim’s audience, with support sets from Nurse Ratchett and The Fuzz.
(Georgetown, $6)

17. Quinn The Band, Human Ladder, Red Heart Alarm
Singer-songwriter and guitarist Jeremy Quinn MacRae has stepped out from the shadow of previous bands and started spotlighting his own solo work as Quinn The Band. He’ll be joined live by Human Ladder and Red Heart Alarm.
(Ballard, $8)

18. You May Die in the Desert, Barrows, Chrome Lakes, Slumberbox
I didn’t realize it until I checked the band’s website recently, but local trio You May Die in the Desert have been making music for over a decade. They were a band who were always around, popping up on bills left and right, wowing crowds with ridiculously tight sets and reliably great music, but who never quite broke through to the big venues and national audiences. That didn’t stop them from producing two albums and an EP that are alternately beautiful and crushing, and which became more fully realized the longer they stuck together—something like the prettiness of Explosions in the Sky delivered with the urgency and bite of These Arms Are Snakes. The few recent audio/video snippets they’ve teased online lately also show a band who aren’t done yet, which means there’s still time for the listening public to catch on. TODD HAMM
(Eastlake, $5/$8)


19. Rocky Horror
Relive your freaky and sexually confusing introduction to alt-queer musicals with this production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show by Island of Misfit Toys.
(Greenwood, $10/$14)


20. Nathan Hill: The Nix
In his review of The Nix for NPR, Jason Sheehan admiringly and almost lovingly describes the addictive nature of Nathan Hill’s 620-page novel, writing that the “looping, run-on, wildly digressive pages which, somehow, in their absolute refusal to cling together and act like a book, make the perfect book for our distracted age.” In the New York Times review (titled “Nathan Hill Is Compared to John Irving. Irving Compares Him to Dickens.”) Alexandra Alter says that The Nix is about “politics, online gaming, academia, Norwegian mythology, social media, the Occupy Wall Street protests and the 1960s counterculture.” In short, this reading looks fun.
(Capitol Hill, free)

21. Richard V. Reeves
Richard V. Reeves (author, journalist, and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution) will discuss and sign copies of Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It. Expect an economic and sociological analysis of the top 20 percent of American earners.
(Lake Forest Park, free)


22. Soulshine Vendor Day & Rooftop Party with Purple Mane
Meet the vendors from Soulshine Cannabis and rock out to music by the Prince cover band Purple Mane. Plus, learn about saving animals with Emerald City Pet Rescue, which receives a portion of sales from Soulshine. Outside of Pride, we think that’s all your bases covered for Friday.
(Central District, free)



23. 2017 University of Washington MFA + MDes Thesis Exhibition
The annual University of Washington’s School of Art + Art History + Design Master of Fine Arts and Master of Design thesis exhibition at Henry Art Gallery features ambitious and carefully planned artwork from university students: Gavriella Aguilar, Peter Barbor, Richelle Dumond, Elizabeth Fortunato, Ryna Frankel, Clare Halpine, Ding Jin, Daniela Mora, Arely Morales, Sarah Reitz, Cicelia Ross-Gotta, Tarran Sklenar, Tate Strickland, and Scott Tsukamaki. This is the show’s last weekend.
(University District, $10)



24. Taste of Tacoma
More than 40 restaurateurs will offer cheap specialties from Tacoma and the South Sound. All the food on offer will be $10 or under, and each restaurant will sell a “Just a Bite” dish for $3.75 or less. What kind of food? You’ve got everything from fried peanut butter sandwiches to poke to piroshky, plus wine, beer, mixed drinks, and desserts. See chef demos, live bands, and cooking competitions as well.
(Tacoma, free admission)



25. Awkward Debut
Kimberly Absher and Joel Moreno, aka the “Original Goofballs,” will present an hour of variety, impressions, songs, and general weirdness.
(Greenwood, $10/$14)


26. Beacon Hill Pop-Up Bazaar
Pick up some local art, garage sale goodies, and more while enjoying performances in Beacon Arts’ temporary home.
(Beacon Hill, free)

27. Newport Way Repair Cafe
Bring your (small, non-stinky, safe, not-actively-leaking) broken items to the Repair Cafe, where good citizens will try to make them good as new.
(Bellevue, free)

