Duwamish Revealed: A creative celebration of Seattle’s only river

Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS)

Funding Received: 2014
Seattle, WA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months

For more information visit: www.duwamishrevealed.org

In 2015, Duwamish Revealed brought families, neighbors and business owners together to see and experience Seattle’s only river in a way most of them hadn’t before, through the eyes of artists and the communities that live along it. Though designated as an EPA Superfund Site due to the high levels of industrial pollution, the river is home to fish and wildlife and some of the most interesting, diverse, and galvanized communities in Seattle. Historically, the river has been a home for new immigrants, and is the cultural home to the original people of the area, the Duwamish Tribe.

Envisioned by Artistic Directors Nicole Kistler and Sarah Kavage as a catalyst project, Duwamish Revealed aimed at celebrating building community imagination, with each art project or performance a manifestation of intention for the river’s future. Together with project partner ECOSS, over 100 participating artists, and numerous other collaborating organizations, the project featured outdoor art installations, performances, community activities and adventures along the entire length of the Duwamish River.

The summerlong exhibition and event series highlighted the communities, history, industry and ecology of the Duwamish. Four major festivals were part of the project as well: A grand opening celebration; Revealing Coast Salish Cultures (a mini canoe journey and Native arts showcase); Tukwila Revealed; and the Water Festival, a two-day event organized by Southeast Asian and Latinx cultural groups.

Prior to the project, many Seattleites did not know this six-mile river at all (as it is hard to see from any frequently traveled street), while those that did know of it tended to think of it as toxic. Duwamish Revealed raised the visibility of the river and highlighted its rich culture and history for all of Seattle, helping to build a cultural movement around caring for the river.

Below are a few quotes from attendees provided through a survey conducted at the conclusion of the project:

“When I visit Georgetown and S. Park I feel like I know my city and its history better. I see the river and our communities on a deeper level now.”

“I live near the river and was proud to take visitors to the exhibits and celebrate this cool, neglected river instead of fielding jokes about Superfund sites.”

“It strengthened my belief in the people working to restore the river. The net that Duwamish Revealed cast was amazing and pushed limits on space, time and the community that has impacted the area and is now at the table as part of the solution.”


See below for recent updates, press, and events from this project

Aug 7, 2015
The Duwamish is a study in contrasts—Seattle’s only river, but largely unknown and unexplored by our water-loving populace; once a breadbasket for the Duwamish, Muckleshoot... Read More