Wa Na Wari

Elisheba Johnson
Rachel Kessler

Wa Na Wari

Joy Has a Sound

An anthology of Black propositions, curated & edited by Wa Na Wari collaborators Elisheba Johnson & Rachel Kessler

Wa Na Wari creates space for Black ownership, possibility, and belonging through art, historic preservation, and connection. It is a center for Black art and culture in Seattle’s historically redlined Central District neighborhood. Sited in a 5th-generation Black-owned home, Wa Na Wari looks at the intersection of Black arts, culture and land policy. 

Wa Na Wari Website

Elisheba Johnson is a curator, public artist and administrator. Johnson, who has a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts, was the owner of Faire Gallery Café, a multi-use art space that held art exhibitions, music shows, poetry readings and creative gatherings. For six years Johnson worked at the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture on capacity building initiatives and racial equity in public art. Johnson is currently a member of the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Network advisory council and has won four Americans for the Arts Public Art Year in Review Awards for her work. She currently co-manages Wa Na Wari, a Black art center in Seattle’s Central Area that uses the arts to build community and resist displacement. 

RACHEL KESSLER is a writer, cartoonist, multi-disciplinary collaborator and educator who explores landscape and community. Co-founder of Typing Explosion, then Vis-à-Vis Society, their book of collaborative poems, 100 Rooms, is forthcoming spring 2020. She recently helped open collective Wa Na Wari, a center for Black art in the CD, and is Artist-In-Residence at public housing project Yesler Terrace. 

  • Anastacia-Reneé
  • Kamari Bright
  • Thione Diop
  • Mary Edward
  • Rachael F.
  • Aricka Foreman
  • Amir George
  • Chantal Gibson
  • Walis Johnson
  • JusMoni
  • Anaïs Maviel
  • Larry Mizell, Jr.
  • Rell Be Free
  • Christina Sharpe