28. Tips and Tricks for Photographing Fireworks
Do you want to take fireworks photos that don’t look like blurry slug trails? John Cornicello will demonstrate some techniques to help you take great snaps, addressing “exposure, composition, vantage point and more.”
(South Lake Union, $10)


29. Black Arts Love Summer Mixer and Marketplace
Celebrate Black arts at this community event with “over 25 artists and businesses, live performances, DJ, paint party for kids, interactive activities, good food and community fun.”
(Central District, free)

30. Greenwood Car Show
Dennis Gage of My Classic Car will visit the Greenwood Car Show. Take in lovely vintage vehicles at this street fair.
(Greenwood, free)

31. Plough to Plate
Learn how people grew and cooked food in the 19th century: Tour an old-school garden, orchard, poultry coop, and kitchen, try churning butter or hauling water, and get silly at a traditional British pancake race, where you flip a pancake while running. You can also watch the judging and awarding of the Golden Skillet and Golden Mold prizes for the period chefs at the Fort Nisqually museum.
(Tacoma, $8-$10)

32. Spirit of Indigenous People
Festàl and the Indian Health Board will mount this rich cultural festival of Native North American craft, art, and life. Sample foods, see performances, and buy artisan articles.
(Seattle Center, free)


33. Seattle Outdoor Cinema
The Seattle Outdoor Cinema (formerly Fremont Outdoor Movies) is celebrating its 25th season with a permanent venue upgrade to the South Lake Union Discovery Center. All screenings are 21+, there will be a beer garden (proceeds from which will benefit various rotating non-profits), and other pre-screening entertainment. Tickets are $5 for a single ticket or $10 for guaranteed seating in the center row. This weekend’s film is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
(South Lake Union, free)

34. Wanderlost Double Feature
The Wanderlost Laboratory Theatre will proudly show you its two new works on film: the short drama “Walk With Me,” in which “a woman search[es] for answers after the death of her sister,” and the music video for Dot Com’s “No Shadow.”
(Sodo, $10/$14)


35. Around The World With KEXP: KEXP Mash-Up Patio Party
Esteemed KEXP members will gather for a music mash-up party led by DJ Kid Hops, DJ Chilly, and Darek Mazzone, along with an “insane” happy hour and patio games.
(Fremont, free)

36. Benoît Pioulard, Bad Luck, somesurprises, Bloom Offering
The Seattle musician’s leaned heavily on his Eno-/Basinski-esque ambient proclivities over the last couple of years, to stunning effect. But people should know that Pioulard (aka Thomas Meluch) also excels in hushed singer/songwriter mode, as his earliest Kranky output and his work with Rafael Anton Irisarri in Orcas prove. Sweet glumness and melodic delicacy rule, with Pioulard’s innate chillness pervading every move. DAVE SEGAL
(Georgetown, $10)

37. Chaospalooza
Seven punk and hard rock bands will generate uproar at Darrell’s this weekend. Dance to Ndy Wylie, Crossroads Exchange, Baby & the Nobodies, Klaw, Upwell, and Hundred Loud.
(Shoreline, $8)

38. Day Break
Is your weekend in any danger of lacking chill? Nectar will supply the “island reggae,” DJ, food truck, and good vibes at this canna-themed day party.
(Fremont, free)

39. Dead Bars, Acid Teeth, Boss’ Daughter, Lead Fed Infants
Seattle booze punks Dead Bars headline a wild night at the Kraken, with opening support from Acid Teeth, Boss’ Daughter, and Lead Fed Infants.
(University District, $7)

40. Disguised As Owls, Fast & Friendly, Value Ape
Renton rockers Disguised As Owls will headline this Southside late show, with opening support from Fast & Friendly and Value Ape.
(Tukwila, $5/$8)

41. Hammerfest 2017
Experience a different kind of country music from garage-ready soul rockers Del Vox, as well as live sets from Joy Mills Band, the Crying Shame, and Julien Martlew, at Slim’s Hammerfest 2017.
(Georgetown, $10)

42. Infinite Flux, Sower, Sabertooth: Liquid Light Show
Infinite Flux and other bands will flail out heavy, sludgy, loud, dirty, distorted music as the Liquid Light Wizard pours psychedelic visuals all over the stage.
(West Seattle, $8)

