A Confrontation with the Color Line: The Baldwin-Buckley Debate, 55 Years Later

Review of Nick Buccola's lecture: Baldwin, Buckley, and the Debate Over Race in America at Town Hall Seattle
Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Alison Smith and edited by Teen Editor Olivia Sun

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When William F. Buckley and James Baldwin debated each other at Cambridge University in 1965, the auditorium was packed. It was during the height of the Selma campaign and just six months before the Voting Rights Act was passed. As Nicholas Buccola, author of The Fire Is Upon Us, described on February 27, 2020, at Town Hall Seattle, students crowded together on the floor. All were there to see Baldwin, a legendary writer and civil rights advocate, debate Buckley, one of the chief architects of modern conservatism. In his talk, Buccola traces the two men’s upbringings and intellectual journeys that led them to the debate stage to spar over the question, “Is the American Dream at the expense of the American Negro?” In the process, he exposes truths about race relations that still feel relevant 55 years after the debate.

Like any properly interesting debate, the Baldwin-Buckley one is a study in contrasts. Buccola teases apart the differences in the upbringings of these two formidable and influential intellectuals. Baldwin grew up poor in Harlem, and described his household with his eight siblings as “claustrophobic.” Buckley, on the other hand, lived in an expansive estate in Connecticut, and was treated to private tutors and lessons in everything from ballroom dancing to apologetics. The rarefied privilege of Buckley’s upbringing, and the deprivation of Baldwin’s, shaped their views on whether the “racialized hierarchy” was justified and innate, or cruel and discriminatory.

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Virtual Film Empowers Arts Communities

Review of All on a Mardi Gras Day and The Maze at Northwest Film Forum
Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Maia Demar and edited by Teen Editor Tova Gaster

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“You not gonna fight ‘em, you not gonna shoot ‘em, you not gonna stab ‘em, you gonna kill ‘em with a needle and thread.”

These are the words spoken by Big Chief Demond Melancon of the Young Seminole Hunters, who stars in the short documentary All on a Mardi Gras Day. Directed and edited by Michal Pietrzyk, the 22 minute film follows Demond and his friends as they prepare costumes for the biggest day in New Orleans: Mardi Gras. Demond makes his own costumes from scratch every year, each one more elaborate and feathered than the last. The film’s perspective on African American men defies many stereotypes and assumptions. There are so many mental benefits from being creative, and the film is especially important due to the stigma surrounding men of color discussing mental health.

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Virtual World? See Virtual Art!

Editorial written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Sumeya Block and edited by Teen Editor Tova Gaster

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Is anyone else very, very, very, bored? It’s weird to think that not even a month ago, we were all living entirely different lives. On March 1st, we were still going about our normal routines: taking buses to school, eating lunch (and sharing food!) with friends, and of course, using our TeenTix passes. But all that has changed. Now, I go to my classes via Zoom, I take a walk around the block, and, like everyone else, I try my best to help contain COVID-19. To fill my boredom, I have participated in lots of virtual art. There are many lessons we have learned since quarantine and one of the big ones is that humans are adaptable; we change to fit our environment no matter how drastic the situation.

Just like how we have had to adapt, so has art, by catering to an online audience. One can no longer fill McCaw Hall or the beautiful MOHAI Museum but can instead fill an infinite number of virtual seats through a computer screen. Currently, Jet City Improv is hosting a virtual happy hour via Twitch. Seattle Opera and Seattle Art Museum have created an interactive page full of weekly podcasts, interviews, and hand-picked playlists. And those are just a few of the events going on this month! I love being able to support local art right from my bed by interacting, sharing, and donating to their websites. But the true power of virtual art is the ability to experience it from anywhere, try something new, and hear the voices of people from all over the world.

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Part 2: Keeping Cultured During Quarantine

Find out how some of the TeenTix Newsroom writers are staying artistically engaged while socially distant.

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This is the second installment of our “Keeping Cultured During Quarantine” series. Enjoy these recommendations from TeenTix Newsroom writers about how to fight the collective cabin fever! ALISON

I’m a big fan of Kanopy, the criminally underrated streaming service you can access for free with a library card. I recently watched The Way He Looks on the platform, a love story so good it made me giddy. It centers on Leo, a blind teenager with a passion for classical music, and his friendship-turned-romance with Gabriel, the new boy at his school who plays him Belle & Sebastian records. The gorgeous cinematography of São Paulo, the witty conversations, and the honest portrayal of disability are all reasons to watch this film. JOSH

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Saint Frances: A Heartfelt, Unfiltered Story of Womanhood

Review of Saint Frances Virtual Screening at The Grand Illusion Cinema
Written by Teen Editor Olivia Sun and edited by Press Corps Teaching Artist Kathy Fennessy

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Attention: Spoilers Ahead!

