Tonight Capitol Hill Arts District will launch a major five-day online streaming festival hosted on Northwest Film Forum's website, Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram, and maybe YouTube if the crew can get it working right.
The CHArts Streaming Festival aims to drop the neighborhood's big, beautiful, immoderately tattooed, queer, BIPOC arts scene right in the middle of studio apartments, shared rooms, suburban basements, and celebrity mansions all around the world, plus put dollars in the pockets of local artists struggling to buy veggie dogs and pay rent.
Festival passes are free, but if you got your blood money from Trump and you're not actively organizing a rent strike at the moment, you can and should pay on a sliding scale. People out here are hungry, and all the money goes to the COVID-19 Artist Trust Relief Fund, which distributes cash to individual artists. Each show offers viewers the opportunity to directly fund each artist, too, so there are plenty of ways to reward good work.
The festival features artists curated by local nonprofits and private outfits, including Northwest Film Forum, Photographic Center Northwest, Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas, Crybaby Studios, SubKulture Cabaret, BeautyBoiz, The AMP: AIDS Memorial Pathway, Hugo House, Kame House, Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound, Longhouse Media, Vanishing Seattle, Velocity Dance Center, Vermillion, and other artist groups.
Most of these organizations and artists will rebroadcast unmissable performances you may have missed in the beforetimes—when you could skip a weekend out every once in a while and feel downright wholesome for doing so—but some will present brand new work.
Terry Novak, executive director of Photographic Center Northwest (PCN) and co-chair of Capitol Hill Arts District, said PCN's event this evening will include a new video collaboration from photographers Jenny Riffle and Natalie Krick, scored by electro-acoustic musician Colleen Zickler.
On Thursday between 8:30 and 9:30pm, SubKulture Underground is streaming a "sexy dark and weird" variety show with many acts who have been praised by this paper, including "burlesque by Dolce Dujour, Miss Mia Maravilla, Tony Tapatio, Porcelain, Ruby Mimosa, and Waxie Moon, plus drag by Miss Texas 1988, Ursula Major, and Old Witch Queen."
On Saturday evening, Hugo House will run a digital reading from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., which will probably feature some new work from Quenton Baker, Cedar Sigo, Kristen Millares Young, Lucy Tan, Claudia Castro Luna, and Anastacia-Renee. That night DIY space Kame House will livestream an afterparty with REIGNING CLØUD, a "Seattle-based skater and creative aligned with House Party." And on Sunday, Vanishing Seattle will show a work-in-progress cut of a short documentary about Capitol Hill's long-gone but beloved businesses and art spaces.
Good stuff you may have already seen or ~lived~ include Wednesday night's rebroadcast of Showing Out: Contemporary Black Choreographers curated by Dani Tirrell, featuring movement work from Saira Barbaric, Markeith Wiley, Keelan Johnson, Michael O’Neal Jr, Brian J Evans, Kyle Bernbach and Gilbert Small, and Neve Kamilah Mazique-Bianco.
I'd also recommend Friday's rebroadcasts of 30-minute sets from Tres Leches, Sharlese Jul-Anetia Metcalf and 2 Libras, all filmed at Crybaby Studios. Later that night it'd be fun to dress up with your germ group and watch the video of a big ol' BeautyBoiz party featuring drag and dance by Amora Dior Black, LuChi, Mila Skyy, and CarLarans.
On Sunday, set some time aside for Longhouse Media's screening of Sweetheart Dancers, which features a live Q&A with director Ben Alex-Dupris. And tune into Velocity Dance Center's video compilation of premium past performances, including an excerpt from Lavinia Vago's NOESIS and Cherdonna's wild installation DITCH.
That's what my week/weekend is going to look like, anyway. But the real joy here is checking out local artists you've never seen before without having to pay for a drink, and supporting the ones you love and want to keep going. See the full schedule here.
Vivian Hua, executive director at Northwest Film Forum and the other co-chair of Capitol Hill Arts District, said each performance will be re-watchable for 24 hours for those who might not be able to watch during the time slot and for people in other countries.
Hua says the district has talked about running another installment of the festival "probably in the fall," given that most of the Seattle arts community likely won't return to full-scale programming until early next year.