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Community Stories
Seattle is mosaic of cultures and diverse communities, with an endless supply of inspiring tales to share. Community Stories presents this rich tapestry -- the people, the neighborhoods, the communities, relevant issues, cultural traditions and rich histories that make each of us unique. Learn more about your neighbors on Community Stories.  More information about this show

There are 83 videos to watch.

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Community Stories: I Put Down My Pen 6/2/2014
Kamekichi Tokita was an Issei artist who created paintings of Seattle cityscapes and a diary detailing the months before internment, leaving a rare history that captures his experience of wartime Seattle.
Community Stories: Honor Totem 5/5/2014
This poignant documentary chronicles the John T. Williams Memorial Totem Pole project as a catalyst for healing and justice. The community art project rose from the August 2010 fatal police shooting of Williams, a First Nations woodcarver. The shooting sparked an outcry that extended beyond the city of Seattle and the native community. The slain man`s older brother Rick Williams chose a peaceful response through an ambitious endeavor to carve a 34-foot totem pole in honor of the Williams family`s artistic legacy and the memory of one of its most talented carvers
Community Stores: Dialogues on Dignity with Ese Teatro 2/24/2014
Ese Teatro is a bilingual theatre group with roots in social service. With input from some of the city`s support organizations, the group takes on a modern day interpretation of the story of Don Quixote which focuses on Latinos and homelessness.
Community Stories: Meter Music 2/17/2014
Near Seattle`s historic intersection of 23rd and Union, Meter Music School provides music lessons to the young and old while offering a creative space to a neighborhood in flux.
One Generation`s Time: The Legacy of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes 12/31/2013
A documentary on the lives and legacy of Seattle Filipino American fishing cannery union activists Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes, who were murdered in 1981 for their union reform work.
Community Stories: A Heart in Hillman City 9/19/2013
Re-evaluating her life after a near-fatal accident, Joya Iverson decided to put everything on the line to open a small coffee shop. Find out how the cafe is giving a shot of hope to Joya and her South Seattle neighborhood in the latest installment of Community Stories, short profiles about the inspirational people, cultural traditions and rich histories that make up Seattle`s communities.
Community Stories: Karel Cruz 9/9/2013
Seattle`s Cuban-American community is small but comprised of many talented individuals. Pacific NW Ballet principal dancer Karel Cruz discusses dancing in Cuba and overcoming his reluctance to immigrate to the U.S.
Community Stories: Idel Perez 9/2/2013
Seattle`s Cuban-American community is small, but comprised of many talented individuals. Boeing aerospace engineer Idel Perez talks about his life in Cuba, Cuba`s history and culture, and how he came to the U.S.
Community Stories: Felicia Gonzalez 8/26/2013
Seattle`s Cuban-American community is small, but comprised of many talented individuals. Seattle poet/writer Felicia Gonzalez tells her immigration story and discusses how her Cuban identity influences her writing.
Community Stories: Alfredo Polier 8/19/2013
Seattle`s Cuban-American community is small, but comprised of many talented individuals. In this short vignette, Seattle musician Alfredo Polier shares his immigration story and his Son Cubano music.
Community Stories: Ernesto Alorda 8/12/2013
Seattle`s Cuban-American community is small, but comprised of many talented individuals. In this short vignette, Seattle Opera`s Ernesto Alorda shares his immigration story and thoughts on being Cuban in Seattle.
Community Stories: Taekwando 7/24/2013
Coach Lionel Lee founded Yi Tae Kwon Do, instructing the ancient Korean art of self-defense, sport, discipline and honor. His students come from all ethnicities and backgrounds. Many have become national champions.
Community Stories: African and American 4/29/2013
African and American: from Africa to Seattle features the perspectives of three youth born in Liberia, Ethiopia and Tanzania but living now in Seattle. By Seattle filmmaker Drew Emery with cooperation from ReWA.
Community Stories: Hydroplane Racer Harold Mills 2/3/2006
Veteran hydroplane racer Harold Mills has won just about every honor a driver could receive. He has been a Region 10 High Point Champion,Western Divisional Champion and National Champion, and has also won both the Sportsman of the Year award and the George Babcock Award for Most Outstanding Driver. But speed isn`t the only barrier Mills has broken; he`s also made history as the sport`s first African American driver. Mills is proud of his accomplishments as a driver, and is committed to bringing more diversity to the sport of hydroplane racing.
