Reflecting on Charleston

In light of the recent killings of 9, African-American men and women at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, our communities find themselves yet again in a period of reflection about race relations in our country. On Tuesday June 23, the Seattle Office for Civil Rights held a dialogue session on the Charleston murders recognizing the profound impact of this violent act on African-Americans and people of color in our city.

Despite this period of mourning, LHPAI continues its tireless, grassroots work of supporting and cultivating families and youth through the performing arts.  On Monday June 22, we welcomed the 100 youth enrolled in the Teen Summer Academy and an additional 12 youth from the Seattle Youth Employment Program. These young people are enrolled in performance support programs for this year’s Teen Summer Musical: theatre, tech, costuming, administration and maintenance/horticulture.

Our unending commitment to Seattle’s youth and their families is a commitment to the vitality of our communities. When communities are unified and fortified, we are able to be resilient in the face of constant attack. We also realize that we must take the time to remember and honor our dead. In the spirit of this mourning period, we are cancelling the Teen Summer Musical Family picnic originally slated for Saturday June 27.  The picnic will be rescheduled before the end of the summer.

LHPAI Teen Summer Musical: Note from the Director, Isiah Anderson, Jr.


As the buzz about the return of the Teen Summer Musical circulates throughout the city, it was no surprise that over 100 youth would show up for the 1st round of the 2015 production of Snow White and the Seven “Each One Teach One” auditions. On April 25th and 26th the LHPAI staff, Volunteers and TSM production team could only watch with amazement as youth ages 8-19 would gather in the Grand Hall of the LHPAI, with hopes of securing a role in this year’s production. Youth traveled from as far as Woodinville, Tacoma, Mercer Island and Renton.

Choreographer Tyrone Crosby (Koach T) would start off each day of audition with a warm-up routine, allowing the youth to get loose and relaxed before facing the production team: Director – Isiah Anderson, Jr.; Stage Manager, Dea’Nea Simone; Music Director, Michelle Lang; and Choreographer, Tyrone Crosby. The youth were asked to do a Cold Reading from the script, and to sing a song of their choice. THEY WERE AMAZING!!! We were also surprised that 8 of our past LHPAI participants, came to support this historic program and volunteered their services throughout the duration of both auditions.

I would like to thank ALL who have and continue to support this program.

Isiah Anderson, Jr.
Director, LHPAI Teen Summer Musical

LHPAI: Making Your Film Experience Sound Real

Dominique Thomas, LHPAI Stage Unit, is a professional theatrical technician with fourteen years experience. With a BA from Western Washington University, he has worked in theatrical houses up and down the west coast. For the last four years he has been an active part of the Seattle film scene. He settled here because he truly believes in LHPAI’s vision and aims to be a driving force in the education of the arts in the community that gathers here.

LHPAI has recently upgraded its in-house audio – just in time for LHAAFF 2015! – to a full surround sound experience that blows away even the most reclusive seats in the house. With better mains, a wider spread of fills, and the house’s first omni directional subwoofer, every video play or performance will be audible.

Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute Announces Films and Events for the 12th Annual Langston Hughes African-American Film Festival

City of Seattle

Edward B. Murray, Mayor


Office of Arts & Culture                          

Randy Engstrom, Director




Media Contact: Calandra Childers, Communications Manager, (206) 684.7306

Jennifer Rice, 206.285.5175,

Festival info:

Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute Announces

Films and Events for the 12th Annual Langston Hughes African-American Film Festival

April 11 – 19, 2015


Opening film: The Ground on Which I Stand (6 p.m., April 11; $25)

Special appearance by Seattle Repertory’s August Wilson Monologue winners Josiah Townsend, and Zenobia  Taylor 


Closing film: Cincinnati Goddam (6 p.m., April 19; $25)

Filmmaker April Martin in attendance


SEATTLE (March 25, 2015) — Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (LHPAI) is pleased to present the 12th Annual Langston Hughes African-American Film Festival (LHAAFF).  This year’s festival will feature 6 world premieres, 19 full length films and 23 shorts over nine days. Included for the first time at the festival is a horror film (Haunted) and a Saturday Brunch where five filmmakers host a panel discussion; together they will share, entertain and advise with stories from their own filmmaking struggles and triumphs.

