Wednesday, October 7, 2015

41. Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas: Resilience at the Crossroads of Race & Climate Justice

Forty one down. Fourteen to go.

Resilience. This program was a powerful mix of art, stories, food and music designed to show that resilience is the "hidden strength people of color take for granted, after centuries of unhealed oppression." In particular, on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, it sought to explore why the best climate solutions must address racism, and vice-versa.

Co-organized by the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas, the program was held on a gorgeous Sunday at the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center in Seattle's Discovery Park.

The afternoon began with great food and the chance to interact with presenters at tables hosted by government organizations and environmental groups. There was a lot of lively and animated conversation around those tables at this very well-attended event. A number of visual artists exhibited work related to the race and climate justice theme and there was a performance by the Metis fiddlers group Montana Shorty.  The event featured several presentations, including a keynote by Jacqueline Patterson, Director of the NAACP Environmental & Climate Justice Program, a choral performance, and discussions with the audience.

The Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas seeks to inspire new thoughts and challenge assumptions about Black culture through the performing arts. It presents events featuring dance, music, theater and the literary arts, with performances by both national and local artists. Examples include programs that have explored the international impact of Black artists with Seattle roots (think Quincy Jones, Octavia Butler and August Wilson), and the "Kitchen Sessions" featuring powerful poetry and storytelling by young Black women artists.

The program opened with a story that
included some audience participation.