The Emerge Arts 2022 Cohort and Showcase [In-Person Only]

This event took place May 27 - May 28, 2022

Free with RSVP!

⚠️ Public safety notice ⚠️

NWFF patrons will be required to double-mask while in the building. Disposable masks are available at the door for those who need them. To be admitted, patrons ages 5+ will also be required to present EITHER proof of COVID-19 vaccination OR a negative result from a COVID-19 test administered within the last 48 hours by an official testing facility. Boosters are strongly recommended, though not required for entry.

NWFF is adapting to evolving recommendations to protect the public from COVID-19. Read more about their policies regarding cleaning, masks, and capacity limitations here.

Visiting Artist

** Featuring Abdiel, Akoiya Harris, Zara Martina Lopez, and Brea Wilson! **


Join us for the screening of The Emerge Arts Showcase this weekend presents films made by the EMERGE 2022 Artist Cohort!

The Emerge program, created through our partnership with Gay City, offered production + artistic mentorship and business/sustainability training to BIPOC LGBTQ+ performance-based artists.

2022 Curating Council Members: Dakota Alcantara-Camacho, Saira Barbaric, David Rue, dani tirrell, and Fox Whitney

 Presented in partnership with Gay City + Northwest Film Forum, with additional support by 4Culture, Seattle Pride Foundation, Transgender Economic Empowerment Coalition, and Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.

Artist Bios



Abdiel is a former Principal Dancer of the Martha Graham Dance Company. Abdiel and their dance partner made history becoming the world’s first professional “male-female” ballroom couple to compete as Gender Neutral in DanceSport ballroom competition. They’ve taught their gender neutral approach at The Juilliard School, Harvard University, Stanford University, University of California Irvine, and currently as a pre-doctoral lecturer at the University of Washington. Abdiel is an avid Hustle dancer/educator/researcher dedicated to its cultural preservation and creative expansion. Their greatest passion is igniting and uniting people through social dance as a form of collective healing and celebration.

Photo credit: Brian Thomas

Akoiya Harris

Akoiya Harris

Akoiya Harris (she/her) was born and raised in the Central District of Seattle Washington. She graduated from The Ailey Schools Certificate Program where she had the opportunity to gain a deep understanding of her body’s relationship to movement through technique and choreography. She has performed as a company member with Donald Byrd’s Spectrum Dance Theater. Akoiya has been able to perform in galleries such as The Henry Art Gallery (Seattle), Seattle Art Museum, The Luminary (St. Louis), and The Frye (Seattle). Akoiya is currently a member of Wa Na Wari’s Seattle Black Spatial Histories Cohort. Through her art, she hopes to give voice to the stories, both known and unknown, of her community and honor those who came before her.

Photo credit: Aiyanna Doss Bethea

Zara Martina Lopez

Zara Martina Lopez

Originally from Medellin-Colombia, Zara Martina Lopez is a Seattle based dancer, performer, filmmaker and photographer. She studied photography in São Paulo, Videodance in Cuba and worked as a video dance instructor at the University of Antioquia. Combining mediums such as drag, physical theater, spoken word, video and photography, her work pulses with the synergy of myriad techniques that give shape to her unique visual poetry. She’s sexy, she’s fun, she likes ketchup and mustard on hot dogs.

Photo credit: Reynolds Joe

Brea Wilson 

Brea Wilson 

Brea Wilson (they/them) is a Black, mixed race, trans non-binary multidisciplinary artist born and raised in occupied Duwamish territory. Their primary mediums include photography, filmmaking, music production and fashion design. Their work is primarily centered around Black and brown queer folk and their experience.

Photo credit: Ruby Meza

About the program:

The Emerge Arts Cohort and Showcase is a film creation program for BIPOC LGBTQ+ performing artists that offers production support, artistic mentorship, and business and sustainability training. Five artists are selected through an open application process by a curating council of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ established artists in Seattle. Selected artists will receive mentorship and support to create a film translation of their live work, and a platform to share their work in a fully-produced, in-person showcase at Northwest Film Forum.

Along the way the curating council will act as mentors to the participating artists, supporting them through a series of artistic workshops designed by and for BIPOC LGBTQ+ artists. The workshops will address systems that prevent art from being created and accessed socially, economically, and mentally. In addition to this artistic mentorship, artists will receive support navigating barriers to social determinants of health from trained resource specialists.

Each selected artist will be paid a stipend to participate in the program, the goal of which is to holistically aid aspiring artists through educational and financial means, while providing access to tools and resources to help them best succeed.

About Velocity Dance Center:

Velocity is Seattle’s center dedicated to contemporary dance, and an essential incubator for new dance in our region. With artist-driven, community-responsive programming, Velocity provides vital resources and advocacy for one of the most active dance communities in the nation. Velocity’s programming includes classes, workshops, residencies, performances, discussions, and two annual international festivals.

About Gay City:

Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center cultivates access and connections to promote self-determination, liberation and joy in our communities.

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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