Seattle Office of Film + Music

Commission Mixer Draws Large, Enthusiastic Crowd
June 4, 2015, 1:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

SMCSAC_EVENT_horizCreativity was brewing last night at Rumba Notes Lounge in Columbia City during the first joint Music Commission and Arts Commission Mixer. Community members were invited to come out, meet with Commissioners to learn more about the work of the Commissions, and share their own work, current projects, and goals with Commissioners.

The event featured welcome remarks from Commission Chairs Jody McKinley (Music) and Vivian Phillips (Arts), food from Safari and Watercress, Kenyan and Vietnamese restaurants located adjacent to Rumba Notes, and concluded with a rousing performance from local funk band Ancient Robotz. During the event, attendees were given the chance to “Date a Commissioner” in a speed dating style format where they could engage directly with Commissioners for intense 10-minute segments.

There were 16 Music and Arts Commissioners in attendance representing a diverse array of music and arts organizations, industry, and working creative professionals. Representatives from Mayor Murray’s office were in attendance, and over 100 community members from all facets of the creative sectors came out to meet each other, share experiences and information, and gain creative inspiration.

It was a positive and inspiring event and both Commissions look forward to holding more of these in the future. Thanks to Rumba Notes Lounge for hosting! Thanks to the community for coming out!MeetTheCommissions_PhotoCollage

2015 Mayor’s Film Award Recipient Announced: Megan Griffiths
May 15, 2015, 11:49 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Mayor Ed Murray has announced the 2015 recipient of the 10th Annual Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film, Megan Griffiths. The award recognizes an individual or entity for exceptional work that has significantly contributed to the growth, advancement, and reputation of Seattle as a filmmaking city.HEADSHOT2015_hayleyyoung_CROPPED

“Megan’s passion for filming locally and attracting new business and talent has raised the profile of Seattle and the region’s film community,” said Murray. “Her award-winning career in directing and producing speaks for itself. I am pleased to present this award to her, and thank her for her championship of Seattle as a thriving place to make movies.”

Megan Griffiths has been a director, writer, and producer in the Seattle film community for over a decade. Her most recent film Lucky Them was filmed in Seattle and premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Her previous film, Eden, was set in the southwest but filmed entirely in Washington, and premiered at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival in Austin where it won the narrative Audience Award and the Emergent Female Director Award.

“I am honored to receive the Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film,” said Griffiths. “I feel very privileged to live in a city where the Mayor and the community celebrate the film industry. Seattle is home to many great craftsmen and women who also happen to be outstanding humans and phenomenal collaborators, and I am proud to be able to call this ‘crewtopia’ my home and base of operations.”

The five Seattle film industry representatives on the Nomination and Selection Committee considered many deserving people before reaching a unanimous decision on the 2015 recipient Megan Griffiths. Griffiths will receive Silvered Piccolo Venetian with Emerald Handles created by artist Dale Chihuly. Griffiths received the award at Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)’s Opening Night Gala on Tuesday, May 14, 2015 at the Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall.

Fourth Annual City of Music Career Day Biggest (and Best) Yet!


On Wednesday, April 22nd, over 300 high school juniors and seniors and college students from across the city and greater metropolitan area attended the fourth annual City of Music Career Day at Seattle Center.  A Seattle Music Commission initiative, Career Day is an annual, one-day, free educational program that provides future leaders of Seattle’s creative community with direct access to music industry professionals through networking, experiential learning, engaging workshops, and performance. This year’s event was the largest to date and also marked the first City of Music Career Day event produced collaboratively by the Office of Film + Music, Office of Arts & Culture, EMP Museum, and One Reel.

Mayor Murray set an inspiring tone for the day with his opening comments on how Seattle’s rich musical legacy set the framework for its current climate of musical exploration, creativity, and innovation. Office of Film + Music Director Kate Becker and Office of Arts & Culture Director Randy Engstrom also addressed the crowd and set the stage for keynote speakers Ryan Lewis (producer/musician) and Zach Quillan (manager, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis) to talk with KEXP’s John Richards about living and working in the music industry in Seattle.

Students engaged with a wide variety of industry experts, learning about music career opportunities in performance, management, concert production, arts organizations, record label operations, retail, licensing, journalism, and broadcasting, through targeted breakout sessions. Sessions featured working musicians Hollis Wong-Wear, Tomo Nakayama, Erik Blood, and Vitamin D along with industry professionals from Rhapsody, DigiPen, AEG Live, Amazon, and others.

