PHOTO FOLDER: Rediscovering the central district with “Walk the Block” by Wa Na Wari

by Susan Fried

Over seven hundred people bought tickets for Wa Na Wari’s inaugural “Walk the Block” fundraising event on Saturday, October 16. Attendees were treated to a feast of visual art, music, dance, food and drink.

Upon arriving at the event, attendees were handed maps, picked out race bibs personalized with a variety of words and slogans, and then embarked on a 0.08-mile walk through the Central District neighborhood. During “Walk the Block” they were able to find work from artists Inye Wokoma, Chloe Kingand Kimisha Turner. There were also video pieces of Martine Syms, Sable Elyse Smithand the Shelf Life Community History Projectas well as live music by the Gary Hammon’s group. Three blocks away, in front of the Garfield Community Center, there were dance performances by Northwest tap connection and the collective Bring Us, with the jazz trumpeter Owuor Arunga playing between performances. There were 15 stops along the way.

Elisheba Johnson, co-founder of Wa Na Wari, told the emerald that the event was “a total success”.

“Walk the Block” event map. There were 15 stops on the map which featured visual arts, dance performances and live music. (Photo: Susan Fried)

“We decided to do this on a lark and we didn’t know if it would resonate or not, and it’s so amazing,” Johnson said, adding that Wa Na Wari plans to make it an annual event. Feedback from neighbours, who want to add their home next time, and from participants, who suggested partnering with other organizations, has already given them some great ideas for next year.

Johnson said one attendee returning to Wa Na Wari after his “Walk the Block” tour said he was able to “rediscover the Central District”.

“And it looked like everything we [Wa Na Wari] do, both, in a certain way,” Johnson said. “We want people to rediscover their relationship with the Central District.”

Two of the more than 700 participants in the “Walk the Block” fundraiser for Wa Na Wari check the event map to see where they should go next. (Photo: Susan Fried)
A little boy receives help attaching his bib to his shirt during the ‘Walk the Block’ fundraiser for Wa Na Wari on October 16. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Inye Wokoma’s ‘diptych CREAM MOVE’ collage was located on the roundabout at 24th and E. Marion Street. It was one of 15 places where attendees could experience art. (Photo: Susan Fried)
People stop to watch Martine Syms’ “Notes On Gesture” video art at 2320 E Columbia Street, one of 15 stops on the “Walk the Block” map. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Karen Toering (left) and Kirsten Harris-Talley (right) joined over 700 people at the first “Walk the Block” fundraiser for Wa Na Wari on Saturday, October 16. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Soulma Ayers takes a drink from Kasi Gaffle whose company, Erudite & Stone, offered craft drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) in Wa Na Wari’s backyard during “Walk the Block.” (Photo: Susan Fried)
Artist Lisa Myers Bulmash poses with her artwork during the ‘Walk the Block’ fundraiser for Wa Na Wari. Bulmash invited participants to choose a sticker and stick it on his piece. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Artist Lisa Myers Bulmash invited “Walk the Block” attendees to apply stickers to “Nanoforest,” her interactive artwork. (Photo: Susan Fried)
People chose their race bibs with sayings and slogans before taking part in “Walk the Block”, a fundraiser for Wa Na Wari. (Photo: Susan Fried)
“Walk the Block” fundraiser participants stop on 25th Avenue to watch a video created by the Shelf Life Community Story Project. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Elisheba Johnson (left), one of Wa Na Wari’s original co-founders, and artist Barbara Earl Thomas (right) pose under one of the many Thomas pieces on display at the “Walk the Block” on October 16. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Marita Dingus’ artwork was featured in Coyote Central, fifth place on the “Walk the Block” chart. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Northwest Tap Connection wowed the crowd outside the Garfield Community Center when they performed at Wa Na Wari’s “Walk the Block” fundraiser on October 16. (Photo: Susan Fried)
The Gary Hammon Band performs at a house on 25th Avenue near Spring Street during “Walk the Block,” Saturday, October 16. Hammon was one of many musicians who took part in Wa Na Wari’s 3rd annual fundraiser. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Jazz trumpet player Owuor Arunga performed outside the Garfield Community Center during the “Walk the Block” fundraiser for Wa Na Wari on October 16. (Photo: Susan Fried)

Fried Susan is a 40-year veteran photographer. Her early career included weddings, portraits, commercial work – plus sheI was The Skanner photographer in Seattle for 25 years. His images have appeared in the University of Washington Daily, the Seattle Globalist, Crosscut and many more. She was a emerald contributor since 2015. Follow her on Instagram @fried.susan.

📸 Feature Image: A volunteer helps keep track of people inside the Wa Na Wari house during the ‘Walk the Block’ fundraiser for Wa Na Wari on Saturday October 16. (Photo: Susan Fried)

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