LHAAFF will bring back the popular Ladies Night, Family and LGBTQ Mini-Fests as well as community partnerships and outreach programs. For 2015 LHPAI and LHAAFF partners with the Seattle Repertory Theatre for the opening night screening of The Ground on Which I Stand.  

LHAAFF has a long standing relationship with program partnerships with the HIV/AIDS community.  This year 6 community host organizations;  Fred Hutch Vaccine Trials Unit, Neighborhood House- Project HANDLE, Center for Multicultural Health, BABES, CFAR and Defeat HIV as well as several point-of-care HIV/AIDS  bought out the house, providing free tickets for  Positively Beautiful on April 14 at 6:30 pm.

For one day only, Monday, April 13, the festival moves to the Northwest African American Museum for a very special event. D.W. Griffith’s 100 Years after Birth of a Nation: A History of Race Messaging is presented in partnership with LHPAI, the Northwest African American Museum and the Northwest Film Forum. Charles Mudede (The Stranger) and Zola Mumford (MLS, LHAAFF curator) discuss Birth of a Nation’s social, political and cinematic impact, and Oscar Micheaux’s moving response film, Within Our Gates. D.W. Griffith’s Civil War epic debuted in a cinematic christening of the White House and began its notoriously heralded life in the canon of American cinema. A few years later Oscar Micheaux responded with his film, Within Our Gates, an explicit critique of racial violence systematically perpetrated against blacks.

Over the course of the nine days ten filmmakers will be welcomed at LHAAFF as special guests. Those expected to attend include: Kiara C. Jones (Christmas Wedding Baby); Fum Fum Ko(Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – Naija Edition); George Wingard (Dave the Potter: Spirit Captured in Clay) Harold Jackson III (Last Night) Nefertiti Nguvu (In the Morning) Charles Murray (Haunted); Diveena Cooppan (Positively Beautiful); April Martin (Cincinnati Goddam) and Electra Weston (Maybe Dreams Can Come True) Seattle filmmaker Amen Gibreab, a University of Washington graduate and an Ethiopian immigrant, will present his documentary Horeta: The Journey Beyond Culture.

Festival passes ($50 – $150) are available online now at Tickets to individual screenings are also available online at View the upcoming film events calendar for links to purchase individual screening tickets. Individual film screening tickets are $7 for youth under the age of 16 and seniors (65+), and $12 for adults. $10 for weekday matinees and $5 Teen Tix cards are accepted for individual film screenings, providing for teens.

Check the website for the most up-to-date schedule and film screening additions.


OPENING NIGHT FILM: Saturday, April 11

4/11 6 pm August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand explores the life and legacy of the playwright many call America’s Shakespeare. Learn of his activist roots and life as a poet to the indelible mark he left on Broadway. August Wilson moved to Seattle in 1990 and called this city home until his untimely death in 2005. He remains one of Seattle’s most influential and cherished writers. This opening celebration honors his legacy with special guests and performances by the young artists from Seattle Repertory Theatre’s August Wilson Monologue Competition. The film features luminaries such as Viola Davis, Charles Dutton, Laurence Fishburne, James Earl Jones, Suzan-Lori Parks and Phylicia Rashad. They share their stories of the life-changing experience of bringing Wilson’s rich theatrical voice to the stage. Presented in partnership with Seattle Repertory Theatre. 90 minutes | Documentary | 2014 | Seattle Repertory’s August Wilson monologue winners  , Josiah Townsend, and  Zenobia Taylor  in attendance   Movie Trailer Link


CLOSING Night Film: Sunday, April 19

4/19 6 pm Cincinnati Goddam is a gut wrenching documentary about police brutality, institutional racism, and the power of grassroots activism in Cincinnati, Ohio. Movie Trailer. 103 minutes | Documentary| 2015 | Director April Martin in attendance |WORLD PREMIERE |



