The Movement of Identity at Archive of Longings

Review of Diana Al-Hadid: Archive of Longings at the Henry Art Gallery

Written by Teen Writer Aamina Mughal and edited by Teen Editor Esha Potharaju

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When you walk into Diana Al-Hadid’s Archive of Longings, you are greeted by what appears to be a block of glittering ice—you’ll later learn that this mountain-like sculpture is called “Gradiva”. The thirteen sculptural pieces speak, in the most genuine way, to the different ways that the female identity can present itself. The “block of glittering ice” alludes to the title character from Wilhelm Jensen’s novella Gradiva, who was famously analyzed by psychologist Sigmund Freud. Gradiva became known in the world of surrealist art as “the woman who walks through walls,” and Frued recognized her as a modern mythical figure. Al-Hadid uses this imagery to highlight the elusive nature of desire, to show the viewer how women are perceived, and to call out where that narrative is lacking. She expertly captures the individual stories of women through imagery like that of “Gradiva”. At the same time, she focuses on the body, and how those two facets of identity, the physical presence and the cultivated experience, work together to navigate the world.

Immediately to the right of the exhibit’s entrance, there’s a sculpture of a staircase titled “Moving Target”. On a plaque, Al-Hadid writes that she creates things on a large scale to show that the physical labor it takes to make art is just as important as the mental labor. Perhaps the most striking of these large-scale pieces is the archway called “Smoke Screen” that is built into the wall, where peeled resin drips like icicles. When she blurs the lines between function and beauty—art and architecture—she works to “obscure a single narrative”.

Throughout the exhibit, there are inexplicable severed legs entitled “Subduction” and “Magmatic”. The legs are made of green bronze which melts over the side of the block they rest on. The word subduction refers to the process of one tectonic plate moving under another. The word magmatic derives from the magma that lies below the Earth’s surface. I interpret these pieces as referring to the way in which the stories of women were pushed below the surface and unheard—perhaps, then, “Magmatic” shows the viewer the power that exists in breaking through that and telling the stories that for too long have gone ignored. Without your roots, your legs, and your history, it can feel as though you’ve lost a limb.

As you continue through the exhibit, the statue “Smoke and Mirrors” has a meaning that changes as you move around it, which, similar to “Moving Target,” also requires that the viewer doesn’t limit themself to seeing the piece just one way. The piece is made to appear ethereal, but once you move past that idealized outer layer, Al-Hadid reveals the imperfections that exist within it. "Blind Bust I" by Diana Al-Hadid. Photo by Jason Wyche

Al-Hadid’s work requires that you view it from every angle in order to take it in fully. In this way, her work mimics the story she is trying to tell. The journey of women, across cultures and experiences, is nuanced in a way that requires labor and a compassionate eye to fully understand. There is something incredibly admirable about someone who tells a story so authentically that the simple act of viewing it does justice to the story itself. Al-Hadid manages to do so without sacrificing what is harder to take in about the experiences she recounts—that they don’t have a clear answer. The most important parts of the narrative Al-Hadid tells, the parts that truly indicate what she’s trying to communicate to us, are those that you might miss upon the first look. For example, I walked pensively away from “Smoke and Mirrors” until I almost tripped over a bronze mirror standing yards away. I looked back at “Smoke and Mirrors” and once again had to reexamine the figure with a new perspective.

Al-Hadid does not spoon feed the viewer what her exhibit means. Instead she asks that the viewer finds something personal within it. The experience of walking through the Archive of Longings felt like discovering a world that’s been left behind. Twenty people could walk into this exhibit and come out with different interpretations, but personally, the exhibit resonated like I was meeting Al-Hadid’s eyes across a room with passing understanding. Seeing this exhibit was refreshing. As a woman of color, I recognize that Al-Hadid managed to capture the unspoken understanding that what it means to be a woman is indefinable, and that yet we all share that drive to define and understand it.