Community Stories: Othello Market 1/28/2013
Small business owners make a go at opening a multicultural marketplace in Seattle`s Rainier Valley. The location and the concept seem to be a perfect match, but sometimes things don`t go as smoothly as they should.
Community Stories: Post Prison Education 1/7/2013
The Post-Prison Education Program provides college tuition for ex-cons. Find out how founder Ari Kohn is helping many to break free from cycles of hopelessness, poverty and imprisonment. This program received a Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences`(NATAS) Emmy in 2013. Producer/Photographer/Editor - Ralph Bevins, Executive Producer - Shannon Gee.
Community Stories: Salty Dog 10/29/2012
Tucked away in Ballard`s industrial district, Salty Dog Studios set up in a former bakery in 1975. The beloved building has operated for decades as an artists` collective, community, and source of inspiration.
Community Stories: Seattle to Uganda 4/16/2012
In 2010, a group of Seattle women embarked on a goodwill visit to Uganda and Aminocira Village. Follow along as they forge a partnership that has inspired awareness, social change, health care, and hope for the women of Aminocira and themselves.
Community Stories: Honor Totem trailer 4/13/2012
Honor Totem follows the story of Rick Williams and the people of the John T. Williams Memorial Totem Pole Project as they respond to tragedy with a momentous community art project. The full story, part of the Seattle Channel`s documentary series Community Stories, will air later this year.
Community Stories: Healing a Soldier`s Heart 11/28/2011
Loving-Kindness Meditation is a method practiced all around the world. Now, at the Seattle division of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, a pilot program is using this method to help veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Community Stories: Capoeira, Knowledge That Never Ends 10/10/2011
Meet a Seattle group that is practicing Capoeira, the ancient Afro-Brazilian martial arts/dance form, to share history, help with youth violence prevention, and to celebrate culture and togetherness.
Community Stories: Dr. Ruby 9/26/2011
Dr. Ruby Inouye Shu was the first Japanese American woman physician in Seattle. As a doctor who ministered to the local community starting in the late 1940`s, "Dr. Ruby" is a beloved figure whose life and career is as inspiring as it is remarkable.
Community Stories: Habitat for Humanity in Rainier Vista 9/19/2011
Seattle`s Rainier Vista is one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in the country. Habitat for Humanity Seattle/South King County is contributing to this community`s growth with a very special project.
Community Stories Web Extra: Catching Our Babies 3/14/2011
Additional footage from Community Stories: Catching our Babies. Listen to Michelle, Sheila and Cassandra as they share their birth stories with us.
Community Stories: Catching Our Babies 3/14/2011
Michelle Sarju is one of the few African-American midwives in Washington state. While following her career path, we`ll explore the efforts being made to help women of all cultural communities find more positive pregnancy and birthing experiences.
Community Stories: Goalball 1/31/2011
Described as "soccer for the blind", Goalball was created by WWII vets who wanted to play sports after becoming visually impaired. Today, a dedicated group of new players and advocates have started Seattle`s first Goalball team in over 30 years.
Community Stories: Seattle Fandango Project 12/20/2010
"Convivencia" translates into living/being together. The Seattle Fandango Project aims to create convivencia through music, dance and singing. Taking its model from the Fandango tradition of Veracruz Mexico, the Seattle Fandango Project comes together weekly to teach and learn the music and dance of Veracruz in an open invitation to anyone interested in this participatory gathering.
Community Stories: Jackson Street 12/6/2010
Back in the 30`s and 40`s, Seattle`s vibrant jazz scene rocked Jackson Street at clubs like the Black and Tan and The Rocking Chair. Jackson Street: A Tale of Two Dads reaches back into that heyday through two different perspectives-music and photography. Pianist/musician Oscar Holden raised two children, Dave and Grace, who couldn`t walk around their musical home "without running into a note". Al Smith Jr.`s father Al Smith Sr. would hit the clubs every weekend with his press style camera and capture the moments of "pure glee" from the patrons and performers alike.
Community Stories: Hat and Boots 10/25/2010
By the late `80`s it looked like trail`s end for the Hat n` Boots gas station. Then Georgetown residents saddled up to save the "soul" of their community.
