The 41 Best Things to Do in Seattle This Week: June 29-July 2, 2020

A KEXP Concert with Empress Of, the Return of the Seattle Aquarium, and More Top Picks
June 29, 2020
The Seattle Aquarium is back in business, baby! Reserve tickets online, wear a mask, and reunite with your favorite aquatic creatures. (Seattle Aquarium via Facebook)

In addition to supporting black-owned businesses and artists in Seattle, educating yourself through anti-racism resources, and donating to social justice causes, here are our picks for the best social distancing friendly things to do this week on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms‚ÄĒfrom a KEXP concert with Empress Of to a Town Hall talk with Pramila Jayapal and Naomi Ishisaka, and from Netflix Pride to the reopening of the Woodland Park Zoo. Find even more events on our complete streaming events calendar and our resistance & solidarity calendar, and check back on Friday for a roundup of the best local virtual events this weekend.

Jump to: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | All Week

All events are online unless otherwise noted. Don't forget to wear a mask to all in-person events!



2020 Ain't Cancelled
PDXWOC and B.Her present this ongoing livestream conversation series aimed at "shifting your mindset, becoming the best version of yourself, and game planning." This week's installment? "White Men, Do Better: Make Room for Black Women." BOBBY ROBERTS

Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon: Little Fires Everywhere
The co-stars of Lynn Shelton's final TV project, adapted from Celeste Ng's 2017 novel, will reunite for a conversation on the Hulu series. 

Seattle Aquarium Reopening
Ready to get reunited with your favorite swimmers IRL? The Seattle Aquarium is reopening at limited capacity this week! Reserve your tickets online or by phone, wear a mask (it's required for everyone over the age of two), and follow designated one-way routes throughout the facility.


Mi Casa es su Casa /DE CAJóN Project
The recently formed Orquesta Northwest (the umbrella organization for Young Strings Outreach, the Ballard Civic Orchestra, and Cascade Conducting) will highlight Latinx classical music artists from Seattle and beyond, including Columbia soprano Carolina Botero, Mexico-based trumpet player Edmundo Romero, and Tacoma violinist Teo Benson.

Tune in every Monday in June to watch Waxahatchee (the project of Alabama singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield, "whose indie-rock style has a vaguely Liz Phair Exile in Guyville feel, while her lo-fi experimental-folk leanings are entirely of her own appeal," as Leilani Polk has written) perform each of her albums in full.


Lyric World with Prageeta Sharma and afrose fatima ahmed: In The Moment Podcast
In this livestreamed episode of Town Hall's In the Moment podcast, poet Shin Yu Pai will introduce the second installment of the Lyric World series focused on grief, featuring fellow poets Prageeta Sharma and afrose fatima ahmed.

When You Move/ I Move: The Conversation
A panel of black and brown dance artists (including David Rue, Randy Ford, Ron Gatsby, and Markeith Wiley) will discuss the effects of the global pandemic on their livelihoods, the ongoing challenge of bringing diversity into the dance world, and the recent murders of black trans womxn and femmes in the US.


POP+ Pride: Book Club Events 'How Long 'til Black Future Month?'
Contemporary Afrofuturist writer N.K. Jemisin, who prioritizes LGBTQ+ stories in her books, is the center of this month's MoPOP Book Club. Tune in to Facebook Live for a discussion of her short stories "Effluent Engine" and "The City Born Great."

Sonia Shah: The Next Great Migration
Science journalist Sonia Shah deconstructs long-held negative assumptions about migration‚ÄĒthat of animals, plants, and humans alike‚ÄĒand offers her predictions on its environmental benefits in her book¬†The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move. She'll join Town Hall for a virtual talk.¬†



The great and talented and Tony-nominated choreographer Donald Byrd has a knack for translating complex historical texts into visceral dance pieces that help us reckon with the present. Last year's A Rap on Race, a jazzy interpretation of an important conversation between Margaret Mead and James Baldwin, stands out in my memory as a tremendous testimony to that fact. This world premiere sees the mass shooting at Orlando Pulse Nightclub through the lens of the brilliant/brutal David Wojnarowicz, whose Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration should be on everyone's syllabus, and also playwright Brian Quirk. RICH SMITH


Print Show: Online Group Exhibit
Need some new art on your walls? For the month of June, Ghost Gallery prints by local and national artists will be available for viewing and purchasing.
Closing Tuesday



Intro to Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest
Before you go foraging for shrooms, take this virtual beginner's workshop covering native identification, preparation, and cultivation.



Kids, Race & Unity: A Nick News Special
In partnership with Nickelodeon, Alicia Keys will host this program amplifying the voices and experiences of black youth across the country. Black Lives Matter leaders will answer questions from kids, offer tools for families to have constructive conversations about race and inclusivity, and highlight teen activists who are fighting racial injustice. Tune in on Instagram Live. 

Lunch-and-Learn with Deborah Riley Draper
Filmmaker and motivational speaker Deborah Riley Draper will talk about her 2016 documentary Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, which tells the story of 18 black Americans who competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, in the midst of racial and ethnic persecution in America and Europe. 