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Understanding Why Heartthrob Movie Stars Became Just Movie Stars

Review of From Heartthrob to Movie Star at SIFF

Written by Newsroom Writer Malak Kassem and edited by Teen Editor Disha Cattamanchi

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Have you ever wondered what—and who—makes a successful film? Would Hollywood be what it is today without heartthrobs? From Heartthrob to Movie Star dissects how the entertainment industry uses the everlasting effects of the female gaze to produce bankable male actors. The SIFF webinar discussed actors including Leonardo DiCaprio, Denzel Washington, and George Clooney and the fame they gained with performances in rom-coms.

Faridah Gbadamosi, the facilitator and creator of the class, treated the event as a discussion while approaching the lesson. Taking place on Zoom, participants responded to questions asked by speaking through the mic, or by typing in the chat box. Participants were able to chime in with their ideas as the lesson progressed. People were commenting on movie clips, and sharing memories that came with certain movies, along with their take on the female gaze. Gbadamosi, who was knowledgeable and passionate about the topics she presented, led the class through enriching and collaborative discussion. Scenes and clips from various films and TV shows were played to observe points in the lesson. The webinar was visual, interactive, and engaging, but mostly, it was informative. Gbadamosi engaged with the virtual format in an engaging way, as it has been utilized throughout the pandemic. However, the zoom format was more isolated, and limited interaction with fellow participants.Viewers could have benefited from an in-person format due to a grander scale of networking with fellow classmates. Nonetheless, Zoom made the class more accessible, as Gbadamosi and myself joined from the east coast. Photo courtesy of SIFF

Participants watched video clips of male actors and discussed the movies that launched their careers, with some examples being: Dicaprio in Titanic, Washington in St. Elsewhere, and James Dean in his most celebrated movie, Rebel Without A Cause. Studying these actors and their revolutionary characters, Gbadamosi taught about their relevance to Hollywood, their own careers, and female viewers. These actors were an obsession that became hair, fashion trends, and posters on bedroom walls. These heartthrobs were timeless, making it through generation after generation, all stemming from the female gaze and rom-coms.

The term “female gaze” refers to the perspective of the female audience, and the thoughts and feelings that they impose on a movie. Attendees also learned that directors and producers use the female perspective as a business tactic, primarily through rom-coms. The objective in rom-coms is to create romance and humor, often leading to an attachment to male characters. Gbadamosi shared the statement, “Women value men as people, men value women as objects.” Women usually view fictional male characters through a combination of personality and looks. Because of this, I think women bring diversity to heartthrobs, since certain women are attracted to certain men, giving men of all races and ethnicities an opportunity to launch their career. Additionally, as trends shift, women value a spectrum of unique features that men portray at certain periods of time. Due to the incredible success that the female gaze delivered to Hollywood, twentieth century Hollywood was devoted to producing rom-coms and heartthrobs.

The class was extremely relevant to modern times. Gbadamosi explained the decline of beloved and sought after male icons in modern day Hollywood. More recently, actors discovered that becoming successful through the female gaze resulted in a lack of diverse roles or parts in film. In short, they discovered that once they became a rom-com icon, they remained a rom-com icon. The decline in male interest created a domino effect, resulting in a lack of female-adored movies.

The negativity actors have developed towards rom-coms is causing a decline in instant money-making actors. In his time, Tom Cruise's appearance in a movie guaranteed millions in revenue. This level of stardom does not exist to the same degree. Of course, we have Noah Centineo in today's era, thanks to the hit rom-com To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. However, Centineo is one of the very few heartthrobs that have been produced in modern Hollywood. He is also acknowledged predominantly by teenage girls, as the movies he appears in target a young audience, limiting his reach.

This SIFF webinar was definitely worth my time. It was a short, sweet, educational experience. It emphasized the importance females hold in the entertainment industry, and how much they control in our society. In my opinion, this class gave me the unique understanding that the industry relies just as much on women and their perception, as it does money. It’s important to understand that men have grown out of the tradition to rely on the female gaze, and that as they continue to shift away from rom coms, male actors become less valuable to women. Hollywood loses the opportunity to produce “classics” without women as a target audience. Can’t male actors just accept the fact that the female gaze is important to the entertainment industry?