Community Stories: Ho`omau 10/18/2010
Ho`omau is the Hawaiian word meaning “to continue, perpetuate, persist,” which is what Pacific Island cultures have done for centuries, and through it all, the canoe has played a vital part. For Pacific Islanders and paddlers from many backgrounds in the Northwest, the outrigger canoe has become a tool for building community, sharing their love of the sport, and holding on to their culture.
Community Stories: Labyrinth to Joy 10/4/2010
From the torture chambers of Saddam Hussein, to new beginnings in the Pacific Northwest, an artist`s journey.
Community Stories: The Washington House 9/27/2010
People in an unassuming Seattle neighborhood live in the shadow of an amazing historic landmark. The Washington House is dedicated to the preservation of the art & life of a gifted sculptor, and in turn is a magnet for attracting talented artists.
Community Stories Web Extra: Apna Bhangra Crew 9/20/2010
The complete performance piece filmed at Desi Dhamaka 2010.
Community Stories: Apna Bhangra Crew 9/20/2010
Founded by their passion for Bhangra music and dance, Apna Bhangra Crew brings their unique style and energy to local shows and North American competitions while entertaining audiences and spreading awareness of this popular Punjabi folk dance.
Community Stories: The Death and Life of Bailey/Coy Books 4/9/2010
Bailey/Coy Books was Capitol Hill`s literary hub for 26 years before closing its doors in late 2009. Community Stories commemorates the significance and impact of this beloved neighborhood independent bookstore during its last days of business.
Community Stories: In Life as it is in the Ring 3/29/2010
Cappy`s Boxing Gym is not only a place to train in the sport of boxing, it`s also a community where its fighters, like the members of Cappy`s Boxing Club, achieve a deeper understanding about themselves and life in and outside the ring.
Community Stories: Eduardo Mendonca 11/16/2009
A native of Bahia, Brazil, Eduardo Mendonca is a teaching artist for Arts Corps and director of Show Brazil! As a performer and educator, Mendonca shares his passion for Brazilian culture while promoting respect for other cultures via the arts.
Community Stories: Perche No -- Why Not? 11/9/2009
David and Lily Kong are ethnic Chinese restaurateurs with Italian souls, and Perche No Pasta and Vino is a gastronomic love story. After 17 years, the Kongs continue to win fans with their authentic Italian cuisine and warm hospitality. Well, why not?
Community Stories: Women Firefighters 10/26/2009
Barbara (Bonnie) Beers became the first woman firefighter for the Seattle Fire Department in 1977. As the very first woman firefighter, Beers paved the way for subsequent generations of women, like the young women who participate in the annual Camp Blaze firecamp, to consider careers in fire. Now retired, Battalion Chief Beers reflects on her thirty year career while other women firefighters, including Seattle Fire Department Assistant Chief Susan Rosenthal, firefighter Melissa Woolsey, also discuss their careers in fire, how the competitiveness and perceptions of women in fire have changed, and how the next generation will achieve their goals.
Community Stories: Seattle Quake Rugby Team 10/19/2009
Seattle Quake Rugby Football Club became the first gay rugby team in Seattle in 2002. With its mission to bring the sport of rugby to gay men and men of color, the Quake competes in Division III of the Pacific Northwest Rugby Football Union and provides a fostering and competitive environment to communities that have traditionally been unrepresented in this "hooligan`s sport, played by gentlemen."
Community Stories: Mayor`s Scholars 10/12/2009
Every school year students who excel in the classroom and on the sports fields are honored for their good grades and athletic ability. But what about the student who excels in generosity? The Mayor`s Scholars Award does just that. Each year, middle school students who offer their free time, helpful spirit and love to those around them are honored by City Leaders. This year the program enters its tenth year of encouraging volunteerism among young people. Meet some of the current winners and past recipients to see what drives them to give back to their community.
Community Stories: C.A.S.T. for Kids 10/5/2009
Special needs children do not get many recreational opportunities, but C.A.S.T. for Kids is helping to change that. This local organization hosts fishing events to give disabled kids a memorable way to enjoy nature and experience the great outdoors!
Community Stories: Medical Interpreters -- A Bridge to Care 9/28/2009
Navigating the health care system can be daunting, especially if there are cultural and language barriers. Medical interpreters, who often draw from their own experiences and histories, work with patients and providers to bridge those gaps.
