A good idea to keep our young folks engaged in where we’ve come from and how to proceed into the future. Finding solutions in a changing world by engaging in conversations. If we can do it here, you can do it anywhere. Be the change you seek.
ELEVATE is a showcase of Black and Brown voices uplifting one another through the art of spoken word. This project shares untold and unseen work centered around local and national historical events, the impact of systemic racism and individuals challenging racist ideologies. Most importantly, ELEVATE is the celebration and empowerment of the people. This event was created for the community, by the community.
This virtual evening of raw, bold, breathtaking performances from poets of all ages, presentations by a historian, and celebrations of unsung heroes who have paved the way will be followed by a community conversation. All were invited to witness the intricate and creative program for free when it premiered on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 6:30 pm PT.
How the program was developed:
- Historian and President of the Black Heritage Society of Washington State (BHS), Stephanie Johnson-Toliver, was engaged to consult with the ELEVATE team to share Seattle history from 1907, 1921 and 1928, years when STG’s three historic venues (The Moore, Neptune, Paramount) first opened.
- Mentors + students collaborated to create a spoken word and dance pieces. Mentors + students met regularly during the months of February, March and April to discuss issues affecting them, while using the history they learned as the impetus for their pieces.
- Mentors collaborated to create one spoken word piece focusing on the historic Moore Theatre segregated entrance and balcony.
- Unsung Heroes were interviewed and will be acknowledged for their contributions to the region.