4/12 12:30 pm Horeta: The Journey Beyond Culture by Seattle filmmaker Amen Gibreab. A multi-cultural group of University of Washington students is led on a cultural journey deep into Ethiopia. They return with much more than just souvenirs.80 minutes | Director Amen Gibreab in attendance | Documentary | 2015 |  Movie Trailer Link


ADDITIONAL FILMS (new film additions updated to website daily)

4/12 3 pm The Godmother of Rock and Roll. During the 40s, 50s and 60s gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe played a key role in the creation of Rock & Roll, inspiring some of its greatest stars including Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Chuck Berry. She may not be a household name today but this flamboyant African-American gospel superstar, with her spectacular virtuosity on the newly electrified guitar, was one of the most influential singer-musicians of the 20th century. 59 minutes | Documentary | 2014|   Movie Trailer Link
4/12 3 pm A Couple of Friends.  A love story weaving together the tales of three couples. Each couple has a unique perspective on overcoming hardship and preserving precious connections. Featuring Kindred the Family Soul, Valerie Simpson and rapper Chill Moody 22 minutes | Musical Short |2015|
4/12 6:30 pm The Greater the Weight is an exploration of the body as an instrument in a symphony of rupture and flow. A reflection on when one stumbles, whether by accident or on purpose. Sometimes one can recover quickly sometimes it’s not that easy. 5 minutes | Experimental | 2008|
4/12 6:30 pm An American Ascent is the true story of the first all-African-American summit attempt of the highest peak in North America in 2013. 58 minutes | Documentary | 2015| Movie Trailer Link
4/14 10:30 amFAMILY In Kasita, 10 year old Luna finds a dog but her grandmother forbids her to keep it. Luna takes matters into her own hands; together with her cousin Sol, Luna skips school and sets out on a journey to find shelter for the dog in the small abandoned slave huts on the other end of the island. Things don’t go as planned. 22 minutes | Short | 2014 | Netherlands Antilles  
4/14 10:30 am FAMILY Home Delivery Set in Baltimore in 1974, two newspaper delivery boys (one white, one African-American) find their own ways to deal with the racial divides between their adjacent neighborhoods. 15 minutes |Short |2014|
4/14 6:30 pm Set in South Africa, Positively Beautiful tells of five strangers living with HIV. They form an unlikely friendship that provides newfound strength. They are transformed from ordinary citizens to extraordinary activists in the struggle against stigma, fear and ultimately death at the hands of the disease. At the height of the epidemic, they form a network for people living with the disease.  As death continues to claim the lives of friends and family, the political leaders continue to deny HIV’s existence. Together they must fight harder; and 15 years later, against all odds, they are still alive. Their friendship is a remarkable story: a quiet victory of meaningful, beautiful lives in an evolving South Africa. Their struggles give strength and inspire.63 minutes | Documentary |2015 | Director Diveena Cooppan in attendance  Movie Trailer Link
4/14 6:30 pm In Speechless a man struggles to find the right way to approach a woman, and his task is made easier by an unexpected connection. 3 minutes | Narrative |2014|
4/15 3:30 pm On Fathers and Sons and Love is an intergenerational exploration of love and what it means to be a man. This documentary considers the work of the Harvard Grant study on human development and takes a close look at the role of love in the lives of four generations of men in one family. 55 minutes | Documentary | 2014| |WORLD PREMIERE |
4/15 3:30 pm hu.mans  Kenny Rivera is an aspiring MMA fighter who has been through his share of knocks in life and lets nothing get in his way to his rise to the top. hu.mans is a documentary short that examines the stories behind the faces of the strangers we pass by every day. 9 minutes | Documentary |2014|  Movie Trailer Link
4/15 6:30 pm Discovering Dave: Spirit Captured in Clay is a documentary of the literate slave potter, Dave, who created beautiful pottery during the turbulent 1800s. With the discovery of ‘superior clay’ in 1809 by Dr. Abner Landrum, the town of Edgefield, South Carolina would soon become known for the production of stoneware pottery. Dave produced thousands of pots in his lifetime, many of which still exist today. He also inscribed words, verses, and inscriptions in his works. 49 minutes | Director George Wingard in attendance | Documentary | 2013|  Movie Trailer Link
