Read our article to learn all about some of the greatest and most entertaining current events and festivals in Seattle. We will cover films, plays, music events, and more.
7 Awesome Events in Seattle
Seattle is a culture-rich city which allows locals and tourists to visit tons of concerts, festivals, sports, exhibitions, and plenty of other events.
If you happen to need some pointers on things you can do during May and June, this article has got you covered. We looked into the most promising and entertaining events that will appeal to a wide audience. Some events in our list are very trendy, while some are under the radar, so check out our picks to get an insider look into the city’s best events right now.
Art Exhibit: Mammals of Washington
Regarding mammals, most people do not know about some key statistics. Washington contains exactly 141 mammals. The state is their home and creatures like the brown myotis bat, gray-tailed vole, white-tailed jackrabbit, black right whale, and the red fox are just some of them. Of course, that number includes humans, and they are all found within the boundaries of the state and the ocean.
To get to know the natural world of Washington and get a new perspective on some of these mammals, you could visit the ‘Mammals of Washington’ exhibition by painter Michael Alm. The artist will present the results of a two-year painting project in which he portrayed all the 141 animals. Furthermore, Alm’s exhibition will provide a full artistic look into the mammals of the state. After all, animal portraits have a powerful message. Namely, Alm wants to show us that we have to fight and conserve the natural world.
Alm uses watercolor to paint small portraits with gentle and airy brush strokes. You can visit the ‘Mammals of Washington’ exhibit in Seattle’s Ghost Gallery (1111 E. Pike St, Chophouse Row).
This event will last until June 9, and there is no entrance fee.
Play: The Arsonists
Seattle’s famous ‘Horse in Motion’ theater troupe has opened a new, yet quite challenging, play at Gallery Erato. ‘The Arsonists’ is the finely-crafted work of Max Frisch, the Swiss writer whose career started while the Soviet Union overtook Czechoslovakia at the end of the 1940s. The play is full of strong messages and allegories for the political climate. Plus, scholars regard it as a powerful parable of Nazism’s emergence in the decade before.
The play is set in a town which has been taken over by arsonists. What’s more, those arsonists take a door-to-door salesperson disguise and exploit some of their passive victims. The plot has some parallels with the legend of selling one’s soul to the devil. History and politics fans will greatly enjoy this play, but it’s great for the masses as well due to the amount of irony and excellent writing.
The play opened on the 17th of May and it already has some stellar reviews. It will last until June 3, and the tickets range between $17 and $28.
Movie Heaven: Seattle International Film Festival
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the city’s international film festival. Every year, thousands of independent film cinema lovers visit it, but the programs ensure that anyone who loves movies will have fun. This year, the lineup contains movies from around 90 countries. One of the best aspects of the festivals is that these movies are quite rare, so you will get a unique chance to see them on the big screen.
The events began on May 16 with Lynn Shelton’s ‘Sword of Trust.’ It’s the newest movie from the hometown favorite.
Additionally, there is a wide choice of documentaries in the Northwest Connections program. Some of the most-talked-about works in this lineup are ‘Fight Fam’ (about a family full of MMA fighters based in Washington), ‘Artifishal’ (discusses the concerns of salmon fishing), and a documentary about Pastor Patrinell, the famous gospel choir leader in Seattle.
There are over 400 movies in the SIFF selection, and you are guaranteed to have a unique experience. The festival ends on June 9 while the prices of tickets will vary according to each SIFF venue.
Music: Northwest Folklife Festival
One of the most interesting folk music festivals has just started, and there is still a chance to visit it until May 27.
To those unfamiliar, it’s a massive folk festival and the most interesting thing about it is that it encompasses a wide selection of folk music like Aztec and Zydeco. You will be able to hear during the festival’s events. Additionally, the festival is also commemorating 100 years since the birth of Pete Seeger. Seeger was one of the most legendary folk singers and social activists of his era, inspiring folk revival icons like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, The Byrds, and even the Beatles, along with just about any fifties and sixties folk musician.
Additionally, there are traditional dances and music of indigenous tribes as well as the unique contra dance event. However, this May, the contra dance will replace the “gents and ladies” address with “larks and ravens.” That way, the dancers will be directed by their position and not by gender, compared to previous editions.
Plus, the festival at Seattle Center is completely free, and any lover of music, tradition, and U.S. history will absolutely love it.
Play: Take Me Out
‘Take Me Out’ is among Richard Greenberg’s best works. Moreover, the comedy/drama has even won a Tony Award in 2003 for best play. The play revolves around a major league baseball star who reveals his homosexuality to the public.
Through this theme, the play takes a deep look at baseball — America’s favorite pastime — and how the industry and the people around the main character react to his actions. The fandom is equally endearing, funny and concerning at some points due to locker-room talk as well as the ever-present homophobia in the sports industry.
This play is directed by Greg Carter of the ‘Strawberry Theater’ workshop. Plus, Lamar Legend, the Gregory Award winner stars in the main role. You will be able to see the play from May 23rd to June 22nd at 12th Avenue Arts. Ticket prices range between $24 and $36.
Art Exhibit: In the Footsteps of My Ancestors
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith is among the most revered Native American painters in the U.S. Her vivid and intense canvases always manage to surprise art lovers with their messages and an incredible visual style.
The artist has been active since the seventies, and some of the themes most explored by her are peace, harmony, identity, conflict, consumerism, capitalism, ecology, the cycle of life and the unpredictability of the universe.
The ‘In the Footsteps of My Ancestors’ exhibition is hosted in the Tacoma Art Museum and will present over 40 works from Smith. The works include lithographs, monoprints, and paintings, all brimming with rarely seen color choices and visual elements. Some of the stylistic elements that Smith uses the most are skulls, newsprints, commercial logos, animals, and more. Visitors should expect to see works full of energy and a specific visual style. Underneath all that, however, are hidden meanings and messages that will truly make you think about life and our world.
You can visit ‘In the Footsteps of My Ancestors’ until June 30, and the entry is free.
Play: The Call
And, here is another play with a rather complicated plot. ‘The Call’ by Tanya Barfield is about a couple aiming to adopt a baby. The child is foreign, and this play explores the subject in great depth. There are themes of raising children, marriage, cross-racial relationships, and even AIDS messages. Annie Lareau directs the play with Brenda Joyner starring as the ambivalent future mother who wants to adopt.
You can watch ‘The Call’ at Seattle Public Theater. Moreover, in terms of ticket prices, they vary between $17 and $34, while the play will close on June 9th.