Sonia Sanchez Inspires DC Audiences and Weighs in on Gentrification

By Brianna McAdoo, Staff Writer, [email protected]

Busboys and Poets offered up another inspirational evening with none other than the renowned poet Sonia Sanchez. On November 5, Sanchez shared an intimate evening of poetry and dialogue with the D.C. community.

Over the past few months, the 450 K Street N.W. location of Busboys and Poets has welcomed a host of legendary Black women artists and activists who have made significant literary contributions with their commitment to make the world a better place for marginalized people- especially those of color. They recently hosted Angela Davis, Alice Walker, Nikki Giovanni and the late Ntozake Shange. Each of these powerhouses that have graced the stage at 450 K St NW, have made it clear that intersectionality has to be priority in the struggle for Black people in America and throughout the world.

Legendary poet Sonia Sanchez, 84, spoke at Busboys and Poets (450 K Street N.W.) about the importance of voting and the danger in the District’s lack of representation.

Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Sanchez, 84, is a beloved poet who has authored more than a dozen books of poetry. Her bibliography also includes short stories, essays, plays and children’s books. Additionally, she was a pioneering figure within the Black Arts movement and was also involved in the Civil Rights movement. Sanchez received her B.A. in Political Science from Hunter College. She has received numerous awards for her poetry including the Wallace Stevens Award, the Robert Frost Medal and the Robert Creeley Award.

The poet opened the evening by weighing in on the importance of voting, which has been a hot topic of conversation in the wake of the midterm elections that took place in early November.

“One of the interesting things about voting is simply that politics is merely the distribution of resources…the purpose of getting elected is to make sure that they get the resources so that they can buy people and do things,” Sanchez said. “I don’t vote because it’s a romantic thing. Go out and get some power. Get control of something.”

Throughout the evening the poet read her work, took the time to celebrate Black people (especially lifting up Black women), discussed the exploitation of Black bodies, criticized America and its political system and discussed takeaways about the world and her own life. She warned people about the danger of gossiping cautioning people that the demise of both Black people and organizations is a byproduct of gossiping.

Sanchez shared her favorite quotes from celebrated people throughout history, ranging from Vincent Harding to James Baldwin. She read excerpts from her book, A Sound Investment: Short “Stories for Young Readers” as well as shared some of her poetry. She urged the audience to read “Souls of Black Folk” and “Black Reconstruction in America”, both by W.E.B. Dubois

Sanchez also weighed in on D.C. statehood and representation. “Imagine living here with no representation. Come on, people! … It is outrageous,” she said.

She warned against the horrors of gentrification.

“When this city becomes mainly White you’ll get representation. That’s not a racist statement.  That’s real. Because when you are Blackity-Black, when you are called “Chocolate City” there’s no way you would get it. Now with gentrification coming in- I don’t even recognize D.C. anymore.”

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

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From the Vaults digs deep into the CBC archives for unforgettable musical performances

A 14-year-old singer named Eilleen Twain, who now goes by Shania, crooning away on The Tommy Hunter Show.

Leonard Cohen’s first-ever televised performance in 1966 on Take 30 and jazz pianist Oscar Peterson performing his ambitious Canadiana Suite, which hasn’t broadcast in more than 50 years.

These are some of the rare performances uncovered by CBC’s new series From the Vaults.

Hosted by Amanda Parris ofCBC Arts: Exhibitionists and q‘s Tom Power, the half-hour series is a deep dive into the CBC archives. Over the course of six episodes, From the Vaults delves into some of the most iconic musical performances that aired on CBC. The show stretches across decades and musical genres, with footage from the archives going as far back as the 1950s.

Watch the From the Vaults trailer

Hosted by CBC’s Amanda Parris and Tom Power, From the Vaults features candid interviews and performances with some of music’s biggest stars. 1:37

“As Canadians, we are very humble and we don’t necessarily take a lot of pride in our musical story and I think this series can hopefully open some eyes to that story,” said Sam Dunn, co-founder of Banger Films, the production company that produced the series.

Dunn, also an executive producer for the show, assembled a small team of writers and producers. With more than one million hours of footage in the CBC vaults, the big question for the team was: where do we start?

“It was a combination of leaning on people that knew … a lot more than we did and also just going down into the archives and spending hours and hours and hours watching old film reels,” Dunn said.

Not only did the team immerse themselves in footage but they also called up music experts to pick their brains about the musical performances on Canadian television that have been forever immortalized in their memory.

A 14-year-old Shania Twain, then known as Eilleen Twain, performs on CBC’s The Tommy Hunter Show in 1980. (CBC)

One of those performances — and a favourite of producers — was Sammy Davis Jr.’s musical special on CBC’s Parade in 1959.

It’s got some of the most incredible performance footage you’ll ever see of any music genre,” Dunn said.

But what makes this performance significant, he said, is it was recorded at a time when a black entertainer hosting his own hour of television was unheard of.

“At that time there was sort of an informal racist policy in the U.S. around how many black artists could appear on American television. A lot of major corporations controlled advertisement and controlled basically what people were going to be watching.”  

In this video, Paul Anka applauds Sammy Davis Jr.’s 1959 performance on CBC 

Sammy Davis Jr. hosted his own musical hour in Canada on CBC because of the lack of opportunities for African-Americans on U.S. television networks. 1:35

Despite Davis’s celebrity status and the fact he performed alongside Frank Sinatra, advertisers in the U.S. wouldn’t co-sign an African-American hosting his own show. The civil rights movement was afoot but there was still a long way to go.

Dunn credits two CBC producers who opened doors by sending an invitation to Davis to perform on CBC. Backed by a 30-piece orchestra, Davis’s appearance on Parade was the first time the legendary performer would host his very own musical special.

“Those are the kinds of stories we wanted to tell,” Dunn said. “Where it wasn’t just, here’s an amazing performance, but let’s tell a story that says something about the time, that says something about Canada and that says something about the artist.”

Dunn says they chose artists who had a lot to say about the world they were living in.

“Music was a vehicle for them to get a message out there.”

Watch pioneering drag performer Craig Russell singing on CBC   

Craig Russell, a pioneering drag performer, sings on CBC’s late night talk show Canada After Dark in 1978. 0:59

Craig Russell was a Toronto performer who helped bring the underground world of drag into the mainstream during the 1970s. His performances impersonating the likes of Judy Garland and Ella Fitzgerald captivated audiences while bringing drag to a wider audience and thus giving visibility to the LGBT community in Canada.

There’s also grainy black and white footage of a young Bob Dylan singing The Times They Are a-Changin‘ on CBC’s Quest in 1964, one year after he walked off The Ed Sullivan Show after a CBS executive refused to let him perform a song deemed too controversial.

In another episode, Alberta native k.d. lang looks back at footage of her first performance on CBC. The singer guides the audience through the early part of her career as a ‘punk-country’ singer and how she eventually went against the grain to carve out her own voice. (CBC)

There are plenty of cameos, too, including artists such as Sarah McLachlan and Paul Anka speaking about their own careers and reacting to videos from the vaults. The team at Banger Films screened 600 hours of footage over five months and managed to narrow down their choices to under four hours for the series. And that is only a snippet of what is available in the CBC archives.

The CBC Archives

The archive libraries at CBC/Radio Canada in Toronto and Montreal hold hundreds of thousands of hours of legacy video and audio, all of which will be transferred to digital formats as part of an ongoing digitization project.

“I know everybody who works on the team with me is super excited. This is like the crowning glory of their careers to be able to digitize the entire CBC in a very short time,” said Russ McMillen, who is a co-ordinator for the project.

McMillen has worked in the archives department at CBC for the past 20 years and has seen first hand the evolution from film recordings to digital files. In the Toronto headquarters, the archive stretches across 10,000 square feet in the basement. One storage vault is equipped with air purifiers and set at 7 C to help preserve the oldest film reels.

“The colder and drier it is, the longer the film lasts,” he said.

It’s a delicate process preserving reels of Canadian history, but in these precise storage conditions it will be hundreds of years before they will be unusable. “Film never stops deteriorating, but we’ve slowed it down so we have enough time left to transfer them.” 

Here’s a look at the CBC archives in Toronto: 

Arts reporter Tashauna Reid gets a tour inside the CBC archives library at the Toronto Broadcast Centre. 3:08

McMillen has favourites in the archives, too. 

“We have every single episode of The Beachcombers. And I’ve had to check to make sure,” he said with a chuckle. Nightcap and episodes of Wayne and Shuster are a close second. 

And it’s impossible for any one person to see everything in the archives. “I think we worked it out to something like 135 years if you just sat down and watched 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” 

But audiences can see some of it on From the Vaults. The series premieres on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 9 p.m. ET on CBC, the CBC TV streaming app and cbc.ca/watch.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

‘Becoming’ Michelle Obama

“I’ve never been a fan of politics,” writes Michelle Obama in her memoir, Becoming.  “And my experience over the last 10 years has done little to change that.”

That may sound like an unusual statement from the former First Lady of the United States, whose husband spent 2,923 days in the White House fulfilling his two terms as president. Yet the lawyer from a working class background, raised in a predominantly Black neighborhood on Chicago’s south side, set aside her dislike for politics as she took on her role in the public eye.

Spearheading initiatives that supported veterans and combated childhood obesity, Michelle Obama used her position to draw awareness to the problems many Americans face: poverty, homelessness, lack of access to nutritious food, civil and LGBTQ rights. She likewise used her role to promote American designers — wearing gowns designed by Prabal Gurung, for example — and African-American artists like Amy Sherald, the first Black artist to make an official presidential portrait.

