The 44 Best Things to Do in Seattle This Week: June 22-25, 2020

Ayana Evans, Pop Pride Week, a Pearl Jam and Sir Mix-a-Lot Concert, and More Top Picks
June 22, 2020
Tune in to Wa Na Wari's Instagram on Wednesday to see NYC-based artist Ayana Evans in Constructing a Black Ass Show, a live performance from the backyard of her childhood home. (Tsedaye Makonnen)

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 Garth Greenwell in conversation with The Stranger's Christopher Frizzelle to All in WA: A Concert for COVID-19 Relief with Pearl Jam and Sir Mix-a-Lot, and from Pop Pride Week to a Black Lives Matter Write-In with Katrina Otuonye. Find even more events on resistance & solidarity, Pride, and complete streaming events calendars, and check back on Friday for a roundup of the best local virtual events this weekend.

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



Meaningful Movies: Sustainable Ballard presents 'Activized'
Following Trump's election, a handful of Americans fight for gun violence prevention, voting rights, and immigrants' rights for the first time in their lives in Activized: It’s the American Thing to Do. Catch this free Meaningful Movies screening and livestreamed discussion with Sustainable Ballard. 


The National - Live from Brooklyn
The National (an Ohio indie-rock band that Rich Smith has called "the musical equivalent of reveling in anxiety-depression, a mental condition common among urbanites") will play live on their YouTube channel.


Virtually Dolly & The DJ: 70’s Pride!
Celebrate Pride with a night of feathered hair, fine silks, and disco with Seattle's favorite seven-foot-tall drag queen Dolly Madison on Twitch. Don't forget to tip!


Garden Party Pride
NYC's Lesbian, Gay Bisexual & Transgender Community Center invite one and all to a free virtual celebration on YouTube, with guests like Justin Vivian Bond, the NYC Gay Men’s Chorus, Marti Gould Cummings, and Don Lemon. 


Atlas Obscura: The Magic of Words in a Poet-Magician's Yurt
Live from his yurt on Vashon, acclaimed poet Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma will unpack the magical effects of poetry with bits and pieces from his interactive poetry workshop. 



Medicine HatThe Vote: Women's Suffrage and Modern Day Trailblazers
Cue up KCTS 9 to hear Nikkita Oliver and other local womxn leaders talk about the history of the women's rights movement. 


Cinema DNA: Get Out and the Black Perspective
Join a deep-dive discussion with screenwriter¬†Nicole Pouchet on how Jordan Peele's Academy Award-winning horror film Get Out takes the genre through a new lens‚ÄĒand how it shines a light on¬†systemic racism, white micro-aggression, and liberal ignorance.¬†



Livestream Program: America LGBTQ Civil Rights Movements
Historians Glen Kyle and Libba Beaucham will catch you up on the history of LGBTQ+ social and civil rights movements in the United States. 

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


German Cinema Now! 'My Wonderful West-Berlin'
Jochen Hick's documentary focuses on the history of queer rights activism in West Berlin during the Paragraph 175 era, during which homosexuality was declared a criminal act. The film features scenes from classic German queer films, as well as interviews with artists, fashion designers, musicians, activists, and celebrities who lived through the period.

SIFF Movie Club: Labyrinth - Virtual Q&A
Watch David Bowie reach his true wizard potential in Labyrinth (screening on several platforms), then hop on this virtual Q&A with puppeteer and voice actress Karen Prell (who worked on the film). 


45th St. Brass
The local 45th St. Brass band will spout rootsy funk in this virtual concert.

All in WA: A Concert for COVID-19 Relief by Presenting Sponsor Amazon
Pearl Jam, Ben Gibbard, Brandi Carlile, Macklemore, and Sir Mix-A-Lot are just a few local artists slated to perform in All in WA's virtual fundraiser, which will be broadcast on Twitch, KREM, KING 5, KONG, and KSKN to raise funds for workers, families, and communities who have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis throughout the state.

STG + Starbucks Up Next: Betty Michaels
STG and Starbucks' series Up Next is aimed at presenting live music from "rising stars," with a special spotlight on young artists from More Music @ The Moore and STG’s Songwriters Lab. This iteration features soulful multi-instrumentalist Betty Michaels (listed in our roundup of local black music artists). Tune in on your evening walk.


Constructing A Black Ass Show: Online Performance with Ayana Evans
Chicago-born, NYC-based artist Ayana Evans aims to dismantle structural hierarchies, classism, misogyny, and racism through interactive durational performances and "public interventions" with mostly-white audiences, "using her own body to help audiences understand what black women often face," as the New York Times put it. Don't miss this virtual performance with Wa Na Wari, which will be streamed live on Instagram from the front yard of the artist's childhood home. 


Black Lives Matter Write-In with Katrina Otuonye
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. 

