NOW THROUGH JUNE 30: 2021 SUNDANCE INSTITUTE INDIGENOUS SHORT FILM TOUR
For the next month and a half, Northwest Film Forum is streaming the 2021 Sundance Institute Indigenous Short Film tour. You can now watch the 85-minute program composed of seven shorts directed by Indigenous filmmakers from recent Sundance Film Festivals for COMPLETELY FREE on NWFF's website.
You'll be treated to Native Hawaiian filmmaker Ciara Lacy diving headlong into Native Hawaiian slam poet Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio's creative process and activism on Maunakea in This is the Way We Rise. And in Alisi Telengut's beautiful The Fourfold, the Canadian artist of Mongolian origin uses stop-motion, handcrafted animation to explore animism and shamanic rituals from Mongolia and Siberia. One of my favorites is Christopher Auchter's Now Is the Time. It's a documentary on renowned Haida carver Robert Davidson's push (with the help of his family) in 1969 to raise a totem pole on British Columbia's Haida Gwaii for the first time in nearly a century. It's an emotional look into a community rallying together after centuries of suppression and silencing by the Canadian government. JASMYNE KEIMIG
2021 Sundance Institute Indigenous Short Film Tour is free to watch. It's up on Northwest Film Forum's site until June 30.
FRIDAY: A READING WITH CLAUDIA CASTRO LUNA, HONORÉ FANNONE JEFFERS, SASHA LAPOINTE
When the murder of George Floyd launched another wave of Black Lives Matter protests that police across the country tried to crushed with tear gas, blast balls, and rubber bullets, I must admit I didn't immediately turn to the poets and contemporary fiction writers for their take on the whole thing. Happily enough, former US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith and poet/editor John Freeman did turn to the poets, and they collected and preserved their "searing letters, essays, poems, reflections, and screeds" about the protests against police violence in a new anthology called There’s A Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis. Smith and Freeman had enough sense and good taste to include former Washington state Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna and Tacoma-based memoirist/poet Sasha LaPointe, who will read from their contributions to the book and also from their own forthcoming work. Oklahoma City poet Honorée Fannone Jeffers will join the PNW crew as well. RICH SMITH
Claudia Castro Luna, Sasha LaPointe, and Honorée Fannone Jeffers will read from There’s A Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis online at Elliott Bay Book Company on Friday, May 14 at 6 p.m.
FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: DRIVE-IN DRAG
Remember when Drag Race watch parties were a thing? Season 12 was just hobbling to life when quarantine arrived to sabotage the very concept of events. The drag-industrial complex has pivoted as best it can, and one of the highlights of the last year has been drive-in drag shows where you can enjoy a big gay twirl from the safety of a car. As part of Voss Events’ Drive ‘n Drag Saves 2021 tour, Asia O’Hara, Miss Vanjie, Kim Chi, and many more will appear in the parking lot of the Westfield Southcenter mall this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. (Sidenote: oof, the tour is really putting those girls to work). Weather is fortunately expected to be nice and sunny, which is fortunate for everyone’s wig; and large video monitors alongside the stage will add to the drive-in ambiance. What if you don’t have a car? Well, technically, the ticket entitles you to occupy a parking space, so I suppose you could just show up with a picnic blanket and make yourself comfortable on the asphalt. MATT BAUME
Voss Events’ Drive ‘n Drag Saves 2021 swings through Westfield Southcenter this weekend with multiple shows.
FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY: HUGO MORO'S GARDEN OF THE UNCONCEIVED AT METHOD GALLERY
The always interesting Method Gallery in Pioneer Square asks artists to create work that specifically utilizes the gallery's unique subterranean space and sidewalk-height window. Cuba-born, Seattle-based artist Hugo Mora took up that charge and turned Method into a beautiful garden of single-use plastic with his show Garden of the Unconceived. Using primarily recyclables from his two-person household accumulated during the pandemic, Mora shaped green bottles into vines that sway from the ceiling, turned bits of red plastic into delicate flower petals, transformed the tops of blue water bottles into what looks like water molecules. He fixed clear plastic panels onto the windows of the small gallery, distorting the view from both inside and outside the space. The result is an aesthetically appealing but environmentally toxic greenhouse, a testament to the pervasiveness of plastic in our lives. Take a short walk through Mora's garden and reflect on arboretums you could make with your own waste. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Hugo Moro's Garden of the Unconceived is up at Method Gallery until June 12. The gallery is open Friday and Saturday from 12 PM - 4 PM by appointment only. Schedule your 30-minute appointment here. Masks are required for entry.
SATURDAY: INDOOR PLANT SWAP IN REDMOND
Tired of your dreary old houseplants, but too law-abiding to sneak into the neighboring witch’s garden and steal her rutabagas? Well, just head on over to the EaStSiDe for a casual houseplant swap. Cuttings, potted plants, and plant accessories will be traded amongst other “plant nerds” at this outdoorsy shindig, hosted by McMurtrey Farm. Normally home to Christmas tree fields and pumpkin patches, the farm will set up tables with plenty of distancing to make the swapping comfortable and safe. And just a heads-up: McMurtrey Farm has no public transit access (ahhhh, EaStSiDe) so you’ll need to find a car or just resign yourself to a two-hour bike ride along the Sammamish River. Honestly, there are worse ways to spend a weekend. MATT BAUME
The 2021 McMurtrey Farm Indoor Plant Swap happens this Saturday from 10 AM to noon in Redmond.
SATURDAY: MOPOP'S SOUND OFF!
MoPOP's annual showcase of Pacific Northwest musicians 21-and-under is back for its 20th anniversary this year. While we still can't party in person, the upshot is that this Saturday's two-hour livestreamed event is more accessible than ever. You can access the show wherever you are, and it's pay-what-you-can—even if that's $0. MoPOP has the full line-up over on its site, but if you're looking for a teaser, check out Federal Way-based performer and producer Kiddus Fecto's growling hip hop (embedded above). We're also excited about Issaquah's Brenna Bruce and her powerful folk singing, Seattle's Trevor Eulau and his clever guitar playing, Tacoma's CANNXN with their shining pop, Everett's Aurelio Valdez and his strong first EP (teased below), and and and—I'm sorry, this blurb can't go on forever. The line-up is great. It's available at the price that's right for you. Spend a Saturday night linking up with your new favorite local artist. CHASE BURNS
Sound Off! 2021, MoPOP's annual virtual music showcase, is livestreamed this Saturday from 7 to 9 PM. Get tickets for the all-ages event here.
THROUGHOUT MAY: BIKE-N-BREWS
In normal times, the Cascade Bicycle Club hosts an annual bike ride throughout breweries in Seattle's South End called Bike-n-Brews. It pairs sun, beer, and bikes—a Seattle trifecta, a threesome of Northwest love affairs. Unfortunately, because we're still in a GLOBAL PANDEMIC, Cascade Bicycle Club transitioned this year's event to "do it yourself." The event, which goes for the entire month of May, charts a route to three breweries along a 32-mile stretch of the Duwamish and Green River Trails. With one registration ticket ($60 for nonmembers, $50 for members), you'll receive tickets to Georgetown Brewery for a glass growler bottle, a beer at Two Beers Brewing, and another beer at Airways Brewing. The route is mostly flat, and you can go whenever you like as long as the breweries are open! NATHALIE GRAHAM
Register here for the May event. I'll be going this Saturday, maybe see you there? I mean, what else are you going to do when it's 70 degrees and sunny in Seattle? But if you can't make it this month, you can register for the Bike-n-Brews El Norte event in July that will take cyclists through breweries in Ballard.