Community Stories: Hassan Maalim Guyo -- A Warrior's Journey 9/21/2009
As the first person from his remote Kenyan village to attend college in the U.S., Hassan Maalim Guyo never forgot where he came from. Now Guyo has created a non-profit foundation that builds schools and runs a mobile medical clinic near his birthplace.
Community Stories: Somaythia 4/13/2009
Somaythia Airhart and her mother Phon Thach are survivors of the Cambodian Killing Fields and longtime Seattle residents. Somaythia shares her memories of growing up during a time of war and being a refugee, and how her bond with her mother, as well as her experience as a first generation immigrant, shaped who she is today.
Community Stories: Seattle's Somali Community 3/27/2009
Somali Americans are one of the fastest growing populations in Seattle. That growth has led to economic, political and religious successes as well as challenges. In this episode of Community Stories, a community leader, an educator, a business owner and an advocate discuss how their community is balancing their traditional culture and the demands of a new society. In essence how they are making Seattle and America their home.
Community Stories: Hidmo Means Home 3/20/2009
Rahwa and Asmeret Habtes Central District restaurant Hidmo is more than just an Eritrean restaurant. Despite initial resistance from the changing neighborhood, the restaurant has grown into a space that serves as a venue for a diverse group of musicians, writers, artists and patrons who agree that Hidmo Restaurant and Lounge is a home where community flourishes.
Community Stories: Men of the Mountain 3/9/2009
Meet Rusty Purnell and Romaine Jackson: Two African American men who add a brilliance of color to the snow cap mountains of the Pacific Northwest. They share their story and their love of skiing with us and how they give back to their community in an inspiring story called Men of the Mountain.
Community Stories: Cosmetology 3/2/2009
In 2005, Gwendolyn Chambliss launched her own distinctive beauty school, the GP Institute of Cosmetology, in the Rainier Valley. What sets this school apart is its emphasis on "life" skills -- listening and communicating with people -- that are beyond the basic training required for certification in Cosmetology. Gwendolyn's focus on her students' success as well as serving her community (free haircuts for the homeless) has earned her business an excellent reputation, flourishing on word-of-mouth promotion. The economic down turn is threatening this unique Seattle business, but she continues to stay true to her mission. As Gwendolyn says: "We can be our own stimulus package."
Community Stories: Seattle in the Age of AIDS 2/13/2009
A time of panic and fear, this recount looks back into the early `80`s during the onset of the AIDS epidemic in Seattle. The stories are told through the words of a handful of people who lived and worked on the front lines in the community.
Community Stories: Helping Link 2/6/2009
Founded in 1993, Helping Links mission is to empower Vietnamese-Americans social adjustment, family stability and self-sufficiency while nurturing community service and youth leaders. Director Minh-Duc Nguyen recalls what inspired her and her colleagues to launch the organization while being an inspiration to the next generation of Helping Links volunteers.
Community Stories: Lucy Lopez 2/2/2009
Lucy Lopez is the grandmother of Mexican food in Seattle. When she moved here from Cuautla, Mexico over 40 years ago, there were very few Mexican restaurants in the Northwest. Thanks to her business acumen and hard work, she has helped bring us the flavors -- and the people -- of her hometown, and in the process, made it possible for over 400 local Mexican restaurants to flourish.
Community Stories: Marra Farms 1/26/2009
One of the last two remaining pieces of original agricultural land in Seattle, Marra Farm, located on a 4 acre preserve in South Park, strives to address community food security needs, provide a space for sustainable agriculture education, and engage community members.
Community Stories: Pacific NW African American Fine Arts 1/19/2009
NAAFA (Northwest African American Fine Arts) is an organization of artists who have a group show in the Seattle area once a year. Inspired by a visit to an African American arts festival in Baltimore, NAAFA aims to showcase the diverse talents and creative vision of African American artists in the Pacific Northwest.
Community Stories: Charlene Curtiss 11/19/2007
World-renown wheelchair dancer Charlene Curtiss breaks ground in the field of dance as she and her dance partner Joanne Petroff work towards integrating the discipline of wheelchair dance into the mainstream.
Community Stories: Millie Russell 11/14/2007
On this episode of the Seattle Channel series Community Stories, meet Dr. Millie Russell. Dr. Russell is an African American civil rights activist and educator who recently retired from her daily duties at the University of Washington Office of Minority Affairs and Department of Biology. She shares her story of growing up in Seattle; breaking ground in the field of science; taking part in the civil rights movement; and why she can never really retire.