Garth Greenwell in Conversation with Christopher Frizzelle
Earlier this year, queer novelist Garth Greenwell gave a talk at Elliott Bay Book Company, where he was interviewed onstage by our own Christopher Frizzelle. Before the event, Frizzelle wrote, "Intensity is Greenwell's subject. The word itself appears twice on the first page of his second novel, Cleanness, a subtly ironic title for the dirtiest novel the New Yorker has excerpted in ages. The narrator is an English teacher from the United States living in Bulgaria. The novel is full of beautiful writing about the pitfalls of teaching, the violence of politics, and the purpose of poetry, but the sex scenes are the most memorable. Few writers write about sex so well and with so much sensitivity. The brilliance and animal warmth of Greenwell's style, the depth of insight, and the range of empathy, confer on even gloomy subjects a kind of radiance." Tonight, Frizzelle will interview the author again, this time via livestream, before this week's edition of the Silent Reading Party (ticketed separately), at which Greenwell will be a special guest. A recording of the interview will be available after the event.


Transit (Not-Car)dio Dance Party
Love public transit and dancing? Join the Transportation Choices Coalition for a transit-themed virtual dance party featuring "transit-themed songs" ("Midnight Train to Georgia" or "Waitin' for the Bus," perhaps?). Metropolis Dance will show you some moves.



Cannes XR Virtual
As part of the Cannes XR Virtual Festival, March√© du Film (the business counterpart to the¬†Cannes Film Festival) presents three days of interactive works by award-winning players within the realms of virtual and augmented reality. It's the Cannes of the future, people! Check out over 50 works from the Museum of Other Realities, a selection of interactive premieres from the¬†Tribeca Film Festival,¬†XR and 360¬į pieces from¬†VeeR VR et Positron, developing works from¬†Kal√©idoscope, and more.


Pacific Northwest Ballet Streaming Series
Pacific Northwest Ballet had to cancel several anticipated performances this season due to COVID-19, including Alejandro Cerrudo's One Thousand Pieces. Now, the company is releasing dress rehearsals of the shows (followed by Q&As) on their Facebook and YouTube channels in a series that will conclude with A Midsummer Night's Dream.



NYC Pride Human Rights Conference
Join activists, artists, journalists, and policymakers for a virtual edition of NYC Pride's annual Human Rights Conference, which will include a chat between NYC Pride Rally co-host Ashlee Marie Preston and Queer Eye hair guru Jonathan Van Ness.

She's a Riot: Black Trans Lives Matter Virtual Fundraiser
Help raise money for the fantastic nonprofit the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, which protects and defends the human rights of black transgender people through advocacy and leadership programs, at this virtual march and live music event featuring trans entertainer Lina Bradford, Broadway legend Billy Porter, former NBA player Isiah Thomas, and many others.

Virtual Program Night: The Olympic Peninsula with Lauren Kuehne
Environmental researcher Lauren Kuehne will join the Eastside Audubon Society for a virtual presentation reflecting on a year-long project monitoring the impact of Growler jets on the Olympic Peninsula. 


Frameline44 Pride Showcase
Check out 16 programs highlighting LGBTQ+ films from around the world, including Mike Mosallam's Breaking Fast, about a gay Muslim searching for love in West Hollywood, and a sneak preview episode from the upcoming season of the Showtime series The Chi, created by Emmy winner Lena Waithe.

The Most Dangerous Year - Special Pride Presentation
The year 2016 saw a barrage of bills aiming at curtailing trans people's freedom to use the bathroom of their choice. Filmmaker Vlada Knowlton was among those parents of trans children who fought back in Washington State. She filmed their story, focusing both on the dynamics of trans-positive families and on the legal fight. Watch a one-night screening in honor of Pride Month, then listen on for a prerecorded panel discussion with writer/director Vlada Knowlton and others. 


Mead the Makers - Mead Tasting
Remember in-person events? Let this be your socially distanced reinitiation. Four local mead makers will show you how to make the fermented beverage and lead a tasting. Do bring a mask.


Can't Cancel Pride
iHeartRadio presents a celebrity-packed Pride celebration on Facebook Live, with performances by Adam Lambert, Stranger favorite Big Freedia with Tank and the Bangas, Katy Perry, Kim Petras, and others.

Electric Blockaloo
Log into the Minecraft universe and bliss out to four days of electronic music with the likes of Diplo, A-Trak, Above & Beyond, and tons of others. 

Frank Turner, Billy Bragg & Beans on Toast. A Live Streamed Gig
Sean Nelson wrote, "To hear Billy Bragg extol the practical value of socialist principles‚ÄĒwhich is to say, collective provision as a necessary function of any democratic government worthy of the name‚ÄĒis invigorating. Songs may not change the world, but they can grease the gears. And unlike so many people making noise about this subject right now, Bragg (armed with an unimprovable East London accent) makes it sound not only like common sense, but like it's right around the corner if we only pull together." Bragg will raise money for London's¬†Grand Theatre at Clapham Junction with a live virtual performance alongside fellow Brits Frank Turner and¬†Beans on Toast.

Live on KEXP at Home: Perfume Genius
Sean Nelson wrote, "When 'genius' is right there in your band name, you’re going to have to deliver. Fortunately, Mike Hadreas figured out how to summon the goods. The first two records were real good, but Perfume Genius achieved a glory on 2014’s Too Bright that only grew more glorious on this year’s No Shape. If there’s any justice, he’ll be carried out of [the 2017] Block Party on a team of white stallions." Join the artist for a special performance of songs from his new album, Set My Heart on Fire Immediately. 