Following the breakout sessions, students met one-on-one with mentors and talked with representatives from organizations including KEXP, The Recording Academy, Barsuk Records, Brown Paper Tickets, Sub Pop Records, Rain City Rock Camp for Girls, Votiv, Fremont Abbey Arts Center, and many more.

The jam-packed day concluded with performances from Shaprece and Tomo Nakayama and, for the first time, an “After Party” where students networked with their peers, sharing their experience of the day and swapping stories. EMP Youth Advisory Board member Marco Schurgurensky DJ’d the After Party which featured City of Music Career Day cupcakes from Trophy Cupcakes. Feedback from the student attendees has been fantastic, and plans are already in the works to make City of Music Career Day 2016 even bigger and better.


Mayor Murray supports new legislation to increase film production in Washington
February 24, 2015, 12:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Mayor Murray announced his support of Senate Bill 6027 (SB 6027), introduced last week in the Washington State Senate to increase the funding for the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program.

The bill doubles the size of the production incentive program over the next two yeaFilm Incentivers to $7 million and increases the fund incrementally each year until it reaches $10 million in 2019. The sunset date for the program will also be extended to 2022.

Washington’s current incentive program is the fifth smallest in the country. $55 million worth of film production was immediately turned away in 2014 when the annual funding cap was expended by May. This legislation aims to keep Washington’s film industry competitive and retain and increase film industry talent to fuel the statewide creative economy.

SB 6027’s prime sponsor is Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D, 36th), with co-sponsors Senator Andy Billig (D, 3rd), Senator Joe Fain (R, 47th), and Senator Don Benton (R, 17th).

See the Washington State Legislature page for more details.




On Saturday, January 31st, the Office of Film + Music’s Director, Kate Becker, and Creative Industries Advocate, Mikhael Mei Williams, participated in the day long City of Music: Black Music Summit at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Orchestrated by Seattle Music Commissioner Wyking Garrett, this event is an evolution and direct outreach program of the Music Commission’s annual City of Music Career Day held each spring at the Seattle Center. The goal of the Roadshow events is to engage local communities around equity and opportunities in Seattle’s music industry and to provide a framework for discussion around ways to ensure Seattle’s vibrant music scene is accessible and open to everyone.

Over 150 people attended and participated throughout the day long event, including six Music Commissioners. Panels covered a variety of topics including the state of Black Music in Seattle, how to make a living in today’s music business, and how music can be used to activate and enrich neighborhoods. Panelists featured a mix of working artists and performers, promoters, venue owners and operators, and music and cultural organizations and included Ishmael Butler, Shabazz Palaces/Sub Pop Records; Ouwar Arunga, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis/Arunga Music, LLC; Jazmyn Scott, The Town Entertainment; Ricardo Frazer, Seattle Music Commission/Zaki Rose Agency; LaTanya “Sista Luv” Horace, Singer/Songwriter; Tendai Baba Maraire, Shabazz Palaces/Chimerunga Renaissance; Larry Mizell, The Stranger/KEXP; Lara Davis and Liz Johnson, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture; Evelyn Allen, Exec. Director Village Spirit Center for Community Change; Suntionio Bandanaz, 206Zulu and many others.

The event generated lively conversation and discussion around challenges facing the Black music community and how artists, musicians, promoters, and others working in the industry could better connect to create more opportunities to make a living in music. The event involved a high-level of active participation and collaboration and the ideas, strategies, and feedback that resulted from the summit will help inform the direction of the City of Music Initiative as it progresses.

Seattle Music Commissioner and Black Music Summit organizer Wyking Garrett kicking off the program.


“State of Black Music” panel featuring Jazmyn Scott, Ouwar Arunga, Ishmael Butler, Music Commissioner Wyking Garrett, Dr. James Gore, Music Commissioner Ricardo Frazer, and Erinn “Ms. Urban 411” Renee


City of Music Career Day Roadshow – this Saturday, Jan. 31st
January 28, 2015, 11:47 am
Filed under: Music, Seattle City of Music Initiative, Seattle Music Commission

Black-Music-Summit_webMusic is a $2+ Billion industry in Seattle with over 20,000 jobs represented. African-Americans and the Central District have played a significant role in the development of Seattle’s rich musical legacy – from jazz and blues to funk and hip hop – yet have minimal representation in the industry economics and policy influence.

The Black Music Summit “A Motown in Seattle?” will take place this Saturday, January 31st from 11 am to 6 pm at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. This event is free and open to the public.

Register online now

The purpose of this summit is to bring together stakeholders—musicians, artists, promoters, venue owners and operators, members of the media, educators, and other industry participants—to increase awareness of available opportunities and strengthen networks for action. The goal is to address the current state, and future growth, of Black Music in Seattle and the Central District and explore the opportunities and challenges in the context of Seattle’s City of Music Initiative to make Seattle a global music mecca by 2020.

The Roadshows were developed as an outreach tool for the annual City of Music Career Day to provide information, assess challenges and opportunities, and provide access to the music industry in underrepresented communities. These events showcase talent in these hyper-local communities and bring neighborhoods together to celebrate their vibrant and rich musical histories and cultures.

The Black Music Summit “A Motown in Seattle” program schedule features the following:

  • 11:00am – 12pm Industry Stakeholders Meet & Greet Brunch
  • 12:15pm Welcome & Opening Statements
    • Kate Becker, Director Seattle Office of Film & Music
    • Randy Engstrom, Director, Seattle Office of Art & Culture
  • 12:30 State of Black Music in Seattle
    • Ishmael Butler, Shabazz Palaces/SubPop Records
    • Ouwar Arunga, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis/Arunga Music, LLC
    • Dr. James Gore, Ariel Media/Jackson St. Music Program
    • Jazmyn Scott, The Town Ent.
    • Erinn “Ms. Urban 411” Renee, C89.5FM The Gospel Show/Rite Marketing
  • 1:45pm – 2:45 Feast or Famine: Making Money In Today’s Music Biz
    • LaTanya “Sista Luv” Horace, Singer/Songwriter
    • Darryl Crews, Executive, Sky Movement (Tacoma, WA)
    • Tendai Baba Maraire, Shabazz Palaces/Chimerunga Renaissance
    • Larry Mizell, The Stranger
    • Lara Davis, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
    • Mark Henderson, International Musican & Band Leader (Hong Kong)
  • 3:15-4:15 Using Music To Activate Neighborhoods Roundtable
    • Royal Alley Barnes, Executive Director, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
    • Evelyn Allen – Exec. Dir., Village Spirit Center for Community Change
    • Felix Ngoussou, Owner – Lake Chad Cafe
    • Liz Johnson, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
    • Jason Davidson, Owner – Cortona Cafe & Parklet
    • Robert Stevens – African American Veterans Group of Washington State/23rd Ave ACT/Garfield Community Council
    • Savior Knowledge, Union Street Business Association
    • Heidi Jackson, CEO Hidmo Cypher
    • Suntonio Bandanaz – Artists, 206Zulu
  • Young Artists Roundtable facilitated by Freshest Roots
  • 4:30 -5:45 Music, Technology & Marketing presented by Hack The CD

The Roadshow events are produced by Seattle Music Commissioner K. Wyking Garrett of UMOJA PEACE Center in collaboration with the Office of Film + Music, Seattle Music Commission, and the Office of Arts & Culture.

Filmmakers: Save the Date For “Scene on Screen,” Two Film Production Panels
January 22, 2015, 2:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Office of Film + Music has partnered with Northwest Film Forum, Washington Filmworks, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and Seattle Public Library to present Scene on Screen: Film Production in the Northwest, two panels focusing on the business of filmmaking in Seattle, moderated by Warren Etheredge of The Warren Report.

On Location: The Economic Impact of Film Production

Warren Etheredge will moderate a panel discussion about the business of film adaptation and film production in Seattle, using the example of Amazon Studios’ recent filmed-in-Seattle adaptation of the Philip K. Dick novel The Man In The High Castle. The 7:00 p.m. panel follows a 5:00 p.m. rare screening of the 35mm print of Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott and adapted from the novel by Philip K. Dick.


  • Kate Becker, Director of Seattle’s Office of Film + Music
  • Greg Smith, President, IATSE Local 488
  • Kathy Hsieh, Cultural Partnerships & Grants Manager, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
  • Lisa Dixon, Chief Operating Officer, Pioneer Square Alliance

Monday, February 2 at the Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Avenue, Capitol Hill

5:00 p.m. – Blade Runner (2007, Final Cut)

7:00 p.m. – Panel Discussion about the Economic Impact of Film Production on our Local Economy

From Script to Screen: Transforming Fiction into Film

Warren Etheredge will facilitate a discussion about the creative process of adaptation and film production in Seattle, using the example of Amazon Studios’ recent filmed-in-Seattle adaptation of the Philip K. Dick novel The Man In The High Castle.

Thursday, February 12 at the Downtown Seattle Public Library, Central Auditorium, 1000 Fourth Ave., Downtown Seattle

7 p.m. –  Discussion

  • Warren Etheredge of The Warren Report
  • Paul Constant, The Stranger
  • Kathy Hsieh, Cultural Partnerships & Grants Manager, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture



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