4/16 10:30 am FAMILY A Geek’s Guide to Love and Romance is a short film adaptation of the Boyz, Girlz & Sparkz teen comedy series. Alex Poindexter revisits his teenage trials and hopeless attempts to win the attention of his teenage crush Trini Darling, at the ficticious Ralph Ellison High School. 13 minutes | Short Narrative |2014|  Movie Trailer Link
4/16 10:30 am& 3:30pm FAMILY A More Perfect Union is a short animation piece; it’s part of the Story Corps project. Theresa Burroughs recalls her persistence to claim her right to vote during the Jim Crow era in the rural South. 3 minutes | Animation |2015|
4/16 10:30 am FAMILY Doo Doo’s Revenge A tough day in the life of Dudley Q. Washington. Known as ‘Doo Doo’ to his classmates and neighborhood friends, Dudley is dealing with a negligent mom, her abusive boyfriend, and a rough day at school. Every ounce of his 10-year-old patience is tested. 20 minutes |Short |2014| Movie Trailer Link |WORLD PREMIERE |
4/16 3:30 pm Son Shine In the wake of the verdict after the Rodney King beating, 12 year-old Hakeem Brown begins to slip. An honor roll student and obedient son, he is deeply troubled by the changing political climate in his South Los Angeles Neighborhood. Watching his neighborhood erupt into flames from his bedroom window, Hakeem disobeys his parents by joining the chaos of the riots. Now face to face with the realities of the uprising, Hakeem has to make the decision to be a part of the solution or to become a part of the problem. 20 minutes | Short |2013| WORLD PREMIERE|
4/16 3:30 pm In Be Free, two African-American teenagers, Marcus and Joseph, have a run-in with an off duty police officer and one of the boys is shot and killed. Now Joseph has to face Marcus’s mother who wants to know what really happened the night her son’s life was taken. 6 minutes | Short |2014 |WORLD PREMIERE |
4/16 3:30 pm Righteous After an argument with his sister about her choice of boyfriend, a young black man spends the day blowing off steam by striking a psychological blow to a white male after believing he has been racially profiled and followed. His simple anti-racist gag becomes much more after he discovers that the target of his retaliation is closer to home than he could have ever expected. 11 minutes | Narrative |2014| Canada|
4/16 3:30 pm Sketch A 12 year-old boy on the Autistic spectrum uses his extraordinary talents to survive on his own in an impoverished and dangerous neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. 21 minutes | Short |2014|
4/16 6:30 pm LADIES NIGHT Learning This Skin is a thoughtful and graphic visualization of a woman’s struggle to find comfort and beauty in the skin she’s been taught to fear. 3 minutes | Experimental
4/16 6:30 pm LADIES NIGHT What would you do if you told the world you heard God’s voice and no one believed you? Steps of Faith, is a light-heart dramedy about Faith Houston, an accountant, who is directed by God to move to a small town to work on a Hippotherapy farm helping children. After her family rejects her choice to follow her heart, she goes from shoveling manure to falling in love, and finding the strength to believe in herself and to do God’s work. 96 minutes | Narrative Movie Trailer Link
4/16 LADIES NIGHT8:30 pm In Last Night, Sky’s last night in DC before a long-planned move to North Carolina to settle down with her boyfriend is sidetracked by a chance meeting with an attractive stranger. 93 minutes | Narrative | 2014| Director Harold Jackson III in attendance
4/17 3:30 pm Haunted by the death of a teenage rape victim, Blame tells of a working class African-American father who must decide whether to turn his only son into the police or destroy the only evidence of the assault. 15 minutes | Short | 2014
4/17 3:30 pm In Haunted, a mother of two is slowly rebuilding after the sudden death of her husband and father of her children. She has remarried and is dealing with the struggles of running her failing neighborhood business, and facing her new husband’s desires. When an old friend offers her a one-time chance to bring back her lost husband, for just one night, she can’t refuse. But sometimes, dead things should stay dead. 93 minutes | 2015| Narrative | Director Charles Murray in attendance
4/17 6:30 pm In Christmas Wedding Baby three sisters struggle to find happiness through the holiday season. The youngest sister, and bride-to-be, is traumatized when she discovers that her first love has been hired as her wedding photographer. 90 minutes | Narrative| 2014 | Director Kiara C.Jones in attendance
4/17 6:30 pm Unwelcomed Conversation is a reflection on what we think we know about other people and their business. Has anyone ever welcomed themselves into one of your conversations without knowing the context? 5 minutes | Narrative | 2012|  