From Heartthrob to Movie Star was presented by SIFF in November of 2021. For more information see here.

Lead photo credit: Photo from UNSPLASH by Philippe Collard

The TeenTix Newsroom is a group of teen writers led by the Teen Editorial Staff. For each review, Newsroom writers work individually with a teen editor to polish their writing for publication. The Teen Editorial Staff is made up of 6 teens who curate the review portion of the TeenTix blog. More information about the Teen Editorial Staff can be found HERE.

The TeenTix Press Corps promotes critical thinking, communication, and information literacy through criticism and journalism practice for teens. For more information about the Press Corps program see HERE.

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Greetings from LA: the TeenTix Expansion

Written by Newsroom Writer Katherine Kang and edited by Teen Editor Eleanor Cenname

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TeenTix has expanded to the fabulous city of Los Angeles! As the launch date of TeenTix LA approaches, we sat down (virtually) with Allison Whorton, the brain behind establishing TeenTix LA. As the program director of TeenTix LA and the only full-time employee, she wears countless hats to prepare for the launch of the organization. Some of her jobs include partnership building, as well as facilitating and cultivating relationships with community-based arts, cultural, and youth-serving organizations. In addition to strengthening these important relationships, Whorton is also in charge of marketing and outreach, guiding fundraising, and most importantly, getting TeenTix passes into the hands of LA teens. She described the process of establishing TeenTix LA as, “an exciting roller coaster!” Allison Whorton, Program Director of TeenTix LA. Photo by Quinn Meyers

Whorton is not alone on this journey. Along with an intern, there is an Advisory Board team of people who were a part of the earliest conversations of bringing TeenTix to Los Angeles. The idea of TeenTix LA initially began prior to Whorton being a part of the team. There were a series of round-table discussions about the sustainability of LA arts culture. The group brainstormed ways that organizations could include the next generation of Angelenos and cultivate a group of art lovers. Some members of the discussion brought up the model of TeenTix Seattle and believed that this model could ensure a future for the arts community in LA. Ultimately, TeenTix was described as being able to address audience development through a holistic lens and empower teens to take advantage of their art experience on their own terms, which was exactly what they were aiming to accomplish. Those who continued to look into TeenTix’s Seattle model became the Advisory Board and they immediately began surveying those in multidisciplinary arts and education communities. From the teens surveyed, they learned that almost 70 percent of teens felt unwelcome at an art space and almost 40 percent of teens believed that cost was a barrier for them to experience art. The TeenTix model would address both of these concerns and more.

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Music on the Strait and the Importance of Live Music

Review of Music on the Strait

Written by Teen Writer Yoon Lee and edited by Teen Editor Disha Cattamanchi

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On March 2, 2020, the music department at my school was loading charter buses destined for Benaroya Hall when Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency. With no precedent, the staff made the decision to unload the buses and cancel the event. I specifically remember sitting in the viola section, half the class grumbling about the cancellation, and the other half nervously commenting that perhaps the risk of this mysterious disease outweighed our several months of musical preparation. A week later, my school was closed in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

More than a year and a half later, I have yet to perform in a live event with an audience of more than three people. My musical life has been in front of a camera and under two stereo microphones, taking and retaking videos against a sterile beige background. As nerve-wracking as it may be to perform in front of an audience, there is something special about braving uncertainty and possible mistakes to deliver an honest presentation of your hardest work. It is for this reason that the return of Music on the Strait became a transcendent experience for me.

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Told in Shadow with Catapult

Review of Catapult at Edmonds Center of the Arts

Written by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren and edited by Teen Editor Triona Suiter

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If you’ve ever seen a talent show before, you know the deal. They’re flashy, short performances that get across impressive qualities to the audience—be that someone’s neighbors or a huge crowd and TV audience. Catapult is an ensemble of dancers that got their start on one of the most famous (or infamous) talent shows of them all: America’s Got Talent. They get their reputation from their quirky, creative choreography done behind a screen, such that the audience can only see their silhouettes in shadow. It’s not something done by many. But with such a niche performance, what happens when they break free of the glossy sheen of television?