There are two types of people in the world: those who have no idea what they’re doing with their life, and those who pretend like they know what they’re doing.

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Music Through The Ether

Review of Dvořák Symphony No. 8 at Seattle Symphony
Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Nour Gajial and edited by Teen Editor Olivia Sun

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Music is a language without discrimination, giving everyone an opportunity to interpret it on their own. During times of uncertainty, music can act as a binding agent between communities. As we experience quarantine in the Seattle area, Seattle Symphony continues to stream previously recorded broadcasts to bring people together during somber times like these. While I do admit that viewing a concert online does not deliver the same environment and social setting as viewing it live, I admire Seattle Symphony’s effort to share Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 8 with us.

The broadcast started with a small delay due to technical difficulties, but the rest of the show went smoothly. Five minutes into the livestream, there were over 1,500 people tuning in. I found this extremely inspiring. When I looked at the comment section, it struck me that there were people from all over the world centered around the same screen. Some were viewing the performance all the way from Tokyo and others were from the local Seattle area. Although this is not a typical concert venue, the live broadcast allowed a greater number and diversity of music enthusiasts to appreciate a performance from the comfort of their own homes. Additionally, the Seattle Symphony provided the virtual concert at no cost, making the experience more financially accessible than the live Benaroya Hall experience. After all, the various camera angles gave the online audience a 360-degree view of the performance at the grand concert hall.

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Creative Cures for Quarantine

Teen Editorial Staff April 2020 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Olivia Sun and Lily Williamson!

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Even though COVID-19 has kept us inside, there are still plenty of ways to stay involved with art while practicing good social distancing. From online exhibitions to performance archives, the Seattle arts scene is still alive and well, even under quarantine.

The coronavirus outbreak not frightening enough? Give Dark Matters at OntheBoards.tv a try—a spine chilling performance combining elements of contemporary dance and theatre. Directed by choreographer Crystal Pite, this performance will take you on a wild emotional journey from the comforts of your own home.

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Keeping Cultured During Quarantine

Find out how our Teen Editorial Staff is staying artistically engaged while socially distant.

The Beatles

Just because COVID-19 cancelled many arts events, that doesn’t mean art stops! We here on the Teen Editorial Staff have been spending our quarantine keeping cultured with the plethora of great art we now have the pleasure of catching up on. From music, crafts, TV, movies, books, scrapbooks, knitting, and cosplaying, we all have our own way of taking advantage of this time. So if you’ve been sitting at home longing for the outdoors like the Disney prince/princess you are, read on for our recommendations on how to beat the collective cabin fever! OLIVIA:

I’ve been feeling extra nostalgic lately, so a lot of my time has been spent reminiscing about the good ol’ days (that is, before the plague hit). After all, I’m a senior in high school, and it won’t be long before my childhood ends, and the next chapter officially begins. So, I’ve spent a lot of my time at home reliving memories through various arts and crafts.

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Jitney: How Small Victories Against Oppression Bring Large Change

Review of August Wilson's Jitney at Seattle Rep
Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Jaiden Borowski and edited by Teen Editor Anya Shukla

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Warning: Spoilers ahead!

By creating a full world of its own from simple interactions, August Wilson’s Jitney artfully depicts the everyday interactions between employees of a jitney business during the 1970s. (To provide some context, jitney businesses offered unlicensed taxis for the black community when typical services would not due to racial discrimination.) Jitney displays the everyday hustle and bustle of working-class Americans, allowing the audience to create relationships with and appreciate the details and flaws of each of its characters.

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1984: Another Big Brother

Review of 1984 at 18th & Union Review.
Written by Teen Editor Josh Fernandes and edited by Press Corps Teaching Artist Omar Willey.

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1984 is the kind of book I definitely should’ve read, but I think one of the play’s strengths is how seamlessly the material is adapted for the stage. After reading Brave New World and The Handmaid’s Tale, I sort of dismissed 1984. Both of those dystopias have a unique form of control over their citizens: Brave New World controls through pleasure in order to eliminate conflict and for the prosperity of its citizens, and The Handmaid’s Tale controls through language in order to save the declining birth rates of the white race. 1984 controls through fear simply for the sake of the Inner Party’s personal whims, which I always assumed to be sort of basic. Sure, 1984’s influence can be felt in all kinds of media, but I never thought to read the original. However, 18th & Union's adaptation certainly proves the merit of the original work, and I have no shame in saying that this is how I first experienced it.

The play is set in a dystopian future and follows Winston Smith, a “records editor” who seeks to escape and rebel against the ever looming and controlling presence of Big Brother alongside his new love Julia. The play doesn’t start here however, rather the entire show is set in an interrogation room set after Winston has already been captured. The audience is shown his story through a reenactment put on by party members based on the writings they find in Winston’s diary. Marianna de Fazio, Brad Cook, Michael Ramquist, K. Brian Neel and Lyam White; Ryan Higgins facing upstage in 18th & Union's production of 1984. Photo by Marcia Davis.

