The Best Things To Do from Home This Week: COVID-Safe Seattle Events for November 16-22, 2020

Tomo Nakayama, Legendary Children, and More Top Picks
November 16, 2020
Tomo Nakayama fans, rejoice: The Seattle folk artist and composer will appear in KEXP's Icelandic showcase Reykjavik Calling on Saturday and Songs of Hope: A Benefit for Musicians' Health on Sunday. (Courtesy of the artist)

To help keep you safe at home as COVID cases rise at a rapid pace and Washington State heads into a month-long lockdown, we're hitting you with the best ways to stay entertained from your couch through Sunday, from KEXP's Reykjavik Calling to a reading with master Kenyan playwright and author Ngugi wa Thiong'o, and from the Seattle Art Museum's Legendary Children to Hugo House's Write-O-Rama. Plus, check out our StreamLocal events hub for other upcoming virtual events, and stay tuned for a roundup of the best socially distanced things to do this weekend. 


Jump to: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Multi-Day


MONDAY

FOOD & DRINK

Virtual Author Talk: Chaat by Maneet Chauhan and Jody Eddy
Maneet Chauhan, a Chopped judge and James Beard Award-winning chef, and Jody Eddy, a cookbook author and journalist, will discuss their new book Chaat, which explores recipes from the "railways, markets, and kitchens" of India.

PERFORMANCE

Pacific Northwest Ballet 2020/2021 Season: Rep 2
After a successful debut digital season, the Pacific Northwest Ballet is back for round two, this time celebrating new works by female choreographers Jessica Lang and Penny Saunders, bolstered by solos from Twyla Tharp's Waterbaby Bagatelles and Susan Marshall's Arms. Bonus content specially curated for each program will include interviews, additional dance works, and the premiere of a site-specific work created by PNB Company member Amanda Morgan." This is the last night of the program. 

READINGS & TALKS

Seattle Arts and Lectures presents Yaa Gyasi
Yaa Gyasi (the author of the epic novel Homegoing (which tells the story of families in Ghana and the "New World" linked across 300 years of time and which Ta-Nehisi Coates called "an inspiration"), is out with Transcendent Kingdom, about a Ghanaian family in Alabama. The author will join Seattle Arts & Lectures for a reading and discussion. 

See Also: Multi-Day Events


TUESDAY

COMMUNITY

Art as Resistance, Art for Liberation: A Virtual Conversation
Join muralist Saiyare Refaei, print-maker Andrea Marcos, and videographer Enrico Abadesco from La Resistencia (a grassroots organization based in Washington State whose #FreeThemAll campaign "leverages the power of art and storytelling to end the detention of immigrants and stop deportations") for a panel discussion on the role of art in abolition and social change, courtesy of the Henry Art Gallery. 

MUSIC

Sylvan Esso
Former Stranger staffer Kim Selling wrote, "Every new generation of college kids needs at least one party album to rally behind. For my freshman year, it was M.I.A.’s Kala and Kanye West’s Graduation—for this year’s crop, it will be Sylvan Esso’s What Now. Their electrified, multilayered pop is clever, bright, and fully hitched to dance as a primary activity in a way that feels much like two-dimensional worship. Preaching a lifestyle adjacent to “the power of dance heals all” is a little #LoveWins for my taste, but Sylvan Esso manage to carry their music through these lyrical tropes with a strength of conviction that is truly impressive (and occasionally beguiling). And hey—who am I to shit on such an active joy?" Join the artist for the second of three online performances with STG.

Taj Mahal
"Taj Mahal has a voice that makes me feel instantly warm, comforted, and content," wrote former Stranger staffer Leilani Polk. "Sometimes it's low, gritty, easy, set against breezy, ambling grooves with vague island vibes (“Satisfied N’ Tickled Too”), other times it’s husky and booming over bright rootsy melodies (“Queen Bee”) or low-down, harmonica-piped R&B (“Leaving Trunk”), and often, it’s plain smoky and soulful and rambling (“Corinna”)." See what the artist has in store tonight by tuning in to his online performance with STG.

READINGS & TALKS

A Different Thanksgiving
Acclaimed food writers Sam Sifton (See You on Sunday), Julia Bainbridge (Good Drinks), Hawa Hassan (In Bibi’s Kitchen), Maneet Chauhan (Chaat), and Yossy Arefi (Snacking Cakes) will talk about their new books and give you some much-needed pointers on how to make the most out of this unconventional Thanksgiving.  