I went to see Catapult at Edmonds Center for the Arts, once a high school in a smaller area called Edmonds just outside of Seattle. The theater was smaller and the audience was older than their call to fame in Radio City Music Hall. It’s a step down, by most standards, but it meant fewer distractions from the performance itself—something I, as a dancer, was very interested to see. Photo by Peter Dervin

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Finding a New Appreciation at Beyond Ballet

Review of Beyond Ballet by the Pacific Northwest Ballet

Written by Newsroom Writer Haley Zimmerman and edited by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren

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I came to Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Beyond Ballet with a bit of skepticism, or maybe insecurity. My experiences of ballet—dance class at age five, occasional viewings of the Nutcracker—were few and far between, and I was supposed to go “beyond”? But I set my fears aside, put on a dress I hadn’t worn since March 2020, and made it to my seat in the very last row of McCaw Hall.

I found myself behind a trio of honest-to-God ballet students, apprentices at PNB, who chatted away about someone’s partnering and someone else’s port de bras, leaving me somewhat in awe. Before the show, three dancers took the stage to be promoted—promotion, I realized, is a big deal in ballet. After the applause from the audience faded, they ducked behind the curtain, where a muffled cheer went up backstage from their fellow dancers. It was a refreshing reminder that for all ballet’s mystique, it’s also a career, and the dancers are out there working hard and celebrating their co-workers. Then the curtain rose, and the mystique was back. Photo by Angela Sterling

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Fall 21: Whim W’Him’s Unique Explorations of Liminality

Review of Fall 21 by Whim W'Him

Written by Teen Editor Triona Suiter and edited by Teen Editor Valentine Wulf

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As we move into the shorter days, Whim W’Him opens their season with their annual Fall Showcase, this year featuring “Nova” by Alice Klock and Florian Lochner, “Underlove” by Mark Castera, and “E=16-0163-TSX” by Rena Butler. Presented as both live performances and as films on Whim W’Him’s streaming platform IN-With-WHIM, these three dances traverse the lands of unreality in ways that manage to hit startlingly close to true.

(The following is a review of the films only, not the live performances.)

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Spooky Ad-Libbing With Horror Unexpected

Review of Horror Unexpected: Spooky Sundays at Unexpected Productions

Written by Teen Writer Elle Vonada and edited by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren

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Improv is a journey that the performers and audience take together. Unlike traditional theatre, it does not go through extensive casting, costuming, or rehearsals. Shows that have been through that process will feel more complete and might be easier to watch. However, the beauty of improv comes from that on-the-spot creativity you experience comparatively to rehearsed shows that will not have that same element of spontaneity. It is imperative that the audience keeps this in the forefront of their mind when watching an improvised performance. Otherwise, it can feel as if the actors are underprepared or incompetent for their roles. At times, it can even be frustrating that the fluidity of the plot isn’t maintained throughout the show. Nonetheless, one must remember there is no set plot beforehand, and this is a compromise the audience makes when choosing to see a live improv show. The show you see one night will be completely different than the show another person sees the next. The beauty of improv is that it cannot be duplicated.

Horror Unexpected is a completely improvised horror story portrayed by actors that, like their audience, have no idea what is going to happen next. The show began by taking suggestions from the audience for a place we spent a lot of time growing up and something our home town is famous for. In the performance I experienced, The World’s Largest Porch Swing and the Everest Mall Arcade were suggested. Three performers began incorporating the porch swing into their scene, while another three actors began their scene at the Everest Mall. The Unexpected Productions performers turned these two places into a scary tale of an arcade and small town attraction gone wrong when reality and a game became one. Photo by Bill Grinnell

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Celebrate the Holidays with Art

Teen Editorial Staff November 2021 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Esha Potharaju and Triona Suiter

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As we settle into the cozy fall weather, November beckons a slew of holiday celebrations. One way to get into the spirit is by enjoying some good old art, maybe to bond with a loved one you haven’t caught up with in almost two years, or maybe to treat yourself on a solitary afternoon. In the coming month, the TeenTix Newsroom will be hurtling through ballet shows, film classes, timeless plays, and holiday thrillers—and we hope you can join us in the journey.

