Black Winter Hymnal with Naomi Wachira, Stephanie Anne Johnson and more
Kenyan-born, Seattle-based Afro-Folk singer-songwriter Naomi Wachira writes songs rooted in the here and now, appealing to our shared humanity while exploring issues from the refugee crisis to police brutality. Her voice — clear and strong — ultimately rings both true and hopeful. She’ll be joined by singer-songwriter Stephanie Anne Johnson (currently on The Voice) at the Fremont Abbey for “an evening celebrating change, diversity and joy with stories and songs brought to life by musicians of color.”
If you go: Black Winter Hymnal, Fremont Abbey Arts Center, Nov. 10 ($10-15)
In the words of David Sedaris, “A good short story would take me out of myself and then stuff me back in, outsized, now, and uneasy with the fit.” While short stories are often overshadowed by the mighty novel, they tend to be my favorite form, sticking in my mind and soul in a way that no other art does. Jeffrey Eugenides’ novels (The Virgin Suicides, Middlesex, and The Marriage Plot) have garnered him praise and a Pulitzer Prize, but, like many writers, he’s also been writing short stories. He comes to Seattle with his first collection of short stories Fresh Complaint, comprised of old work and new. Eugenides is a compelling and generous reader and speaker, and the writing is sure to be beautiful and gut-wrenching, like all of his work, leaving us a little outsized ourselves.
If you go: Jeffrey Eugenides, Seattle First Baptist Church, Nov. 10 (Free)–N.C.
Acro Biographies: Flipping the Page
Seattle’s School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA) has been engaging “children of all ages” in the circus arts since 2004, now educating around 1,000 students a week in Georgetown. To see a SANCA performance is to experience joy, beauty and awe for the seemingly endless bounds of what the human body can do. SANCA’s teen troupe Cirrus Circus comes to Capitol Hill’s Broadway Performance Hall for a full narrative performance, centered around a day at the library. This page-turner will include contortion, aerial fabric, juggling, partner acro, duo trapeze and teeterboard (short for the craziest things you could ever imagine with a seesaw). Say no more.
If you go: Acro Biographies: Flipping the Page, Broadway Performance Hall, Nov. 10-11 ($12-25)
Mita Mahato + Georgetown Art Attack!
Recently back from an artist-in-residency program in the Arctic, comic artist and UPS English professor Mita Mahato comes to Fantagraphics to celebrate the release of her new book of poetry comics In Between. The book has already garnered praise for both its innovation and emotional depth, with Paul Constant of the Seattle Review of Books saying, “Mahato has finally figured out how to break her comics into the third dimension.” Mahato’s work is also on display in the Fantagraphics exhibition Short Run Marathon, alongside artists Anders Nilsen, Emil Ferris, and others. While you’re in Georgetown, wander around for the Georgetown Art Attack!, where local artists and businesses open their doors for one of the best art walks in town. Highlights of this month’s attack include the unveiling of an anti-gasoline mural on Nebraska and a performance/sale by the local clothing company Prairie Underground.
If you go: Mita Mahato + Georgetown Art Attack!, Fantagraphics Bookstore, Nov. 11 (free)
Dvořák in America: Orchestra Seattle/ Seattle Chamber Singers
Since its unveiling in 1893, Czech composer Antonin Dvořák’s New World Symphony has remained one of the most popular symphonies; Neil Armstrong took a copy with him to the moon in 1969. The piece is seen as Dvořák’s reflections on coming to America, arriving in New York City in 1892 to lead the National Conservatory of Music. Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers, the region’s only full symphonic/choral ensemble, will perform Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”) and Dvořák’s Te Deum, for chorus, soloists, and orchestra, alongside a selection from Sowerby and Haydn. A dark fall night is the perfect time to think about new beginnings set to beautiful chorus and orchestra.
If you go: Dvořák in America: Orchestra Seattle/ Seattle Chamber Singers, First Free Methodist Church, Nov. 11 ($10- $25)
This article is made possible with support from the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.