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TeenTix is here for our community - how COVID-19 is shifting our work.

As our staff works from home, we remain diligently committed to our service to young people and the arts sector.

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To the Steadfast TeenTix Family,

Woah - here we are. We are living through an unprecedented and extraordinary moment for Seattle’s arts community - and the world at large. I’ve found myself starting my conversations with “are you OK?” TeenTix, our close family, friends, teens, and all of our TeenTix Partners are doing everything we can to slow the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, we are all faced with a thousand and one decisions on how to respond, how to do more, how to do less, and how to do the right thing.

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Calling Teen Artists and Writers!

How are the arts sustaining you in this unprecedented moment? We want to hear from you and feature your work!

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Hey TeenTixers!

We hope you’re staying safe and healthy during this uncertain time. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing measures put in place to protect public health, this is an unprecedented moment in history. We know that you may be spending a lot more time at home, and the arts are a great way to keep you grounded, and lift your spirits when times get tough. So we would love to hear how art is sustaining you right now. Whether you’re letting the creative juices flow and diving into your own art-making practice, reminiscing about a recent arts experience, or binge-ing On the Boards.TV, we want to hear from YOU. Young people are an integral part of the arts community, and by showcasing teen art and experiences we hope to show just how resilient the arts world is.

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Monster Robot Babies: Why Dance Nation is the Coolest Show Ever

Review of Dance Nation at Washington Ensemble Theatre

Written by TeenTix New Guard Member Daisy Schreiber and edited by Teen Editor Tova Gaster

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Good endings are hard to come by, and when I saw Dance Nation at Washington Ensemble Theatre for the first time, I didn’t really like the last few minutes. But the rest of it was kind of the Best Thing I’d Ever Seen, so I went back again. And again. And again. And again. By the fifth and last time I saw Dance Nation, the ending was one of my favorite parts. (My other favorite part was everything else.) There are approximately 15,000,000 different awesome things about the show, but Dance Nation, in one of its many acts of healing, offers a powerful paradigm shift–what if middle school makes us who we are? What if we aren’t a total write-off ages eleven to fourteen? What if we are ok now because of what happened to us in middle school, not just in spite of it?

Dance Nation catches its characters–members of an elite pre-teen dance team–at a delicate moment. They hover on the precipice of giving up dreams of dance stardom for other aspirations, like being a volcano scientist, or high school student, or diving deeper into the competitive dance world, knowing that they can never remake this choice. By the end of the ninety minutes, the girls have made their decisions, for the most part choosing each other over the rabid pull of being the best, and they are powerful. It is clear that their dance team friends will always be a part of their lives, and that, regardless of the future careers, dance is a force that connects them to each other as they take on the rest of their lives. Dance Nation at Washington Ensemble Theatre. Photo by Jeff Carpenter.

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Yardbird Sings A New Tune

Review of Charlie Parker's Yardbird at Seattle Opera.
Written by Teen Editor Kendall Kieras and edited by Press Corps Teaching Artist Ts Flock.

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A flash of light, a sign reading “Birdland” descending and spanning the length of the stage, directly beneath, a lone man staring at his own corpse. These elements serve to transform 7:30 pm on a Wednesday to a midnight in the mid-1950s at Seattle Opera’s latest production, Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, inspired by the life (and afterlife) of jazz icon Charlie Parker. The opera begins at the moment of Parker’s death from a heroin overdose...in the bed of his socialite lover at a segregated hotel. As a spirit, he suddenly finds himself back at Birdland bar, where he had been banned years before for drunken conduct, despite the bar being named after him.

The libretto, written by Bridgette A. Wimberly, follows Parker as he reconciles with his life, and attempts to write a classical symphony as a ghost. Yardbird is the next step in a long line of biographical productions attempting to revive legendary figures, following The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, performed last year at the Seattle Opera. Frederick Ballentine (Charlie Parker) & Angela Brown (Addie Parker) in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird at Seattle Opera. Photo by Sunny Martini.

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COVID-19, Social Distancing, and TeenTix: How Does This Affect You?

Arts organizations across the state of WA are temporarily closing their doors. How can we continue supporting art, in a way that's safe and responsible?

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Hey TeenTixers!We hope this message finds you in good health. As you may know, Governor Jay Inslee has imposed a statewide prohibition effective 3/16/2020, on public gatherings and events of more than 50 people, out of concern over the spread of COVID-19. (Click here to read more on this).

This has directly affected the majority of our Arts Partners, cancelling many events and postponing others.

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The New Guard "Peer to Peer" Giving Campaign is LIVE!

During these times of social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the arts community is looking for new and creative solutions to sharing art, and young people like those on The New Guard are a huge part of the answer.

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Read more below, and click this link to contribute!

Art has always been a way to build community, to connect people and ideas across all intersections of age and beliefs. TeenTix’s role is to help young people play a key part in the development of our arts community by helping them build connections through arts access right now. During these times of social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the arts community is looking for new and creative solutions to sharing art, and young people like those on The New Guard are a huge part of the answer.The New Guard: Teen Arts Leadership Society is an arts leadership training program that is the heart and soul of TeenTix, keeping us accountable to the teens we serve. New Guardians play a central role in guiding the development of TeenTix programs and events, identify organizational values and serve as the primary teen ambassadors for TeenTix while learning about all aspects of arts administration and leadership. What better real-world experience is there right now than working alongside professionals in our community to figure out how to shift strategies around upcoming events, continue fundraising during a crisis, and imagine new ways of exploring art and bonding with their peers?

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The Devil Strikes at Noir City Festival

Review of The Devil Strikes at Night at SIFF
Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Amy Harris and edited by Teen Editor Tova Gaster

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Thursday, February 20 marked the culmination of the traveling Noir City Festival in Seattle. Hosted by the “Czar of Noir,” Eddie Muller, the penultimate film was the 1957 German feature, The Devil Strikes at Night.

When doors opened at 5:15 p.m., benefactors flocked to the donor reception, awash with wine, while others saved seats in the theater. Onstage, the Dmitri Matheny trio opened, floating through a half-hour of both the exotic and familiar. While technically adept, the music pertained less to the film or noir mood and more to the superficial Egyptian-themed trimmings of the venue.

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Here We Go Again: Mamma Mia! is Simply Fun

Review of Mamma Mia! at Kirkland Performance Center
Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Huma Ali and edited by Teen Editor Josh Fernandes

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Studio East and Kirkland Performance Center’s production of Catherine Johnson’s Mamma Mia! follows 20-year-old Sophie Sheridan (Rachel Kuenzi) as she unfolds a secret plan to find her father—or rather fathers, as she has narrowed the search to 3 potential candidates. Her ultimate goal: to have him walk her down the aisle at her wedding, which is merely days away. An island off Greece, a stuccoed hotel, unrequited love haunting the young and the old—it’s not a shock when things don’t go exactly as planned. But, it’s largely amusing to watch, even as a relative outsider to the franchise.

The stage opens to a fair, blonde Sophie standing next to a yellow mailbox, letters in hand. Recipients: Sam (Samuel Jarius Pettit), Bill (Hakan Olsson), and Harry (Ryan Lile). Sam Carmicheal is an architect and divorcee. Bill Anderson is an adventure-seeking writer. Harry Bright is an English banker. All under the impression of being invited by Sophie’s mother Donna (Shoshauna Mohlman), the three men fly to the island.

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Recap: Dance Journalism Workshop at Hiplet

Teen Reviews of the Hiplet Ballerinas at Edmonds Center for the Arts

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The TeenTix Press Corps partnered with Edmonds Center for the Arts to host a Dance Journalism workshop around the performance of the Hiplet Ballerinas, February 20, 2020. Taught by multimedia journalist and dance artist, Imana Gunawan, the workshop covered the basics of dance criticism and how to approach writing a dance review. In our initial lesson we learned some context for the performance by discussing the roots of both hip hop and ballet as art forms. Before the performance, teens also attended the pre-show talk curated by Dani Tirrell (movement artist centering dance around the African Diaspora) featuring Erricka Turner (Ballet and Graham Techniques) and Fides Anna Banana Freeze Mabanta (B-Girl and Hip-Hop), along with Hiplet company representatives. The discussion further framed the performance by asking questions like: How do race and class play into both of these dance techniques? Does Hip-Hop need Ballet to make it more legitimate to white audiences; and does Ballet need Hip-Hop to make it feel relevant to Black and Brown audiences?

After attending the show, participants met for a final meeting to discuss and reflect on the performance. Teens worked on their writing, did some peer editing, and also reflected on how to confront bias while reviewing dance. Below are the reflections on the Hiplet performance written by some of the workshop participants.

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Our Country’s Long

Review of Our Country's Good at Strawberry Theatre Workshop
Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Adrian Martin and edited by Teen Editor Kendall Kieras

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People are people if you treat them as such. This strong and simple message takes almost three hours to deliver in Strawberry Theatre Workshop’s Our Country’s Good.

The setting is mid-eighteenth century Australia, as the first colony of criminals is arriving. The show focuses on a group of convicts as they join with the officers to put on a play for the inmates.

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