43. J GRGRY with the Fabulous Downey Brothers and NVR LVRS
Pulling influences from the coastal isolation of being immersed in the PNW for years, musician and performing artist J GRGRY (or Joe Gregory) uses their singer-songwriter title for keeps, by releasing some real dark and heavy pop tracks. KIM SELLING
(Belltown, $10)

44. Lion Pincher, Jay Dlay and The Haze, Fabulous Tip
Heavy-lifting stoner grind duo Lion Pincher will play an early show in Ballard, with opening support from Jay Dlay and the Haze and Fabulous Tip.
(Ballard, $8)

45. Maddy Smith with Native Harrow
Bellingham singer-songwriter Maddy Smith utilizes country, jazz, and soft rock traditions to form her contemporary folk sound. She’ll be joined by Native Harrow.
(Ballard, $6)

46. Male Gaze, Proofs, THMC
San Francisco punks Male Gaze are on tour promoting their latest release King Leer on Castleface Records, and will be joined for this all ages early show by Proofs and THMC.
(Tukwila, $5/$8)

47. Melodramus, Lark vs. Owl, Kali Mah, Under The Bodhi Tree, Brent Driscoll
Melodramus fuse elements of rock, metal, and pop to form their unique sound, which they’ll showcase with frequent show collaborators Lark Vs. Owl, as well as Kali Mah, Under The Bodhi Tree, and Brent Driscoll.
(University District, $7)

48. Oxygen Destroyer, Born Without Blood, Ashen Pyre, Kihalas
Hear Seattle thrash metal from Oxygen Destroyer, with opening sets by Born Without Blood, Ashen Pyre, and Kihalas.
(Eastlake, $6/$8)

49. Planes on Paper, Christopher Paul Stelling, Mikey and Matty
Yakima duo Planes on Paper delve into pop songcraft on their EP, Ruins, from which they’ll be showcasing tracks at this show with Christopher Paul Stelling and Mikey and Matty.
(Ballard, $10)

50. The Regrets, Roaming Herds of Buffalo, Commutes
The Regrets translate earnest ’60s pop sensibilities into accessible garage rock, with local groups Roaming Herds of Buffalo and Commutes.
(Ballard, $10)

51. Skullbot, Greenriver Thrillers, The Grindylow
Local metal heavy-hitters Skullbot wipe the stage, with support from Northwest-inspired thrashers Greenriver Thrillers and The Grindylow.
(West Seattle, $7)

52. Sound & Shadow
Between sets by delicious-sounding local punk bands Double or Muffin, Mud On My Bra, and Klondike Kate, see a shadow puppetry show by Sound & Shadow.
(Sodo, $10/$14)

53. This Blinding Light, King Nine Will Not Return, Kaw, Møtrik
Get psyched with weirdo locals This Blinding Light, auditory puzzlers King Nine Will Not Return, Kaw, and Møtrik.
(Ballard, $8)


54. Andrew Carroll: My Fellow Soldiers
Once again, Andrew Carroll (author of Letters of a Nation: A Collection of Extraordinary American Letters and War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars, and the founding director of Chapman University’s Center for American War Letters) dove into a massive pile of artifacts and documents to create a precise historical picture. His latest work, My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War, focuses on the American experience in World War I.
(Capitol Hill, free)

55. June Write-In: Co-presented by Write Our Democracy
Community poets and authors including afrose fatima ahmed, Catherine Bull, and Anca Szilágyi will gather for this Hugo House/Write Our Democracy event focusing the power of the word to fight against cynicism and for liberty and justice. This new quarterly series promises readings, writing prompts, and help with getting in touch with your representatives.
(First Hill, free)

56. Kelle Grace Gaddis and Tammy Robacker
Soothe your soul with poetry, read aloud by Kelle Grace Gaddis (My Myths) and Tammy Robacker (Villain Songs).
(Wallingford, free)


57. 8th Annual Beer Can Derby & Root Beer Can Derby
Design and race a gravity-propelled vehicle down a 40-foot-long derby track. Root beer derby is all ages, while beer can derby is for the grownups. All donations go directly to the Greenwood Food Bank.
(Greenwood, 5 nonperishable food items)

