Unique Youth Arts Program Celebrates 10 Years in West Seattle!

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August 2018 the Unified Outreach Youth Arts Program will celebrate 10 years of providing unique arts programming in West Seattle.

The charity is known for its annual youth fashion show and runway extravaganza, free to the public and organized by middle and high school students as part of a work-readiness-in-the-arts program that has partnered Unified Outreach with a number of other organizations in the past including the Office of Arts & Culture, 4Culture, SYVPI, and SW Youth & Family Services in order to provide work training, educational tracks, and networking opportunities to at-risk, underserved, and special needs communities.

student-splash-1In previous years Unified Outreach has been recognized for its focus on empowering young women from underserved communities as seen here: https://kingcountynews.org/2017/06/13/young-women-find-empowerment-through-arts-in-west-seattle-2/

Unified Outreach has also been a leader in efforts to stop youth violence and in providing opportunities to special needs youth, which we will talk about later in the article.

Founded in 1998 the program began with a small group of volunteers providing free art classes to kids at transitional housing shelters throughout Seattle, with no official center of operations (other than a PO Box) until the program found a home in West Seattle’s Ginomai art center in 2008. Ginomai means “to create” in Greek, and was the vision of Pastor Dan Jacobs, of the West Seattle Christian Church. Upon the closing of the West Seattle Christian Pre-School in 2007 Pastor Dan’s idea was to provide artists with an affordable space to create art and host small community meet-ups.

In 2014 Unified Outreach provided nearly $40K in renovations to the building, including removing massive amounts of asbestos from the old school building, as well as providing new paint, carpet, lighting, carpentry work, and bathroom renovations. As part of the renovations Unified Outreach also constructed a new sounds booth for use with both music recording and cartoon animation voice-overs, for use in the video production and cartooning studios.

WHAT SORT OF ARTS PROGRAMS DOES UNIFIED OUTREACH OFFER?

Unified Outreach is one of the most eclectic arts programs in the NW, and in previous years has offered both traditional and contemporary programs including drawing, painting, theater, fashion & runway, video production, cartoon animation, hip hop art, breakdancing, comic book design, short-story publishing, and more! Summer day-camp offerings have included cartooning camp, crafting camp, and sports & athletics camp.

Cultural Celebrations

In 2011 Unified Outreach hosted the 30 year “Breakers Reunion”, which brought together 3 generations of Seattle B-Boy’s/B-Girl’s in a multi-generational event that took many through a time-warp and back to the early 80’s, to celebrate all the iconic Breakdance Crews, seminal Graffiti Artists, legendary Dj’s, a platinum selling Rapper, and great memories of days gone by. https://kingcountynews.org/2012/08/05/4-generations-of-b-boys-come-out-to-celebrate-30-years-of-hip-hop-culture-at-the-seattle-city-breakers-reunion/

Fashion & Runway

As previously mentioned, the program is best known its annual youth fashion expose, which will be held on August 11th at 6pm at 4400 42nd Ave SW, complete with a free dinner buffet. You can enjoy a clip from one of the previous shows at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmlekISzOPI

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Violence Prevention Initiative

In 2013 Unified Outreach leadership joined with pastors and community leaders in Rainier Valley to combat the rise in youth-on-youth violence, submitting a proposal to the Mayor’s Office aimed at building community programs that strengthen police and community dialogue, provide mentoring services for youth, and give community leaders a support in taking a hands-on role in engaging the issue. Additionally, Unified Outreach has employed the work-readiness-arts program as a means of reaching at-risk and gang affiliated youth, using the arts to break down cultural and economic barriers, build positive self-esteem, and provide mentors, career opportunities, and networking resources.

Special Needs Partnerships

If you ask the Unified Outreach founder Edward Dumas how Unified Outreach got its start, he will tell you that it all started with Alice.

Alice Conover (formerly Toledo) is the mother of Unified Outreach Co-Founder David Toledo. Edward tells us that Alice started a food-bank from the steps of her own home back in the mid 1980’s, while he and David were attending high school together . “The Helpers” was one of the first neighborhood food banks in Seattle, and Alice worked around the clock to build relationships with local grocers; securing quality food that would have been thrown out due to expiration date and delivering it to elderly, disabled, and low income neighbors. Putting in long hours, paying for her own gas, helping her neighbors with food, money for bills, a place to stay if needed, and a friendly ear – Alice taught her children the value of service.

