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Dear Humanity Art Festival

Photo courtesy Seattle Symphony

Dear Humanity Youth Art Festival begins soon

Seattle Symphony will end festival with a world premiere concert

The Seattle Symphony will offer the region a enduring message about climate change when it presents the Dear Humanity Youth Art Festival April 15–21 and a Seattle Symphony Community Concert featuring the world premiere of the Dear Humanity for Youth Chorus on the evening of April 21at Benaroya Hall.

Both the multi-day, student-led festival and concert are free.

The festival, a collaboration between the symphony, TeenTix, Arts Corps, Speak With Purpose (SWP), Coyote and The Seattle Art Museum’s Teen Programs, is designed to highlight and support local youth as they address climate change using an array of media:

  • On Saturday, April 15, Arts Corps’ Art 4 Life will present digital filmmaking, photography, and performances with a focus on environmental justice issues from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center.
  • On Sunday, April 16, a range of youth projects on climate change and related topics — including spoken word performances, a one-act play, video presentations, and musical performances — will be presented in the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall from 1 to 4 p.m 
  • And on April 18 Benaroya Hall will be open to the public for a free exhibition day showcasing youth-created visual art and interactive activities in the Samuel & Althea Stroum Grand Lobby from 4 to 7 p.m. 

World premiere musical event

Seattle Symphony’s world premiere presentation of Dear Humanity for Youth Chorus will end the festival on April 21. The piece was created by the symphony’s artist-in-residence and Pacific Northwest native composer Angelique Poteat and written in collaboration with the 2020 Community Youth Chorus. 

Commissioned by the symphony, Poteat began working with a group of 30 teens in the fall of 2019 to create a new, collaborative music work. From its inception, the piece was intended to combine both musical craft and social commentary. Participating students identified the issues most weighing on their minds early in the composition process, ultimately deciding on climate change as the theme of the new work. 

Students collaborators

From there, the inspiration for Dear Humanity for Youth Chorus took off, with the students helping evolve the project into a multi-day art festival addressing the devastating impacts of climate change.

From October 2019 to March 2020, Poteat met weekly with students and paired educational lessons with interactive tasks to create the overarching theme, spin melodies, write text, arrange that text into a narrative, align that narrative with the energy of the musical movements, and plot a plan for orchestration and instrumentation. 

Performance details

The presentation will be performed by the Seattle Symphony and University of Washington Choirs on April 21 at 7 p.m., in Benaroya Hall’s S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium. Ticket Information

To reserve free tickets for Dear Humanity Youth Art Festival & Concert, visit or contact the Seattle Symphony Ticket Office at (206)215-4747 Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or Saturday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.


About the Author

Cheryl Murfin

Cheryl Murfin is managing editor at Seattle's Child. She is also a certified doula, lactation educator for and a certified AWA writing workshop facilitator at