4/17 8:30pm LGBTQ Gonna Sip That Sip, Hit That Dip: The Emerging Queer Hip-Hop Movement is a short documentary about the emerging queer hip-hop scene, now on the verge of becoming mainstream. The film challenges assumptions around why that the ‘queer hip hop’ movement is progressing and its relation to the broader hip-hop movement. 13 minutes | Documentary |2014|
4/17 8:30 pm Lords of BSV The young men of BSV live to die in Brooklyn. Coming from one of the most criminal and poverty stricken places in the US, a dance called Brukup has given them the discipline and foundation to succeed in other endeavors to forge a better way of life for themselves and their families. Lords of BSV is about the Bed-stuy Veterans, from Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn, who are the revivalists of Brukup, created by George ‘Bruck Up’ Adams. This dance form saves lives as BSV serves the community by keeping kids off the streets and shows them how to turn anger into the art of dance. Welcome to the dirty, gritty, glamorous, hood with a group of proactive characters bound for fame and fortune. Bed-stuy lingo drives the dialogue and the dance segments are electrifying. 78 minutes | Documentary |2015|filmmaker in attendance WORLD PREMIERE |
4/164/18 10:30 am 1pmFAMILY G.I.R.L. A young girl harbors an incredible gift that goes virtually unnoticed in a society that teaches her ‘it’s all about the boys.’ 20 minutes | Short |2014|
4/18 1pm American Falls is set in 1965 at the height of the Civil Rights Era. One night a stranger sporting ‘city clothes’ checks in. He is the first Black man that Toru Suzuki’s children have ever seen at their family-run rural Idaho motel. Yoshiko, Toru’s precocious 13 year old daughter, takes it upon herself to solve the mystery of this man especially after two detectives come knocking on their door in the middle of the night. Toru must balance his role as a small business owner, a father, a husband, and a minority in America. 25 minutes | Narrative |2013|
4/18 1pm Black Love Inspired by the relationship between George Jackson and Angela Davis, a young couple is forced to make difficult decisions during the Black Power movement. 8 minutes | Short |2014|
4/18 1pm El Camino follows the path of the anonymous migrant in search of the New World. The journey leads to exploitation and raises questions of culpability and complicity in the host society and on the part of the immigrant who crosses the political line in the sand. This film explores the metaphor for the reality faced by migrants arriving in strange, new lands every day. 8 minutes | Short |2013|
4/18 1pm Rise Up A young black man from the 21st century travels back in time to meet Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King. He gives them a modern man’s perspective on social and cultural issues in their struggle for civil rights and racial equality. 14 minutes | Short |2014|
4/18 3:30 pm NJINGA – RAINHA DE ANGOLA. In the 17th century Njinga, a warrior woman fights for the independence of Angola. After witnessing the murder of her son and watching her people being humiliated by Portuguese colonizers, Njinga will become a Queen and struggle for their liberation embodying the motto: those who stay fight to win. 100 minutes | Narrative |2013| Portuguese with English subtitles Movie Trailer Link
4/18 6pm In the Morning is set in Brooklyn. It is a searing journey through the lives of nine smart, fiercely articulate New Yorkers. Friends: Harper, Ravi, Fez, Bly and Amara gather to bid farewell to one of their own moving abroad, and debate the compromise and loss of their youthful ideals regarding marriage, fidelity, life and love. For everyone, life will be indelibly altered in the morning. 75 minutes | Narrative | 2014|  Director Nefertiti Nguvu in attendance  Movie Trailer Link
4/18 8:30pm Maybe Dreams Can Come True explores the complex lives of expatriates. Chocolat, a young African-American performer, is torn between nurturing her love relationship in the USA or maintaining a booming entertainment career in Europe. She uses a small video camera to explore and question her life through interviewing others. We discover the common elements that drew them from their homes: economics, political climates, sexual freedom, and more. The camera captures a full palette of lifestyles, politics, movements and passions as Chocolat looks for answers to her deepest questions. 100 minutes | Narrative | 2014 | Director Electra Weston in attendance  Movie Trailer Link
4/19 3:30 pm LGBTQ Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: Naija Edition A successful young woman challenges the mold her traditional Nigerian-American mother has cast for her by bringing home an unexpected surprise. 15 minutes | Short |2014 | Fum Fum Ko director in attendance  
4/19 3:30 pm LGBTQ In We Came to Sweat, the oldest black-owned gay bar in Brooklyn is facing eviction and relies on a passionate community in its fight for survival. 70 minutes | Documentary |2015|