Ngugi wa Thiong'o: The Perfect Nine
"Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o's name gets thrown into the ring every time the Nobel Prize committee convenes to select the year's winner," wrote Rich Smith, "And for good reason. Known early on for his great plays, The Black Hermit and This Time Tomorrow, the Kenyan genius went on to lead postcolonial thinking with books such as Decolonising the Mind and Moving the Centre." He tells the story of the founding of the Gĩkũyũ people of Kenya in his new book The Perfect Nine, The Epic of Gĩkũyũ And Mũmbi, his first attempt at the epic form. Join him for a reading with Elliott Bay. 

Ron Chew
Gentrification has forced many Asian American-owned Seattle businesses to close throughout the years, from family-owned shops to small restaurants to sewing factories. Local writer and social justice activist Ron Chew reflects on places he's seen come and go—and what that means for the legacy of Asian American culture in Seattle—in his memoir My Unforgotten Seattle.

Theorem: Elizabeth Bradfield & Antonia Contro In conversation with Kevin Craft
Co-authors Elizabeth Bradfield and Antonia Contro will join UW English professor Kevin Craft for a talk on their new book, Theorem, which investigates the secrets formed in childhood and held onto through adulthood. 

Virtual Book Fest in Your Living Room: Ben Katchor
MacArthur Genius and acclaimed graphic novelist Ben Katchor explores NYC's iconic Jewish dairy restaurants in his latest book, The Dairy Restaurant. Join him for a discussion with the organizers of the Seattle Jewish Film Festival. 

See Also: Multi-Day Events


WEDNESDAY

COMEDY

The I, Anonymous Live-streaming Show!
If you're desperately needing some top notch comedy, then the I, Anonymous Show is for you! Here's how it works: We get the funniest local and national comedians to riff and heckle the wildest, jaw-droppingly wrong, and uncensored I, Anonymous submissions from the famous Stranger and Portland Mercury column, and in return you laugh yer buttz off! Joining your delightful host Kate Murphy (a Mercury "Undisputable Genius of Comedy") will be the following murderers' row of hilarious, nationally beloved comedians: Amy Miller, Adam Pasi, and Carla Rossi/Anthony Hudson. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

COMMUNITY

Beyond Pink: Preventing Violence Against Girls*
Join Justice for Girls Coalition of Washington State for a virtual summit and training day for advocates and professionals who work in schools, youth development, child welfare, and other sectors that serve girl-identifying youth. 

A Conversation with Bob Ferguson
Washington State Attorney General and Stranger valentine Bob Ferguson will join Crosscut for an online discussion on the "legal maneuvering" from both sides of the aisle following the presidential election and the newly appointed Supreme Court Justice, and what these outcomes could mean for Washingtonians. 

Generations Celebration
This second annual event presented by the University of Washington's AgePride HealthyGen Center and the National LGBTQ+ Health and Longevity Center, hosted by Aleksa Manila, "will help to solidify our common ground in the context of a global pandemic, celebrate advances in health and longevity, honor those we have lost, and illuminate the steadfast work needed to advance racial equity and intersectional justice."

History Café: Writing and Remembrance with Tamiko Nimura
Writer and historian Tamiko Nimura will join MoHAI to share stories of people of color around Washington State throughout history, from Japanese American farmers on Vashon Island to State Senator Rosa Franklin.

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—he deserves it!), and hundreds of people at the party have written us emails, clamoring for more. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

MUSIC

Black Fret & NVCS Present: Whitney Mongé
Head to Nectar's YouTube channel for a live performance from local alternative soul artist and former busker Whitney Mongé, who will fill your eardrums with a voice that former Stranger contributor Andrew Hamlin once called "understated but emphatic."

KNKX Presents: Piano Starts Here- The Music of Bud Powell/Count Basie
Bebop and swing legends Bud Powell and Count Basie are required reading (or playing) for modern pianists. This installment of the Royal Room's Piano Starts Here series will honor their work with performances by Matt Williams, Casey MacGill, Jake Sele, and Alex Guilbert. 

READINGS & TALKS

Daudi Abe with Jazmyn Scott
With a foreword by local legend Sir Mix-a-Lot, Seattle Central College professor Daudi Abe's new book Emerald Street: A History of Hip-Hop in Seattle traces our city's long line of hip-hop greats, exploring how and why hip-hop culture flourished in the local scene. He'll be joined in conversation tonight by Langston's Jazmyn Scott. 

SHOPPING

The Virtual Best of the Northwest Fall Show & NWAA Holiday Market
Check out work by over 140 Northwest artists and craftspeople. If something speaks to you, you can strike up a virtual chat with the artist and buy their piece.

See Also: Multi-Day Events


THURSDAY

COMEDY

Speakeasy!
Former Stranger staffer Callan Berry, the creator of Police Reports Illustrated and a person who is good at making cocktails, will teach you how to mix up a boozy concoction and draw a little comic. He'll also answer your most pressing questions.

FOOD & DRINK

PNA Winter Beer (Virtual) Tastings
In place of their annual winter beer extravaganza, the Phinney Neighborhood Association will bring you three evenings of Zoom beer tastings with different breweries, starting with Seapine Brewing, Lucky Envelope Brewing, and Georgetown Brewing. Tickets for each night include six full-sized beers — two from each featured brewery — and access to the live Zoom tasting. Tickets for each night include six full-sized beers — two from each featured brewery — and access to the live Zoom tasting. Tonight you'll get a chance to taste offerings from Urban Family Brewing, Reuben’s Brews, Rooftop Brewing.

MUSIC

Sorey & Beethoven
Catch the world premiere of Tyshawn Sorey's new piece for cello, accompanied by the full Seattle Symphony orchestra. Also on the program: Beethoven’s joyful Fourth Symphony. 

READINGS & TALKS

Book Launch: The Freezer Door by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
The author of the Lambda Award-winning memoir The End of San Francisco and approximately one million other essays and stories and books continues to explore her fascination with queer characters and imaginations, this time as they ride the routine waves of suburban life, in The Freezer Door. Join the author for an online book party with Hugo House.

Booker Prize Ceremony
Two days after the publication of his new memoir, President Barack Obama—who, in addition to being a great writer, is also a voracious reader with eclectic tastes ranging from Sally Rooney to Hilary Mantel—will present this year's Man Booker Prize alongside past winners Kazuo Ishiguro, Margaret Atwood, and Bernardine Evaristo. The broadcast will be streamed live online in partnership with BBC from London’s Roundhouse and will honor nominees Tsitsi Dangarembga, Diane Cook, Avni Doshi, Maaza Mengiste, Douglas Stuart, and Brandon Taylor.

Elizabeth Ferrer with Laura Anderson Barbata: A Visual History of Latinx Photography in the US
Unsurprisingly, the work of Latinx photographers who have spent their lives documenting social justice movements has been largely excluded from mainstream studies of U.S. history. Working to change that is writer and curator Elizabeth Ferrer, who will join Town Hall with insights from her book Latinx Photography in the United States: A Visual History. She'll be joined in conversation by transdisciplinary artist Laura Anderson Barbata

LOVE IN THE TIME OF COVID: Ask An Abolitionist
The Seattle Public Library's second installment of its Love in the Time of COVID series will focus on how BIPOC activists are continuing to fight for social justice during the pandemic. 

Ni Una Más
After reading Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna's book Killing Marías, Seattle Times visual journalists Corinne Chin and Erika Schultz traveled to Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, to investigate acts of violence against women on the U.S.-Mexico border, resulting in their own book, Disappearing Daughters. Join Luna, Chin, Schultz, and Justicia para Nuestras Hijas founder Norma Ledezma Ortega for a panel discussion with Elliott Bay, followed by a Q&A.

VISUAL ART

Artist Spotlight: 2020 Betty Bowen Award
Join the Seattle Art Museum online to celebrate this year's Betty Bowen Award nominees (Dawn Cerny, Elijah Hasan, and Tariqa Waters) and hear about their work first-hand. 

Re/frame: Still Motion
Curious about how artists convey movement in still images? This installment of the Henry's Re/frame series will explore that via an online tour of the museum's collection, led by resident curator Ann Poulson. 

See Also: Multi-Day Events


FRIDAY

FILM

HUMP! Greatest Hits, Volume 2
The HUMP! team is bringing back some fan-favorite amateur porn shorts from years past in the second volume of streamable compilations. If you get inspired, find out how to make and submit your own HUMP! film here—submissions are due January 8!

MUSIC

Des Moines Arts Commission Presents: A Virtual Concert Series
Tune in every Friday for live music from local bands, ending tonight with Olympia born and bred singer-songwriter Ethan Tucker.

Naked Giants: Livestream in Mothership Studios
Dance to a virtual set from local rockers Naked Giants as they perform live from Alma Mater's Mothership Studios. 

Native American Flute Songs: Gary Stroutsos
Wind down your week with Seattle-based Native flute artist Gary Stroutsos's program of meditative acoustics performed live from Saint Mark's Cathedral. 

Twofer: Two sets of Kim Virant!
Seattle-based alt-rock vet Kim Virant, who's been steering down the blues and country road ever since her band Lazy Susan split in the '90s, will take over the Royal Room's digital stage for two back-to-back sets.

PERFORMANCE

Into the Unknown — 17 Minute Stories
In addition to working within a time constraint, Macha Theatre Works' series of quick-bite solo shows also explores the very concept of time, or more specifically, how we end up where we do, and how we fumble through human existence in our own ways. The series kicks off with Claribel Gross's Gasp, which revolves around a young woman’s connection to her Nicaraguan roots and "the importance of making a proper rum drink." 

READINGS & TALKS

Priscilla Long with Sierra Nelson
Celebrated Seattle poets Priscilla Long and Sierra Nelson (the latter of whom "writes bioluminescent lines using various personas and scientific guises to illuminate the dark corners of melancholy and loneliness," according to Rich Smith) will expand on their use of color and dimension in their work. 

See Also: Multi-Day Events


SATURDAY

FESTIVALS

IntersectFest VI: For and by BIPOC
This online, BIPOC-only festival will feature talks and Q&As on BIPOC responses and activism surrounding the pandemic, the last few months of protests demanding justice for Black lives, abolition, and healing. 

FILM

Future Retro West Coast Premiere
Warren Miller's new outdoor film will have you longing for the slopes. This *exclusive* online premiere is available only to West Coast-dwellers and includes red carpet events, coupons, giveaways, and more.

LIVESTREAMED

Women.Weed.WiFi Presents: Co$mically Charged Wellness Day
The stoner WOC collective Women.Weed.WiFi will host a day of online workshops and performances aimed at providing marginalized folks with affordable access to holistic healing.

MUSIC

Fall Chamber Concert Beethoven, Brahms, and Shostakovich
The Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra will grace the Town Hall stage for a fall concert led by Music Director Alan Shen and featuring a range of chamber works by Beethoven, Brahms, and Shostakovich. 

Reykjavik Calling 2020
Iceland Airwaves and KEXP will team up for a showcase of Reykjavik-based musicians, including Kristín Anna and Supersport! (and Seattle's Tomo Nakayama). Catch the whole thing on YouTube.

PERFORMANCE

Legendary Children
Presented in partnership with Seattle Public Library, SAM’s Legendary Children is one of Seattle's best cultural events, centered around house and ballroom culture and featuring a fantastic cast of QTBIPOC performers and authors.

READINGS & TALKS

TEDxSeattle: Other Sides
This independently organized TED event promises fast-paced and engaging presentations with illustrious speakers like business leaders Susan Long-Walsh and Rico Quirindongo, Deueling Thumbs StudioLab founder Thomas Deuel, sculptor Richard Rhodes, and others.

VISUAL ART

Clay Lives On Watch Party
After a virtual reception, former Pottery Northwest resident artists Ling Chun, Soe Yu Nwe, Anyuta Gusakova, and Jake Brodsky will present the projects that they made under the 2019 Wally Bivins Grant. 

See Also: Multi-Day Events


SUNDAY

MUSIC

The Muse Hour with Rhiannon Giddens & Francesco Turrisi
Rhiannon Giddens will blend her 19th-century American minstrel banjo tunes with Italian pianist Francesco Turrisi's traditional Sicilian tamburello rhythms before joining the audience for a Q&A (virtually).

Songs of Hope: A Benefit for Musicians' Health
This concert of dynamic pairings of Seattle artists—like Dave Matthews with Tomo Nakayama, Mike McCready of Pearl Jam with the Black Tones, and Chong the Nomad with Chris Ballew—will help musicians affected by COVID-19 get access to sustainable healthcare. 

READINGS & TALKS

Seattle NaNoWriMo Write-In
Those participating in National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) can work toward their 50,000-word goal at this online community write-in with Hugo House. Jennifer Swagert, the official NaNoWriMo municipal liaison for Seattle, will host.

Setsuko's Secret - A Virtual Event with Shirley Ann Higuchi
Using her own family history as a guide, Shirley Ann Higuchi delves into Japanese American incarceration during WWII in her book Setsuko’s Secret: Heart Mountain and the Legacy of the Japanese American Incarceration. Join the author for a panel discussion with Darrell Kunitomi and Aura Newlin, who are also descendants of former incarcerees. 

Write-O-Rama
Get the maximum amount of instruction from Hugo House's excellent prose writers and poets at this annual event featuring five hours of mini-workshops and talks—including a "diary comics crash course" with David Lasky and a "lyrical post office" workshop with Sierra Nelson.


MULTI-DAY

COMMUNITY

Teeny Awards
The teens are our future, and they're taking over at this annual awards show, giving all the olds (read: non-teens) a chance to peer into their minds. In addition to giving recognition to their favorite local arts and culture figures, they'll open up the virtual stage to Seattle entertainers like Randy Ford and Sara Porkalob.
(Saturday-Sunday)

FESTIVALS

The Festival of What Works
Salmon Nation's week-long online festival celebrating "community-led approaches to living well in place" promises insights from community leaders on community health, education, economic development, social activism, food production, and more.
(All week)

Identities and Expressions: A Virtual Trans & Non-Binary Performing Arts Festival
Non-binary femme beacons Mx. Pucks A'Plenty and Irish Lashes present an online festival dedicated to trans and non-binary performers like Canada's Mother Girth and Washington's Saira Barbaric.
(Friday-Saturday)

Seattle is Native Land: 2020 Indigenous People Festival
Celebrate some of what Coast Salish culture has to offer with this online festival of music, dance, and performances created by and for local Native communities.
(Friday-Saturday)

FILM

Romanian Film Festival
"The Romanian film industry has been producing international festival hits since 2004, and the so-called New Wave filmmakers and their successors have never stopped innovating. This brief but mighty film festival screens movies that range from caustically funny to fearlessly intellectual," wrote former Stranger Arts Calendar Editor Joule Zelman last year. Back for a seventh year, this online edition will pay special attention to films that inspire social change and give hope for life after the pandemic.
(All week)

Seattle Queer Film Festival Encore Series
If you missed this year's Seattle Queer Film Festival, have no fear: Three Dollar Bill Cinema is rescreening award winners, audience favorites, popular films, and bonus shorts online for three days, including the Ferzan Özpetek's Goddess of Fortune
(Friday-Sunday)

Travessias Brazilian Film Festival
UW Center for Brazilian Studies and curator Emanuella Leite Rodrigues de Moraes will co-present this mini-festival of contemporary women filmmakers from the largest South American country. The films—short, feature-length, animated, documentary, and narrative—explore urgent issues of race, gender, and sexuality. 
(Friday-Sunday)

MUSIC

Jeremy Denk
Pianist virtuoso and MacArthur Fellow Jeremy Denk will revive works by Robert and Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms, three influential composers of the Romantic period.
(Monday-Friday)

POP+ Hip Hop: Celebrating The Queens
MoPOP will zero in on womxn artists and performers in honor of Washington State Hip-Hop History Month with a multi-day program of performances, artifacts, panel discussions, and other events, including a hip-hop dance styles Instagram takeover (Mon Nov 16, 6 pm) and a MoPOP Book Club discussion of Angie Thomas's On the Come-Up (Wed Nov 18, 4 pm).
(Monday-Friday)

PERFORMANCE

The Elixir of Love
This modern operatic comedy tells the story of a country bumpkin in love who is about to lose the company of a rich and independent landowner. "Wine, a windfall, and a fateful furtive tear eventually reveal happy truths as sincerity triumphs amid much rejoicing," reads press materials. This Seattle Opera production, premiering online and designed specifically for the digital stage, stars Madison Leonard, Michael Adams, Patrick Carfizzi, and Tess Altiveros.
(All week)

SHOPPING

Latvian Center Virtual Christmas Bazaar
Shop online for handmade crafts and jewelry by local Latvian artists at this annual Baltic holiday bazaar.
(All week)

Virtual Holiday Market
Shop early for handmade holiday gifts from nearly 30 Shoreline artists without leaving your house.
(Saturday-Sunday)