To kick off the month right away with a healthy dose of feminism, we highly recommend checking out From Heartthrob to Movie Star at SIFF on November 4th. This virtual class focuses on the power of stories written specifically for a female audience and the importance of continuing to tell these stories despite the film industry’s increasing disregard for their value. Or, if you’re interested in female empowerment but want something a little more self-guided, Henry Art Gallery is hosting Diana Al-Hadid’s Archive of Longings exhibition, which will showcase sculptures exploring the natural world, Syrian and Muslim histories, and the female body.

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La Bohème Lights up McCaw Hall After 18 Months of Darkness

Review of La Bohème at the Seattle Opera

Written by Teen Writer Adrian Martin and edited by Teen Editor Disha Cattamanchi

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McCaw Hall opened its doors for a Seattle Opera performance for the first time since the pandemic. La Bohème, a hundred year old story of love, loss, and illness, was made especially potent as the first show at McCaw Hall in 18 months.

La Bohème follows young Parisian artists Rodolfo and Marcello as they fall in and out of love. Rodolfo meets sweet-girl-next-door Mimi, and their love—as well as their subsequent tragedy—become the heart of the show. Musetta, a friend of Mimi’s, carries a more comedic, on-again-off-again romance with Marcello. The underlying fear of disease and how it interacts with the characters economic status as artists is a tragically age old story. It’s a story that felt heartachingly familiar in the midst of the pandemic. Similar to these four characters, there were many artists putting their bodies on the line in this last year, making La Bohème a thoughtful and timely choice from the Seattle Opera.

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Contact High: Intimate Looks at some of the Most Iconic Photographs in Hip-Hop

Review of Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop at MoPOP

Written by Teen Writer Ruby Lee and edited by Teen Editor Esha Potharaju

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MoPOP, formerly known as The EMP, has always been the epicenter for all things pop culture, art, and music in Seattle and is constantly showcasing art in innovative ways. Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop is no exception. This exhibit features four decades of hip-hop through film and digital photography, giving visitors a chance to know what photos didn’t make it onto classic album covers and magazine spreads while overall celebrating the culture and craft that is hip-hop.

Rickey Powell’s work welcomes me at the entrance, a magnificent glowing wall with some of Powell’s original slides from the 80s and 90s. Seeing familiar faces like rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy and TV host Oprah excited me for the work ahead. Throughout the first space of the exhibit, contact sheets (a preview of all the images on the roll of film), framed prints, and magazine spreads tell magnificent stories. It was at this moment that I understood “visual history” to be a completely accurate description of the exhibition.

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The Complex History of Humans and their DNA

Review of Dr. Kathryn Harden's Why DNA Matters for Social Equality at Town Hall Seattle

Written by Teen Writer Aamina Mughal and edited by Teen Editor Eleanor Cenname

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Ideas of social equality and their intersection with genetics are rightfully met with hesitance. Our perception of the field is often marred with stories about how pseudoscience was used to justify racial inequality and ideas of racial superiority. Pseudoscience being used to justify horrendous antisemitism fills the topic with memories of Nazi Germany. The perceived “science” of the time was used to give grounds for the idea that non-Aryan people were genetically lesser, and led to horrifying events like mass genocide, and more specifically as a justification for mass sterilization. At the same time, in our current political landscape, political extremist groups and white supremacist ideology invoke the very real fear that such ideas are making a comeback. Dr. Kathryn Harden navigates these connotations, but sees the intersection between genomics and social issues differently. Dr. Harden, a clinical development psychologist and author of “The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality '', discussed these issues at Town Hall Seattle on Tuesday, October 12, in a lecture promoting her book.