Langston Hughes African American Film Festival (LHAAFF)

LHAAFF is a major season program of the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Beginning as a weekend series, LHAAFF has expanded over the past 12 years to include nine days of film, workshops, filmmaker events and community celebrations renowned for presenting positive, provocative and penetrating independent films created by emerging and established filmmakers. Films are selected by panel and will include contemporary and vintage offerings, as well as local, national and international filmmakers. The festival will feature panel discussions, readings, and audience ‘talk-backs’ with filmmakers, industry professionals and community leaders. Matinee screenings will be offered for seniors and youth.

LHPAI and its LHAAFF is a founding member of, the African American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM Anchored by the passion and prowess of founding African-American film festivals, AFFRM empowers Black independent filmmakers with simultaneous theatrical distribution in multiple markets.


LHPAI_Logo_300dpiLangston Hughes Performing Arts Institute | Celebrating the legacy.

104 17th Ave South, Seattle, WA 98144 | | (206) 684-4758

LHPAI celebrates, nurtures, presents, and preserves African-American and Diaspora performing arts, cultural wealth and iconic legacies. Named for the prolific African-American artist Langston Hughes, LHPAI represents the pluralism of local, national and global Black people, in the media platforms of film, dance, theatre and music. Follow @LHPAI or


OAC_logoforweb3Office of Arts & Culture | Seattle
The Office of Arts & Culture envisions a city driven by creativity that provides the opportunity for everyone to engage in diverse arts and cultural experiences. The Office is supported by the 16-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council. Find out more at Follow @SeaOfficeofArts or

LHAAFF 2015 Opening Night Film – August Wilson: The Ground On Which I Stand



Sam Pollard’s new documentary film, August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand explores the life and legacy of playwright August Wilson (April 27, 1945 – October 2, 2005), the man some call America’s Shakespeare, from his roots as an activist and poet to his indelible mark on Broadway. Film and theater luminaries including Viola Davis, Charles Dutton, Laurence Fishburne, James Earl Jones, Suzan-Lori Parks and Phylicia Rashad share their stories of the career- and life-changing experience of bringing Wilson’s rich theatrical voice to the stage.

August Wilson’s last years were spent as a Seattle resident where he was often seen coffee shops, writing and interacting with his fellow Seattle citizens.  Seattle Repertory Theatre joins Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute as a community partner in presenting this film in the 12th annual Langston Hughes African American Film Festival. The Seattle Repertory Theatere has produced every one of August Wilson’s plays. LHPAI Artistic Director Jacqueline Moscou’s relationship with August Wilson and the Seattle Rep goes all the way back to 1992 when Wilsons Two Trains Running was produced there, just prior to his relocation to Seattle. She states “His presence as an African American playwright has given a gift to America that cannot be overestimated. This will be a wonderful evening celebrating his worth, our community and the power of theatre to create history”.

The 12th annual Langston Hughes African American Film Festival opens on Saturday April 11 and runs until Sunday April 19.  For more details visit our web site at Passes (All Access Pass, Friends of LHPAI Pass) may be purchased at Brown Paper Tickets.

