by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
September 12 @ 8 p.m.
With all the changes that are happening in the neighborhood of Capitol Hill, it's refreshing to see that one of the neighborhoods biggest staples, the annual Art, Music, Dance, Entertainment & Fashion (AMDEF) event, is not only still kicking, but growing more and more inclusive of the LGBTQ community each year. This year's AMDEF features a drag queen co-host and has dedicated a whole block of entertainment to the LGBTQ community proving that if you are going to keep true to the neighborhood you are in, then you'd better make sure there is LGBTQ representation on stage to achieve that goal.
Not that Active Entertainment, the crew of producers that organize the more than six hours of live entertainment annually, has ever been exclusive. Ryan Muller, one of the hardest working producers in Seattle, has always held a special place in his heart for anyone who has talent and needs a stage to perform. He is one of those guys that just never really thinks about sexual orientation as a qualifier (or disqualifier for that matter) on whether or not he should book a person or groups for one of Active's shows. However, after getting involved with local social justice nonprofit Social Outreach Seattle (SOSea), the folks at Active Entertainment realized that making space for a marginalized community - especially in the Capitol Hill neighborhood - is not only a good thing to do, but it is the right thing to do, so they asked local drag legend Aleksa Manila to co-host the event with Russ Garwood (Chance Fashion) and will feature, for the second year in a row, The Drag Queens of SOSea, and will add openly Gay singer Chase Silva (from Seattle Pride Idol) and a dance crew (+Ultra) led by openly Gay dancer/choreographer Grant Cabebe (#LIVING Dance Competition) to the lineup. SOSea is also the beneficiary of AMDEF's event this year for the third year in a row.
'Imagine an event where all the people of Seattle welcome each other. Where drag queens, bands, hip hop artists, burlesque performers, fashion designers, side show artists, DJs, and talent of all types come together to support a similar cause: Building our local Art & Entertainment Community,' Ryan Muller, the head producer and creator of AMDEF told Seattle Gay News. 'This event exists, and it returns for its eighth year in production September 12 at Neumos!'
Muller is proud of the inclusive spirit of AMDEF and he should be. Since 2008, AMDEF has brought together various creative genres of Art, Music, Dance, Entertainment and Fashion to produce the most diverse underground community-building event to hit Seattle each summer.
In the past, AMDEF has featured local celebrities such as Truckasaurus, Mash Hall, Mad Rad, Ayron Jones, Eric Blu & The Soul Revue, Paradiso Sisters, Sinner Saint Burlesque, Riz Rollins, Pantera Blacksmith, and more.
AMDEF is also a two-time recipient of the Seattle Arts & Cultural Affairs smART Venture Grant, and has additional support from Seattle Fun Events, Respect My Region, Chance Fashion, What's Up Northwest, Seattle Social, and Neighbours Nightclub.
According to AMDEF producers, 'This spectacle for the senses cultivates relationships between various members of the Art & Entertainment Community. For months, bands, DJs, burlesque performers, drag queens, fashion designers, side-show performers and various other assorted talents have been working together to create one-of-a-kind acts. Through the interaction of creating performances together, these artists work together to build a stronger Art & Entertainment community as a whole, many of which going on to establish long-lasting relationships outside of the event.'
'The Seattle freeze doesn't exist here,' says Muller. 'We love to see new people come out and support the show or meet new and exciting acts so we can help them find a stage.'
There's also a surprise happening this year, which Muller says he'd ruin if he said anything more other than it 'involves a member of the Transgender community who came forward and asked us if we'd help him with something. The audience is going to love what he's got planned!'
This year's lineup is huge!
ACT 1: Dani May Red, Blak Pope, Kellie Rose, & Paper Dollz Clothing.
ACT 2: Chase Silva, DeLoach Wear, +Ultra, & the Drag Queens of SOSea.
ACT 3: Wreckless Freeks featuring vocals by Little Bear and Dani May Red with clothing by Alien Earth Designs.
ACT 4: 1920s Prohibition/Mobster themed blues-step performance by C-Leb & The Hound featuring The Fast Nasties with burlesque by Persephone Illyri, pole dancing by Pantera Blacksmith, Marie & Emily of Dolphin Dance Studios, Jamie Cowgirls, and Karebare, pole-tortion by Gia Conteur, and designs by Backpack Girl Bikinis and Like A Rockstar.
ACT 5: Billy the Fridge with Mad Skwerrl Designs, and Mynd Kuntrol Dance Crew dressed by Cherry Turnover.
ACT 6: 'Burlectrica' featuring Purr Gato & Sinner Saint Burlesque with EmpeROAR Fabulous!!!, clothing by Find Your Inner Fashion and Alien Earth Designs.
ACT 7: WaxMartini presents 'Plugged In' featuring Joe Matt, Devin Bews, Phil Pilon, Skwerrl, Eric Blu and Katrina Kope with Fashion by MEKA and Like A Rockstar and dance choreography by Audacity Dance Cru.
ACT 8: DJs Dot Diggler & Pressha with Jolene Dickerson of Afterglow Aerial Arts, body paint by Tangent with head dresses by Epiphany Rose, dance choreography by Konichiwaack, dress by Megan Yeager, and a fashion/body paint collaboration by Bubble Gunk, Raveology 101, Meltamorphosis Designs and To Catch A Ray Crystals.
AMDEF is scheduled for September 12, at Neumos (925 E. Pike St.) from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. and also features multiple artists and vendors on the mezzanine such as Aetherial Images, Art By Leonhardt Photography, D Gomez Art, and more.
Tickets are available at http://neumos.com/events/amdef-2015/ for $20 online or at the door, although SGN suggests purchasing tickets online in case the event sells out.
AMDEF 2015 according to Muller is 'the most diverse collection of talent you will find in one place at one time this summer.'
'AMDEF is one of Seattle's strongest platforms for launching underground talent,' he concludes.
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