Community Stories: Jack Straw Productions 11/5/2007
Every summer, Jack Straw Productions invites visually impaired kids to their studios to learn about audio production. The Blind Youth Audio Program with Jack Straw staff, visiting artists and blind musician/engineer/producer Todd Houghton, workshops radio dramas, soundscapes and learn interview, music and radio recording.
Community Stories: Salima Restaurant 10/29/2007
Opening about a year ago behind the roar of the new Sound Transit light rail on Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Rainier Valley, Salima Restaurant is the first 100% Halal Muslim restaurant serving Vietnamese, Malaysian and Cham cuisine in the region. Owners Salima and Asari Mohamath not only serve the best peanut sauce in town, but also aspire to share their culture to their neighborhood and community through cuisine.
Community Stories: Babes Network 10/15/2007
The BABES Network-YWCA, a support group for women living with HIV and AIDS, started in the 1980s as a potluck gathering. Today, it has grown into a non-profit organization partnered with the YWCA, and finds ways to support its members as their needs evolve. Here, the Babes share their stories through a workshop and theater performance, called Positive Dreams: Weaving Stories of Our Sisterhood.
Community Stories: Sustaining the Faith 10/8/2007
Environmental activism is not a term normally associated with religious groups. But in Seattle, a group of faith-based community leaders is on a mission to change that. Not only do they believe that religion can help save the environment; they believe the environmental movement may help save the religious community. To learn more about faith-based efforts to promote social and environmental sustainability visit Earth Ministry at www.earthministry.org. To get involved in helping to restore green spaces through the Seattle Green Partnership Program, visit www.greenseattle.org
Community Stories: Lost and Found 10/1/2007
On this episode of Community Stories, meet Veta Hernandez, a single mom who found her calling through a job placement training program that reunites travelers with their items lost at SeaTac Airport.
Community Stories: Partners in MS 9/24/2007
Filmmaker John Jeffcoat (director Outsourced, (2007)) takes a personal look at living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The Pacific Northwest has one of the highest MS rates in the nation. Jeffcoat speaks with his wife, Deryn, who was diagnosed with MS in 1990; one of Seattle's leading MS doctors; and a colleague whose partner has MS; to explore the emotional landscape that people and families face with this chronic disease.
Community Stories: The Royal Esquire Club 1/28/2007
A local fixture since 1948, the Royal Esquire Club was initially founded in post-World War II Seattle as a place where African American men could gather for group events and have fun. In the nearly sixty years since, the club continues to operate out of Columbia City as a gathering place for members, but it also contributes as a community resource with its scholarship fund and charitable giving. The Royal Esquire Club`s combined legacy of social activity and community outreach is what keeps it going strong after all these years.
Community Stories: Hari Kondabolu 12/17/2006
Can civil rights activism and stand up comedy mix? Hari Kondabolu, a staff member of the organization Hate Free Zone, has told jokes on stage since high school, and his humor has evolved in step with his awareness and activity with race and social justice issues. "What I do on stage and what I do at work...there are definitely similarities," says Hari. To him, communicating through activism and laughter can be one and the same.
Community Stories: To Give and Receive 10/29/2006
When Zapotec artist Fulgencio Lazo moved from Oaxaca, Mexico in 1990, he wanted to bring his generation's affirmation of art and culture via the Fiesta de Santa Rosa de Lima to the growing Oaxacan community in Seattle. He met up with Seattle resident Bill Clifford, who helped to form the musical group La Banda Gozona, a multi-ethnic group of musicians playing the traditional music of Oaxaca. Part cultural exchange and part culturally sensitive preservation of Oaxacan music, La Banda Gozona celebrates the struggles and triumphs of the Oaxacan community both here and in Mexico through music and dance year round.
Community Stories: Ballard Eagles Drill Team 10/8/2006
The Ballard Eagles Drill Team is a Seattle institution in turquoise, gold and black. Originating in 1961, BEDT began as an activity for youth via the Fraternal Order of Eagles Ballard Eagles Aerie No. 172. A fixture on the summer parade circuit, BEDT has promoted pride, good sportsmanship and created generations of volunteers and life long friendships for countless number of young women in Ballard and beyond.