58. Tai Chi
Start your restful weekend with a Northwest Wushu-led tai chi class.
(Downtown, free)



59. Oddmall: Emporium of the Weird
Come one, come all, ye connoisseurs of Ouija, ye wearers of rhinestone-encrusted bow ties, ye hunters of Pokemon cameo jewelry. Oddmall: Emporium of the Weird’s biggest show yet purveys whimsy, art and extravagance from over a hundred and fifty local vendors. Plus food trucks! Admission is free and for all ages, so bring your peculiar children.
(Everett, free)

60. Urban Craft Uprising
“Seattle’s largest indie craft show” boasts a very large number of vendors—150 or more—selling toys, clothing, jewelry, food, clothes, crafts, etc., etc., etc. It’s a boon for small business owners and their customers alike. Just be prepared for crowds: These markets can easily draw 12,000 indie shoppers.
(Seattle Center, free)


61. Seattle-Tacoma Pet Con
Buy goodies for your favorite animal friend, or—if it is of the cooperative sort—bring your pet for a free nail trim, discounted microchipping, and/or vaccine, or treatment. Don’t yet have a personal beast? Meet adoptable creatures, or simply enjoy the entertainment, like agility demonstrations, (human) speakers, giveaways, info on animal welfare volunteering, and more.
(Puyallup, free)


62. Bellevue Strawberry Festival
Commemorate Bellevue’s days as a strawberry farming town with strawberry shortcake, games, clowns, music, trucks, agricultural displays, historical demos, and a car show.
(Bellevue, free)

63. Midsomer Festival
Visit Chaucer’s England of 1376 (or the Camlann Medieval Village) for this summer festival, featuring summer games, a St. George and the Dragon play, a crowning of the king and queen of summer, games, puppets, magic, archery, sheep petting, minstrels, and more.
(Carnation, $10)

64. Shoreline Arts Festival
Browse an art market with more than 70 vendors, see dance and live music performances, peruse art and photography by adults and youth, and check out the “cultural rooms” offering knowledge, samples, and activities relating to Korean, Filipino, Chinese, pan-African, and Latin cultures. For the first time, the festival will also host a Saturday after-party from 6 to 9 with beer, dinner, and more music.
(Shoreline, free)


65. 2017 Chittenden Locks Summer Concert Series
May through September, enjoy live music performances from symphonic bands, show choirs, jazz trios, and more in the gardens by the Ballard Locks. This weekend, the Eastside Modern Jazz band will play on Saturday afternoon, and the Kirkland Civic Orchestra will play on Sunday afternoon.
(Ballard, free)



66. Body-Positive Figure Drawing with Tatiana Gill
‘Cause real artists aren’t afraid of curves: Join instructor and cartoonist Tatiana Gill and practice drawing models of all figure types in a session built on body positivity and acceptance. (Models will be clothed and kids will be welcome to draw too.)
(Ballard, free)

67. Graveyard
Hooray! Derek Erdman‘s art is returning to Seattle—in fact, the purpose of this show is to “remember” the city. They’re a bit skimpy on the details, but they do tell you to “follow the signs.” Bring a donation for Mary’s Place women’s shelter.
(Capitol Hill, free)


68. Black Eyed Blonde: An Improvised Film Noir
Unexpected Productions has a tagline worthy of the most hard-boiled B-studio trailer: “Murder Isn’t Always Premeditated…Sometimes It’s Improvised!” Your suggestions will shape this pulpy tale of double-crossers, cold-hearted dames, and two-bit crooks.
(Downtown, $8-$10)

69. Fun Time Party Show
See sketch comedy and dance around. Improv artists will also act out scenes inspired by your favorite songs, among other things. Just shout ’em out, people. Featuring Captain, Goofs R Us, and Stock Image.
(Sodo, $10/$14)


70. Dog Day Afternoon & Parade
A parade of pups will invade Fremont this Sunday, vying for the Best in Show Silly Dog Costume award. Take your own favorite pooch for treats, a photobooth, and furry good times. Bonus points (from us, not the organizer) if you reference the 1975 Sidney Lumet film of the same title. (Maybe teach your dog to bark “ATT-IC-A!”?)
(Fremont, free)


