The 25 Best September 2020 Events in Seattle

Washington Cider Week, Local Sightings, and Other Major Events This Month
September 1, 2020
Cideries across the state will dole out specials and food pairings that you order ahead of time for pickup during Washington Cider Week from September 10-20. (Washington Cider Week via Facebook)

We've been informed—and we're just as surprised about it as you are—that August has come to an end. After staring into the middle-distance and questioning the institution of time for the hundredth time since March, we looked into the most notable social distancing-friendly events happening this month, which we've listed below, and now September isn't looking so bad. From a reading with Margaret Atwood to the Local Sightings Film Festival to PAX Online, there's plenty to look forward to for folks of all strokes. For even more options, check out our complete streaming, in-person, and protests & resistance events calendars.

SEPTEMBER 4

VISUAL ART

National Nordic Museum Reopening
You'll have two hours to explore traveling exhibits like Gudrun Sjödén–A Colourful Universe (which was originally slated to close in September, but extended to October 18) and Johan Bävman's Swedish Dads when you visit Ballard's National Nordic Museum. There will be no coat check, but you will be given a "souvenir stylus pen" to use on interactive surfaces without having to share with others. 

SEPTEMBER 4-7

MUSIC

The First (and hopefully only) Virtual Summer Camp
Summer Camp is 107.7 The End's version of Warped Tour: all the bands you hear on your favorite Seattle rock station, but actually live, playing all the hits. This year's lineup (which includes All Time Low, Barns Courtney, Chaz Cardigan, the Head and the Heart, Local Natives, and the X Ambassadors, among others) won't be playing in the flesh at Marymoor Park like usual, but they will be livestreaming for your remote viewing pleasure. 

SEPTEMBER 4-10

FILM

15th Annual Hump Film Fest - Encore Presentation
Our colleagues, the creators of HUMP!, were crushed to cancel their originally planned fall tour. But after receiving enthusiastic support and permission from the filmmakers to show their films online, they knew that the show must go on! Even if we can’t watch together in movie theaters, we can still watch the 16 sexy short films, curated by Dan Savage, in the privacy and safety of our homes. Dan will introduce the show and then take you straight to the great dirty movies that showcase an amazing range of shapes, colors, sexualities, kinks, and fetishes!

SEPTEMBER 5

COMMUNITY

Peace Peloton Bike Ride
Hop on your bicycle and join a 14-mile ride supporting Black-owned businesses, starting at Chef Edouardo Jordan's Ravenna restaurant JuneBaby, where Dr. Rayburn Lewis (International Community Health Services) will give an opening address. Halfway through, the group will stop at Myrtle Edwards Park for a presentation by MySonShineProject, and will continue to White Center's Beer Star.  

SEPTEMBER 7-10

SHOPPING

Friends of the Conservatory Fall Plant Sale
Need some new plant friends for your plant friends? Your favorite Victorian greenhouse is still closed to the public, but the Volunteer Park Conservatory's biggest fundraiser of the year will allow you to shop for flora and fauna online and pick them up safely. In addition to a bevy of seasonal native plants—plus some tropicals for skilled green thumbs—they'll also have new merch and hand-crafted planters by local artists.

SEPTEMBER 9

READINGS & TALKS

Seattle Arts and Lectures presents: Margaret Atwood
Living science-fiction legend Margaret Atwood will grace our humble city for a conversation with the beloved Northwest author Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail) as part of SAL's virtual series. Tickets include a copy of Atwood's newest book The Testaments, the long-awaited sequel to The Handmaiden's Tale. 

SEPTEMBER 9-24

FESTIVALS

PopCon 2020: Forever Young: Popular Music and Youth Across the Ages
At this annual pointy-headed music-nerd conference, which was started in 2002, academics, critics, artists, and hardcore fans come together to hear panels on a broad theme relating to the art form that connects them all. This year's three-block virtual event is all about the youth, who have played a major role in driving music, politics, and culture throughout history.