Netflix Pride
In support of the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, OutRight, and the Trans Justice Funding Project, this Pride event on Netflix's YouTube channel promises appearances from LGBTQ+ stars and icons like Laverne Cox, Hannah Gadsby, Chaka Khan, Patti Harrison, and Trixie Mattel. 


The Concert for Love & Acceptance
Ty Herndon, Kristin Chenoweth, and CMT's Cody Alan will host this country-music extravaganza on YouTube, featuring an opening performance by Grammy-winning, Texas-born country singer Tanya Tucker. Donations from the show will benefit ACM Lifting Lives (the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music), as well as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).  

Live on KEXP at Home: Naeem
Naeem Juwan, the Baltimore-born rapper formerly known as Spank Rock, has recently embraced a new moniker less entwined with early-aughts internet hype. ("When I think of Spank Rock, whose debut album YoYoYoYoYo came out in 2006, I think of purple American Apparel hoodies and cups of froyo at Pinkberry," wrote Pitchfork contributor Jackson Howard.) Catch Naeem performing songs from his new album Startisha on KEXP's YouTube channel.

Songs of Summer with Margaret Gawrysiak: Quarantine Cabaret
Seattle Opera mezzo-soprano Margaret Gawrysiak (maybe you'll recognize her for her roles in the company's productions of The Barber of Seville or The Marriage of Figaro) will entertain you with pieces by everyone from Francis Poulenc to Vaughan Williams to Lori Laitman.


Chicago is a Digital Drag Festival
The Windy City is going all out for the last day of Pride month with a virtual, star-studded drag show celebrating the intersectional identities within the art form. Hosted by RuPaul's Drag Race vet and Chicago native Shea Couleé, the bill boasts RPDR Season 10's the Vixen; burlesque maven Jeez Loueez; Dragula's Dorian Electra, Louisianna Purchase, and Biqtch Puddin; and many others. 

Madame Gandhi, Cynthia Erivo
Erivo, a Broadway legend, a musical powerhouse, and a lock to win an Oscar for acting in the next five years, teams up with musician and activist Madame Gandhi on her Instagram for a livestream sure to raise spirits, awareness, and pulse-rates. BOBBY ROBERTS

Noche Unidos: A Night of Dance and Unity
Join Eduardo Vilaro (the CEO of New York's Ballet Hispánico and a successful dancer in his own right) on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram for an evening of world premieres by Latinx choreographers like Kiri Avelar, Carlos Pons Guerra, Rodney Hamilton, Michelle Manzanales, Andrea Miller, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Pedro Ruiz, and many others. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Gloria Estefan, Rita Moreno, and other stars will also make appearances. 

The Smartest Man in the World Proopcast: Live!
Greg Proops is the smartest man in the world... well, at least according to the name of his popular podcast. The witty, irreverent stand-up thematically darts between topics like the literal genius of Hedy Lamarr to San Francisco's most famous stripper Carol Doda, and Martians to Michael Crichton. Hang on! It's going to be a funny ride.  BOBBY ROBERTS


Fight Back for Fair Courts Virtual Rally
Senator Elizabeth Warren, Alicia Garza, and Dan Pfeiffer come together for this online virtual rally/town hall discussion on court reform, a much-needed discussion to have the week after the Republican-led Senate confirmed our idiot president's 200th federal judge to a permanent appointment in our courts system. Presented by Take Back the Court, Indivisible, and Demand Justice. BOBBY ROBERTS


Nikole Hannah-Jones with Brentin Mock: Race, Journalism, and Justice
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, who covers racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine and helped create the landmark 1619 Project, will link up with fellow journalist Brentin Mock to discuss race and justice in journalism. 



NAACP Presents: Coronavirus and You
Join the NAACP Seattle-King County's Dr. Phyllis D. Gearring-Anderson for a free webinar on racial and ethnic disparities in relation to COVID-19.

Virtual Silent Reading Party
The¬†first worldwide silent-reading party¬†was such a huge success that we're making it weekly. Every Wednesday at 6 pm we're going to throw these parties, at least until stay-at-home is over.¬†Attendees at the first Zoom silent-reading party included famous actors, writers, composers, artists, families, teenagers doing their homework, people staring into space listening to the music because it was just so beautiful, cats, and even one household on Orcas Island that was eating dinner and decided to broadcast the reading party as their background music. (What a brilliant idea!)¬†It wasn't just a great party to be at. Behind the scenes, this was a roaring success as well.¬†The Stranger¬†brought in revenue from the reading party for the first time ever, our musician¬†Paul Matthew Moore¬†made¬†ten times¬†more on Venmo tips than he's ever made in the tip jar at the Sorrento (thank you for your generosity‚ÄĒhe¬†deserves¬†it!), and hundreds of people at the party have written us emails, clamoring for more. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

Woodland Park Zoo Reopening
You may not be able to take your own route through the grassy areas of the Phinney zoo (you'll have to follow a map with one-way paths), but that's a small price to pay for being able to see hippos, elephants, and panda bears up close. Masks are required for those over two, and indoor exhibits such as Zoomazium, the carousel, and the Family Farm will remain closed. Reservations are encouraged but not required.