71. MidsommarFest
The Skandia Folkdance Society will host a traditional Swedish-style festival with a Midsommar pole-raising and dance, costumes, crafts including flower crown-making, and cultural activities from the Nordics and Baltics.
(Kenmore, free)


72. Tom Hanks Week
Are you a sucker for the boyish looks and chummy gravitas of Tom Hanks? Get your fill of the perennial star with games, screenings, trivia, and the Wheel of Hanks, which you can spin for drink and food deals as well as prizes. Each day from June 25-30 will follow the theme of a particular Hanks movie, so you can refresh your memory before Tom Hanks Trivia on Friday. Start off with Family Friendly Hanks on the 25th: They’ll be showing all the most kid-appropriate features all day.
(West Seattle, June 25-30)


73. The ’90s Mix Tape Sing Along
Who doesn’t love the ’90s? Whether you prefer grunge or bubble-gum, there’s something for you. Sing along with classic music videos by the Backstreet Boys, Beck, the Spice Girls, Alanis Morrissette, and a “certain Seattle rap star who enjoys a nice posterior.”
(Greenwood, free)

74. Ballard Civic Orchestra: Espectacular Concerto
Multi-generational, intercultural orchestra Ballard Civic Orchestra will present a free show of their current concert series as a celebration of Latino and Hispanic musical culture, featuring two guest artists, including violinist Teo Benson, and Latin Grammy nominee and master pianist, composer, arranger, and countertenor José Luis Muñoz.
(Columbia City, free)

75. The Beaconettes Wig Out! A Benefit Concert for Jazz Night School
Vent your madness in these strange times with the Beaconettes a cappella group, who’ll perform such songs as “Boy from Mar-a-Lago” and “Impeachable You.”
(Columbia City, free)

76. The Brevet, Limberloss, Drea Marilyn, Common Miner
Named after a Civil War rank that pertains to going above and beyond the call of duty, the Brevet incorporates that concept of passion into their music. They’ll be joined by Limberloss, Drea Marilyn, and Common Miner.
(Eastlake, $8/$10)

77. Caveman Dave, Edmund Wayne, Joseph Hein
Family-friendly folk musician Caveman Dave has performed everywhere from preschools to dive bars. He’ll be joined in this youthful revelry by Edmund Wayne and Joseph Hein.
(University District, $7)

78. Far Out West, Becca Stevens, Feral Folk
Quirky Portland group Far Out West incorporate funk and instrumental work to form their own sound from both the acoustic and the electric. They’ll be joined by Becca Stevens and Feral Folk.
(Fremont, $7/$10)

79. The Four Seasons
During Century Ballroom’s excellently priced swing lesson and dance, see Sister Kate Dance Company’s performance of The Four Seasons, with routines celebrating autumn, winter, spring, and summer (or, as they’re known in Seattle, autumn, winter, spring, and winter).
(Capitol Hill, $9)

80. POSSI: Lemonade Sundays with Maseo of De La Soul
Social media collective and “culture studio” POSSI will unleash their summer-specific party experience onto Ciudad, with a special appearance and live set by Maseo of De La Soul. Expect a night of quality DJs, wild visuals, and a special Backyard Barbecue mixtape release by Seattle’s own, DJ100Proof.
(Georgetown, free before 4pm/$10 after)

81. UK Pretenders, The Melomaniacs, Monte Clair
Not to be confused with the American Pretenders, the UK Pretenders will join up with Americana noir group the Melomaniacs and Monte Clair for a night of alt rock.
(Pioneer Square, $8)

82. Witch Bottle, Samvega, Alina Ashley Nicole
Witch Bottle draws inspiration from “our magical community”—spirits, folklore, imagination, and fantasy—to weave dark folk-punk.
(Ballard, $8)

83. Women.Weed.Wifi at the Back Bar
Indulge in the wavy sounds of the Women.Weed.Wifi crew at their “Fantastic Voyage” DJ night. No cover, so make sure to tip your bartender and the DJs.
(Belltown, free)


84. Freaksheaux To Geaux
Freaksheaux to Geaux seeks to revive the dark and sexy vaudeville of traveling troupes of yore, “with a Southern Gothic twist and some modern flavor” imbuing the burlesque, belly dance, and acrobatics.
(Fremont, $10/$15)


