Last Night

Last Night: Outtakes From the Nightlife Initiative Briefing

By Erica C. Barnett December 30, 2010

One thing that got buried a bit in yesterday's Morning Fizz  report on Mayor Mike McGinn's nightlife initiative briefing was the fact that this was no ordinary press conference. It opened with ten minutes of entertainment---a poem/spoken word/song by local poet Storme Webber about the blues, and then a hip-hop performance by Santonio Bandanas (apologies if I'm misspelling his name; the performance, sadly, was deleted from the videotape of the press conference).

Both were awesome: Webber's spoken-word slam poetry was lightened by occasional bursts of song and Bandanas' son did some break-dancing on the floor in between choruses. At the end of Webber's performance, another reporter and I looked at each other, paused, and both decided to applaud (another thing unheard of at traditional press conferences). Check out Webber's poem about her friend John T. Williams, the homeless woodcarver who was killed by a Seattle Police Department officer earlier this year, here.

McGinn himself seemed somewhat floored by the entertainment. "I didn't know what to expect," McGinn said. "The kid made me smile, so that's a good way to start a press conference."

Credit for the venue and choice of entertainers goes to mayoral staffer Ainsley Close and Office of Film and Music director James Keblas, who set up the event.
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