Paul Anton ClipAccording to Edward, David has shared two great memories from growing up in the home. One is that his mother opened her doors to the community, with the food bank but also to anyone in need of temporary shelter. She often hosted families referred by the church, including refugee families from Ethiopia and Vietnam. The other great memory is of his mother spending hours sitting on the front stairs talking with Paul Anton, a young man who was born with cerebral palsy that had limited his speech and upper body motor skills. However, this did not prevent Paul from graduating from Blanchet High School, nor prevent him from fully engaging in great conversation with the use of his feet to spell out words and make sentences on the sidewalk, or if needed, with a pencil held between his toes.

5e5b3-dub2lbzvoaaujez-jpg-largeAlice taught her kids and their friends that everyone has gifts, and everyone can shine if given the opportunity. Fast forward to 2018 and you’ll see the reflection of Paul Anton in the work that Unified Outreach does, such as the staff and student hosted panel at the Emerald City Comic Con, featuring Clayton Bragg. Clayton was also born with Cerebral Palsy, and like Paul Anton he would not let his disability hold him back. Clayton is an aspiring rapper who has also lent his voice to one of the characters in the “Meet the Mascots” cartoon produced at the Unified Outreach center.

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You can find out more about Clayton and Meet the Mascots here: https://kingcountynews.org/2018/03/07/west-seattle-arts-program-gets-animated-at-emerald-city-comic-con/

You can find out more about Paul Anton and Alice here: https://kingcountynews.org/2018/06/25/celebrating-paul-anton-alice-toledo/

Meet the Team!

Another thing that makes Unified Outreach unique and worth celebrating is the long-time volunteer staff who have almost single-handedly funded the program for the last 20 years. The grassroots charity still raises most of the program funding itself, with most coming directly from the volunteer instructors and staff, many who have been with the program over 10 years. But that’s okay say’s Director of Operations April King who does  programming, community outreach, curriculum design, admin duties, and in-class instruction. Oh, and did we mention that she’s also a Cordon Blue trained chef who makes sure that every Fashion Show is complete with a mouth watering buffet?  “We’ve been doing this for so long it’s second nature,” she says. “Every child that comes through the program becomes one of the family. They are all my kids. In the end, it’s all worth it.”

We proudly join Unified Outreach in celebrating 10 years in West Seattle! We hope to see you all at the August 11th Fashion & Runway Expose’!

WEST SEATTLE ARTS PROGRAM GETS ANIMATED AT EMERALD CITY COMIC CON

March 1-4, 2018 Seattle experienced the 15th Annual Comic Con, with an attendance of over 90,000 comic book, sci-fi, and pop culture fans. Comic Con has come a long way since 2003 when the first convention hosted a little over 2500 attendees.

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Comic Con Panel 2018

The convention features a wide array of activities and programming including industry guests, celebrity signings, and costume contests. This year West Seattle’s own Unified Outreach was featured in dual roles as both 2D instructional coaches in the Family HQ area, and as panelists in the 2D animation network forum on Saturday night, discussing their animated cartoon series “Meet the Mascots.”

cd-coverWest Seattle families know Unified Outreach from their 10+ year operating history in the West Seattle Junction where they offer a variety of programs each year; including a summer day camp focusing on cartoon animation, and an annual Youth Fashion & Runway event culminating a work-readiness-in-the-Arts program for at-risk youth.  This year’s Fashion Show is scheduled to happen at the end of August; you don’t want to miss it!

 

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Clayton Bragg is a member of the Unified Outreach team and was a featured speaker at the Saturday night panel where he spoke about his work as a voice-over artist and musician (having recently released a new song and video with Seattle icon Raz Kaz). Clayton was born with a heart defect and cerebral palsy; but that hasn’t stopped him from actively pursuing a career in the arts and sharing his motivational story with kids of all ages.

 

Sammy Tekle Vicious PuppiesSammy Tekle is a former Unified Outreach student and current Unified Outreach staff member; teaching classes in cartoon animation, music production, and breakdancing.

 

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For more information contact Unified Outreach at UnifiedOutreach@Hotmail.com or (206) 371-1139.

