Now in its third year, EMP Museum’s black history month celebration offers a visual arts exhibit to explore the theme of black love.

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For Seattle hip-hop artist Draze, looking out each year at the diverse crowd at the EMP Museum’s black history month celebration, “Through the Eyes of Art,” is nothing short of glorious.

“I can’t explain the amount of joy I see on people’s faces in that building,” he said. “To love each other and get along, it’s just very rewarding.”

Draze has performed all three years at the show, which draws a wide range of fans, from high school students to older folks. He’ll be there again Friday (Feb. 26).

Concert and exhibit preview

Black History Month Celebration: ‘Through the Eyes of Art,’

7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, at EMP Museum, 325 Fifth Ave. N., Seattle; $10-$15

(206-770-2700 or

The 2016 event “Through the Eyes of Art” celebrates the theme “Black Love” through a visual art showcase by local black artists and photographers. There will also be an awards presentation, a panel discussion and live performances by Draze and Seattle’s Kimberly Nichole, who competed on last year’s season of NBC’s “The Voice.”

The panel features four African-American couples — some married for decades, others in relationships — to discuss topics like money, culture, communication and how they incorporate black love into their lives.

“The idea is that strong black love equals strong black families,” Draze said. “(By) black love, we mean love of self, love of one another, love of your culture and love of your partner.”

The concept for the event is to use art to look at different issues affecting the African-American community. The celebration also includes a mobile kiosk run by the Seattle Public Library, featuring books, music and DVDs by African-American authors and artists.

“It’s important to highlight positive stuff happening in the community, particularly the black community,” said Jonathan Cunningham, manager of youth programs and community outreach at EMP.

Draze said that since its inception, the celebration has always sold out.

“I’m a big believer in the arts and there are a lot of artists here that go unnoticed,” Cunningham said. “For them to have space to present their art is important to give them more of the spotlight.”