As Dr. Harden explained, DNA and human genome sequencing is becoming an increasingly lucrative technology. She argues that such technology can be used to elicit social change and examine social structures in our society. Dr. Harden, in her work as a psychologist, studies inequality of outcome and how people are channeled into certain outcomes in their lives. In other words, her work examines the aspects of one’s life that lead them to specific places and how early those aspects begin to dictate the rest of someone’s life. Dr. Harden focuses on psychiatric and genetic disadvantages that have significant outcomes, as she explained through her lecture. The human genome is composed of nucleotides, represented by the letters A, C, G, and T, which dictate certain parts of a person’s phenotype, or genetic presentation. Everyone’s DNA is made up of different nucleotides that make them the specific, unique person they are. Dr. Harden uses what are called Genome-Wide Association Studies which measure single-letter differences between nucleotides across a sample group of genomes. Using these measurements, a polygenic score is created, which denotes the effect genetic variants may have on an individual. Essentially, the score tells us how likely an individual is to have a given trait.

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Seattle Opera x TeenTix Internship Applications Open Now!

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TeenTix and the Seattle Opera are collaborating to host a new internship position in Winter 2022. This five-week internship will take place at the Seattle Opera, January 24–February 25 (with some flexibility). The work schedule is approximately 15 hours a week. TEENTIX INTERNSHIP AT SEATTLE OPERA

Are you a storyteller who wants to work in the arts or for a nonprofit someday? Are you passionate about making the arts a space where more young people and People of Color feel seen and represented? Or—are you an artist who wants to learn about how to market your work? The TeenTix Internship at Seattle Opera is the ideal opportunity for you!

Currently, Seattle Opera’s marketing and communications department spends a lot of time trying to provide context about old works for our adult audiences. How should we be telling these stories today, in 2021? What kind of context would attract young people to attending an opera? Bring your ideas to a major arts organization while gaining real-world experience. With supervision from both TeenTix and Seattle Opera staff, the intern will serve as a youth adviser for Seattle Opera’s marketing efforts, and help the company inspire more youth to attend Seattle Opera events and performances.

Interns will focus on communications surrounding the opera Blue, and gain experience in supporting the success of a production through social media copy, email copy, press releases, blog articles, interviews, and more. Blue is an award winning opera about contemporary African American life, love and loss, church, sisterhood, and most importantly, family. The story follows a Black family in the joy of the birth of their son, and later in the grief of his death at the hands of a police officer. This story contains difficult, complex, and emotionally nuanced themes that the intern will learn to navigate and present from a communications perspective. An example of what Seattle Opera does to help unpack how opera resonates today is our Community Conversations series. In April 2019, the conversation "Decolonizing Allure" featured Women of Color artists such as Perri Rhoden, Sara Porkalob, and Aramis Hamer prior to the company's mainstage performance of Carmen. Sunny Martini photo

WHO SHOULD APPLY

- Teens interested in the arts—music and opera experience are not required.

- Applicants should be 17-20.

- People of Color are strongly encouraged to apply.

COMMITMENT TO RACIAL EQUITY

Seattle Opera is committed to dismantling historic barriers of oppression, and to fostering racial equity. Through ongoing learning and evaluation of our work, by centering communities of color, and by building authentic partnerships, Seattle Opera believes we can transform our art form, and our world.

TeenTix is an anti-racist organization that is actively working to identify, name, and correct institutionalized racism and constructs of white supremacy within our own organization, and to help our partnered arts and culture organizations do the same. Our programs work to uplift marginalized voices in arts leadership and arts journalism, and to increase access to art.

COMPENSATION

The TeenTix Internship at Seattle Opera is a paid internship ($16.69 an hour; approximately 15 hours a week).

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No Tricks, Just Treats

Teen Editorial Staff October 2021 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Eleanor Cenname and Valentine Wulf

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During this predictably cold and dreary season, we believe in seeking out the treats. Maybe that means ingesting a veritable bathtub’s worth of pumpkin spice coffee products, cracking open the old autumn sweater collection, or, if you are anything like us, becoming over-excited by the three new Light Rail stations. As you remember to treat yourself this month, let us also treat you with some fantastic art. Our upcoming reviews will guide you through just some of the arts events that we hope you will explore this month!

