Seattle's Child

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Seattle Opera Afghan Frida

Seattle Opera stages Afghan arts festival and Frida Kahlo

Both events bring culture, history and art to life

Afghan art, culture and history will be at the center of a festival put on by the Seattle Opera in conjunction with its upcoming world premiere of the opera “A Thousand Splendid Suns.” While this production is not for kids, the celebrations of Afghan culture certainly are. Mature teens

The Jashin: A Celebration of Afghan Arts will take place at The Opera Center in downtown Seattle from 1–5:30 p.m.on February 11. 

The event is a great opportunity for kids and families to learn more about Afghan culture and engage with a community that has recently resettled in Seattle and other parts of western Washington. The festival will highlight Afghan artists and will include a concert by world-renowned rubab player Homayoun Sakhi, an exhibition of rescued artworks by the artist-activist group ArtLords and an embroidery project created by local Afghan women in partnership with Refugee Artisan Initiative. Event organizers will be taking donations of household supplies in partnership with World Relief Western Washington to support local refugee families so if you have items to donate, bring them along.

“Since the American withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer, Washington state has welcomed thousands of Afghan refugees who worked and fought alongside Americans during the decades-long conflict with the Taliban,” said Lokela Alexander Minami, associate director of community engagement for Seattle Opera, in a release. “Despite this, the American public knows little about Afghanistan’s rich and diverse culture. Jashin offers an opportunity to celebrate this culture, and we hope our audiences will come away with an appreciation of contemporary Afghan music and art, as well as an understanding of how they can help support our new Afghan neighbors.”

In February, the Seattle Opera’s youth program staged “The Jungle Book,” a classic retelling of the classic children’s story created by Kamala Sankaram and Kelley Rourke.

Seattle Opera Afghan FridaAnd in March, “Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World will tour 50 schools across Washington State through the School Opera Tour program. This opera tells the story of Mariana, a young girl living in Mexico City who has her portrait painted by Frida Kahlo. At first, Mariana is nervous about meeting Frida because of strange rumors about the eccentric artist. But Mariana quickly befriends Frida and learns two important lessons in the process: that art can happen anywhere and how important it is to be brave even when you feel scared. The production is appropriate for all ages, especially families with children.

Two public performances will take place June 25 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Tagney Jones Hall at  The Opera Center. Tickets for youth age 18 and under are $5; Adults are $15.


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