Editor’s note: Given the persistently high COVID-19 case count, COVID-19 protocols and other details for events are subject to change. Please check your event’s website for COVID-19 requirements and the latest information, and heed local health authorities’ safety recommendations as they’re updated.

What’s Happening Oct. 15-21

Wa Na Wari is a residential home turned community gathering place for Black stories, art and social connection in Seattle’s Central District. The center is hosting its annual Walk the Block fundraiser, an art-walk pop-up in the Central District, on Saturday, Oct. 16.

Wa Na Wari’s mission is centered around the housing crisis and “modeling creative ways of using land that allows folks to adapt to the changing pressures of living in Seattle and in particular owning a home in Seattle,” said Inye Wokoma, one of Wa Na Wari’s four co-founders.

Stop in for coffee and a story: A Central District home becomes a gathering place for black art and history

With this mission in mind, Wa Na Wari’s third fundraiser since its inception in 2019 will transform Central District homes, parks, businesses and other community staples into art and video installations and performance sites for live music and dance; imagine a trumpet player on your neighbor’s porch and a dance performance down the street!

Walk the Block will feature performing artists Gary Hammon, Owuor Arunga, Nia-Amina Minor and friends, Northwest Tap Connection, Black Embodiments Studio, Vis-a-Vis Society and more. In addition to these pop-up performances, Walk the Block will also include food and drinks by chef Tarik Abdullah, Mama Sambusa Kitchen and Central Cafe.


Walk the Block tunes into community needs and desires, Wokoma said. “Having a pop-up art festival that’s anchored in the neighborhood and partners with neighborhood residents, institutions and businesses as cultural places where art happens is mission focused for us. It really starts to drive home an expansive view of what we’re thinking about when we talk about creative use of the neighborhood ― one that is really diverse and energized and has active spaces,” he said.

The event focuses on “anchoring Black culture and Black community in the CD and combating displacement. It’s something where we’re looking at solutions for Black people, but also this is something that everyone can be a part of,” Wokoma said.

Art walks are typically centered on communities where participants can visit established studios and venues, but Walk the Block aims to “reimagine spaces in the community as cultural spaces … We’re reimagining places where people would pass while they’re walking their dog or going to the corner store or going to grab a cup of coffee from the neighborhood coffee shop,” Wokoma said, adding that the art that will populate the neighborhood provides an opportunity for community members to “engage in art in a very natural and organic way.”

As a response to COVID-19, Wa Na Wari has shifted the organization of many of its events as “some of the same realities around public health are still with us,” Wokoma said. “We just recognize that people are screen weary. The prospect of doing yet another something online for a lot of people is just going to be a nonstarter. People are spending too much time on screens.”

Walk the Block is just under 1 mile long, and participants are encouraged to dress warm and wear comfortable shoes. Biking or driving — in addition to walking — is permitted to encourage social distancing, and rest and bathroom spots will be located on the event map. All participants are required to wear a mask.

Walk the Block will take place 3-6 p.m. (participants can arrive and begin the walk anytime between 3 and 5 p.m.) Oct. 16 at Wa Na Wari (​911 24th Ave., ​Seattle) and sites around the Central District. Find more information and purchase tickets ($25) at: wanawari.org/walk-the-block


What else is happening

Here are some other events happening Oct. 15-21 in the Puget Sound area. If you would like to submit an event for consideration, please fill out the form at the bottom of the post.

“Thicc Girl Problems (Eating My Feelings)” — Oct. 15

Macha Theatre Works presents the next virtual show in the 17 Minute Stories series featuring strong female characters at 8 p.m. Audiences are invited to watch “Thicc Girl Problems,” an unconventional illumination of writer and performer Jasmine Lomax’s personal journey with her mother, an exercise bike and red velvet cake. Purchase tickets online; $7-$37. machatheatreworks.com

Orca Recovery Day — Oct. 16

Orca Recovery Day is a day of collective stewardship to improve the local habitat that impacts orca whale survival 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Participants are encouraged to join volunteer activities like tree planting, habitat improvement or trash removal from waterways around the Puget Sound. Find activities online; free. Location varies; betterground.org

Ladies Laugh Out Loud Comedy Show — Oct. 16

Enjoy a night out with appetizers and lots of laughs at 6:30 p.m. The first half of the show begins with comedian Erin Ingle and headliner Monica Nevi. The second half of the show (after an intermission with dessert) includes a unique improv show. Purchase tickets online; $40 (includes intermission, dessert and nonalcoholic beverages). 1225 Third St., Marysville; marysvillewa.gov

Seattle Latino Film Festival — through Oct. 17

The 13th annual Seattle Latino Film Festival, which runs through Oct. 17, features virtual and in-person films, short films and documentaries from over 20 countries in several languages. Purchase tickets online; $10/seniors and students, $12/general. Location varies; 971-704-5849; slff.org

Trails to Taps Relay — Oct. 17

Form a group of runners and explore over 30 miles of trails, roads and parks with transition spots set at local breweries and cideries in Bellingham 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The relay will end with an afterparty and a pint glass with free fills for participants. Costumes are strongly encouraged, and the costume contest winner will receive a prize from local breweries and cideries. Register online; $300/team of 5-10 people. Relay starts at 4882 Samish Way, Bellingham; trailstotapsrelay.com


Autumn on The Edge — Oct. 17

The Edgewater hotel hosts a fall-themed festival 1-5 p.m. Visitors can enjoy a pumpkin patch (in the city!), a craft beer garden with cider, local beer and wine, seasonal food, a s’mores station, crafts, a petting zoo and local vendors selling treats, handmade soaps and autumnal florals. Register online; free. 2411 Alaskan Way, Seattle; 206-792-5959; edgewaterhotel.com

Witches — Evolving Perceptions — Oct. 19

King County Library System hosts a virtual class exploring the complex evolution of the image of the witch, tracing this story from the early-modern-period witch trials to the modern day 4-5 p.m. Register online; free. kcls.org

James Carter Organ Trio — Oct. 19-20

Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley presents James Carter Organ Trio at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19 and 20. From post-pop to funky workouts to even moonlit ballads, the trio delivers all of jazz history in one set. Purchase tickets online; $30.50, $16/special cover price. 2033 Sixth Ave., Seattle; 206-441-9729; jazzalley.com

Are you bird ready for winter? — Oct. 20

Join UW Botanical Gardens and master birder Connie Sidles as she explains how to winterize your backyard for birds 6-8 p.m. The colder months are a testing time for birds as they struggle to keep warm, dry and fed, but you can make a big difference in their lives with water features, bird-safe windows and more. Register online; $22. botanicgardens.uw.edu

Night of the Living Drag — Oct. 21

The ghouls of RuPaul’s Drag Race visit Seattle in a spooky event at 8 p.m. This night of fright includes host Violet Chachki and performances by Drag Race favorites Gottmik, Rose, Aquaria and more. Audience members will witness the demise of their favorite queens on stage, and then Violet will summon them back as drag zombies. Purchase tickets online; $55-$85. 911 Pine St., Seattle; vossevents.com