When We Were (Almost) Kings: How the Seattle Seahawks Got Their Name

By Sean Keely

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There’s a bit of irony in the fact that Seattle almost acquired the Sacramento Kings last year and turned them into the new Seattle Sonics. It would have been the second time a franchise named the Kings turned into something else in Seattle. The first time was when the Emerald City got its NFL franchise, you know, the one potentially-playing for their second Super Bowl crown soon.

So how did we end up with Seahawks anyway? We begin that story at a time when we were Kings…

Despite overtures around Seattle to acquire a pro football franchise as far as back as the 50’s, the possibility of such a thing seemed out of reach. That was, until Wayne Field formed the Seattle Sea Lions Management Corporation in 1969 with one goal in mind…land an NFL franchise. In 1971, the would-be franchise changed it’s name to the Seattle Kings. There are multiple reasons given for the name-change, including the fact that the team would be playing in King County Domed Stadium (a.k.a. The Kingdome), which was located close to King Street Station and that Washington Huskies football legend Hugh “The King” McElhenny came on board as Team V.P. and General Manager.

Over the next few years, a rival Seattle ownership group called Seattle Professional Football emerged and the two went back and forth attempting to woo the NFL as well as locals on the idea that they were best suited to run a franchise. The NFL, however, initially thought Tampa Bay was more ideal and, in April 1974, awarded them the next expansion team.

Fears that Seattle had missed it’s opportunity were quieted soon after and on June 5, 1974, Seattle became the NFL’s 28th franchise. The only question was…who would own the team? After crunching the numbers, the folks behind Seattle Kings Football Club decided it was no longer feasible and withdrew their consideration for ownership of the franchise. Seattle Professional Football was deemed the franchise owners and Lloyd W. Nordstrom (of THOSE Nordstroms) was named majority partner.

Before throwing his support behind Seattle Professional Football, Wayne Field made one request. That, due to the hard work and time his group had put into the effort to get an NFL franchise in Seattle, the Kings name be considered. That overture was denied and the club’s name was put to a vote.

After a public contest that drew over 20K entries for 1,741 names, the Seattle Seahawks were officially named on June 17, 1975. The team played their first game on September 12, 1976 and the rest is history. Or, hawkstory, as it were.

Back in 1974 when the question of whether or not the team would end up sticking with Kings, then-managing director Herman Sarkowsky told reporters, “there are already too many Kings in professional sports.” Considering Seattle almost eliminated another one from the professional ranks last year, perhaps that’s part of our lore.

Originally published January 15, 2015 at https://seattle.curbed.com/2015/1/15/10002148/when-we-were-almost-kings-how-the-seahawks-were-named

 

Local High School Wins State Hip-Hop Championship Despite Obstacles and Loss

Image may contain: 2 people, people smilingThe Todd Beamer High School dance team took first place in the 4AState Championships hip-hop division in Washington State, avenging their 2016 loss and 2nd place finish the previous year.

2016 was a year of success as the Todd Beamer Dance Team won 1st place in all but one of their competitions, including the USA National Competition in Anaheim, California.

The one exception was falling to 2nd place in the 2016 State Championships, notched by Shorecrest High School.

Image may contain: 12 people, people smiling, people standingWhat made the victory even more amazing is that the Todd Beamer Dance Team did not have a coach for more than half of the 2017 season.  After losing their 2016 Coach the Team-Captains (High School Seniors) took on the job of planning, scheduling, and conduction practice until Coach (and founding TBDT member) Debbie Yaranon joined the team.

The story behind this season would make a perfect made-for-tv movie about friendship, perseverance, and determination.  These girls never gave up, and worked together to make their dream come true.  We can’t wait until 2018 to see what’s next!

YOUNG WOMEN FIND EMPOWERMENT THROUGH ARTS IN WEST SEATTLE

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Unified Outreach has been actively engaged in youth arts programming for nearly two-decades; and for the past 10 years has provided an eclectic catalog of unique programs from the Ginomai Arts Center in West Seattle’s Alaska Junction neighborhood.

August 21st Unified Outreach hosted their annual Youth Fashion Expose; a free community event which provided a top-shelf catered dinner and a raised runway with 20 models showing off the latest designs by Seattle Designers Carlisa Minnis and MAC Fashion House.