OPENING SEPTEMBER 9 (ONGOING)

PERFORMANCE

A Thousand Ways
In this three-part interactive virtual performance lasting an entire year, Obie Award-winning theater-makers 600 Highwaymen respond to social distancing rules that "deliver us from isolation to congregation." In the first installment, A Phone Call (Sept 9-27), you'll glean a telling portrait of the performer on the other end of a mysterious phone call. In the following, An Encounter (dates TBA), you and a stranger meet on opposite ends of a table, separated by a pane of glass. Using a script and props, you'll connect with the other person through simple gestures. Finally, in A Congregation (Summer 2021), you'll join a public "gathering" with everyone involved in the project’s journey, with whom you'll follow a shared score.  

SEPTEMBER 10

READINGS & TALKS

Erin Brockovich: Our National Water Crisis and What We Can Do
If all you know of Erin Brockovich is that Julia Roberts played her in Steven Soderbergh's 2000 hit film, know that she's a real person who's made a huge impact on the fight for clean and safe water. In this talk, she'll discuss environmental threats that face communities today (and what you can do to help), drawing from her new book Superman’s Not Coming: Our National Water Crisis an What We the People Can Do About It.

SEPTEMBER 10-20

FOOD & DRINK

Washington Cider Week
Freak out about cider at approximately a billion tastings (for pickup or delivery) during a week so special, it lasts 11 days! Cideries across the state (like Tacoma's Incline and Chimacum's Finnriver) are doling out specials and food pairings that you can enjoy at home, or on your picnic blanket if you're so inclined. The biggest event of the week is the Seattle Cider Summit (Sat Sept 12) where you can choose from three tastings kits for pickup via drive-through at Downtown Spirits.

SEPTEMBER 11

VISUAL ART

Seattle Art Museum Reopening
The Seattle Asian Art Museum, PACCAR Pavilion at the Olympic Sculpture Park, and the TASTE Café at SAM will all remain closed for the time being, but SAM itself will be open at limited capacity and with limited hours for timed visits, which you must reserve in advance. Masks are required (duh) and visitors' temperatures will be taken before allowed inside the building. Permanent collections remain on view, and Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstract Variations will stick around until September 7. 

SECS Fest
The not-so-coyly named SECS FEST presents 31 short and two feature-length cinematic tales to titillate, which are selected to "show a diversity of representations: race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, kink, and body-type; with a strong sex-positive core." Filmmakers Henry Baker, Barbara Carrellas, Stephen Crompton, Armine Vosganian, and Shine Louise Houston will be special guests, and there will also be an archival screening of the 1972 film Fongaluli.

SEPTEMBER 12-20

GEEK & GAMING

PAX Online
Promising a 24/7 (or 24/9, since the event runs for nine days straight) stream of content, events, discussions, and gameplay, the virtual edition of this hugely popular gaming festival is doing things a little differently this year. If you've attended PAX in the past, you know that it's infamously quick to sell out, but that won't be the case this year—it's free!

SEPTEMBER 15

READINGS & TALKS

Seismic: Seattle, City of Literature Release Party
What does it mean for Seattle to be a UNESCO City of Literature? The anthology Seismic: Seattle, City of Literature asks local all-star writers like Anastacia-Reneé, Rena Priest, Ken Workman, Claudia Castro Luna, Jourdan Keith, Wei-Wei Lee, and Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore to consider our city's 2017 designation and reflect on how literature can serve as an agent of change. Celebrate the book's release and hear readings from its contributors at this livestreamed event.

SEPTEMBER 16

COMMUNITY

Crosscut Live - Northwest Newsmakers: A Conversation with Jenny Durkan
If, like many, you've been feeling a disconnect between local elected officials and the community, or if you're confused about the city's plan to address the pandemic, justice for Black and brown lives, the future of the West Seattle Bridge, and other major issues facing our city, you might consider tuning in to this talk with Major Jenny Durkan and Crosscut's David Kroman. If you have a question for Durkan, you can submit it ahead of time—the host might decide to ask it during the event.