Read more: Barack and Michelle Obama portraits unveiled in Washington

Barack Obama places his hand on a Bible at his inauguration while Michelle looks on (picture-alliance/Zumapress/M. Gail)

The Obamas at the 2013 inauguration

Although she has been compared to Jackie Kennedy, she has carved out a role for herself unlike that of any First Lady before her. Her wisdom, grace and inspirational manner of speaking have worked together to endear her to Americans, many of whom are grieving the loss of Michelle Obama as the public face of the country two years after her husband left office, as this recent tweet by film director Ava DuVernay shows:

Fodder for the hungry

Just what insight and inspiration Obama has to offer can be found in her memoir, Becoming, released November 13, 2018 in 30 languages simultaneously. A best-seller even before the its official release date, Becoming has been highly anticipated — even more so because its contents have been closely guarded.

“Now that Michelle Obama is free, I look forward to her going high — and kicking back,” novelist Kiese Laymon wrote in Vanity Fair‘s December 2018 issue, citing Obama’s own words back to her (“When they go low, we go high,” she said at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in support of Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy).

Leaving seemingly no topic untouched, Laymon writes, “I want to know what she thinks about income inequality, sexual violence, white supremacy, and American exceptionalism in the face of an opposition whose appetite for going lower has no bounds. I know we will be there accepting whatever she is offering, because we are hungry.”

Malia and Sasha Obama (picture-alliance/dpa/O. Douliery)

Obama writes that she has feared for the safety of her two daughters, Malia and Sasha

Becoming Michelle Obama

Those like Laymon who are looking for inspirational fodder will not be disappointed by the memoir. Divided into three parts — “Becoming Me,” “Becoming Us” and “Becoming More,” — the book is a look at the past, the present and the future. It addresses Obama’s working class childhood as it details how certain events, including a confrontation with a childhood bully, have helped to shape her personality and informed her values.

Likewise, she looks back at her husband’s decision to run for president and their time spent both on the campaign trail and in public office. In the book, she reveals her fears for her children and their privacy and expresses dismay at the response of several Republicans in Congress to her husband’s election. “They would fight everything Barack did, I realized, whether it was good for the country or not,” she writes.  “It seemed they just wanted Barack to fail.”

Michelle Obama Becoming book cover

Obama is packing stadiums around the US on her book tour, which opens in Chicago Tuesday

Inspired by the personal

Although much will be made of Michelle Obama’s opinions about the current US president — one controversial revelation released before the book’s debut was that she wrote about her difficulty smiling during the 2017 inauguration due to President Trump’s “misogyny” — ultimately, the book serves as a dynamic mixture of memoir and inspirational self-help.

Read more: Dream team Barack and Michelle Obama seal landmark book deal

It is filled with personal reflections that have surprised advanced readers of the book — including the revelation that her daughters were conceived using in vitro fertilization. Yet in it, Obama also offers up a credo intended to inspire those who might be feeling disappointed and eager for a better world.

As she told one interviewer ahead of her forthcoming book tour, which kicks off on stage with Oprah Winfrey in her hometown of Chicago, “Fear is not a proper motivator. Hope wins out.”

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

City reverses course on Legler painting

Kerry James Marshall’s ‘Knowledge and Wonder’ will not be auctioned off after all

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018 2:19 PM

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Almost a month after the City of Chicago and the Chicago Public Library announced that it would sell a painting by acclaimed African-American artist Kerry James Marshall to convert Legler branch library into a West Side regional library, the city has reversed course.

The painting, which was taken out of the library shortly after the announcement, will be returned to the building. And CPL will make more modest improvements, extending service hours and adding computers. However, it is not clear exactly how much funding that would require and where the money will come from.

In 1995, the city commissioned Marshall to paint “Knowledge and Wonder” as part of Legler library renovations. On Oct. 1, the city and CPL announced that it would sell the paintings to help fund the series of upgrades, with the goal of turning Legler into a West Side regional library. Legler was a regional library until the 1970s, when it got downgraded. 

A press release issued at the time indicated a renovated children’s area, expanded YOUmedia space for teens, a much larger computer lab and adult workforce training on the second floor, and a Maker Space and a studio space with an artist in residence program.

Patrick Molloy, the library system’s director of government and public affairs, said at the time that Legler currently has more underutilized space than the two existing regional libraries, which gives the library system more opportunities to make improvements and add amenities. 

But even then, there were many unresolved questions hanging over the proposed upgrade. Molloy indicated that the list of improvements wasn’t necessarily set in stone. The specifics would depend on how much the painting sold for. He also acknowledged that the library system wouldn’t cover the day-to-day costs of extending the library’s service hours and keeping the new programs running. 

The initial announcement led to backlash from residents, members of the city’s art community and Marshall himself, who decried selling the art meant for the community to finance the improvements.

While the city originally stood by the plan, on Nov. 4, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the city would pull the painting from the auction and bring it back to Legler “as soon as possible.” He told the Chicago Tribune that he simply had second thoughts. 

As of Nov. 9, the painting wasn’t back at Legler and a librarian at the branch said that she had no idea when it might be returned. 

In a Tribune interview published Nov. 7, Marshall said he was happy with the decision.

“On some level you have to understand that not everything that can be sold should be sold,” he was quoted as saying. “The fact that the work was owned by the city didn’t mean the city had a right to sell it, even for the reasons they claimed they were going to sell it for. The value of an artwork isn’t just what money you can get for it. Sometimes things have a little more intrinsic value than that.”

Artist Theaster Gates, who grew up on the West Side and currently lives on the South Side, said that he was glad the city changed its mind.

“Public art should never be sold,” he said.

Gates also said that he appreciated that Marshall was at a place where he could share his true feelings on the matter, without worrying about career repercussions. 

Molloy did not respond to seeking comment on the recent turn of events. Emanuel told the Tribune that there would be a “less ambitious” upgrade to Legler, with extended service hours and 50 new computers (up from the current 12), which the mayor said would be funded through $1.8 million in cost savings from other areas of the budget.  

CONTACT: igorst3@hotmail.com    

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Adia Victoria to Bring ‘A Delta Blue Christmas’ to Third Man

AV Panel

Ace singer, songwriter, bandleader and poet Adia Victoria has constantly used her work to explore the powerful legacy of black art, with songs and poems heavily informed by blues, hip-hop and other traditions and reckoning with the history of hate and violence against people of color. On Thursday, Dec. 6, she’ll share a deeper look inside that work with a two-part event called A Delta Blue Christmas at Third Man Records’ Nashville headquarters.

At 2:30 p.m., she’ll participate in a panel discussion focused on blues music and other forms of art as practiced and refined by black artists — specifically looking at the way that art functions as protest and the roles it plays in activism. Victoria’s fellow panelists are multi-disciplinary artist Joshua Asante, NPR music critic and author Ann Powers, folklorist and ethnomusicologist Langston Wilkins, and poet Caroline Randall Williams. Jamey Hatley, co-founder of The Center for Southern Literary Arts (as well as a 2016 Prose Fellow for the National Endowment for the Arts), will moderate. Tickets are $10, and available right here.

Later that evening, starting at 7:30 p.m., Victoria will perform both solo and with her band. The solo acoustic set will feature blues classics (last year, she recorded a few for release on an EP called Baby Blues), and the band set will focus on her forthcoming second LP Silences. (Check out the first track from that, “Dope Queen Blues.”) Victoria and Williams will also read poetry, alongside fellow outstanding poet Ciona Rouse. Tickets for that portion of the day’s events are $20 and available right here

The day promises to be an engaging feast for mind and body. But if you need a little something more to convince you, a portion of the proceeds will benefit Jessi Zazu Inc., the nonprofit organization set up to carry on the work of the late artist and musician by fostering youth arts education, access to health care for women and peaceful social justice initiatives.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

A 3-year-old shape-shifting startup founded by a Vice alum is betting on viral Asian hip-hop stars to be the future of the entertainment industry

88 rising_4x3
88Rising CEO Sean Miyashiro, center, is betting on viral Asian hip-hop stars such as Nikki, left, and Rich Brian, right.
Shayanne Gal/Business Insider; 88Rising; Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

If you want to understand where the entertainment industry is going in the age of Instagram, SnapChat, and Soundcloud, look no further than 88Rising, the shape-shifting startup that not even 37-year-old founder Sean Miyashiro can find a tidy way to explain.

From the outside, it looks like a record label mixed with a creative agency, a web-video production house, and an artist-management company. But if you ask Miyashiro to explain what exactly 88Rising is, as I did recently, he tends to chuckle.

“Damn. It’s funny because I always answer this different,” Miyashiro told me. It’s as if he knows his company is a Rorschach test for the media, his investors, and its fans.

“We’re really focused on creating superstars and creating heroes and creating something that people can really believe in and be excited about. A global media company that focuses on celebrating Asian talent and Asian stories and Asian culture.”

Miyashiro with hip-hop artist Don Krez in the green room at the 88 Degrees & Rising Tour show in New York City.
Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

88Rising — “88” in Chinese means “double happiness” — launched three years ago. It has already fostered several stars. While its biggest names don’t yet rival name-brand artists like Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber, they have dedicated followings and a certain cachet with connected Gen Zers.

The biggest of the bunch include Brian Imanuel, a 19-year-old rapper and beatmaker who goes by the name Rich Brian; George Miller, a Japanese-born R&B singer who got his start as a YouTube star making outrageous comedy videos before turning to music full time under the moniker Joji; and the Higher Brothers, a quartet of rappers from Chengdu, China, who make high-energy, bouncy tunes about modern Chinese life, like the group’s 2017 single “WeChat,” about the titular Chinese messaging app.

When Miyashiro has been asked to explain it, he’s likened his company to a future Vice and Disney. It’d be easy to write off Miyashiro as having delusions of grandeur, but 88Rising and its fans are the kind of thing you need to see in action to really understand.

88Rising and its founder, Sean Miyashiro, have their fingers on the pulse

Miyashiro backstage with members of the Higher Brothers, a Chinese hip-hop group.
Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

On a warm September night, Miyashiro invited me to attend the New York date of the company’s 88 Degrees & Rising Tour.

The 21-date road show comes on the heels of 88Rising’s inaugural Head In The Clouds music festival in Los Angeles, which brought together the company’s complete artist lineup, featuring artists from Indonesia, Korea, China, and LA, for the first time.