Live on KEXP at Home: Empress Of
It was on the fourth listen that a lyric made me pause: "I feel like I'm on the outside looking in / When I'm with him." And then another: "I don't know how to love now, I pretend / When I'm with him." An out-of-love song unspooled before me. I'd mistaken entrapment for care. The music of Los Angeles-based producer-musician Lorely Rodriguez, aka Empress Of, does this expertly, this balancing of the light and heavy. A first-generation Honduran-American, Rodriguez seamlessly weaves together lyrics in both English and Spanish, the two languages nimble in their own respective ways, one supporting the song when the other can't. In "Trust Me Baby," her notes scrape great heights and settle back down into a near sing-talk rhythm, darting in and out of Spanish: "Confía en mí / Trust me baby." On her latest record, Us, the beats are eminently danceable. Synth-driven melodies are airy and bright and remind me of that favorite spot on the back of my neck where the sun hits just so. The production often includes dense, wonky, pulsating percussion that can be felt in your body and makes you want to move. Don't believe me? Turn on "Just the Same." JASMYNE KEIMIG

The Royal Room Staycation Fest - Solos: The Trombone Sessions
Local trombonist/composer Naomi Siegel has curated this night of improvised jazz featuring Reut Regev, Jerome Smith, Matthew Davis, and Christian Pincock. 


Black Lives Matter Write-In with Katrina Otounye
2018-19 Hugo House Fellow Katrina Otuonye, whose fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Seventh Wave, Atticus Review, Litro Magazine, Crab Orchard Review, and The Toast, will provide writing prompts and guidance in this workshop focused on writing during a time of protest.

P&P Live!: Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey
Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey are the #MeToo heroes who were instrumental in the fall of Harvey Weinstein after their Pulitzer Prize-winning exposé of the Hollywood mogul and alleged rapist was published in the New York Times in 2017. Nearly a year after the original publication of their book She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement, the authors will join D.C.'s Politics & Prose Bookstore for a discussion of Weinstein's recent conviction and how good journalism can inspire lasting change. 

Pramila Jayapal with Naomi Ishisaka: A Brown Woman’s Guide to Politics
From her personal stories of immigration to her grassroots activism in Washington State, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal shares her political and personal history that's shaped her career in her new book, Use the Power You Have: A Brown Woman's Guide to Politics and Political Change. Join her for a virtual talk with journalist Naomi Ishisaka. 



Tanglewood Music Festival
Boston Symphony Orchestra's lauded summer music festival is pruning its lineup a bit to accommodate this year's virtual platform, but the participating artists are not to be sneezed at. Look forward to sets from the Boston Symphony Orchestra (performing the Brahms Piano Quintet), plus festival regulars like Gil Shaham and Yo-Yo Ma. 



Lemur Science! And Trivia?
Every Monday and Thursday, learn everything you've ever wanted to know about one of the planet's most endangered mammals from Duke University’s Lemur Center, which houses the largest captive population of lemurs outside the species' native Madagascar.


NVCS Presents: King Youngblood
Local alt-rockers King Youngblood will take over Nectar's virtual stage with tunes both new (like their latest track "Opaque," dedicated to Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd) and old. As always, a portion of proceeds will be donated to Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County, as well as local mental health advocacy groups Hold Your Crown and NAMI-Eastside.

Selections from Holst The Planets
Take a sonic road trip through our solar system with this prerecorded performance of Gustav Holst's iconic The Planets in all its dazzling glory. 


Life on the Margins Live with Ijeoma Oluo and Dr. Julian Perez
In this live edition of Town Hall's Life on the Margins podcast, Ijeoma Oluo (So You Want to Talk About Race) and Sea Mar's Dr. Julian Perez will address the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on communities of color, as well as the upcoming election.


Quarantine Write-In with Amber Flame
Spend half an hour writing and half an hour sharing and discussing in these free weekly Zoom workshops with former Hugo House poet in residence Amber Flame. 


Skinny Dip
Artists explore the idea of the human body's largest organ, the skin, in this virtual multimedia group exhibition featuring work by Amanda Salov, Dylan Beck, Ling Chun, Philippe Hyojung Kim, and Virginia Griswold.
Opening Thursday



Seattle Jewish Film Festival
This annual film festival, which will take place virtually after having initially canceled due to COVID-19, explores and celebrates global Jewish and Israeli life, history, complexity, culture, and filmmaking. It showcases international, independent, and award-winning Jewish-themed and Israeli cinema, and the audience votes on their favorites.


Doe Bay Artist Residency Program
Local artists have been invited to post up in the Orcas Island-adjacent Doe Bay resort (which is currently operating at 50% capacity) to bring live music to the people throughout the summer. Catch sets in-person from resident performers like beloved folk artist Tomo Nakayama (June 30-July 6), fierce foursome Thunderpussy (June 7-13), funk-inclined genre-bender Quinn DeVeaux (June 30-July 6), and others.

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