SEPTEMBER 17

FOOD & DRINK

Edd Kimber: One Tin Bakes
The Great British Bake Off winner Edd Kimber will join Book Larder and Seattle's own Rachael Coyle of Coyle's Bakeshop for a virtual chat on his new cookbook, One Tin Bakes. As the name suggests, the book's 70 recipes require no more than a single baking dish.

SEPTEMBER 18

COMMUNITY

Museum of Pop Culture Reopening
The Paul Allen-founded music and pop culture museum will reopen for in-person visits at 75% capacity, requiring guests to wear masks and maintain at least six feet of distance. Guests will also be provided with stylus pens to use on interactive surfaces to avoid germ-spreading. They'll be open limited hours, from 10 am-6 pm on weekends only. 

READINGS & TALKS

Salon of Shame presents Salon of Shame #97: Who's Zoomin' Who?
Writing that makes you cringe ("middle school diaries, high school poetry, unsent letters") is read aloud with unapologetic hilarity at the Salon of Shame, which will move online this time. 

VISUAL ART

The Big Create
In honor of National Arts Education Week, this online event invites anyone and everyone to pledge to express themselves through art for a day. If you don't know where to start, use their list of ideas as inspiration. 

SEPTEMBER 18-20

FILM

Crypticon Seattle Film Festival
Having taken the form of a celebrity-packed extravaganza for gorehounds, bloodsluts, zombbros, and creepazoids in previous COVID-free years, this horror event will go virtual this year as a film festival celebrating "all things dark, weird, and unusual." 

SEPTEMBER 18-27

FILM

Local Sightings Film Festival 2020
This always-great, hyper-local film festival highlights indie filmmakers who eschew New York or LA for the earnest and eccentric Northwest. "Local Sightings acts as a showcase and watering hole for regional filmmakers, VR artists, and others who range from emotional storytellers to nature documentarists to political essayists," wrote former Stranger Arts Calendar Joule Zelman last year. The 23rd annual event is, natch, entirely online, with feature blocks like 24 Hours in the CHOP and Hope is Not Cancelled, about the recent clashes between police and protestors on Capitol Hill and the resilience of Black Lives Matter activists, and Fall Back Down, which press materials describe as "simultaneously a murder mystery, a rom-com, and an anarchic ride through the Vancouver B.C. underground."

SEPTEMBER 19-OCTOBER 24

READINGS & TALKS

Quarantine Book Club: "Beloved"
Toni Morrison's seminal 1987 novel Beloved was deemed the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years in a 2006 author poll taken by the New York Times, and that still holds up—if not in the eyes of those same authors, then in the eyes of literally millions of people who like books. This installment of Christopher Frizzelle's Quarantine Book Club will revisit the Nobel Prize in Literature-winning author's famously haunting novel in six weeks of virtual discussions held on Saturdays. 

SEPTEMBER 24 & 27

Cider Swig: Drive-Thru Edition
Cider makers across the region—plus some local food trucks—will offer to-go kits and other goodies at this drive-through festival. Each kit will include a plethora of ciders, two Cider Swig tasting glasses, miscellaneous tchotchkes, and a discount code for next year's (hopefully) in-person festival.

OPENING SEPTEMBER 24 (ONGOING)

PERFORMANCE

Choreographic Shindig VI
A pandemic won't stop Whim W'him from continuing the tradition of kicking off their fall season with "a sort of opposite day where dancers choose the choreographer with whom they want to work," as Rich Smith has put it. This year's virtual event features two new dance films by Amsterdam-based choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and duo Madison Olandt and Mike Tyus, who dance to music by Emmit Fenn.

SEPTEMBER 30

READINGS & TALKS

Barbara Kingsolver: How to Fly
Acclaimed writer Barbara Kingsolver will read from her new book of poems, How to Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons), in which she "trains her eye on the everyday and the metaphysical." In addition to a virtual reading from the author, tickets include access to a Q&A and a copy of the book.