WING_AUG

Funding from ArtPlace supported The Wing’s efforts to formalize a succession of events, once looked at as stand-alone offerings, into a full year of cultural programming. Our aim was to provide ongoing reasons to visit The Wing and the broader neighborhood, Seattle’s Chinatown-International District.

Our project consisted of four key events: JamFest, with music and performance sited in our neighborhood; Mix It Up, a networking event for artists and arts professionals; Holiday Shop-O-Rama, with shopping incentives throughout our historic district; and Lunar New Year, with a traditional lion dance, family-friendly exhibition and special activities.

These events were strengthened by our ArtPlace grant and also, importantly, have a life beyond it. They are part of our continued programming and work to engage the Asian Pacific American (APA) community and the general public and to support the businesses and restaurants that are a part of our challenged neighborhood.

Last night (8/16/12) we held the final evening of 2012 JamFest, featuring music, performances and arts activities that built on our neighborhood’s jazz roots and overall history. Our evening began with a burlesque performance by The Shanghai Pearl and ended with a jazz duo performing in The Wing’s galleries. In between were a range of performers, pedestrians exploring our neighborhood and excited visitors engaging in new arts experiences.

One of the most telling moments of the evening happened at the beginning. Visitors packed our theatre and eagerly awaited the arrival of The Shanghai Pearl. Our MC asked the audience, “How many of you are attending JamFest for the first time?” Almost every hand went up. Wow. And those were only the first guests that arrived.

We have seen a new energy in this year’s JamFest and a confirmation that we are on the right track. As we continue our events, we hope to see many more hands in the air as we build audiences for our Museum and the neighborhood and tap into the enthusiasm that exists for cultural programming that explores history and community in new ways.

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