Cultural Focus: Youth Rising Highlights at Northwest Folklife Festival

Northwest Folklife’s 2019 Cultural Focus: Youth Rising works to amplify youth voices and expressions through showcasing youth art, providing spaces to create, and working with youth leaders to curate creative showcases. After months of collaborations and partnerships, we’re thrilled to highlight Youth Rising at the 48th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival!

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Here are some highlights from the Youth Rising programming at the Festival:

The Hydrant is a platform conceived by the Youth Rising Cultural Focus Committee that serves as a creative think tank and platform that amplifies the voices, stories, and impact of emerging leaders in the arts community. Acting as a hub, The Hydrant connects young creators to one another, to mentors, new inspirations, and audiences. It provides, inspiration, opportunities, and resources, and local organizations active on issues most important to young people, their families, and communities the most.

The Hydrant Lounge
May 24 – 27, 11 PM – 7 PM Daily in the A/NT Gallery Lobby
Visit The Hydrant Lounge located in the lobby of the A/NT Gallery throughout the weekend to experience The Hydrant movement, meet the cohort, see your #TapTheHydrant photos displayed, and get involved.

The Hydrant Showcase
May 27 from 12 PM – 1:15 PM at MoPOP’s Sky Church
Curated and hosted by youth, featuring performances by young musicians and poets that are helping launch The Hydrant platform.
Hosted by Yasmin Ettobi
Featuring: DJ HALF DEAD and performances by Kid Roman, Kay C, Aurelio Valdez, Carter, D.White, Vampzilla, and Lotus


2018 Seattle Poet Laureate Showcase | Photo by Christopher Nelson

Youth Voices Showcase
Saturday, May 25, 11 AM – 1 PM at Cornish Playhouse: Sponsored by KUOW 94.9
Featuring: Moved By Words, Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Youth Poet Laureate Program, and Ringside

Massive Monkees & Arts Corps Presents Massive Break Challenge Championship
Saturday, May 25 from 3 PM – 5 Pm at Cornish Playhouse: Sponsored by KUOW 94.9

Northwest Tap Connection
Saturday, May 25 from 4 PM – 5 PM at Mural Amphitheatre: Presented by Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

KUOW’s RadioActive Youth Media Sponsored by KUOW 94.9 FM
Sunday, May 26 from 3 PM – 4 PM at Cornish Playhouse: Sponsored by KUOW 94.9
Featuring: Featuring Annika Prom, Mimi Zekaryas, Acacia Niyogi, Tre’vion Sinclair, and Leila Abe

Unbroken Circle Youth Residency Cohort

Unbroken Circle Youth Residency and The Rhapsody Project with Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons
Sunday, May 26 from 3 PM – 4 PM at Cornish Playhouse: Sponsored by KUOW 94.9

Seattle Theatre Group: More Music @ The Moore Showcase
Monday, May 27 from 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM at the MoPOP Sky Church

Sound Off! Showcase
Monday, May 27 from 5 PM – 7 PM at the MoPOP Sky Church
Featuring: Dreadlight, Zoser, and i///u


‘Backseat of Your Heart’ by Hannah Maloy-Collado

Youth Rising Visual Arts Show
Presented by Northwest Folklife and The Vera Project, the Youth Rising Art Show showcases the talent of regional artists ages 13–18. A regional survey providing a snapshot of what young artists are making, thinking and passionate about, this collection of works was juried by the Vera Project gallery committee in tandem with Northwest Folklife. Come see the future of contemporary art in the making!
On display in the Vera Art Gallery, Friday, 4 PM – 10 PM; Saturday–Sunday, 11 AM – 10 PM; Monday, 11 AM – 7:30 PM

Youth in Focus Turns 25
Experience the rich history of Youth in Focus through photographs. Youth in Focus provides underserved youth with the instruction, resources and equipment they need to share their unique and personal stories through photography.
On display at the A/NT Gallery, Friday–Monday, 11 AM – 7 PM

Creative Justice Artists
Creative Justice builds community with youth most impacted by the school-to-prison pipeline. Participants and mentor artist work together to examine the root causes of incarceration, like systemic racism and other forms of oppression, creating art that articulates the power and potential of our communities. The art on display is a representation of this mission by current and past young artists.
On display at the A/NT Gallery, Friday–Monday, 11 AM – 7 PM


DeColonizing Pop Culture: Past, Present, Future
Saturday, May 25, 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM at the Narrative Stage
Featured Panelists James Miles, Silas Blak, Wynter Rhys, and Kid Roman
Moderated by Nancy Chang

Navigating the World as a Young Creative
Sunday, May 26, 12 PM – 1 PM at the Narrative Stage
FeaturedPanelisrts: Yasmin Ettobi, Miles “39” Stanberry and Chloe Rubin
Moderated by Alaia D’Alessandro


SIFF Filmmaking Camp Spotlight
Saturday, May 25, 12:45 PM – 1:45 PM at SIFF Film Center

Reel Queer Youth Showcase
Saturday, May 25, 3 PM – 3:45 PM at SIFF Film Center

Across the Bridge Showcase
Saturday, May 25, 4 PM – 4:45 PM at SIFF Film Center


View the Full List Youth Rising Showcases Below

View the 2019 Northwest Folklife Festival schedule & directory.