Held at Pier 17, a swanky rooftop at the southern tip of Manhattan, the concert started slow as the streetwear-clad attendees filed in and 88Rising’s newest artists ran through abbreviated set lists.

Those early sets, like much of 88Rising’s oeuvre, have a DIY quality. Like the first generation of YouTube stars, the artists feel talented, but unstudied and rough around the edges. The artists alternate between bleeding their hearts with unvarnished honesty and making the next irony-laden meme-inspired joke. In a way, each artist’s persona seems designed, intentionally or not, to make teenagers feel like they could be one of them.

In recent dates on the 88 Degrees and Rising Tour, Joji has taken to juggling between songs.

Singer August 08 performs at the 88 Degrees & Rising Tour show in New York.
Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

During his set, August 08 — an LA-based African-American singer who traffics in melodic and atmospheric R&B — stops the music to egg on the crowd. “Everybody yell ‘F–k!'” he shouted mischievously. “F–k, f–k, f–k, f–k!”

At one point, he stops mid-song and directs the crowd to look at the sunset. “Everybody look at that skyline. It’s beautiful, man.”

At first I can’t tell if he’s trolling the crowd, but then everyone turns toward the Hudson River. The sunset is gorgeous, with pink, purple, and orange cotton-candy clouds.

Downstairs, in the green room, August introduced himself shyly before complaining that he wasn’t sure the crowd was feeling the set. He, like the rest of the 88Rising crew, is earnest in person. A few minutes later, Rich Brian, Joji, and others in 88Rising’s orbit debated the merits of Brockhampton, another of-the-moment hip-hop collective.

Artists Joji, right, and Rich Brian hang with members of the 88Rising team.
Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

Meanwhile, Miyashiro was in another room finishing up an interview with Vice. The budding mogul is nothing if not savvy. In the last year, he’s scored glowing features in Bloomberg, The New Yorker, and CNN.

After the interview wraps up, he starts talking shop with me. Wearing a rolled cuff skullcap pulled back over messy hair, a wispy beard, and a flamboyantly patterned button-down, Miyashiro has a mind that never seems to stray too far from work. Within minutes, he’s asking me if I shoot video, telling me Business Insider’s feature on 88Rising would work really well as a video, and offering pointers to Vice’s videographers on where they might get the best shots for the segment they’re producing. The funny part is, he’s totally right.

Miyashiro is prone, like his artists, to switch rapidly between impish trolling and wide-eyed earnestness. In the elevator up to the rooftop concert, I ask him about Thump, the now defunct electronic music site he cocreated at Vice, he looks at me deadpan and says, “What’s Thump?” He holds it for a moment before he starts cracking up: “I’m just f—-ing with you, man.”

Fans at the 88 Degrees & Rising Tour show in New York.
Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider
The 88 Degrees & Rising Tour show in New York.
Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

It’s clear Miyashiro understands the digital-media game better than most — its need for headlines, hooks, and, above all, content — and he knows it.

To Miyashiro’s mind, 88Rising has four parts to its business: a digital-media and video-production business, a music label, a burgeoning arm looking into film and TV opportunities, and a “cultural agency business” working with like-minded brands.

When describing his strategy for helping Chinese megastar Kris Wu break into American hip-hop, Miyashiro told The New Yorker he discouraged Wu from appearing on “Good Morning America.” The morning show’s 4 million viewers aren’t who Wu needs. Miyashiro told Wu he needs the audiences who read hip-hop magazines like XXL and Complex and listens to Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1.

Later, when I ask him where the idea for 88Rising started, he again turns to deadpan: “The idea started in my brain. Like, I was just chilling and I was, like, ‘I wanna do that.'” But then he pauses, as if recognizing that he needs to be earnest again.

“The whole genesis of 88Rising came from me and my friends hanging out,” Miyashiro said. “I was fortunate enough to hang out with a lot of different creators and people doing cool things that happened to be Asian. They were all leaders in their respective fields, whether it was graphic design or acting or music.

“And I just thought that … if we all tried to combine [our skills] and do something with a real, concerted effort, it was gonna be something that’s better than nothing because nothing existed.”

Early on, Miyashiro figured out how to turn viral hits into a career

The 88Rising offices in Manhattan, New York.
Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

Miyashiro possesses a native’s understanding of media, virality, and, in a word, cool. His initial incarnation of the company was a DIY management firm called CXSHXNLY that he started in 2015 from the roof of a Bronx parking garage.

He would trawl the internet looking for up-and-coming rappers from Asia. Miyashiro’s first client was Jonathan Park, a Korean-American rapper who goes by the name Dumbfoundead.

His first big success came when Park showed him the video for the 2015 hit “IT G MA,” by Lee Dongheon, a South Korean rapper who goes by the name Keith Ape. Miyashiro and Park persuaded Ape to come to the US for the South by Southwest talent showcase in Austin, Texas. Miyashiro then persuaded Lee to become a client.

Shortly after, Miyashiro contacted Taiwanese-American music producer Josh Pan to create a remix of “IT G MA” with Waka Flocka, A$AP Ferg, Father, and Dumfoundead. The remix reportedly cost him less than $10,000 to pull off. It and the SXSW performance launched Ape’s US stardom.

Miyashiro’s stewardship of Ape’s career speaks to how 88Rising, even in its prototype stage, has positioned itself as different from the rest of the music industry and — if Miyashiro’s ambitions are realized — Hollywood too. Miyashiro didn’t simply release a new song for Ape; he strategically directed Ape’s entire entrance into the culture, from his media appearances and his early shows to his artistic direction. It was a creative, hands-on approach to get his artist the right looks from the right people.

“Our label exists because no major label or distributor or American music company’s gonna know what to do with something like this,” Miyashiro said. “We’re the only ones who are gonna know and it’s not easy.”

Japanese hip-hop artist KOHH performs at Fans at the 88 Degrees & Rising Tour show.
Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

Japanese hip-hop artist KOHH performs at Fans at the 88 Degrees & Rising Tour.
Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

Miyashiro pulled a similar feat with Rich Brian.

In 2016, Rich Brian was 16 and going by the problematic moniker Rich Chigga, a portmanteau of Chinese and the N-word. He independently released the rap song “Dat $tick.” The accompanying video features the young Indonesian rapping hip-hop tropes like gunplay and fancy cars in his shockingly deep baritone as he struts in a pink polo shirt and fanny pack. The video went viral — it currently has 105 million views — likely because of the transgressive incongruity between Brian’s appearance, his voice, and his lyrics, and the spectacle of seeing hip-hop distorted in his irreverent and foreign lens. But it also courted controversy for Brian’s use of the N-word, his rap name, and, in some eyes, his cultural appropriation.

Miyashiro’s response was to bring together a number of up-and-coming and established hip-hop artists to film a series of videos at South by Southwest. The most successful of the bunch featured the artists reacting to “Dat $tick” and Rich Brian as they watched the video live. Among others, Cam’ron, 21Savage, the Flatbush Zombies, and Ghostface Killah feature in the video, which has more than 18 million views. For the most part, the artists respond positively, if incredulously, to Brian’s style and flow.

Later that year, Ghostface Killah recorded a remix of the track. It has more than 13 million views in its own right.

The video was a savvy move. By putting the question of “Dat $tick” directly to hip-hop’s artists, Miyashiro recontextualized the conversation around Brian’s cultural appropriation and get him rubber-stamped as an artist who could be taken seriously.

Brian dropped the Rich Chigga moniker in favor of Rich Brian at the beginning of this year, shortly before releasing his debut album “Amen.” The album, for the most part, eschews the gangster-rap and trap cosplay for songs both autobiographical and introspective about what it’s like to live Brian’s strange life. He began as an outcast and an introvert using Twitter and Vine as an outlet for his sometimes offensive humor before producing his own music and hip-hop.

Miyashiro maintained that Brian came to the decision to pursue more personal music on his own, adding that 88Rising’s artists are self-directed when it comes to their art. But it seems likely that Miyashiro — and by extension Brian — were influenced by the internet conversations around cultural appropriation. Other 88Rising artists have drawn similar criticism.

“He hasn’t done anything remotely similar since. He’s grown as a person and as an artist, and now has a much more global point of view,” Miyashiro said of “Dat $tick” and Rich Brian. “None of our artists are talking about anything that they don’t do.”

88Rising’s big sell is that it can bring new brands to its audience and new audiences to its brand

The 88 Degrees & Rising Tour show in New York.
Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

What makes 88Rising unique, aside from its focus on Asian stars and entertainment, is its business model.

While Miyashiro started his career with a number of music-related jobs, he made his first real mark at Vice. In 2013, electronic dance music was blowing up and he, along with several friends who managed EDM acts, persuaded Vice to let them set up a new media platform dedicated to the genre. By covering dance music and nightlife from an insider’s perspective, Thump quickly gained the respect of both established and up-and-coming artists and a dedicated following among the larger underground dance-music culture.

Miyashiro helped build Thump from the ground up. He said the experience helped shape his blueprint for how to launch a media property. Tom Punch, Vice’s chief commercial and creative director, told Bloomberg that Miyashiro had a talent for pulling in advertisers, like Anheuser-Busch InBev, that wanted to capitalize on the EDM boom.

It’s easy to see the parallels between 88Rising and Vice. Miyashiro doesn’t shy away from them.

“There are a lot of differences from our business to theirs, but the one core aspect that might be similar is that Vice has an incredibly strong brand,” Miyashiro said. “They’ve been able to take that brand and what it stands … and they’ve been able to expand their brand into all these different opportunities.”

As of right now, the music label is the most fully fledged and well known, thanks to Rich Brian, Joji, and the rest of 88Rising’s roster. But it’s hard not to think that it’s Miyashiro’s keen eye for working with big brands that persuaded global advertising firm WPP to invest a reported $4.5 million of a total $7 million that the company has raised so far.

