SEATTLE — Seattle Theatre Group’s Elevate is designed to uplift and celebrate the voices of Black and Brown people, especially youth.
The performers are all using an art form called spoken word.
Shakiah Danielson, the show’s artistic director, describes spoken word as the jazz of poetry.
“It’s unbridled. You don't necessarily have to make things rhyme and there's an art not just in what you say, but how you say it,” explained Danielson.
For several months, four adult mentors helped 14 teens develop a spoken word piece. But first, they would have to learn about the history, not only of the city in general, but it's theatres.
“One of those pieces will be focused on the Moore door, which was a segregated entrance of one of our venues at Seattle Theatre Group,” shared Marisol Sanchez-Best, who serves at STG’s Director of Education and Community Development.
“If you truly intend to elevate, you need the history to know where you come from and what has contributed to some of the freedoms we have now. And then how to take it further,” said Danielson.
The young participants describe the experience of working with mentors and developing the show as life-changing.
“I actually got to put what I thought down and what I felt in my emotions and that was really big,” said Estrella Gonzales-Sanders.
"A lot of kids don't have a voice or don't get to have a voice in adult situations
and so in this group we get to speak with our hearts, “ shared Jazzmin Barrett.
Elevate takes place Wednesday, June 16 at 6:30 p.m. and is free to the public. Following the program, guests can participate in a community conversation. RSVP by June 14th.