Langston Hughes African American Film Festival: April 11-19


12th annual Langston Hughes African American Film Festival runs April 11 to 19, 2015
August Wilson documentary, The Ground on Which I Stand opens festival


SEATTLE (February 23, 2015) – In April the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival (LHAAFF) celebrates its 12th year and opens with the documentary, August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand, (2015).  The 90-minute high definition documentary is the first in-depth exploration of the life, work and cultural impact of this revered two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning African American playwright and longtime Seattle resident (1945-2005). August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand is a co-production of WQED and the PBS AmericanMasters series. The documentary provides unprecedented access to Wilson’s theatrical archives and rarely seen interviews. New dramatic readings bring to life his seminal 10-play cycle chronicling each decade of the 20th-century African-American experience.


An integral program of the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (LHPAI), the festival is pivotal in continuing the tradition of presenting independent films created by emerging and established filmmakers. Documentaries, youth-made, LGBTQ, experimental, shorts and family-friendly films will engage diverse audiences with the power of storytelling at its best. LHPAI is pleased to welcome back Zola Mumford, MLIS as the 2015 LHAAFF curator, other colleagues and the entire dedicated and passionate volunteer crew who bring the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival to life for the community.


To date more than 130 film submissions have been received and approximately 40 films will be screened during the nine day festival. A complete list of films, shorts, dates and times for all festival films will be available in March along with details on exciting workshops, filmmaker events and screening talk-backs.


LHAAFF, dedicated to nurturing the talents of new and emerging artists, has been festival home to filmmakers like Ava DuVernay (Selma, I Will Follow), Charles Officer (Nurse. Fighter. Boy) and Matthew Cherry (The Last Fall), who have made multiple appearances at the festival to premiere and screen their new works, participate in workshops or talk-backs.  Local filmmakers also find an artistic home and LHAAFF has hosted Alen Blake, Rafael Flores, Brian Johnson, Sharon Williams, Purpelle Tremble, Brian Tucker and Briaan Barron


Festival passes ($50 – $150) will be available in late February. Individual screenings are $7 for youth under the age of 16 and seniors (65+), and $12 for adults. Teen Tix cards increase youth participation and are accepted for individual film screenings, providing $5 tickets for teens.


Festival info:


Langston Hughes African American Film Festival (LHAAFF)

LHAAFF began as a weekend series, and has expanded over the past 12 years to include nine days of film renowned for presenting positive, provocative and penetrating independent films. Films are selected by panel and include contemporary and vintage offerings, as well as local, national and international filmmakers.


Through LHAAFF, LHPAI is a founding member of the African American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM, Anchored by the passion and prowess of founding African American film festivals, AFFRM empowers Black independent filmmakers with simultaneous theatrical distribution in multiple markets.


Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute | Celebrating the legacy.

104 17th Ave South, Seattle | | (206) 684-4758

LHPAI celebrates, nurtures, presents, and preserves African American and Diaspora performing arts, cultural wealth and iconic legacies. Named for the prolific African American artist Langston Hughes, LHPAI represents the pluralism of local, national and global Black people, in the media platforms of film, dance, theatre and music.



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3rd Annual Langston Hughes Motown Birthday Bash


3rd Annual Langston Hughes Motown Birthday Bash
Friday, February 27, 2015 at 7 p.m.


SEATTLE (February 11, 2015) – The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (LHPAI) will celebrate Langston Hughes’s birthday (b. February 1, 1902) with the 3rd annual Langston Hughes Motown Birthday Bash on Friday, February 27, 2015 at 7 p.m.

The evening will feature food and Seattle native, DJ Robin Summerrise spinning Motown’s biggest hits, some of the greatest music ever made.  The event is for ages 21 and over. Tickets include complimentary snacks and beverages.

Tickets, $10, are available at Brown Paper Tickets and the door. 21 and over.


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Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institutes presents free screening of “Until the Well Runs Dry: Medicine and the Exploitation of Black Bodies”


Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institutes presents free screening of
“Until the Well Runs Dry: Medicine and the Exploitation of Black Bodies”
Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 7 p.m.
Panel discussion to follow film screening

SEATTLE (February 11, 2015) — The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (LHPAI) presents the documentary Until the Well Runs Dry: Medicine and the Exploitation of Black Bodies (2011, 51 min.), by filmmaker and Chair of African-American studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr. Shawn Utsey on Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 7 p.m. Admission is free. This event is part of the Seattle Fortune’s Bones Project.