In January, the company worked with the ad agency Ogilvy to come up with the concept for a Sprite commercial in China featuring MaSiWei, one of the members of Higher Brothers. The ad, which began airing just before the Lunar New Year, China’s biggest holiday, features MaSiWei visiting his family for the holidays. The family asks him the usual prying questions about his girlfriend and his salary, which MaSiWei deflects with an ice-cold Sprite and rhymes from his single “Refresh,” the video for which also doubles as a Sprite commercial.

“We were actually pitching against all of these legacy agencies in the market that have been there forever and we won,” Miyashiro said. “We’ve never even made a television commercial before.”

The ad and the song are the kind of intermingling of editorial and advertising that brands crave and Vice has often been criticized for. But whereas Vice must adhere to the standards of a news organization, 88Rising has no such obligations. It’s an entertainment company committed to raising the profile of its artists and its own brand. The symbiotic leveraging of brands — using big-name ones to introduce 88Rising and its artists to more people and the use of 88Rising’s brand to confer street cred on those brands — is the point.

It’s more or less what Miyashiro has already done in music, partnering with the hip-hop press-approved artists that have been featured on 88Rising’s songs. Playboi Carti, Ghostface Killah, Famous Dex, and Wacka Flocka Flame — all of whom have been featured in 88Rising songs or remixes — give 88Rising’s artists credibility while 88Rising introduces those artists to its fan base.

Though the ad was successful, Miyashiro maintains that, nine months later, 88Rising is onto the next evolution of its business model. Whereas the Sprite commercial came out of a standard ad-industry process — brand produces brief, creative teams pitch ideas, brand selects winner — Miyashiro is after what he calls “true partnerships.” Miyashiro doesn’t want 88Rising to be subject to selling ad impressions against its audience or erecting content paywalls, like most digital-media companies, or responding to briefs like an advertising firm.

Members of the Higher Brothers, a Chinese hip-hop group perform at the 88 Degrees & Rising Tour show in New York.
Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider
Members of the Higher Brothers, a Chinese hip hop group perform at the 88 Degrees & Rising Tour show in New York City.
Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider
Members of the Higher Brothers, a Chinese hip-hop group perform at the 88 Degrees & Rising Tour show in New York.
Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

Instead, he wants 88Rising to create projects that, by virtue of their premium nature, brands simply want to help fund and be associated with.

“When we get into any type of brand conversation or any type of partnership conversation, we already have the ideas for things that we, as 88Rising, want to make,” Miyashiro said. “We’re not looking to ask [brands] what they want and then make it for them.”

The first fruit of this approach is 88Rising’s upcoming collaboration with the clothing brand Guess, set to drop on November 8. The 14-piece collection features clothing pieces costing up to $148 and all designed in colorful, psychedelic tie-dye, a nod to the company’s recent compilation album, “Head in the Clouds.”

Guess has a long history in hip-hop. Last year it worked with rapper and fashion icon A$AP Rocky on a clothing line. But, Miyashiro said, this is the first time Guess has collaborated with an Asian company.

Miyashiro maintains that the collaboration came out of creatives at 88Rising and those at Guess wanting to work together, not Guess asking them how to enter the Asian market.

“It’s more like we’re going to come together and our brand is going to be amplified through this and their brand is going to be amplified through this,” Miyashiro said. “When this comes out, this is another thing that elevates us.”

At the concert in New York, the 88Rising employees I met were already dressed in Guess x 88Rising T-shirts. The S’s are turned into 88s with an the company’s signature arrow. It’s likely only a matter of time before 88Rising’s artists are decked out in the swag too.

88Rising is already looking to get to the next level

88Rising’s offices in Manhattan.
Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

This year 88Rising nearly doubled in size, from 24 to 45 employees, and has opened new offices in Los Angeles and Shanghai. But as I visited its headquarters in Chelsea, it feels like 88Rising is notable for what it could be rather than what it is. And right now that’s a scrappy young company and CEO making it up as they go.

The way Miyashiro talks, I’d be forgiven for imagining the company’s headquarters akin to Vice’s now famous swanky Williamsburg hipster warehouse. In reality, it’s a workmanlike room with exposed brick walls on the fourth floor of a doormanless building that holds maybe a dozen or so people crowded around laptops and iMacs where video editors cut the brand’s latest YouTube videos.

Miyashiro’s office is in the back. Decorated with a glass table, a velvet sofa, and large neon sign featuring an 88 and the Chinese character for “rising,” it appears to double as a conference room. Framed album covers of 88Rising’s artists hang on the walls.

As we wait to start the interview, Miyashiro seems a bit self-conscious about the office’s startup-standard wood tables and chairs and starts quizzing one of his employees about when she could upgrade the furniture to something more “dope.”

88Rising’s offices in Manhattan.
Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

Miyashiro’s eyes always seem set on the next evolution of his vision.

“You might look at us right now and say, ‘Hey, 88Rising is the leading Asian label. They have a great collective,’ Miyashiro said. “But in a year or two from now, we’d like to have films that have been made and brought to the world … Three years from now, we might have our own TV channel.”

Getting to that point will largely rely on 88Rising’s artists continuing to execute and Miyashiro and his team continuing to find ways to get its audience hooked on new artists. In a lot of ways, the team had it easy with 88Rising’s first generation of artists. Before Miyashiro began working with them, Keith Ape had already come out with his career-making single “IT G MA”; Rich Brian had already gone viral with “Dat $tick”; and Joji was already a bona fide star on YouTube, albeit for his comedic antics. He invented the “Harlem Shake” meme when three costumed friends danced along to the Baauer hit.

With artists like Indonesian singer Nikki and August 08, the company’s first African-American artist, Miyashiro is more or less starting from scratch. And that’s before you get into the difficulty of getting an Asian-led film or TV show made in Hollywood, with or without the box-office success of “Crazy Rich Asians.” But none of that scares Miyashiro.

“We like doing things that nobody else has done before,” Miyashiro said. “We want to be a part of that conversation.”

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Black Arts Fest Concert Series Presents: Dobet Gnahoré

Black Arts Fest Concert Series presents an evening with Grammy Award winner and Radio 3 World Music Award nominee Dobet Gnahoré. A singer, dancer and percussionist, her sound includes ziglibiti, Congolese rumba and Western African Mandinka melodies carried along with jazz-like sounds. Dobet’s powerful voice, intensely captivating stage presence and high energy dance routines all promise the audience an inspired, energetic and beautiful performance. Special guests: NAfro Band, Rhonda ‘Fenom’ Thompson, Adeline Bird and Guerrillas of Soul Pre-show Meet & Greet with Dobet & Band tickets available.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

The 70 Best Things To Do in Seattle This Week: Nov 12-18, 2018

Don’t miss Seattle burlesque duo Kitten N’ Lou’s Spanksgiving feast of drag and burlesque in Cream this weekend. Jules Doyle

Our music critics have already chosen the 35 best music shows this week, but now it’s our arts critics’ turn to pick the best events in their areas of expertise. Here are their picks in every genre—from Seattle’s 26th Annual Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Festival to the Seattle7Writers’ Holiday Bookfest, and from the opening of Edgar Arceneaux: Library of Black Lies to Schoolhouse Rock Live. See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.

Stay in the know! Get all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app (available for iOS and Android), or delivered to your inbox.


Jump to: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday


MONDAY

FILM

SAM Films: Indian Film Masterpiece: The World Of Apu
In honor of the Peacock in the Desert exhibition, the Seattle Art Museum will screen the final film of the late-’50s trilogy Apu Trilogy by Indian writer-director Satyajit Ray. The series traces a boy named Apu’s spiritual path from his village origins to his urban university years, all the way through marriage and fatherhood.

READINGS & TALKS

At the Inkwell: Odd Numbers
A terrific lineup of readers awaits you at this month’s At the Inkwell, including poet and translator Don Mee Choi, reading from her translation of Kim Hyesoon’s Autobiography of Death, plus work by D.A. Navoti, Loree Spriggs, and Juan Carlos Reyes.

Eileen Myles: Evolution
Eileen Myles is a living legend in the world of poetry and one of the foremost dog biographers of their generation. They’re reading from their first new book of poems in seven years—Evolution (Grove/Atlantic). Lambda Literary says Myles “circles back to classic themes such as their love of dogs, loneliness, and parental loss” in this book, which suggests a return, perhaps, to their chattier and less abstract modes. Ashley Tomaszewski at the Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor called it “chicken soup for the queer soul.” You’re going. RICH SMITH

MONDAY-THURSDAY

FILM

Cinema Italian Style
The Cinema Italian Style is a weeklong SIFF mini-festival featuring the best in contemporary Italian cinema. This year, check out Dogman, Italy’s submission to the 2019 Oscars, about a docile dog groomer who embarks on the path of vengeance against a local bully, and The Story of a Love Affair, Michelangelo Antonioni’s classic melodrama about two lovers on the path to murder.

MONDAY-SATURDAY

FILM

Seattle Turkish Film Festival
The Turkish American Cultural Association of Washington will present the sixth annual edition of their community-driven, volunteer-led festival featuring a rich panorama of new Turkish films.