85. Science Fiction Panel and Signing
Replenish your sci-fi library with books by Kat Richardson (and others), Marti Melville, and Ren Cummins. Richardson will sign the short story collection Indigo, which also anthologizes work by Seanan McGuire, Charlene Harris, Cherie Priest, and many more; Marti Melville will sign and discuss Midnight Omens, the latest book in the Deja Vu Chronicles; and Ren Cummins will autograph Steel and Sky from his Dead Man series.
(North Seattle, free)

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

African-American Music Appreciation Month: 5 essential reads

To commemorate African-American Music Appreciation Month this June, California Senator Kamala Harris released a Spotify playlist with songs spanning genres and generations, from TLC’s “Waterfalls” to Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.”

In a nod to the integral role African-American musicians play in the country’s rich musical legacy, we’ve decided to highlight our own “playlist” of articles, pieces that feature icons like Michael Jackson and Tupac Shakur, along with forgotten – but no less important – voices, from Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield to the Rev. T.T. Rose.

The first black pop star is born

Before Aretha Franklin, before Ella Fitzgerald, there was Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield. A self-taught opera singer born in 1820, Greenfield had to overcome the belief that blacks couldn’t actually sing.

Penn State music instructor Adam Gustafson tells the story of Greenfield’s rise, which made audiences reconcile their racism with their ears:

“Greenfield was met with laughter when she took to the stage. Several critics blamed the uncouth crowd in attendance; others wrote it off as lighthearted amusement. Despite the inauspicious beginning, critics agreed that her range and power were astonishing.”

Segregating sound

By the early 20th century, Americans were clamoring for the albums of black artists. The music industry was eager to oblige, but cordoned them off into a distinct genre: “race music.”

One of the most prominent early race labels was Paramount Records. Between 1917 and 1932, Paramount recorded a breathtaking range of seminal African-American artists. Unfortunately, as Penn State’s Jerry Zoltan explains, black artists like the Rev. T.T. Rose and the Pullman Porters Quartet were ruthlessly exploited – and eventually forgotten.

“Bottom line: if record companies could get away with it, there was no bottom line. No negotiated contract to sign. No publishing. No royalties. Anonymity was also implicit in the deal, so many black artists were forgotten, their only legacy the era’s brittle shellac disks that were able to withstand the wear of time.”

Huddie ‘Lead Belly’ Ledbetter with his accordion. Wikimedia Commons

University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s Clifford Murphy describes how these same industry forces tried to pigeonhole an ex-con named Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter as a black blues artist.

But Lead Belly loved country stars like Gene Autry, and while he sang blues and spirituals, he also created songs influenced by the string band traditions of the white working class. Promoters, however, were interested in only a certain type of song:

“Though he had an immense repertoire, he was urged to record and perform songs like ‘Pick A Bale of Cotton,’ while songs considered ‘white,’ like ‘Silver Haired Daddy of Mine,’ were either downplayed or cast aside… Lead Belly was constrained by a commercial and cultural industry that wanted to present a certain archetype of African-American music.”

Michael Jackson breaks the mold

Only later would black artists be able to move freely across musical genres. Perhaps no artist stitched together a more diverse range of styles and influences than Michael Jackson, the King of Pop.

But Jackson was simultaneously derided as “Wacko Jacko,” a hopelessly deluded freak. McMaster University’s Susan Fast sees it differently. To Fast, the way Jackson lived his life was an extension of the risks he took in his music. Both were united by a central tenet: to collapse boundaries considered irrevocable.

“Michael Jackson – gender ambiguous; adored and reviled; human, werewolf, panther; black, white, brown; child, adolescent, adult – shattered the assumptions of a society that craves neat categories and compartmentalization. Order and normality are illusions, he said through his life and art.”

The triumph and tragedy of Tupac

In the 1980s, hip-hop – then a budding musical genre – found itself gravitating toward black nationalist messages. It was during this time that Tupac Shakur, the son of a Black Panther, came of age.

While R&B, soul and jazz musicians were largely silent about the challenges poor black communities faced, Tupac, in his music, directly confronted the hostile forces that threatened him and his peers: mass incarceration, poverty, illegal drugs and police brutality. But in Tupac’s meteoric rise and swift fall, UConn’s Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar sees the tragedies of an entire generation of black youth:

“Tupac’s life isn’t just an embodiment of the struggles, contradictions, creativity and promise of a generation. It also serves as a cautionary tale. His life’s abrupt end was a consequence of the allure of success, much like the pull of the streets.”