Pop Con 2020 Presents: 'Stuck In My Head'
Get a teaser of this fall's virtual MoPOP Pop Con (whose exact dates are still unannounced), the annual pointy-headed music-nerd conference, with a roundtable discussion with Summer Kim Lee and Iván Ramos. 

Selections from DvoŇô√°k New World Symphony
Originally performed in April of 2019, Thomas Dausgaard conducts the Seattle Symphony in a performance of DvoŇô√°k's triumphant ninth symphony.¬†

Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf
Tune in every Thursday at noon for highlights from NPR's 2020 Tiny Desk concert series, hosted this week by Raina Douris. 


Drag Queen Instagram Live
MoPOP's Instagram Live series spotlights pop-culture-obsessed local drag queens and kings (including Eucalypstick, Kylie Mooncakes, and Jane Don't) every Thursday, wrapping up tonight.


After Rubén: Francisco Aragón & Natalie Scenters-Zapico
Poet Ada Limón deems Francisco Aragón's latest collection of poetry and prose "an ode to the between-world of those who live a life dedicated to observation of words." The author will read from the book and join author Natalie Scenters-Zapico (Lima :: Limón) for a virtual conversation. 

Ezekiel Emanuel: Which Country Has the World’s Best Health Care?
The US spends nearly $4 trillion on healthcare (that's more than any other nation), and yet millions of Americans are unable to afford health insurance. Which countries are doing it right? Global healthcare expert Ezekiel Emanuel (the author of Healthcare Guaranteed and Reinventing American Healthcare) will join Town Hall with insights from his latest book, Which Country Has the World's Best Health Care?



AFI Movie Club: 'Do the Right Thing'
Universal Pictures is making Spike Lee's 1989 masterpiece Do the Right Thing rentable for free on Amazon, Google Play, and other streaming platforms for a whole week. Plus, on Thursday, Lee will join the AFI Movie Club for a live conversation on YouTube.

Seattle Jewish Film Festival
This annual film festival, which will take place virtually after having initially been 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. Highlights this week include the Israeli psychological thriller Incitement (screening Thursday), which chronicles the year leading up to the assassination of Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.

Thee Debauchery Ball
David Weatherly's documentary¬†Thee Debauchery Ball¬†wasn't made anticipating this moment in Black and American history, but is an interesting document of the impact music has in creating spaces of exploration (spiritual, emotional, sexual) within the Black community. Set in Chicago and orienting itself around the city's house music scene‚ÄĒanother genre of music birthed by Black queers‚ÄĒthe documentary illuminates the bi-annual event celebrating BDSM, house, and Blackness, as well as the partygoers, DJs, and hosts associated with it.¬†Love‚ÄĒfor self, for others‚ÄĒand freedom are infused in the roots of the private ball. In that space, Black people don fetish gear and leather, tie each other up, dance, kiss, be naked, rub on each other, all without the prying eyes of a society that constantly polices and scrutinizes our every move. "Thee Debauchery Ball, specifically for African-Americans, just means a freedom that we typically don't have in our everyday lives," says one partygoer. The film is a reminder that the dance floor can be a place‚ÄĒor perhaps, state‚ÄĒof Black liberation, too. JASMYNE KEIMIG


Digital Beethoven Fest
Wish your favorite brooding German composer a happy 250th birthday with a week of panel discussions and special performances on the Seattle Symphony's YouTube channel. 


Global Forms Theatre Festival
Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and New York Theatre Salon present this weeklong showcase celebrating immigrant theater artists living in the US and abroad, featuring 30 theater artists from 28 different countries. Through virtual performances, videos, documentaries, workshops, and panel discussions, the festival aims to explore "humanity, freedom, home, and isolationism." All events are free, from the daily "Global Gab" discussions to Catamenia, a theatrical dance performance paying homage to New York City (Wed).


Seattle International Dance Festival
In lieu of the Khambatta Dance Company's annual in-person festival, this two-week-long virtual event will bring interviews, full-length performance videos, behind-the-scenes looks, and more to your computer screen. All the videos (including performances from Sweden's Virpi Pahkinen Dance and a Seattle spotlight with local dancers Hope Goldman, Leah Mann, Lucie Baker, Sojung Lim, Elise Beers, and Cameo Lethem) have been uploaded, so you can watch them in whatever order you please. 


(Not IRL) Pride Summit
Billing itself as "the largest LGBTQ+ tech gathering in history," this virtual event with Lesbians Who Tech promises remote meet-ups, talks on intersectional identities (specifically geared toward black lives), and interviews, like one with the Seattle Storm's Sue Bird on her viral essay "The President F*cking Hates My Girlfriend."

Pop Pride Week
Geekdom and LGBTQ+ merriment will collide with this week of Pride events from the organizers of Emerald City Comic Con, ReedPOP, including talks like "Pride in Comics: Teaching Graphic Novels with LGBTQ Representation" on June 23 and "The Growing Pains of LGBTQ+ Representation in Games with Game Creators" on Thursday.

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