PERFORMANCE

Schoolhouse Rock Live
My guess is there are more people who get the fond nostalgic feels about Schoolhouse Rock than there are people who hate it or don’t even know about it at all. Granted, the animated, educational series of musical shorts touching on history, grammar, math, science and politics might have had its original run from 1973 to 1985, but it was revived for a while in the ’90s, and grade school teachers are likely still showing it to their students. A quick poll of millennial staffers finds that “I’m Just a Bill” (1976) and “Conjunction Junction” (1973) are the top two faves, which just goes to show you this shit is timeless. ReAct Theatre will present both of the aforementioned jams, along with various others (like “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly” and “Interplant Janet”) during their 90-minute stage production. LEILANI POLK
No performance on Wednesday

MONDAY & THURSDAY-SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

A Bright Room Called Day
Because we’re all such rugged American individuals, it’s easy to dismiss the rising tide of fascism in this country and across the globe as a troublesome but ultimately passing fad doomed to be washed away by the incoming blue wave. A group of Berlin artists had a similar thought, too—in 1932. In Tony Kushner’s 1985 classic, A Bright Room Called Day, those artists wrestle with all the same questions we’re all wrestling with now—Do we stay or do we go? Do we stage a revolution? Or do we try to fight it from the inside? Like all of Kushner’s plays, it’s an intelligent and gripping story that will make you feel like you live in a vibrant, thriving city that matters. And if the play spurs you to get off your ass and actually do something for that city—or for the country at large—the show’s producer, The Williams Project, says they’ll put you in touch with local activists in order to facilitate civic action. RICH SMITH

TUESDAY

FOOD & DRINK

Author Talk: Pasta, Pretty Please with Linda Miller Nicholson
Why did SaltySeattle’s Linda Miller Nicholson decide to make superfood-dyed pasta in all the colors of the rainbow? In order for her kid to eat more vegetables. Scroll through her polychromatic Instagram and then go get your new copy of her book, Pasta, Pretty Please!, signed.

Author Talk: The Cooking Gene by Michael Twitty
Culinary historian Michael Twitty will discuss his book The Cooking Gene, which traces his lineage through food from Africa to America and explores the politics behind Southern cuisine and food culture and which received two James Beard awards.

PERFORMANCE

Cabaret of Evil: Menstruatin’ with Satan Kick Off Party
Cabaret of Evil and the Satanic Temple will partner up for a “Menstruatin’ with Satan” menstrual hygiene drive. Bring boxes of pads and tampons (or cash) and watch some devilishly titillating burlesque. 

Kate Wallich + The YC: Industrial Ballet
Dance church deacon and choreographer Kate Wallich brings her Industrial Ballet back to the Moore Theatre. In City Arts, Rachel Gallaher described the goth rock dance performance—full of lightning and stage smoke and the driving minimalism of Johnny Goss—as Wallich’s “best work yet.” RICH SMITH

READINGS & TALKS

Adam Hochschild: Lessons from a Dark Time and Other Essays
Town Hall will present a talk by the journalist Adam Hochschild (who wrote the essential histories Spain in Our Hearts and King Leopold’s Ghost) on the occasion of his new collection of essays and articles from throughout his career. He observes everything from “a California gun show to a Finnish prison, from a Congolese center for rape victims to the ruins of gulag camps in the Soviet Arctic,” and from Nelson Mandela’s campaign to the machinations of the CIA.

Idra Novey: Those Who Knew
In the wake of considering the rape accusations against former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and amid considering the rape accusation against State Senator Joe Fain, Seattle needs to be reading Idra Novey’s new novel, Those Who Knew. In her brilliantly structured story, a woman who was sexually assaulted by a successful progressive senator years ago learns that a young staffer on his campaign has died. She suspects he was involved—and she suspects she’s not the only one he’s assaulted—but fears that coming forward will put herself and others at risk. The book ultimately, according to press materials, “traces how trauma reincarnates and creates connections across networks of people.” RICH SMITH

The Maillardet Automaton: Andrew Baron
Before being invited to repair the famous Maillardet automation (the invention built by Swiss mechanician Henri Maillardet in 1800), Andrew Baron created pop-up books and served as a “consultant” for Brian Selznick’s book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which was inspired by Maillardet’s invention, and which in turn inspired Martin Scorsese’s film Hugo. Hear Baron reveal the process behind solving some of the automaton’s mechanical mysteries.

Salon of Shame
Writing that makes you cringe (“middle school diaries, high school poetry, unsent letters”) is read aloud with unapologetic hilarity at the Salon of Shame.

SFWA Presents: Sandra Odell and Mary Robinette Kowal
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, which “brings together the most successful and daring writers of speculative fiction throughout the world,” will host Pacific Northwest sci-fi writers Sandra Odell and Mary Robinette Kowal, who will discuss their most recent works (Godfall and Other Stories and The Fated Sky, respectively).

Think & Drink: Red Feed, Blue Feed – What Our Echo Chambers Are Doing to Democracy
Listen in on a discussion with a panel of UW professors about the pros and cons of social media as a tool for spreading news and information. Panelists include David Domke, Mark Smith, and Andrea Otanez. They ask: “If democracies depend on exposure to differing ideas, and on citizens starting from more-or-less the same set of facts, what happens when the media landscape is splintered across tens of millions of different news feeds and thousands of websites?”

TUESDAY-SATURDAY

COMEDY

Seattle International Comedy Competition
For nearly all of November, a lengthy last-comic-standing battle rages. Thirty-two comedians (split into two batches, each of which performs every night for one week) start the contest, and one will finish a champion. Celebrity judges and audience reactions determine who passes the preliminaries and who becomes a finalist.

WEDNESDAY

COMEDY

Cole Escola
There are lots of talented comic impressionists out there, but no one masters the subtle complexities of suburban moms and cooped-up widows quite like Cole Escola, the New York-based comedian/actor/writer whose YouTube origins with comic Jeffery Self earned him roles on shows like Nurse Jackie, Mozart in the Jungle, and Difficult People. He’ll stop in Seattle on his HELP! I’M STUCK! tour. You don’t want to miss it.

FOOD & DRINK

chefs+togetherSEATTLE
Some of Seattle’s most acclaimed chefs—including Tamara Murphy of Terra Plata, Brian Clevenger of Le Messe, Monica Dimas of Neon Taco, John Sundstrom of Lark, Ericka Burke of Volunteer Park Cafe, and Ethan Stowell—have banded together to create a group called +togetherSEATTLE, with the intention of supporting human rights issues in our community. For their inaugural event, over 100 participating Seattle restaurants, coffee shops, and businesses will donate 10 percent or more of their proceeds to the NW Immigrant Rights Project, which defends immigrant rights by providing legal services, advocacy, and community education. Choose from some of the most exciting places to eat in Seattle right now, including Ba Bar, Bar Melusine, FlintCreek Cattle Co., Hitchcock, Lark, Mamnoon, and Terra Plata, and help support one of the most urgent causes of our time. JULIANNE BELL

READINGS & TALKS

Brendan Nyhan: Selective Exposure to Misinformation
Nyhan, a professor of public policy at the University of Michigan, will lecture on his data-centric approach to analyzing the role of fake news in the 2016 election. A sample: “Using unique data combining survey responses with individual-level web traffic histories, we estimate that approximately 1 in 4 Americans visited a fake news website from October 7-November 14, 2016. Trump supporters visited the most fake news websites, which were overwhelmingly pro-Trump. However, fake news consumption was heavily concentrated among a small group—almost 6 in 10 visits to fake news websites came from the 10% of people with the most conservative online information diets. We also find that Facebook was a key vector of exposure to fake news and that fact-checks of fake news almost never reached its consumers.” This is part of the UW Public Lecture Series on “Bunk.”

Drew Collins: Puget Sound Underwater
When you think of the aquatic animals that typify the Pacific Northwest, you think of orcas, salmon, and harbor seals. They’re our unofficial mascots. And rightfully so! Local diver and photographer Drew Collins loves those animals just as much as anyone else, but he says there are all kinds of other fascinating creatures swimming around Puget Sound—ones more indicative of the kind of life that flourishes in our especially cold, greenish, murky, and generally inhospitable waters. The giant Pacific octopus, the wolf eel, and the Pacific spiny lumpsucker are three of Collins’s favorites. In his first book of photography, Puget Sound Underwater, he champions these and other unjustly unacknowledged critters. Collins says he’s done dives all over the world, but the waters of Puget Sound bring him back every time. RICH SMITH

Francis Fukuyama: Identity
Earlier this year, Charles Mudede described Fukuyama’s philosophy: “But all of this ideological business seemed way out of place in a post-historical world. Thinkers like Fukuyama marked the end of the Cold War as the end of ideology: American ideology rose to the condition of reality; Soviet ideology sank into the depths of the past. Human development had reached its terminal point with democratic capitalism.” But, of course, ideology has never been out of the picture, and its triumph in American life today is all too obvious. To his credit, in 2014, Fukuyama warned of the deterioration of American institutions and the fall of the state to special interest groups. In this talk, Fukuyama will speak about the “demand for recognition of one’s identity,” which he says is “a master concept that unifies much of what is going on in world politics today.”

WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY

FOOD & DRINK

Boba Street x Adana Pop-Up: Boba Cocktails Edition!
Try boozy and non-boozy boba drinks from Boba Street in conjunction with Japanese comfort food snacks like katsu sandos from Adana.

WEDNESDAY-SATURDAY

ART

Gravity Jokes
When a joke “goes over well,” we say that it “lands.” Sometimes a joke doesn’t land because it “misses the mark” or “sails over the heads” of its intended audience. What is it about comedy that invites so many comparisons to the trajectories of flying, falling objects? In Gravity Jokes, dubbed an “experimental exhibition-as-conversation” by curator Molly Mac, six artists who create work on a “continuum between traditional sculpture and stand-up comedy” have come together to tell jokes of all forms that collaborate with the forces of gravity: Dewa Dorje, Andy Fallat, Philippe Hyojung Kim, Mario Lemafa, E.T. Russian, and Khadija Ann Tarver. EMILY POTHAST
Closing Saturday

WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY

ART

Neddy Artist Awards Exhibit
One of the largest and most prestigious art awards in the state of Washington, the Neddy Awards provide cash prizes to outstanding artists living in the Puget Sound region. See the artists’ work for yourself at this exhibit.
Opening Wednesday

FILM

14th Annual HUMP! Film Festival
The 14th Annual HUMP! Film Festival, the world’s biggest and best porn short film festival, premiers in Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco this November! After the opening festival concludes its run, HUMP! will hit the road in 2019 and screen in more than 50 cities across the U.S. and Canada. HUMP! invites filmmakers, animators, songwriters, porn-star wannabes, kinksters, vanilla folks, YOU, and other creative types to make short porn films—five minutes max—for HUMP! The HUMP! Film Festival screens in theaters and nothing is ever released online. HUMP! films can be hardcore, softcore, live action, animated, kinky, vanilla, straight, gay, lez, bi, trans, genderqueer—anything goes at HUMP! (Well, almost anything: No poop, no animals, no minors, no MAGA hats.) DAN SAVAGE

PERFORMANCE

Arms and the Man
George Bernard Shaw’s romance-comedy, set in the Serbo-Bulgarian War of 1885, pits a Swiss mercenary on the run against a brave but boring Bulgarian officer as they war for the love of a romantic Bulgarian woman—who begins to prefer the sneaky Swiss. David Armstrong, formerly of the 5th Avenue Theater, will direct.

