Plus, pups who made history and how to prepare for winter hikes in the snow and ice.
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🎊 The museum leader who helps Seattle celebrate black history

Plus, pups who made history and how to prepare for winter hikes in the snow and ice.

By Hannah Myrick

Welcome to Tuesday!

Did you know the Pacific Northwest is full of famous dogs? Well now I do, and probably won’t stop talking about it, thanks to this new video from Crosscut .  Here are some highlights:

✉️ Owney was a postal service mascot who traveled around the world, starting in Tacoma.

🐶 The Makah and Coast Salish peoples, the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, used the thick white hair from a “Wooly” dog to make salish blankets, one of which was recently discovered in the Burke Museum. 

🎬 Even Lassie herself was a local hero — parts of the infamous movie (and the sequel) were filmed near Lake Chelan and the Cascades. 

Truly, what would we do without our courageous, energetic and inspiring local canines?! 

But that’s enough pup-session for now. Scroll on down for a piece we’re bringing back from the archives —  an interview with LaNesha DeBardelaben, the President and CEO of the Northwest African American Museum. She’ll talk about her favorite spots in Seattle, the best parts of her job and the five people and organizations all Seattleites should know. 


Let’s start this week off with a bang! | Tag @the_evergrey or use #theevergrey to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: @shotbyaayush)

Meet the museum leader who helps Seattle celebrate black history

LaNesha DeBardelaben moved to Seattle from her home state of Michigan in 2017 to work as the executive director of the Northwest African American Museum. Why? Because she loved the important role the museum played in helping locals engage with our city.

We caught up with LaNesha to talk about her work at the museum and what she’s learned and loves about Seattle

What’s your favorite part about your job? The stories we tell! Every object has a story. Every artist has a story. Every person has a story — those who walk in our doors as visitors and museum supporters and those who hang on our walls as part of the exhibitions. I am a biographer, so I am fascinated by the stories of people AND the people of those stories. The two are inseparable.

Where are the two places you’d take an out-of-town guest? I think a walk through Seward Park would amaze any out-of-town visitor. It’s one of my favorite Seattle spots. The other spot would be one of our historic black churches where great music and fellowship take place, such as New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Seattle’s Central District. I think the inspirational sounds of Seattle black music and powerful preaching would inspire any out-of-town guest.

What’s your favorite hidden gem in our city? I’m discovering Seattle’s hidden gems at each opportunity. The Douglass-Truth Library is my favorite gem of the city, though not so hidden. They have an amazing African-American heritage book collection, a lovely display featuring Jimi Hendrix in the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Display Case, and an overall relaxing vibe. I love the fact that it is named after the indomitable Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass, and as a certified librarian myself, I always feel at home at Douglass-Truth.

Kudos to Seattle’s Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner and his amazing team for the impactful work they do through and beyond libraries.

What’s the best advice you ever got from someone about living in Seattle? While Seattle is large in population, it is small in terms of degrees of separation, interrelatedness, and personal connections. I think the best advice someone gave me when I first moved to Seattle is to just be me — to be true to myself. I’ve always believed in the concept of “to thine own self be true” and I am inspired by the African proverb, “When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”

If you could change anything about Seattle, what would it be? A greater sense of authentic unity is what I strive to foster. The “beloved community” is attainable.

What are five Seattle people or orgs everyone should know about?

  1. Jade Solomon Curtis, choreographer and dancer: @jade_solomon_
  2. Tarik Abdullah (@tarik.abdullah), chef and cofounder of the Black and Tan Hall (@blackandtanhall) in Rainier Valley
  3. Jessica Rycheal, storyteller and black mental health advocate 
  4. LANGSTON Seattle, formerly known as the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute — @206langston

To learn more about the Central District, the community which NAAM calls home, check out our spotlight on the neighborhood here.


🖌️ Gather with other miniature painters and terrain builders and talk about your work with the North End Makers (Northgate)

 🎤 Start warming up your voice because the all ages open mic is back at Cafe Racer (Capitol Hill)


📖 Join award winning author Jess Walters and locally renowned librarian Sheri Boggs in an interview to discuss Walters’ book “The Cold Millions” (Online)

 🎤 Laugh and then cry from all your laughter at the live improv open mic hosted by Unexpected Productions’ Market Theater (Downtown)


🎶 Listen, dance, workshop and jam out at the Bellingham Folk Festival, through Sunday, Jan. 23 (Bellingham)

 🎤 Get your singing voice ready for a Totally 70’s Sing Along at Central Cinema, complete with 30 subtitled music videos/live performances (Central District)


🎼 Listen to the the Seattle Symphony’s legacy of Aretha Franklin, with a powerhouse vocalist and full symphony orchestra through Sunday, Jan. 23 (Downtown)

💦 Join the fun of Punk Rock Aerobics for all bodies and fitness levels, hosted by Cafe Racer (Capitol Hill)


💄 Enjoy one night of a seven-part drag show series at Queer/Bar, featuring performer Eureka O’Hara (Capitol Hill)

💃 Dance the night away at The Crocodile’s Soul Music Dance Party, where they’ll be playing 100% vintage vinyl (Belltown)


🎲 Bring out your best game face for board game night at Mox Boarding House (Ballard)

✨ Go pinball-ing at the Ice Box’s Split Flipper Sundays for $5 per two person team (Fremont)


📕 Join author Bernadine Evaristo as she talks about her latest book “Girl, Woman, Other” and her upcoming memoir “Manifesto” (Online)

One more thing….

If you’re planning on taking a hike this week, make sure you’re prepared. Because of the cold weather earlier this month, many trailheads and the roads that lead up to them are covered with snow and ice. Read this Washington Trails Association piece on how to prepare for winter hiking and how their trail reports can help.

While you’re at it, check out the winners of WTA’s 2021 photo contest and get ready for some stunning and adorable shots. You just can’t help but blow us away, can you Washington wildlife?

Thanks for being here! We’ll see you tomorrow. 👋

Hannah at The Evergrey

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