Community Stories: West Seattle Story Pole 9/3/2006
There is a new historic totem pole standing at the crest of Admiral Way Point in West Seattle. Duwamish wood carver Michael Halady made this 65 foot “story pole” that tells the story of the Duwamish tribe, Seattle’s indigenous peoples, and the first pioneers who landed at Alki Point in 1855. Halady, a fifth generation descendant of Chief Seattle, and members of the Admiral Community Council, who worked many years on replacing the current pole, hopes this first Duwamish made pole keeps alive the continuity of West Seattle and the Duwamish as well as celebrates the history of our city’s first community.
Community Stories: Evolving Identities 7/9/2006
Kathie and Kaitlin are two lesbians from diverse backgrounds. Kathie has been active in the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender and people of color communities for over twenty years and has witnessed the changes from the pre-Civil Rights era through today while Kaitlin, a regular participant at Lambert House, a drop-in center for LGBT and questioning youth, is active in Seattle's LGBT youth community at the age of 19. While Kathie and Kaitlin represent the "then and now" of the lesbian activist community, their stories of coming out and volunteering are much the same.
Community Stories: Hilda Magana 6/18/2006
Hilda Magana left her rural Mexican home at 19, in search of a better life. With her small son Alex in tow, she endured a harrowing journey across the border, and arrived in Seattle feeling lost and homesick. Through El Centro de la Raza, the 33-year-old locus for Seattle’s Latino community, Hilda was able integrate her identity as an immigrant and is currently the director of the nationally recognized bilingual Jose Marti Child Development Center. Hilda now feels pride and love for both of the cultures in her life: Mexican and American.
Community Stories: Kids Tame the Flame 5/28/2006
Not long after a small group of middle school kids, on their way to play basketball, stopped to watch glass making at nearby Pratt Fine Arts Center, something very special happened. The boys, with behavioral disorders and learning disabilities, were invited to make glass beads and sculptures with Pratt instructor Stacy Frost. Despite their troubles in school, the kids excel in the glass studio, a place where they have developed confidence and self-respect. See how the transformative power of art has changed these kids lives.
Community Stories: Sister Schools 5/14/2006
Terry McGill made his first trip to Uganda in 1988. Although he traveled there for a soccer match, he noticed the incredible hardships that Ugandans were facing after 20 years of civil war and a devastating AIDS epidemic. He returned to Seattle and embarked on a creating a program that paired Seattle school children with Ugandan youth, a program that has since sent over 200,000 pounds of gifted supplies to kids in need. Through his work, Terry teaches the importance of giving and charity, and fosters international understanding in children locally and abroad.
Community Stories: Aquarium Kids 4/16/2006
Every Sunday on Pier 59, three high schoolers come to the Seattle Aquarium to help clean the exhibit tanks and feed the animals, all to prepare for the thousands of visitors who come to aquarium each week. Interns Sam, Shun, and Savy all come from families with roots in Asia, but their unique personalities and life histories illustrate the diversity within the Asian American community, a diversity that in turn enriches the lives of the aquarium's staff and visitors.
Community Stories: Cats and Dogs 4/2/2006
Folks with pets often label themselves as either cat people or dog people. But one thing they can agree on is that animals enrich and enhance our lives, and taking good care of them reflects our capacity for good stewardship. Nina Pruneda and Nancy Burke, two volunteers for PAWS Seattle and Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue respectively, have taken it one step further by dedicating their time to homeless cats and dogs and finding them new families. By caring for these critters, Nina and Nancy demonstrate a compassion and respect for living things that can carry out to the community at large.
Community Stories: From Yoomee to Deborah 3/19/2006
Deborah Jean Yoomee Ko Miller Warren was born out of wedlock in Korea and adopted at the age of six by Queen Anne couple Michael and Linda Warren. They had a biological son of their own as well as another adopted Korean son, and they created a nurturing and loving family. Deborah became an achieving student and easygoing friend, but she still had a lot of exploring to do about her own identity. Like her name, Deborah is a combination of many things; a mix of heritages and histories that has inspired her to help other international adoptees on their own journeys.