A People’s History
Mike Daisey is back in town, as he often is, with a pretty simple but brilliant bit. He’s going to read you some pages from Good Will Hunting‘s favorite history book—Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. Then he’s going to read you some pages from his high-school history book. Then we’re all going to sit there and have a little reflection session on the difference between history as told by the conquerors and history as told from the perspective of the dispossessed. RICH SMITH

Wonderland
Wonderland returns! Can Can will transform its venue into a snowy chalet and populate it with teasing beauties.

THURSDAY

ART

Gather: An Artist Trust Celebration
Meet this year’s Artist Trust grant recipients—including the 2018 Creative Catalyst Award winner Karen Lorene—and raise a glass to 10 years of the Conductive Garboil Grant: a $3000 award for a Seattle artist who “challenges the limits of creative discourse and its effects on our society.”

COMEDY

Have A Slice with IMNDC!
Local improv troupe IMNDC will give a slice of pizza to one lucky audience member who’s willing to offer up their life story. From there, Coonoor Behal, John Carroll, Stephen Carter, and Jess Lampe will spin together a performance inspired by this stranger’s life. 

FILM

Meow Wolf: Origin Story
The adorably named Santa Fe artist collective Meow Wolf caught the fancy of George R.R. Martin, who helped them take over a disused bowling alley for an epic art exhibition. But success comes with its own struggles. Enter their world and find delirious, DIY inspiration.

Night Heat: The 41st Film Noir Series
They proliferated in anxious postwar America and still occasionally return to brood and smolder onscreen: films noirs, born of the chiaroscuro influence of immigrant German directors and the pressure of unique American fears. Once again, the museum will screen nine hard-boiled, moody crime classics like tonight’s Night of the Hunter, about a religiously motivated serial killer who targets sexually liberated women.

FOOD & DRINK

Author Talk: Catalan Food by Caroline Wright
Hear local food writer Caroline Wright talk about her new book Catalan Food and her time in Spain with chef Daniel Olivella, try a small bite from the book, and purchase a signed copy.

READINGS & TALKS

Makers of the Now: Contemporary Native American and First Nations Artists Lecture Series
Burien-based Acoma Pueblo writer Sara Marie Ortiz will discuss how she explores Indigenous culture of the past and present in her work.

THURSDAY-SATURDAY

ART

(Where) Do We Belong?
These artworks respond to Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policies through the eyes of immigrant artists, including Humaira Abid, Hawo Ali, Tatiana Garmendia, Hiba Jameel, Rohena Alam Khan, Jake Prendez, Marcia Santos, and Judy Shintani.
Closing Saturday

PERFORMANCE

Anansi and the Halfling
A black millennial navigates the classroom and the realm of the gods in this song-, puppetry-, and dance-filled take on African storytelling and the discovery of one’s people’s history, written by Madison Jade Jones.

Parliament Square
James Fritz’s play, critically admired in the UK, follows an unstable young mother who commits an extreme act of protest that, instead of igniting revolutionary fervor, is largely ignored and leaves her life ruined. Will she stick to her (unspecified) political principles? Pony World Theatre will stage the drama’s US debut.

THURSDAY-SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

Juan Palmieri
In the 1960s, Uruguay’s economy was in crisis. An urban guerrilla group called the Tupamaros rose up and began redistributing the wealth by robbing banks and giving food and money to the poor. A right-wing military dictatorship took power in a coup d’etat and started putting the kibosh on all that. Shortly thereafter, the United States swooped in and trained local police to interrogate and torture dissidents, which led to hundreds of disappearances and thousands of incarcerations. Uruguayan playwright Antonio Larreta dramatizes this story of political upheaval and US intervention in Juan Palmieri, which ACT will present for the first time in English. Arlene Martínez-Vázquez translates and directs. RICH SMITH

FRIDAY

COMEDY

The Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue
Chicago’s legendary comedy theatre Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue will appear in Everett for some good old satire of classic holiday films, family gatherings, Christmas carols, and more seasonal topics. 

True Love at First Date, But Gay | Kristine Ota | Haley Beglau | Kasia
This evening’s Solo Performance Month stars include versatile improviser Kristine Ota (seen previously at Jet City), the endearingly grumpy Haley Beglau, Kasia Cassidy, and the storyteller/vlogger AarontheJin. 

FOOD & DRINK

Author Talk: Season by Nik Sharma
In his stunning new cookbook, Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food—recently selected as one of this fall’s best cookbooks by the New York Times—Mumbai-born food writer, photographer, and A Brown Table blogger Nik Sharma notes, “Seasoning is more than just a way to achieve flavor in the food we eat. It represents our desire to connect with our past, present, and future. It tells our story.” Sharma’s cooking tells his own story as a gay immigrant from India who moved to the Midwest to study biochemistry in college, then spent time in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and San Francisco. Weaving together disparate influences from different cultures, he combines different flavors, techniques, and ingredients in his recipes, like a Margherita naan pizza, Caprese salad with sweet tamarind, curry leaf popcorn chicken, and butternut squash soup flavored with smoky Lapsang souchong tea. At this event, Sharma will chat with Seattle Times food writer Tan Vinh, field questions from the audience, and sign copies of Season that are purchased at Book Larder. JULIANNE BELL

The Best Chefs You’ve Never Heard Of 2018: Female Powerhouse Edition
Some chefs are household names in this city: Renee Erickson, Tom Douglas, Rachel Yang. But do you know the names of those more down-to-earth cuisiniers who run the kitchens? At this event emceed by Seattle Met editor Allecia Vermillion alongside Ethan Stowell and Joe Ritchie of Goldfinch Tavern, become acquainted with an all-female lineup of sous-chefs, banquet chefs, and chefs de cuisine who craft the excellent meals at some of the best restaurants in the city. BJ Bresnik (of The Walrus and the Carpenter), Rosie Cisneros (Lark), Martha de Leon (Cafe Juanita), Rebekah Dickson (Goldfinch Tavern), Cecily Kimura (Joule), Nicole Matson (How to Cook a Wolf), Sarah Nowak (Reckless Noodle House), and Kaylah Thomas (JuneBaby) will prepare small dishes, with dessert by pastry chef Dionne Himmelfarb (Ethan Stowell Restaurants), and drinks by Alexa Berry (Monsoon) and Tania Ross (Tavolata Capitol Hill). Visit each chef’s station, graze on their morsels, and relax with a drink (two are included with each ticket). Once you’re finished, you’ll have a new appreciation for the busy and brilliant first mates of head chefs. JOULE ZELMAN

Seattle’s 26th Annual Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Festival
In France, the first of the season’s Beaujolais nouveau—a famous, fruity young red wine made from Gamay grapes that is fermented for only a few weeks—is uncorked at midnight on the third Thursday of November and greeted with much fanfare and revelry. Even if you can’t make it to France, you can have the same experience with Seattle’s own Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Festival, hosted by the French-American Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest. Quaff Beaujolais nouveau as well as a host of other French wines, partake in a buffet of French cuisine, and take in live French music. JULIANNE BELL

PERFORMANCE

Cote Smith, Zack Akers, and Skip Bronkie: Limetown-The Prequel to the #1 Podcast
Of all the supernatural and suspense podcasts out there, Limetown may be the tautest and most elegantly executed. Nowhere to be found is the cheesiness of, say, NoSleep or the wide-ranging whimsy of Welcome to Night Vale. This live event will be a prequel to the story about the vanishing of 300 people at a top-secret research facility.

READINGS & TALKS

Adrianne Harun: Catch, Release
An underappreciated short story writer who lives in Port Townsend, Adrienne Harun is the real deal. She’s fantastic. Her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories and Best American Mystery Stories, and her new collection is called Catch, Release. JOULE ZELMAN

FRIDAY-SATURDAY

PERFORMANCE

Akwaaba: Healing a Queer Black Soul
In this one-person show, local queer theater performer Naa Akua shares stories of their “Queer Black Healing Process” through poetry, sound, ritual, and monologue. 

FRIDAY-SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

Kitten N’ Lou Present: Cream
A confession: I’ve watched Kitten N’ Lou’s wedding video at least 20 times. They’re just so gosh darn intoxicating and lovely. (It’s on their website. I didn’t, like, steal it or anything.) The burlesque duo exudes a chemistry unrivaled by any other stage pair I’ve seen, and, luckily for Seattle, this “world’s showbusiest couple” are mainstays of the Emerald City. Their new show, Cream, brings Milk, Cherdonna, and the Atomic Bombshells along for a Spanksgiving feast of drag and burlesque. Go and prepare to fall in love. CHASE BURNS

The Twilight Zone: Live!
Experience the cheesy yet unsettling 1960s thrills of the classic Twilight Zone scripts—live! Rachel Delmar will direct “To Serve Man” (the only alien story hinging on nuances of the English language), “The Shelter,” “Death’s Head Revisited,” and “The Changing of the Guard.”