First up, we’ve got the Duo Comedy Showcase at Unexpected Productions! This open mic improv event is Every Wednesday from September 29 to December 29. Anyone can sign up to perform improv with a partner in front of a crowd. The Duo Comedy showcase is a great way to practice your improv skills, build your confidence onstage, or just have some fun with a friend! A mixture of experience levels makes this event wild from start to finish for both the crowd and the performers.

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Film as a Medium for Change at Local Sightings Film Festival

Review of Local Sightings Film Festival presented by Northwest Film Forum
Written by Teen Writer Stella Crouch and edited by Teen Editorial Staff

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The Local Sightings Film Festival is continuing to thrive in its 24th year. It is the only film festival in Seattle dedicated to Pacific Northwest films. The Northwest Film Forum was founded in 1995. It has kept Seattle’s film culture alive through its countless festivals, even through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Local Sightings Film Festival was held entirely online and now this year’s has been held hybrid, showing films both in person and in a virtual, COVID-safe manner. This year's festival has shown a wide array of genres and narratives with their only commonality being their connection to the Pacific Northwest. Regardless of their many differences they all feel as though they belong and there is something for everyone to appreciate.

Occupying the Megalopolis

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Come Home to Safety, Love, and Joy

Review of HOMECOMING Performing Arts Festival presented by Intiman Theatre
Written by Teen Writer Ava Carrel and edited by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren

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Last weekend’s HOMECOMING Performing Arts Festival from Intiman Theatre was a true celebration of joy. Walking into the festival, the love and effort could be immediately recognized: the patterns on the wristbands were beautifully drawn and the staff had towels on hand, constantly wiping seats off to make the event more accessible for their disabled or older guests. The pride was clear and well deserved.

The media constantly bombards us with news and images of trauma, loss, and marginalization—with the immense suffering of marginalized people becoming a staple in news today. Desensitization to such topics is becoming increasingly, and worryingly, normal. While it's essential to recognize systemic challenges to be able to invoke change, it’s just as important to showcase the togetherness and joy of POC and LGBTQIA+ communities.

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Witnessing Human Vulnerability Through an Insightful Polish Production

Review of Never Gonna Snow Again presented by SIFF
Written by Teen Writer Malak Kassem and edited by Teen Editor Valentine Wulf

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Never Gonna Snow Again is a Polish production directed by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert. The film emphasizes hardship, the challenge to accept personal flaws, and the battle to be one’s best self. Zhenia (Alec Utgoff) is a Ukrainian masseur who works in Poland. He gives massages that have radioactive powers, which work against high stress, exhaustion, and short-term depression by casting a spell and instantly putting patients to sleep, which is followed by great relief from the individual. Zhenia’s skills and powers are demanding in this uniformed, isolated town where houses are identical, door bells have the same tune, and the sky is never blue. The neighborhood lacks vibrancy, color, and driven individuals. Except for the sounds of clocks ticking in dining rooms and barking dogs going for walks, the neighborhood is hushed. The combination of lighting, sound, and the actors’ dull tones create an eerie atmosphere.Actors are in character and are in sync with one another. They live realistically within their roles. Never Gonna Snow Again’s characters are portrayed in a subtle and mysterious manner. Characters have an analytical mindset and are direct with the expression of their inner thoughts when it comes to their personal struggle and depression, especially around Zhenia. The people in this town are shameless and awkward in their interactions. Film still from Never Gonna Snow Again, directed by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert

Szumowska and Englert represent how the concept of internal struggle appears differently depending on the personality it affects. Zhenia had his own struggles and trauma. Zhenia is portrayed as a therapist, proving that therapists, counselors, and the people we rely on have their own stories too. A person behind closed doors is different from how they may seem in public. Everyone makes an enormous effort to represent their best selves in public spaces and platforms. It is not a coincidence that Zhenia refuses to be seen as an emotionally broken person except during this one instance, when he had drinks with the gatekeeper who is also Ukrainian. Perhaps Szumowska and Englert believe that it is only natural that people feel more comfortable around those who come from the same background, especially on foreign land. Immigrants and foreigners tend to create micro-communities to build a safe, gated, and trusted space for each other. Zhenia creates a bold, charming, and reliable image for himself which lures his patients to unfold and reveal their weaknesses in his company. Ironically, he is Ukrainian and they are Polish, going against the theory of trusting those from similar backgrounds. Zhenia is a one-way valve to vulnerability. Though he refuses to express vulnerability to others, they find him to be a confidant. The film highlighted some important motifs that are present in the real world that society tends to overlook, such as internal struggle, overcoming personal flaws, the challenge of living on foreign land, the importance of expressing yourself, societal pressures, the ugliness of the truth, and the realization that being hidden is better for your public image. The sun's lack of appearance in the movie symbolizes that happiness doesn’t follow people, but that people destined to be happy are the ones that go find it. Despite the film’s thoughtful ideas and messages, at times it was repetitive, and many scenes were predictable. There were some scenes that felt empty, and the movie would have been better without them. The story line was vague and there wasn’t a hook that had me at the edge of my seat. More dialogue and action could have improved the piece. Overall, Never Gonna Snow Again is a well thought out film with intriguing themes, but the slow pacing makes it hard to sit through. A short film could have gotten the same message across while keeping it engaging.

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Announcing the Mentorship for Teen Artists of Color Winter 2022 Cohort!

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TeenTix, in partnership with The Colorization Collective (a teen-run organization that promotes diversity in the arts) is excited to announce that applications for the 2022 Winter Cohort of our Mentorship for Teen Artists of Color (M-TAC) program are open! This program will specifically allow teen artists of color to hone their artwork under the guidance of professional mentors of color. This is a great way for teens to better their craft, build connections in the arts community, and present their art!

This mentorship is for teens interested in music (singing, composition, instruments, DJing, etc.) and writing ((journalism, fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, screenwriting, etc.) (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.) Teens will be put into either a music or writing cohort, and each group will be paired with a professional artist/mentor of color to create or workshop a piece specifically for the program showcase.

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Back in School, Back in Business

Teen Editorial Staff September 2021 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Disha Cattamanchi and Lucia McLaren

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While 2021 renews the all-too-familiar challenges of last year, it also brings something a bit more hopeful: a fall season full of new opportunities. The pandemic may not be defeated, but we are learning to adapt and minimize its spread, which means (you guessed it!) in-person events are returning. So as students pack their bags for the semester and the weather gets cooler, look to see what art we’re reviewing this September.

If starting school again makes you want to get on your feet and dance, then going to an in-person dance event may be just for you. Let ‘im Move You: This is a Formation, a contemporary dance performance at On the Boards utilizes themes of Black Femme and queerness to tell a vivid portrayal through dance. Whim W’Him is also presenting exciting performances with Fall 21 to get your spirits running high and ready for school. If dance isn’t what you’re looking for, you’re in luck. TeenTix LA has recently expanded to LA, and we will be are featuring the TeenTix LA staff to learn about the arts landscape in LA and what it’s been like to open a new branch of TeenTix.

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Announcing the 2021/2022 Teen Editorial Staff!

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TeenTix is proud to announce the 2021/2022 Teen Editorial Staff. This year's Teen Editorial Staff (TEDS) is comprised of six teens: Disha Cattamanchi, Eleanor Cenname, Esha Potharaju, Lucia McLaren, Triona Suiter, and Valentine Wulf. The TEDS are the leaders of the TeenTix Newsroom, and work to curate reviews and arts coverage for the TeenTix blog. Teen Editorial Staff members decide which TeenTix Arts Partners' events to cover each month, write an editorial about their curatorial choices, and assign Newsroom writers to review each event. TEDS members interface with TeenTix Arts Partners to set up press tickets for each review, and edit all Newsroom writing before it is published on the TeenTix blog. The Teen Editorial Staff is a group of skilled writers, editors, and leaders, who keep the pulse of the TeenTix Press Corps and the Seattle arts scene.

Statement from this year's Teen Editorial Staff:

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