We had a ball celebrating the Seattle arts scene at our annual Teeny Awards last week! Thank you for sharing your voice and telling us and our Arts Partners what you want to see from the arts community in the next year and beyond. From standing up for racial justice, to transporting us out of our homes, or even providing direct relief to artists impacted by the effects of the pandemic, all of these artists and partners responded to the challenges of the last year in distinct and powerful ways.
BEST VIRTUAL EVENT
Our first winners took the challenge of transporting to the digital world in stride! This year Cornish College of the Arts, UW Department of Drama, and SU Arts Leaders put their combined artistic powers together to create “Uncharted Waters.” A true labor of love, this virtual production brought together the modern influences of social media and internet culture with the heightened language of Shakespeare and new works of theatre. The young artists behind this beautiful showcase should be proud!
TEENS FRONT AND CENTER
Our winner for the “Teens Front and Center Award” truly lived the message of TeenTix by providing access to information and artistic resources for teens. By exposing teens to the rich and vibrant history of the International District and facilitating discussion about how to decolonize art, Wing Luke and the YouthCAN program are training the next generation of powerful and insightful artists.
BAZOOKA FEST presented by the Vera Project, NW Film Forum, and Seattle Parks is our winner for the “Kindling Award.” The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been devastating for the arts community but especially for BIPOC artists who were already hurting. BAZOOKA FEST was a beautiful showcase of the wonderful BIPOC artists, vendors, and leaders who deserve the support of the Seattle arts community at this time, and all the time.
OUT OF THIS WORLD
Next up, our winner for the award that took us “Out Of This World” transported us into a better world of healing and Black love. Hiawatha D. and NAAM partnered in this experiential exhibit showcasing the beauty of Black women and Black icons to create a space of unique healing. Hiawatha’s continued work to expand what was shared at NAAM shows that offering places for marginalized people to heal can be as transformative as it is transporting. Thank you!
WE GOT YOUR BACK AWARD
This year, Langston also stepped up to the plate to support artists in need through their amazing work on the Artist’s Relief Fund. This program put economic support directly back into the pockets of artists who were put out of work for the better part of this last year and provided some brief economic relief as many of us adjusted to this year’s changing reality. We thank everyone on the team at Langston for continuing to ensure the sustainability of arts in this area over this period of uncertainty.
STANDING UP FOR RACIAL JUSTICE
Finally, the artists at Pork Filled productions responded directly to the onslaught of Asian hate in light of the pandemic with a beautiful, joyful and AAPI play festival. By using the arts to stand up to this unjust and targeted year of attacks, Seattle’s AAPI artists have demonstrated a powerful lesson for our up-and-coming youth artists: “We are still here.”
All of these organizations and artists give us hope for the future of our arts community. Though this year may have illustrated the divisions between us, whether it is social distance, race, class, or economic competition; these events, which brought together communities and supported each other, shone brighter than the rest. Perhaps, this is the lesson we take away from a year of loss and beautiful art in 2021: that supporting each other across these divisions, in the face of challenge, will pull us through. THANK YOU all for a wonderful year, and keep it up!
Full List of Teeny Awards Nominees:
Category: Best Virtual Event
- Romeo y Julieta by Seattle Shakespeare Company
- Uncharted Waters by Cornish College of the Arts, UW Department of Drama, and SU Arts Leaders.
- The Effluent Engine by Book-It Repertory Theatre
- Twisted Flicks by Jet City Improv
Category: Teens Front and Center
- YouthCAN program - With Love, YouthCAN project 2021 by Wing Luke
- The Studio and Remote Sessions by Totem Star
- Lunchtime Lessons by SAM
- Summer 2021 Productions by YATC
Category: The Kindling Award
- Kinsey Collection by Tacoma Art Museum
- Stand Up Seattle Democracy Fest by MOHAI
- Bazooka Fest by the Vera Project, NW Film Forum, and Seattle Parks
- (Don’t be Absurd) Alice in Parts by The Frye
Category: Out of This World
- Iconic Black Women: Ain’t I A Woman by NAAM
- Heroes and Villains: The Art of the Disney Costume by MoPOP
- A Thousand Ways by OtB and 600 Highway Men
- Future Wave by SIFF
Category: We Got Your Back
- Seattle Artist Relief Fund by Langston
- Mutual Aid, Opening Doors to the Public, and Fiscal Sponsorships from Northwest Film Forum
- Angels in Seattle by Intiman
Category: Acting on Racial Justice
- Resilience! AN AAPI 24-HR PLAY FEST by Pork Filled Productions
- Knowledge is Power Book Giveaway program, #blkfreedom Juneteenth experience by NAAM
- Intimate Conversations by CD Forum for Arts & Ideas
- Race & Climate Change Festival by Spectrum Dance