SATURDAY

ART

Charlie Parriott, Cappy Thompson, Dick Weiss: Old Friends, New Work
Cappy Thompson is responsible for the 90-foot-long window mural—a woodland/celestial scene of painted glass titled I Was Dreaming of Spirit Animals (2003)—at Sea-Tac International Airport. Thompson will show work with Dick Weiss, an Everett-born glass artist whose large-scale piece can also be seen at Sea-Tac, and Charlie Parriott, who spent 12 years as a colorist at Chihuly Studio before helping to run the hot glass studio at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma.
Opening Saturday

Deep Space Fine
The latest installment of Prairie Underground’s artist series features Stranger music calendar editor and Gramma editor Kim Selling, who has created two open-size garments (from 0 up to around 32) out of sheer silk organza, which will be live modeled by Briq House, Adria Garcia, McKenzie Porritt, and Guayaba. There will also be projected visual art made by Kim Selling, Briq House, McKenzie Porritt, and Mel Carter, plus music from Guayaba and DJ RO. Selling says: “We are capable of being more than one thing, more than simply a physical body. The pieces showcased here are meant to both expose and empower; regardless of your size or shape, these garments will collaborate with you to create evanescent architectural movements, as if you were a celestial body moving through space, swathed only in dark matter.”

Jenny Heishman: rectangle, rectangle
Jenny Heishman’s prolific exploration of materials has included everything from foam core, paper, tape, inkjet print, nylon strap (Wall Belt, 2012) to igneous rock, stainless steel, and urethane paint (skystones, 2016 at Skyway Library). The material is the starting point, and its form is teased into being with throwaways like cardboard becoming monumental in the process (Medium, 2015). For her first solo show since 2015, Heishman has added another dimension by interpreting material into another material—specifically paper fiber into wool fiber. In one piece, paint-splattered handmade paper serves as the reference for a labor-intensive hand-hooked rug, resulting in a meditative portrait of something seemingly accidental. KATIE KURTZ
Closing Saturday

COMEDY

Book Club: The Holiday Party
This improv performance centers on the story of “a group of well-off mid-thirties adults” who have gathered for their monthly book club meeting “in the Nice part of town on a regular night, after their Barre classes and upscale juice crawls.” Audience members are asked to bring a book to the performance, which the improvisers will then discuss, with “no self-awareness, an entire bottle of wine, and an absolute lack of critical skills.”

Safeword: Queer Comedy Showcase
The inherent absurdity of kink is put to comedic use in Bobby Higley and Claire Webber’s enjoyably awkward show, in which comedians attempt to do their sets while being subjected to a randomly chosen kink. Consent is key—comics and participating audience members in the “Splashzone” are free to use a safeword at any time, at which point Bobby or Claire will get spanked. It’s a lighthearted, sexy, and guaranteed-silly time. 

FILM

Hep Cats
Cats in movies have symbolized everything from elegance to curiosity to evil, but sometimes—like in the films of the French experimentalist Chris Marker—they are simply their wonderful selves. Hep Cats delivers a handful of these ailurophilic flicks, including Paul Mazursky’s charming Harry and Tonto in a 35 mm print.

FOOD & DRINK

Gobble Up 2018
This free bazaar from the folks behind Urban Craft Uprising aims to apply the successful indie market format to specialty artisanal foods. This is a unique opportunity to peruse (and taste!) edible wares from more than 100 craft food vendors and to meet the makers themselves. On the lineup this year: heritage preserves from Orcas Island’s Girl Meets Dirt, sourdough croissants from Temple Pastries, distinctive confections (like absinthe and black salt caramels) from Jonboy Caramels, drinking vinegar from the Shrubbery, and more. In addition to food and drink, there will also be handmade linens, ceramics, and other home goods available for purchase. JULIANNE BELL

READINGS & TALKS

Ali Fitzgerald
In Drawn to Berlin: Comic Workshops in Refugee Shelters and Other Stories from a New Europe, Ali Fitzgerald provides glimpses into Berlin’s emergency shelters, where she ran comics workshops for refugees from Syria and Afghanistan. Her book intertwines their stories and her own experience living in the great European capital. Meet her at tonight’s launch party.

Amber Nelson: ‘The Sexiest Man Alive’ Book Launch
I’ve been waiting for this one. Hometown hero Amber Nelson, former editor of the dearly missed Alice Blue Books, is out with a new book of poetry about the men who’ve earned People Magazine’s highest distinction: The Sexiest Man Alive (Spooky Girlfriend Press). The poems are funny and tragic, composed of chopped up lines from each sexy man’s interview with the rag. Here are a few lines from “Sexiest Man Alive 2008: Hugh Jackman”: I’m not sure I’m proud of it. That’s not sexy. / An old friend of mine e-mailed me and said / he had cowboy boots sexier than me. Nelson’s celebrating her book’s birthday with a reading, a drag king performance, and a DJ dance party. RICH SMITH

Daniel Mangena and Tim Shields: Being Beyond Intention
Authors Daniel Mangena and Timothy Shields will talk about the “Beyond Intention” paradigm and the “Being Experiment” game, both of which are meant to help you “overcome yourself and embody a new state of being.” 

Nathan Englander: Dinner at the Center of the Earth
At this Town Hall event, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Nathan Englander will discuss his new political thriller, Dinner at the Center of the Earth: A Novel, which portrays the state of modern Israel through the story of the complex relationship between a secret prisoner and his guard of a dozen years.

Seattle7Writers’ Holiday Bookfest
Meet your favorite PNW authors and buy their books. Not only will they read and sell; they’ll also bring tasty baked goods! Readers will include Anca Szilàgyi, J. Anderson Coats, Lynn Brunelle, Anna Quinn, Neal Bascomb, and Michael Schmeltzer, and there will be dozens of other writers selling books. Seattle7Writers (your hosts) will also be collecting “gently used” books, so you can clear out some space before bringing home new tomes. The sad news: This will be the last Bookfest, so seize your chance. 

TedxSeattle: Tall Order
This independently organized TED event promises fast-paced and engaging presentations on the theme of “A Tall Order,” i.e., meeting the huge challenges of modern civilization. Panelists include children’s book author Barry Johnson, Titan Bioplastics founder Amy Ansel, Gender Equity Now Director Sara Sanford, and others.

Writers Under the Influence: Ursula K. Le Guin
Iconic fantasy, sci-fi, and speculative fiction author and poet Le Guin passed away in January, but her legacy (which includes a breadth of work spanning more than four decades) and part in influencing the genres in which she worked will continue for innumerable ages. At this event, local writers Eileen Gunn, David Naimon, and Nisi Shawl will share stories, thoughts, and more related to Le Guin. LEILANI POLK

SATURDAY-SUNDAY

ART

Edgar Arceneaux: Library of Black Lies
Enter Edgar Arceneaux’s unassuming wooden structure—a low, irregular-sided wooden shack—and find yourself in a parallel-world library of sugar-crystal clouded books. Their titles may be or merely recall the Western canon, like a sequence including the clearly referential Birth of a Nation and the murkier Birth of a Night, Nation Goodnight, and finally, Goodnight Moon. According to museum materials, this installation—first exhibited in Paris in 2016—concerns Arceneaux’s preoccupations with history, memory, and our subjective human reconstructions of both. The result looks like a cramped, mazelike hideaway, a metaphor for the limits imposed on our views of the past by our own need for containment. By amassing references to many different narratives, Arceneaux constructs an anti-narrative of history. JOULE ZELMAN
Opening Saturday

Ellen Ito: Cook
The experimental project and home gallery space of artists Joey Veltkamp and Ben Gannon, cogean? features exhibitions that highlight domestic arts and crafts. Launched in March, their fifth show at the 100-year-old house they share on Cogean Avenue—which is within easy walking distance of the Bremerton ferry terminal—is from Ellen Ito, and it is centered on sharing food as community building. Ito also organized a publication in conjunction with the show; it features illustrations and recipes by more than 40 artists, including Matthew Offenbacher, Nicholas Nyland, and Lulu Yee. Proceeds from recipe-book sales benefit local organizations, and attendees are encouraged to bring donations for a food drive to stock a local food bank. KATIE KURTZ
Opening Saturday

SUNDAY

ART

Pacific Northwest Afro X
This special exhibit celebrates blackness and African diasporic culture in the Northwest’s past and present with work by Pacific Northwest-based black artists who “[cultivate] and [remix] black brilliance in Seattle and beyond.” Stop by for free conversations, drop-in art activities, a reading station, special talks, and more.

COMEDY

Improvised Chekhov
Once again evincing impressive ambition, this improv company will act out scenes based on your suggestions and classic Russian plays like Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard, or The Three Sisters. Since the drama of Anton Chekhov relies on deep character development, complex social mores, and lingering melancholy, these performances—if successful—will truly be coups de thèâtre.

Manologue | Sally/Cannoli | A Day—Anthony Householder | You’re Always Home
Anthony Householder, who’s performed in indie and Jet City productions as an improviser, has a special presence: warm, innocent, naively passionate, and faintly wounded. For his Solo Performance Month bit, he’ll talk about the “comedy and beauty that everyday moments from a single day have to offer.” Also on the bill: Sam I’Am with a monologue about dumb things men say; “Sally / Cannoli” (that’s all we know for now); and Adrian Fragola Kljucec with a queer- and self-discovery-themed piece called “You’re Always Home: Listening Looks Like Asking Different Questions.”

READINGS & TALKS

An Evening with Neil Gaiman
Gaiman is the British author behind darkly evocative works like the Sandman comic series, American Gods (his novel adapted into a well-regarded fantasy drama TV series on Starz), graphic novel-turned-film Coraline, and a huge range of other novels, plus children’s books and collections of short stories and poetry. (He’s also husband to piano-banging chanteuse, Amanda Palmer.) According to the release, on this night, he’ll tell and read stories, answer questions, and “amaze, befuddle and generally delight.” LEILANI POLK

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Lifestyle: 11 people whose random acts of kindness took over the internet

The world isn’t always a friendly, happy place, but there are some nice people out there who spread kindness just because — and end up becoming internet-famous as a result.

Here are 11 stories of people who went viral with their random acts of kindness.