In the 1800s, many medical colleges in the United States engaged in and encouraged the practice of grave-robbing Black cemeteries for purposes of medical dissection. Until the Well Runs Dry chronicles the involvement of well-known medical colleges in the practice of illegal grave robbing of Black cemeteries during the 19th century. Those who engaged in the practice were known as resurrectionists.

Much of the film centers on the life of Chris Baker – a Black laboratory assistant who worked for the Medical College of Virginia (now Virginia Commonwealth University). Baker, known euphemistically as an “anatomical man,” robbed graves and supplied African American bodies to Virginia medical colleges for decades.

“The legacy of grave robbing for medical dissection is so indelibly etched into the psyches of African Americans that today many longtime Richmond residents still recount stories from their childhood of warnings to stay clear of the Medical College of Virginia late at night for fear that they may be snatched away to the dissection room never to be seen or heard from again,” says professor Utsey. This documentary explores the lasting effects of grave robbing on the attitudes of African Americans toward doctors and hospitals today.

Dr. Renee McCoy, Ph.D. and medical anthropologist will lead a panel discussion following the film screening. “This film reveals the failure of the medical community to adhere to ethical demands to do no harm and helps the audience better understand the implications of such betrayals on the health of Blacks today,” says Dr. McCoy. “As a result, today Blacks continue to resist participating in efforts to inform medical practitioners and researchers about issues of particular concern to the health of Black men, women, and children. This film helps us begin to understand what happened in the past so that we can understand what must be done to make our bodies and our communities healthier in the future.”

The 51-minute documentary, which took about a year to produce, includes interviews with community members, professional archivists, cultural anthropologists and historians. The trailer is available at

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3 FREE MOVIES – Celebrating the Civil Rights Movie “SELMA”

3 FREE MOVIES – Celebrating the Civil Rights Movie “SELMA”

2 PM to 8:30 PM

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (LHPAI)

104 17th Ave South Seattle, WA 98144

Seattle, WA. December 31, 2014. Start the New Year with a renewed appreciation of the cinema around the historic Civil Rights Movement. This LHPAI movie marathon starts at 2pm with theater doors open at 1:30 PM. The following films will prepare you for the upcoming release of SELMA.

WHEN:            Sunday, January 4, 2015

TIME: 2:00 PM to 8:20 PM

Theater will open at – 1:30 PM

FREE – Maximum seating 280

FILMS and Viewing Time:

  • Talk to Me 2 PM – 4 PM
  • To Kill a Mocking Bird 4:15 PM – 6:25 PM
  • Freedom Riders 6:35 PM – 8:30 PM         


The first 75 patrons will each get a free pass to to Ava Duvernay’s new film “Selma” opening in theaters on January 9.

 SELMA Synopsis. In spring of 1965, a series of dramatic events changed the course of America and the modern concept of civil rights forever — as courageous marchers, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., attempted three times to carry out a peaceful procession from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama on a quest for the basic human right to vote.   The shocking confrontations, the triumphant final march and the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that followed are now an indelible part of history. SELMA opens nationwide on Friday, January 9, 2015.

Ava DuVernay’s Selma, brings the power of all that went into creating that hard-won moment of long awaited justice to cinema with an uncompromising immediacy.  The film chronicles a string of astonishing historical details, large and small — including the intense, adversarial relationship between Dr. King and President Lyndon Johnson, the troubling involvement of the FBI and the unbreakable spirit of ordinary men and women who sacrificed and united around voting rights.   But what emerged from these stark details is a vivid tapestry of an American turning point in the making and the stirring journey of a man finding his way through doubts and daunting obstacles towards not just leadership but the togetherness required to make real change in the world.

Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (LHPAI)

LHPAI celebrates, nurtures, presents, and preserves African American and African Diaspora performing arts, cultural wealth and iconic legacies. Named for the prolific African American artist Langston Hughes, LHPAI represents the pluralism of local, national and global Black people, in the media platforms of film, dance, theatre and music.