Celebrating Black History Month: Meet 10 incredible women making a mark in Seattle

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After four decades of public service, Robert Nellams retires from Seattle Center

Robert Nellams over the years

After 40 years of public service, Seattle Center Director Robert Nellams has bid a fond farewell. Coworkers say he made folks feel comfortable and heard. Nellams says everything the center did for the community was a team effort. "I didn't create this environment, we created this environment."


Jonathan Batista becomes PNB's first Black principal dancer

Jonathan Batista, principal dancer at PNB

Jonathan Batista grew up in one of the poorest slums in Rio de Janeiro, went on to dance at the English National Ballet, then Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) where he became the first Black principal dancer in the company’s 50-year history. Learn more about Batista and how PNB is making ballet accessible to dancers and patrons of all racial and economic backgrounds.


Celebrating Black History Month: Meet 10 incredible women making a mark in Seattle

Portraits of women featured in a Black History Month blog

This month, we're putting the spotlight on 10 Black women who are leading Seattle in art, business, education, and cuisine. Photographer Ulysses Curry asked them what it is about their work–and Seattle–that motivates them to do what they do.


Black-owned businesses of Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market vendors

CityStream meets three Black business owners in Pike Place whose stories go deeper than the market's many floors. Host Enrique Cerna gets book recommendations at BLMF Literary Saloon, checks out textiles from around the globe at Our Fabric Stash, and interviews an artist about his Djibouti-inspired paintings, bags, and shirts.


The legacy Black Washingtonians left on Seattle spaces

A book cover for "Tributes: Black People Whose Names Grace Seattle Sites"

Have you ever wondered about the people your neighborhood parks are named after? The school down the street, or the community center? Historian Mary Henry’s book, “Tributes: Black People Whose Names Grace Seattle Sites," tells a few of their incredible stories.


Historic Washington Hall - performance hub for Seattle music legends - restored

Washington Hall in the Central District

Folks have filled Washington Hall with music, dance, and absolute joy for decades. The historic gathering place in Central Seattle has hosted big name performers like Jimi Hendrix, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, and so many more. Former Secretary of State Ralph Munro has more details in this edition of series "My Favorite Places."


Marita Dingus sculpts the African diaspora

Artist Marita Dingus

You may have seen sculptor Marita Dingus' piece, “Woman as the Creator,” on the first floor of Town Hall Seattle, but her work, which largely centers around enslavement, recycling, and poverty, has reached international acclaim.