This 17-year-old surprised his classmates with special needs by buying them sneakers after they said they liked his shoes.

This 17-year-old surprised his classmates with special needs by buying them sneakers after they said they liked his shoes.play

This 17-year-old surprised his classmates with special needs by buying them sneakers after they said they liked his shoes.

(@lureddd_/Twitter)

Roderick Mathis, a 17-year-old senior at Lancaster High School, has pretty cool shoes. When his classmates with special needs told him that they liked his Vans sneakers, he decided to get them pairs of their own.

He shared a video of the sweet surprise on Twitter, where it has been viewed more than 3.68 million times.

“They told me they liked my shoes, and I promise[d] them I’ll get them some so I did,” he captioned the video.

Strangers bought a car for a fast food worker after finding out he walked 3 miles to and from work every day.

Justin Corva (left) with Andy Mitchell.play

Justin Corva (left) with Andy Mitchell.

(Andy Mitchell/Facebook)

Andy Mitchell offered a ride to a man he saw walking on the side of the road in 95 degree Texas heat.

The man, Justin Corva, told Mitchell that he walked three miles to and from work every day because he couldn’t afford a car.

Inspired by his tenacity, Mitchell snapped a selfie with him and posted it on Facebook. Local business owners heard about Corva’s situation and came together to raise enough money to provide him with a 2004 Toyota Camry, a year of insurance, two years of oil changes, and $500 of gas.

Corva’s emotional reaction streamed on Facebook Live garnered around 358,000 views.

Read more here.

A dad asked the internet to send his bullied son birthday wishes and “broke Twitter” when celebrities responded.

A dad asked the internet to send his bullied son birthday wishes and "broke Twitter" when celebrities responded.play

A dad asked the internet to send his bullied son birthday wishes and “broke Twitter” when celebrities responded.

(Sian Welby/Twitter, Darren Craske/Twitter)

A Twitter user named Christopher (@Hopenlesmyth) asked people on Twitter if they knew of someone famous who could send birthday messages to his son Ollie for his ninth birthday. In a series of tweets, he explained that Ollie was being bullied by someone who kept making him feel worthless, and that he could use some positive energy on his big day.

Ollie’s parents were overwhelmed by the number of kind, enthusiastic responses — 6,500 replies and 14,000 retweets, to be exact. People around the world sent Ollie their best, as did celebrities like actor Russell Crowe and YouTube stars Alfie Deyes and Zoe Sugg.

Read more here.

Mark Chalifoux sent 40 pounds of cookies to a soldier he’d never met.

The cookie collection.play

The cookie collection.

(Courtesy Mark Chalifoux)

Mark Chalifoux was accidentally added to a family’s group chat as they discussed sending care packages to “Christian” (name changed to protect his privacy), a relative of theirs serving in the military.

Instead of replying “wrong number” and forgetting about it, Chalifoux started a GoFundMe page to raise money to buy cookies for Christian and his unit. The silly but heartfelt campaign gained momentum as it was shared by celebrities on Facebook and picked up by news outlets. A local Girl Scouts troop even donated cookies of their own.

Chalifoux raised enough money to send 40 pounds of cookies, plus a second shipment of essentials like toiletries and more nutritious non-perishable snacks, to the soldier. He’s still receiving their group text messages.

Read more here.

A Trump supporter left his waitress a $450 tip and a heartwarming message about unity.

A Trump supporter left his waitress a $450 tip and a heartwarming message about unity.play

A Trump supporter left his waitress a $450 tip and a heartwarming message about unity.

(Busboys and Poets/Twitter)

Jason White and two friends, all Trump supporters, were in Washington, DC, for President Trump’s inauguration when they stopped into Busboys and Poets for a bite to eat. The restaurant, decorated with African-American art and photos, is known for promoting social justice causes.

White suggested that one of his friends remove his “Make American Great Again” hat, but his concerns about getting political were averted when he struck up a friendly conversation with their waitress, 25-year-old Rosalind Harris.

When White and his friends received the bill for $72.60, he added a $450 tip along with a message to Harris:

“We may come from different cultures and may disagree on certain issues, but if everyone would share their smile and kindness like your beautiful smile, our country will come together as one people,” he wrote. “Not race. Not gender. Just American. God bless!”

His act of kindness went viral on Twitter and was featured in The Washington Post.

Read more here.

This photo of chickens evacuating from Hurricane Irma in the back of a car was shared nearly 50,000 times.

This photo of chickens evacuating from Hurricane Irma in the back of a car was shared nearly 50,000 times.play

This photo of chickens evacuating from Hurricane Irma in the back of a car was shared nearly 50,000 times.

(Key West Finest/Facebook)

Chickens normally roam the streets of Key West, Florida, without a care in the world. But with Hurricane Irma threatening the area, locals decided to make sure their feathered neighbors would be safe.

The Facebook page Key West Finest posted a photo of the chickens wrapped in newspaper in the backseat of a car, captioned “CHICKEN EVACUATION.” It has since been shared over 47,000 times.

The chickens may look constricted, but rest assured — they don’t mind.

“The way the chickens are wrapped up with their wings tucked down, is how you carry a chicken. You flatten their wings to their sides and carry them like a football under your arm, so really, overall the chickens should be moderately comfortable and should not get hot,” commented Lacey Bacon-Stonebraker, who herself owns 50 chickens and three roosters.

Read more here.

A nine-year-old boy paid for a police officer’s breakfast and left a heartwarming note saying “I want to be you when I grow up” on the receipt.

A nine-year-old boy paid for a police officer's breakfast and left a heartwarming note saying "I want to be you when I grow up" on the receipt.play

A nine-year-old boy paid for a police officer’s breakfast and left a heartwarming note saying “I want to be you when I grow up” on the receipt.

(LakelandPD/Facebook)

Nine-year-old Noah Smiling saw a policeman eating breakfast at Denny’s and asked his mother, Amanda Cantin, if he could pay the officer’s bill.

He wrote a note on the receipt that said “I want to be you when I grow up. Thank you for your service.”

Officer Eddie Benitez was stunned and touched by the boy’s kind gesture. He asked Smiling for a picture, which the Lakeland Police Department shared in a post on their Facebook page.

“It meant everything,” Benitez told WTSP News. “It meant that I’m supposed to wake up every morning and put on this uniform and go out there and do what I do. You know? It means that I need to keep trying to be a good example to all these young guys.”

Read more here.

Heroic bystanders caught a 14-year-old girl as she fell off a ride at Six Flags Great Escape in Lake George, New York.

Heroic bystanders caught a 14-year-old girl as she fell off a ride at Six Flags Great Escape in Lake George, New York.play

Heroic bystanders caught a 14-year-old girl as she fell off a ride at Six Flags Great Escape in Lake George, New York.

(YouTube)

A video captured by one of the onlookers and posted to Facebook shows a 14-year-old girl dangling from a stopped gondola ride at Six Flags Great Escape as a group of employees and park go-ers gather beneath her. When she plummets towards the ground into their arms, the surrounding crowd applauds and whoops in relief.

The teen was reported to be in stable condition and did not experience any serious injuries, according to a statement from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office. One of the men who caught her, 47-year-old Matthew Howard Sr., was treated for a minor back injury.

“I couldn’t let that little girl die,” Howard told the Associated Press. “No one wants to put himself underneath a body like that, but I couldn’t stand by and watch.”

Read more here.

A woman returned to a Starbucks drive-thru with an apology note and a $50 tip after she snapped at a barista.

A woman returned to a Starbucks drive-thru with an apology note and a $50 tip after she snapped at a barista.play

A woman returned to a Starbucks drive-thru with an apology note and a $50 tip after she snapped at a barista.

(circleaddict/Reddit)

The card reads:

Greetings Starbucks Barista! Yesterday at your drive thru we had a less than cheerful encounter. At no fault of yours, you were out of carriers and said you could not take my empty cup (trash). I was less than understanding & my manner was curt. I need to apologize. The thought of leaving a trail of unkindness like that is not the path I want to reflect. Not for you, not for me. You are a young man, clearly working hard to build a fortune and you should be commended. Keep your attitude of cheer & hope. Stay hopeful no matter what kind of people cross your path (or drive thru). Surely, God has good blessing in store. You taught this ole lady something yesterday about kindness, compassion & staying humble. I thank you! God bless you today and all your todays. Debbie.

The barista shared a photo of the card on Reddit, where it went viral.

A bride and groom almost missed their wedding reception when their bus caught fire — but then the firefighters gave them a ride.

Maria Leonardi and Justin Stone pose with the firefighters who gave them a lift to their reception after their bus caught fire.play

Maria Leonardi and Justin Stone pose with the firefighters who gave them a lift to their reception after their bus caught fire.

(Avon Volunteer Fire Department/Facebook)

Maria Leonardi and Justin Stone were on a bus from their wedding ceremony to their reception when the engine caught fire. The Avon Volunteer Fire Department came to put out the fire and gave the bride and groom a ride, sharing a photo on Facebook of the couple in their wedding attire with the firefighters.

The post broke AVFD’s record for their most “liked” Facebook post with over 5,600 reactions. Better yet, the couple didn’t miss their party.

Read more here.

Madalyn Parker notified her team at work that she was taking time off to focus on her mental health, and the CEO commended her for setting a positive example.

Madalyn Parker notified her team at work that she was taking time off to focus on her mental health, and the CEO commended her for setting a positive example.play

Madalyn Parker notified her team at work that she was taking time off to focus on her mental health, and the CEO commended her for setting a positive example.

(Madalyn Parker/Facebook, @madalynrose/Twitter)

When Madalyn Parker sent an email notifying her coworkers that she was taking time off to focus on her mental health, the CEO of Olark, Ben Congleton, responded with an encouraging message.

“You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work,” he wrote.

She shared her boss’ email on Twitter, where it has been retweeted over 16,000 times and liked over 45,000 times.

Read more here.

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RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment