“A multi-media time capsule of what was, what is and what’s next…”
In 1962, Seattle established itself as a global focal point, hosting a world’s fair driven by the space age – ultimately creating a physical legacy: Seattle Center. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the fair there is cause for contemplation and realization of the changes our region faces; an entirely new set of priorities, challenges and opportunities. Today, the question aimed at the social and intellectual capital is, what feeds our region’s creative energy?
The Next Fifty is forward-thinking and ambitious, as it enlists experts, innovators, and global citizens to start and sustain a blueprint for the next half-century. The Next Fifty is a collaborative effort imagined and executed through extensive partnerships by community members, businesses and organizations that believe in the opportunity presented by the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair. Their involvement is the core of the six-month celebration.
Festál is a year-long series of world cultural festivals and events hosted at The Seattle Center that honors and preserves community cultural traditions. Through a wide variety of events, installations and activities including music, dance, exhibits, ceremonies, crafts and food, Festál showcases the region’s rich and diverse cultures, promoting understanding and cultural kinship in the Pacific Northwest.
50 NEXT: Seattle Hip-Hop Worldwide is an online interactive experience including music from Seattle and Northwest Hip-Hop artists; featuring a short film by Avi Loud and is presented by Big World Breaks & The Town Entertainment with The Seattle Center Cultural Programs and Festál.
Seattle Center Cultural Programs & Festál had an inspired vision of aligning the Next 50 celebration with a unique project to honor the past, present and future of the Hip-Hop community in the greater Seattle area. This project was developed over a two year-long period (2010-2012) and involved an incredible amount of talented people including the 50 Next Seattle core team comprised of Steve Sneed, Aaron Walker-Loud, Jazmyn Scott and Avi Loud. In addition, the 50 Next short film score was composed and produced by Big World Breaks and the original graphic/web design elements were lead by Zachary Self. 50 Next: Seattle Hip-Hop Worldwide began by honoring the Seattle Center at fifty years by generating and promoting inter-cultural, inter-generational and international connectivity; and has now evolved into a collaborative partnership with MOHAI for “The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop” exhibit, which runs September 19th, 2015 through May 1st, 2016
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Aaron Walker-Loud of Big World Breaks
As the founder, owner and director of Big World Breaks (a production company built for performance, studio and education) Aaron has had the opportunity to share stages with many great artists, including Janelle Monae, B.o.B., Kool DJ Red Alert, Macklemore, Reggie Watts, DJ Qbert, Digable Planets, Saul Williams and more; and has had the honor to direct live show backing for a wide variety of artists such as Grammy Nominated singer Wayna, Zo!, Sy Smith, Kimberly Nichole, The EriAm Sisters, Massive Monkees, Choklate, Gabriel Teodros, Blue Scholars, Khingz, Spac3man, Yirim Seck, Toni Hill, Dyme Def, JusMoni, Black Stax and Xperience. Walker-Loud is rooted in Seattle’s infamous Central District music lineage, as a drummer and percussionist in the Washington Middle School Jazz Ensemble (directed by Mr. Robert Knatt) and the Garfield High School Jazz Ensemble (directed by Mr. Clarence Acox).
Between 1991 and 1998, these iconic educators instilled a love for sharing knowledge and inspiration in Aaron which would only continue to grow. He began working with youth and families in 1999, eventually evolving into becoming the Education Director for Seattle JazzED (working alongside Knatt and Acox to this day), a teaching artist for Arts Corps and the drumline director for Washington Middle School, O’Dea High School and Roosevelt High School.
Jazmyn Scott of The Town Entertainment
Jazmyn Scott is the Founder & Operator of The Town Entertainment; which presents, produces & promotes live music events and collaborates with many well-known entities in the Seattle music scene and beyond. Since its inception in 2009, The Town Entertainment has had the opportunity to collaborate with many Seattle industry heavyweights like Reigncity and the Seattle Theatre Group and has also produced, co-produced and promoted live events featuring local and national acts such as Zo!, Sy Smith, The Foreign Exchange, Kimberly Nichole, Bilal, Wayna, Tasha Jones, The Good Sin, Big World Breaks, Zach Bruce, Black Stax, Jus Moni, Tiffany Wilson, Che Blaq, Polyrhythmics, Darrius Willrich and many, many more. The Town Entertainment’s mission is to provide a platform for up & coming artists, musicians and performers to flourish, as well as giving audiences fresh, new entertainment experiences. Jazmyn studied photography for many years, (prior to the creation and popularity of digital photography) and photographed many popular Seattle Emcees and Deejays from the early 90’s through today.
Through her photography, Jazmyn was able to travel to Cuba in 1999 and have her photographs featured in the Bumbershoot exhibit, “Within/Without: Contemporary Photographs of Cuba” in 2001. Aside from her work in the local music and arts scenes, Jazmyn is the Program Manager for the Atlantic Street Family Resource Center, which serves southeast Seattle and continues to actively support and engage with various community organizations.
Steve Sneed of Seattle Center
Steve began his career at the age of 15 as the Leader of the African Drum and Dance group the OGUNDA’S. For seven years, the group performed at festivals, prisons, colleges and a various special events in the State of Washington. He later studied theatre arts, music and advertising at the University of Washington, worked as an equity actor in Seattle, produced and directed plays in Seattle and co-founded a local Production company called SNECO Productions.
Steve served as the Director of the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center for 11 years. Currently he is the Managing Artistic Director of Cultural Programs at the Seattle Center, Managing 20 Cultural Festivals called Festal and other general entertainment at Seattle Center. Steve has served as a Washington State Arts Commissioner and in 2001 was the Recipient of the Corporate Council for the Arts (now Artsfund) “Unsung Hero Award”.
Avi Loud is a fashion, editorial, lifestyle and music photographer, cinematographer, art director and collaborator. He recently graduated from the Seattle Central Creative Academy’s Commercial Photography program. He currently works as the Resident Photographer at Alive & Well, Art Director/Photographer for Le Notre, and a Creative Partner at LoveCityLove.
Being able to harness both positive and negative energy and express that with his work, he explores his artistic narrative with an honest, gritty and beautiful approach, drawing from personal experience, raw emotion, and the world around him.