Community Stories: Tap Dancing 3/5/2006
Melba Ayco assumed responsibility for TTAAPP (Talent, Tap, Acting, Arts, Performance and Production) Central after its founder, Darrlyn Cook-Smith, passed away in 2002. For Melba Ayco, a twenty year veteran of the Seattle Police Department, TTAAPP Central is more than just a tap dance studio reintroducing a traditional African American art form. She also instructs the students, ages 4 and up, in the importance of commitment, and how wrong choices can lead to unpleasant consequences. TTAAPP Central is one big family for Ayco, a self described Louisiana country girl.
Community Stories: Uncle Jimmy 2/19/2006
Born and raised in Seattle, James Mar has spent many of his 91 years working out of his family`s store in the International District. The Yick Fung Co., established in 1910, is a restaurant supply store that also acted as an unofficial social service agency to new Chinese immigrants. 90 years later, James carries on the tradition of helping his community. As the only funeral director for the Chinese community, James, or “Uncle Jimmy” can be counted on to help the folks in need. Reflecting on his life and the International District, James Mar is living history and a neighborhood institution.
Community Stories: VA Volunteers 1/18/2006
The Seattle division of the Department of Veteran Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System on Beacon Hill is a special place, not just because provides world class medical care for America`s veterans, but also because of its large volunteer community. These volunteers, who are often veterans themselves, help out in nearly every aspect of support care for the patients. Profiles of some of the VA`s volunteers celebrate the time and attention these folks donate to the men and women who served our country.
Community Stories: Empowered by Biodiesel 1/6/2006
The burgeoning biodiesel community in Seattle is not just for hard core environmentalists anymore. Citizens choose to go biodiesel for a number of reasons - to have less impact on the environment and to be less reliant on fossil fuels are a couple of incentives -- but they also come together to share knowledge and support this growing industry. Biodiesel users like activist Aaron Kahn, business owner Rob Elam, and co-op member Ara Erickson share how folks create community at the fuel pump.
Community Stories: Masguda Queen of Tatar 12/5/2005
Masguda Shamsutdinova immigrated to Seattle from the district of Tatarstan, a sovereign state united to the Russian Federation. She gave up her career there as a successful folk modern composer to move to the U.S. for her family. Masguda’s approach to living in the U.S. is that of an artist in transition. She shares her inspirations and history, her struggles with learning English and the music she hears in her everyday life in Seattle and discusses the differences between her past and present life. The episode also features symphonies and works in progress by Masguda.
Community Stories: Salvadorean Bakery 11/18/2005
The Salvadorean Bakery in White Center serves not only as a popular dining spot but also as culinary gateway to El Salvador. Ana Castro and her sister Aminta Elgin opened the bakery in 1996 and it has since flourished as a successful restaurant/bakery and a cultural community center through its food. By sharing their pasteles (hand-shaped pastries), desayuno (breakfast fare) and food items like pollo encebollado, pupusas and yucca frita with others, Ana and Aminta give their bakery’s diverse clientele a little bit of El Salvadorean tradition while they keep alive their strong ties to their culture.
Community Stories: Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center 10/23/2005
When 11 year old Jordan Bolden signed up for the summer musical program at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, he knew he wanted to be a part of it since age four but he had no idea he was going to end up with the lead. A lot of kids who sign up for the summer musical don’t know what they are capable of until the show finally hits the Seattle Rep after 10 weeks of intense rehearsals. Much of that education and growth comes from the musical’s director, Isiah Anderson Jr., a 15 year vet of summer musicals for kids.
Community Stories: The Blue Scholars 10/6/2005
Emcee George "Geologic" Quibuyen and DJ Alexei "Sabzi" Saba Mohajerjasbi met over an interest in music, but they took it a step further when they formed the hip hop duo Blue Scholars, whose self released album in 2005 has been a critical and local hit. The duo's body of work is deeply influenced by their heritages and is also about issues that are local, national and global in scope. Though on the brink of national success, Blue Scholars continue to work in Seattle and are committed to making music about and contributing back to their communities. Special Note: This program was featured in the Northwest Asian American Film Festival Short Programs of the Northwest in January 2006.
Community Stories: Zewditu Aschenaki 9/25/2005
Zewditu Aschenaki is a true immigrant success story. She is an Ethiopian refugee who came to Seattle by way of Sudan and then Canada. Through determination, hard work and a strong community, Zed has managed to open a thriving salon in the heart of Columbia City, raise her small daughter and continue her own education.





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