But behind the scenes is where the magic happens. The fashion show is part of a work-training program created by Unified Outreach that teaches Middle and High School students the skills necessary to deliver a high end event such as this. Student are trained on a variety of Adobe software programs used to design brochures and flyers, create music mash-ups, and edit photos and videos. Students also learn to construct the raised runway, provide staging ambiance, and operate the sound & lighting board.

april-toonThis year, Unified Outreach Regional Manager for Nevada, Mrs. April Goode returned to Seattle to assist with the 2016 program. April has been active with Unified Outreach for over a decade, serving as Chief of Operations in Seattle before moving to Las Vegas in 2013.

“The reason I am back in Seattle is because I love this program. Of all the different classes we offer this one is closest to my heart because we are not only exposing kids to new artistic mediums, but we’re teaching them how to use those skills out in the real world” April says.

cd-coverThe program, visualized and launched in 2010 by Unified Outreach staff; was presented to Mayor McGinn at a series of town halls. The following year Mayor McGinn and the city began funding the Office of Arts & Culture work-readiness grant program; which provides Unified Outreach and other local Charities with funding to assist with program costs and to provide each youth with a monetary stipend.

April says that she has personally seen lives changed by the program. “We build artistic skills, we focus on resume building, educational tracks, and networking opportunities. But we also focus on team building, communication, and breaking down barriers. All of this comes together to build positive self-esteem; which is the greatest gift we can give our kids”.

And the proof can be seen in the instructors themselves; many of which began the program as students and have now returned to give back to the program that they love.

darrian-splashDarrian started attending classes over 10 years ago, participating in music, dance, and video programs; where she co-hosted the Unified Outreach/SCAN Television program “What’s Good Seattle, the Shop 206”. Today she teaches classes in Fashion/Runway Event Management, as well as summer day camp Cartoon Animation and Video Production programs.

Isis first walked the catwalk six years ago at the pilot work-training program in 2010. This year was her first in the role of Instructor. “I really feel like I identify with the kids in the program. And it feels really good to share the things I’ve learned over the years.”

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kiel-splashKiel has been participating in Unified Outreach classes for as long as she can remember. From traditional drawing and painting, to contemporary dance, cartooning, music, and video. This year was her first as a program instructor for the Cartoon Animation Summer Day Camp.

Karla participated in the work-readiness program in 2013 and this year returned as an instructor for the Runway program. Now 18, Karla is also using the contacts she made through the program to pursue her own career in Fashion and Design.

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Unified Outreach Co-Founder David Toledo stated that it’s only natural that Unified Outreach would have strong leaders such as April and the previously mentioned students-turned-teachers.

“The Unified Outreach program was really inspired by my mother Alice; who in the early 1980’s opened a food bank from the steps of our own home. Mom was so creative, with a “lead by example” attitude, and a fearless advocate for kids, seniors, those with special needs, and really anyone who needed help. And my sister Diana Toledo-Palmer is the same way. She’s such a great example and inspiration for me. She’s a leader in the community; active in so many community organizations and working so hard to make West Seattle a better place for our children”, David Said.

Unified Outreach is located in West Seattle. More information is available at www.UnifiedOutreach.com

Race Relations From A New Perspective with Seattle Icon James D. Croone, Sr.

by JP Scratches

The Northwest has long enjoyed the music of James Croone and his group the Emerald dr-crooneStreet Boys ~ Seattle’s legendary Rap group whose claim to fame includes Seattle’s first pressed rap album in 1983, and boasting legendary hip hop radio personality Nasty Nes Rodriguez as their DJ (prior to his joining Sir Mixalot’s group).

After a spiritual awakening Dr. Croone left music to focus on education and a call to ministry; receiving his doctorial degree and founding Seattle Urban Bible College.

Now, after a decade of community outreach Dr. Croone has released Seymour & Parham: The Move of God Amid Relationship and Conflict.

If the walls at 312 Azusa Street could speak, they would surely tell of the “color line washed away by the Blood.” But what would they say about the relationship between the two men at the center of the charismatic phenomenon? Author James D. Croone, Sr., examines the story within the story.

Was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that touched off a worldwide Pentecostal movement able to touch the heart of its prophet? Or would this color line, what W. E. B. DuBois called “the problem of the twentieth century” and “a matter of cultural patterns, perverted teaching and human hate and prejudice, which …caused endless evil to all men” wreak havoc even in this cherished sanctuary?

croon-bookThe author finds that the walls of Azusa Street Mission indeed speak volumes. This book explores the relationship between Pentecostal pioneers William J. