February may be the shortest month of the year, but it also happens to be one of the most eventful, even in the era of COVID. From Valentine's Day to Black History Month to the Lunar New Year to the Super Bowl, the days ahead are full of virtual and social distancing-friendly happenings to soothe your dead-winter doldrums. We've compiled the biggest ones below, from the reopening of the Museum of Pop Culture to the Pacific Northwest Ballet's pre-recorded production of Roméo et Juliette, from A Night at the Opera: Celebrating Black Voices to a Hugo Literary Series kickoff reading with Ottessa Moshfegh, Leni Zumas, and Laura Da’, and from the Lunar New Year Food Walk in the C-ID to Li'l Woody's Burger Month. For even more options, you can always check out our complete streaming, in-person, or on-demand calendars.
Events are online unless otherwise noted.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
A Night at the Opera: Celebrating Black Voices
Together with Seattle Opera, the Northwest African American Museum presents a live drive-in event boasting a range of stylings from contemporary Black singers, including tenor Frederick Ballentine (who took on the role of Charlie Parker in the Seattle Opera production of Charlie Parker's Yardbird), bass-baritone Damien Geter, soprano Jasmine Habersham, and baritone Jorell Williams.
Museum of Flight, Tukwila (Sat Feb 13)
Jackson Street Jazz Walk
Instead of spreading itself across various Central District venues, this annual jazz walk benefiting Northwest Harvest will take place online. You won't want to miss performances from local heavyweights like the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, Eugenie Jones Jazz, the Alex Dugdale Fade Quintet, D’Vonne and Donovon Lewis, and the Rafael Tranquilino Band.
Seattle Arts & Lectures Poetry Series presents Toi Derricotte
The founder of Cave Canem, "the major watering hole and air pocket for Black poetry," poet Toi Derricotte will join Seattle Arts & Lectures with material that tackles violence, racism, motherhood, and identity.
(Fri Feb 26)
Sites of Power
Together with director Jay O'Leary Woods, conceptual artist Natasha Marin, whose poetry collection Black Imagination—Black Voices on Black Futures was published last year, leads this "exhibition-slash-experience" that centers intersectional Black identities. Over 20 local artists—like Dante Barger, Chris Ivey, and Sydney Foster—and organizations have contributed short videos based on the book.
(Through Feb 28)
The Soul of Seattle
James Beard Award-winning chef Edouardo Jordan of JuneBaby and Salare is teaming up with Northwest Harvest to offer a series of virtual fundraising events throughout the month of February to benefit local Black chefs and organizations that focus on youth of color. The programming includes live cooking demos with local chefs hosted by Matt Lewis and Wayne Johnson, a live panel discussion with national and local Black culinary leaders, gift baskets with items from Black-owned businesses, a virtual dance party with DJ Topspin and Questlove, a weekly silent auction, and more.
(Through Feb 28)
The Atomic Bombshells: J’adore
Some of Seattle's most beloved burlesque dancers—like Kitten N’ Lou, Indigo Blue, INGA, Cherdonna Shinatra, spICE!, J Von Stratton, Ruby Mimosa, Tova de Luna, Markeith Wiley, the Purple Lemonade Collective, and Woody Shticks—make up the boisterous Atomic Bombshells troupe, which has been sexing up international stages ever since Kitten LaRue founded it in 2003. For lovers of feathery, busty, glitzy fun, this is a great virtual spectacle to attend with your friends or sweetie(s) on the most romantic day of the year.
(Feb 10 & 14)
Jinkx Monsoon: Leave Loathe Lie
Not in the mood to throw heart-shaped confetti on Valentine's Day? Neither is Seattle drag legend Jinkx Monsoon. Her virtual Live Laugh Love Leave Loathe Lie performance will cater to happily single or otherwise V-Day-averse people, and will also include a virtual meet-and-greet.
(Sun Feb 14)
Pitch Your Single Friend for a Date
In this live dating show hosted by the Seattle Times' "Dating Scene squad," locals "pitch" their eligible single friends to the crowd via three-minute virtual presentations followed by two-minute Q&As.
(Fri Feb 12)
Pacific Northwest Ballet: Roméo et Juliette
Romeo et Juliette is a PNB classic, featuring music by Prokofiev and choreography by Jean-Christophe Maillot. Back in 2009, when Pacific Northwest Ballet first performed this version, Jen Graves wrote that artistic director Peter Boal "has beefed up PNB's short, experimental repertory, but his updating of [Kent Stowell's] Romeo and Juliet with Roméo et Juliette is proof that he's undermining convention on all fronts, refusing to ghettoize experimentalism. His unified vision can reach even the big-story ballets. And the audience is eating it up. It's understandable: Roméo et Juliette is hot. It seduces the audience with everything the dancers have, not just some of it—their command and their release; their Olympian ability not just to spin bolt upright but also to ache; their fingers, eyes, mouths; their acting. Feels are copped. Making out is not symbolized: It occurs." This is a pre-recorded performance.
Virtual Cupid's Undie Run
Lace up your sneakers and wear your cutest and comfiest underpants (underneath your running pants, presumably) for a run to benefit neurofibromatosis research through the Children's Tumor Foundation. This is a virtual event, meaning you can jog in the non-crowded location of your choosing and share your photos online.
(Sat Feb 13)
LUNAR NEW YEAR
Chinese New Year at Lucky Envelope Brewing
Cofounders Raymond Kwan and Barry Chan named their Ballard craft brewery Lucky Envelope for the colorful red envelopes traditionally stuffed with money and given out on Chinese New Year to bring good fortune. So it only makes sense that it's the perfect place to usher in the Year of the Ox. As they've made a welcome habit of doing, they'll release some new beers for the holiday, including a Coffee-Vanilla rendition of their Double Happiness Barrel-Aged Imperial Porter, as well as the tea-infused Metal Ox Juicy IPA, which will be available in cans.
Lucky Envelope Brewing, Ballard (Feb 12-13)
Lunar New Year Food Walk 2021
Dine on classic Lunar New Year dishes for $3 at participating eateries.
Various locations, Chinatown-International District
(Sat Feb 20)
2021 New Years All Year Round Festivities
While their New Year's All Year Round exhibit is currently closed to the public, the Wing Luke Museum is celebrating the year of the Ox with a day of online fun focusing on the many ways that different Asian American cultures celebrate the new year. You'll get to see pre-recorded lion dances and demonstrations, hear stories from local drag star Aleksa Manila, participate in a live arts and crafts session with Maya Hayashi (note that craft kits are currently sold out), and take a calligraphy and watercolor class with local artist Maggie Ho. You can also shop from an online market to get everything you need to decorate your home for the holiday.
(Sat Feb 13)
Mardi Gras Pop-Up: Crawfish Boil
The Cajun food truck Where Ya At Matt will park two trucks at Chuck's Hop Shop for plenty of Mardi Gras revelry, including po' boys, grits, beignets, crawfish seafood boils, and even a limited-edition Mardi Gras cider from Seattle Cider.
Chuck's Hop Shop (Feb 13)
Children's Film Festival Seattle 2020
Parents with restless children and adults who enjoy whimsical storytelling, rejoice! The Children's Film Festival will resume its latest edition online with the theme "Love and Light." That includes seven short film program screenings ranging from live-action to animation to documentary. Plus, all screenings will come with bonus activities like coloring pages, discussion guides, and more.
Destiny City Film Festival
Spare yourself the I5 traffic and take a virtual journey to Tacoma for the eighth annual Destiny City Film Festival, boasting an on-demand program of short and feature-length independent films from the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
(Feb 26-March 7)
2021 HUMP! Film Festival
Every year, The Stranger puts out the call to sex-havers everywhere to submit a homegrown amateur porn film depicting whatever they're into (barring poop, kids, and animals, of course). The result is an incredibly diverse representation of human sexuality in all its straight, gay, trans, queer, kinky, funny, pissy, painful, and pretty forms. Let's see what wild spins people put on their submissions that were created during the lockdown, shall we?
