The Seattle Fandango Project

After the introduction of who and what the Women Who Rock organization are about, it was time for the Seattle Fandango Project to give the audience an upbeat performance. As the Seattle Fandango Project is coming up to the front of the theater, I was surprised by the amount of people that are performing. By my counting, I saw around 20 people up there singing and playing the instruments and I even saw a couple of the big kids that I had spent time with downstairs at the Kid’s Corner. They began their musical number with an intro played solely by stringed instruments and percussion. This intro then transitioned into singing and feet stomping, creating an utter cheerful mayhem in the theater. This refreshing performance really brought home the message about the importance of our community and culture.

Group 13

What is leadership?

The panelists were just asked this question, and they have great answers. One said “followers.” Sharon Maeda said, “Anyone can be a leader. Anyone can make a difference.” Lots of finger snapping in the audience — deep approval. Several panelists say they look to those younger than themselves for leadership. Zola Mumford said empathy is the most important element for a leader. How have they used media for social justice? Star Nayea notes organizing around the 2009 death of Native carver John T. Williams at the hands of the Seattle PD; Jacque Larrainzar holds up her smart phone and (channeling Woodie Guthrie) says, “This machine kills fascists”; mixtapes!; learning the skills from others, combining technical and political know-how. 

Sharon Maeda

An Asian American activista icon, right here on stage! She’s talking about doing the ground-level work and watching it being “undone” by the mainstream media. She’s talking about her important work with Pacifica Radio — a shout out to ‘Democracy Now!’. She says it’s important to “pay attention” to what’s going on and to find avenues for media justice — she says LPFM is the result of a long struggle. She says, “Whatever your issue is, media justice must be your second issue.” 

SFP in the studio

I’m listening to the Seattle Fandango Project right now, live streaming from the studio. What a perfect way to begin the WWR unconference — what a thick, beautiful soundscape — a wall of jarana strumming away, feet stomping the tarima, singing, whistling, people laughing, ah, convivencia.