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Why do we get so worked up over the N-word?

ABOVE PHOTO:  Bill Maher, right, appears with professor and author Michael Eric Dyson during a broadcast of “Real Time with Bill Maher,” in Los Angeles. Many African Americans expressed disappointment on June 2 when Maher uttered the N-word on his late-night cable television show. (Janet Van Ham/HBO via AP)

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

TV host Bill Maher intemperately uses the N-word. Then a pack of Black celebrities and academics feverishly debate the propriety of it. And then everyone within and without earshot is off to the races, endlessly chattering about it. I’ve seen this so often that it’s almost ritual. A White celeb, politician — or in the case of Maher, a talk show host — tosses out the word and the public’s blood pressure rises. The debate over it gets especially heated among Blacks. Some defend it. Some rail against it.

I remember a few years back during yet another round of hot debate on the word there was a momentary national campaign by Black activists to ban the use of the word. There was even a website that hawked T- shirts, DVDs and exhorted Blacks, especially young Blacks, to solemnly pledge not to use the word or patronize anyone who puts out products that use the word. Presumably, that was aimed at rappers    and a popular comic strip writer — who turned the N-word into a lucrative growth industry.


The anti-N-word campaigners then and now are both right and wrong in assailing the N-word. There’s no disagreement that the term hurled by White bigots is vile, offensive and hate-filled. And that it has caused much personal pain and suffering. But that’s where agreement ends. Many rappers have made a mighty effort to stand the word on its head, and take the hurt out of it. Their effort has some merit, and is not new. Dick Gregory had the same idea some years ago when he titled his autobiography, “Nigger.” Black writer Robert DeCoy also tried to apply the same racial shock therapy to whites when he titled his novel, “The Nigger Bible”. Richard Pryor, before his epiphany on its use, for a time made the term practically his personal national anthem.

Though words aren’t value neutral and are often used to promote hate, they in themselves don’t trigger racial violence, or psychologically destroy Blacks. The N-word did not stir the century of Jim Crow violence, segregation, disenfranchisement, and poverty that Blacks suffered. That was done to preserve White political and economic power, control, and privilege. But even in those days, when a White person, especially a celebrity, athlete or public official, slipped and used the word or made any overt racist reference, Black outrage was swift and ferocious. The NAACP even pushed Merriam Webster dictionary to purge the word.

The word in and of itself is not a code sign for discrimination, or a trigger to commit racial violence. The outcry, however, pointed to the double standard far too many Blacks apply to whites. In the past, a small band of activists waged war against the use of the word by Blacks.

They have been the exception. Blacks have been more than willing to give other Blacks that use the word a pass. The indulgence sends the subtle signal that the word is hardly the earthshattering, illegitimate word that many Blacks and whites brand it.

Maher didn’t publicly say it, but he probably could have, and that’s that his Black friends routinely use the word. A hip-hop record producer who weighed in on the controversy partially backed him up, and said that the word had lost some of its sting since White hip hoppers use the word and do not mean any offense by it. It was self-serving ploy by a defendant grasping to paint himself as bigotry-free. But the point was a good one.

That’s not the only reason the N-word debate is suspect. Put bluntly, don’t we have more important things to worry about? Trump, and all he represents, failing inner city public schools, the near Depression level unemployment among young Black males, the more than one million Blacks that pack America’s jails, the surging homelessness numbers, which Blacks make up a disproportionate share of, the wholesale assault on public education, affordable health care, the gut of voting rights, civil rights and labor protections, and the continuing cycle of crime and violence, hopelessness, desperation, that wracks some poor Black communities. Yet, there are few impassioned panels, pulsating websites, marches and demonstrations by Blacks demanding action on these crisis problems.

Then again, it’s just much easier and more fun to generate passion and heat over a word, than to generate passion and heat over real crisis problems. Putting Maher and the N-word on trial won’t change that.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is author of “Cosby: The Clash of Race, Sex and Celebrity” (Amazon Kindle). He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network.