(Feb 5-March 6)
2021 Sundance Film Festival
For the first time since it began in 1978, the Sundance Film Festival will partner with the Northwest Film Forum. The seven days of programming will be available digitally due to COVID scuttling any in-person festival plans. The shift to an online festival will bring 70 plus features, 50 short films, and various Q&As right into audiences' homes. The festival will offer live showings of films that can also be viewed anytime within a three-hour window and for a second time two days after the premiere. Head here for details on the films that still have tickets (like First Date and Night of the Kings). CHASE HUTCHINSON
(Through Feb 3)
FOOD & DRINK
Eat, Drink & Be Generous
This series of virtual fundraising events will feature special cooking and bartending demos from local chefs and bartenders, including Rodney Hines of Metier Brewing Company (Feb 4) and Donna Moodie of Marjorie (Feb 9). Food and cocktail kits supplied by local restaurants will also be available for pickup. Proceeds will go to various causes supporting the community.
(Feb 4 & 9)
Hitchcock Guest Chef Street Food Pop-Up Series
The Bainbridge Island restaurant and deli Hitchcock welcomes Filipino American chef Carlo Lamagna (Feb 5-11) and Cuban-born chef Osmel Gonzalez (Feb 19-21) as this month's special guests at their pop-up series.
Hitchcock, Bainbridge Island (Feb 5-21)
Li'l Woody's Burger Month
The popular local burger joint chain Li'l Woody's has revealed the lineup for its annual Burger Month series, which features burgers dreamed up by local chefs. This year's specials include a burger with fry sauce and Yubeshi onions from Canlis chef Brady Williams (January 26-February 1); a yogurt-marinated chicken burger with cilantro chutney from Aakanksha and Uttam Mukherjee of Spice Waala (February 2-8); a "Cochiloco Burger" with salsa macha aioli, chorizo, and avocado from Raiz chef Ricardo Valdes (February 9-15); a beef and lamb burger with harissa red pepper mayo and whipped goat cheese from Cafe Campagne chef Daisley Gordon (February 16-22); and a "Neon Torta" with pulled pork, avocado mayo, cabbage cilantro slaw, sauteed onions, and jalapeños from chef Monica Dimas of Little Neon Taco (February 23-March 1).
(Feb 2-March 1)
Meklit: Live at Studio 124
Meklit Hadero is a very talented and enchanting Bay Area–based Ethiopian-born singer who in 2010 dropped an excellent solo album, On a Day Like This, and in 2012 dropped an equally excellent hiphop album, Colored People’s Time Machine, with the local rapper and activist Gabriel Teodros. Hadero moves between folk, traditional, indie rock, jazz, and hiphop with the ease that a water spider skips across a sunny pond, and she has a voice that is at once powerful and dreamy. Hadero has also worked with local jazzers Evan Flory-Barnes and D’Vonne Lewis, who happen to be half of the band Industrial Revelation. CHARLES MUDEDE
(Through Feb 5)
Simone Dinnerstein: A Character of Quiet
Pianist Simone Dinnerstein will treat you to an evening of music mostly from her new album, A Character of Quiet. This recital video, presented by Meany Center for the Arts, was filmed recently in her Brooklyn home.
Victor Wooten & The Wooten Brothers
While he's in Seattle promoting his new memoir, Grammy-winning bassist Victor Wooten and his band of brothers will perform live on Jazz Alley's virtual stage four nights in a row.
Brooklyn-by-way-of-Seattle jazz, roots, and chamber-influenced brass quartet the Westerlies (trumpeters Riley Mulherkar and Chloe Rowlands, and trombone players Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch) have never forgotten their Emerald City roots. They'll return this first full weekend in February to host their third eponymous music fest, which, according to press materials, was created "to give back to the musical ecosystem that raised them by engaging local students, highlighting local talent, and facilitating explosive collaborations between artists from Seattle and beyond." Basically, workshops at area schools by day, and concerts that find the Westerlies performing with a different guest artist by night. Needless to say, it'll all take place online this year. Don't miss events like Margaux (Feb 5), Morgan Henderson (Feb 6), Michael Mayo (Feb 6), and ChamberQUEER (Feb 7).
CHOP SHOP: Bodies of Work Dance Film Festival
This contemporary dance festival has presented performances from troupes and artists around the world, with the goal of reaching diverse audiences and connecting people of all abilities with dance instruction. This year's festival can be enjoyed from home, featuring online dance films from Daniel Costa Dance, Eva Stone and Simone Elliott of Root Collective, Mark Haim, NYC's Omar Román De Jesús, and others from near and far. Films will be presented in installments on Thursdays, with Q&As with each week's featured artists to follow on Sundays.
(Feb 4-March 31)
Liminale: A Live Virtual Performance
In a piece created specifically for Zoom, site-specific choreographer Alice Gosti toys with the publicity of private spaces in the pandemic.
Martha Graham Dance Company: Appalachian Spring, Then and Now
America's oldest modern dance company, founded in 1926 and composed of "the most skilled and powerful dancers you can ever hope to see," according to the Washington Post, the Martha Graham Dance Company performed their namesake's iconic work, Appalachian Spring, at Jacob's Pillow in 2019. It's being screened alongside archival videos from 1947 featuring dancers Martha Graham, Erick Hawkins, May O'Donnell, Merce Cunningham, Nina Fonaroff, Pearl Lang, Marjorie Maza, and Yuriko, courtesy of Meany Center for the Performing Arts.
The Seattle Festival of Improv Theater
Rejoice in the local, national, and even international improv scenes with dozens of performers making up excellent improv groups, all of whom share a love for making up stories onstage.
The Dreams Virtual Gala
Washington Ensemble Theatre's 17th annual fundraising gala is going digital with live performances and auctions hosted by WET's Maggie L. Rogers and Erin Bednarz. Talent includes poet and artist Anastacia-Reneé, drag star Cherdonna Shinatra, queer dance collective Drama Tops, choreographer Parmida Ziaei, WET resident Rachel Guyer-Mafune, musician and playwright Rheanna Atendido, and others.
(Sat Feb 20)
MUSEUMS & VISUAL ART
Bellevue Arts Museum Reopening
The Eastside arts institution will reopen its galleries as King County moves into a new phase of its reopening plan. Visits are timed, advance tickets are required, and hours are limited to Friday-Sunday from 11 am-5 pm.
Bellevue Arts Museum (Sat Feb 6)
Frye Art Museum Reopening
While many virtual events will continue to take place on the Frye Art Museum's website, the space will reopen to the public at limited capacity for viewings of its permanent collection and current exhibitions, like Anastacia-Reneé's (Don’t be Absurd) Alice in Parts. Timed tickets will be available for advance purchase on Thursday-Sunday. Masks are required and the coat check is closed.
Frye Art Museum, First Hill (Thurs Feb 11)
Reunite with exhibitions like Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction, Pearl Jam: Home and Away, and Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses IRL at the Museum of Pop Culture, which is reopening for in-person visits from Friday-Sunday at reduced capacity. Tickets are timed and, as you know by now, social distancing and masks are required.
Museum of Pop Culture (Seattle Center)
(Fri Feb 5)
National Nordic Museum Reopening
Ballard's National Nordic Museum is the latest institution to reopen under new Phase 2 guidelines. Two exhibits whose original end date was in October, La Vaughn Belle: A History of Unruly Returns and The Experimental Self: Edvard Munch's Photography, have been extended to April, and new exhibits are slated throughout next year. Like its peers, the museum requires visitors to purchase tickets in advance, wear masks, and keep their distance.
National Nordic Museum, Ballard (Thurs Feb 18)
Just in time for the unveiling of Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle, the Seattle Art Museum will reopen for in-person visits in two installments (one for SAM members and one for the general public) under Governor Inslee's Healthy Washington—Roadmap to Recovery plan. Tickets are timed, masks and physical distancing are required, capacity is limited, and the coat check is closed, so leave those backpacks at home.
Seattle Art Museum, Downtown (Feb 27-28 & March 5-7)
READINGS & TALKS
Hugo Literary Series: Ottessa Moshfegh, Leni Zumas, and Laura Da’
Hugo House's 2021 Literary Series, which is appropriately split into four parts to represent the four horsemen of the apocalypse in light of these hellish times, will kick off with the Black Horse, who represents famine. Imagining hunger of all kinds, authors Ottessa Moshfegh, Leni Zumas, Laura Da’, and Sadie Dupuis will fill out the bill with new work and new perspectives on living in the pandemic.
(Fri Feb 12)
Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: Real Lessons from Women in National Leadership
Political leaders Julie Gillard (the former prime minister of Australia) and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (who sits on the boards of Standard Chartered Bank, Twitter, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, and the African Risk Capacity) explore gender bias through their own experiences as women in politics in their book Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons. Join them for a talk with Town Hall.
(Tues Feb 9)
Seattle Arts and Lectures presents Bill Bryson
In his latest book, The Body: A Guide for Occupants, the very funny Bill Bryson focuses on the inner-workings of the human body, which is likely something you've been thinking about more and more in this virus-stricken time. He'll share his wit with Seattle Arts & Lectures.
(Sun Feb 21)
Seattle Arts & Lectures presents Bill Gates: In Conversation with Anderson Cooper
Benevolent billionaire Bill Gates will share insights from his book How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need, in which he breaks down what he thinks needs to be done in order to get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe, in this Seattle Arts & Lectures talk with CNN's Anderson Cooper.
(Thurs Feb 18)
Seattle Arts & Lectures Journalism Series presents Lawrence Wright
New Yorker staff writer, playwright, and screenwriter Lawrence Wright, whose reporting on al-Qaeda shaped his Pulitzer Prize-winning The Looming Tower, will share excerpts from his pandemic-set thriller, The End of October, which imparts some little-known facts about the history of viruses.
(Tues Feb 9)
Seattle Arts & Lectures 'Women You Need to Know Series' presents Gabrielle Hamilton
Gabrielle Hamilton, the chef/owner of the East Village restaurant Prune and the author of the acclaimed memoir Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, will join Seattle Arts & Lectures for their Women You Need to Know series.
(Fri Feb 5)
Victor L. Wooten
Five-time Grammy-winning bassist Victor L. Wooten (Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Nitro) will talk about his new memoir, The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music, and maybe even play some live songs.
(Sat Feb 13)
Word Works | Lauren Groff on Fiction’s Hidden Architectures
Amazingly talented fiction writer Lauren Groff, a National Book Award finalist for Florida and Fates & Furies, will talk with Hugo House and aspiring writers about the differences between the creation of short stories and novels. Groff will also engage in a Q&A with Where'd You Go, Bernadette author Maria Semple.
(Fri Feb 5)
SPORTS & RECREATION
Polar Plunge Challenge
Special Olympics Washington's biggest fundraising event of the year can't ask the public to flock to the waterfront on the same day, so instead, they're stretching their Polar Plunge challenge into a whole week, giving you lots of opportunities to capture a video of yourself diving into the icy waters of the Puget Sound and sharing it on social media with the hashtag #PolarPlungeChallenge.
The Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will duke it out on the field at the 55th Super Bowl, which will see a halftime performance by the Weeknd. Read our guide to Super Bowl food & drink takeout specials here.
(Sun Feb 7)
Snohomish Conservation District's Annual Plant Sale
If your garden is low on native plants, stock up on colorful, affordable starters from the Snohomish Conservation District's annual plant sale. Place your orders online before the 10th and pick up your new leafy friends in person.
Evergreen State Fairgrounds, Monroe (through Feb 28)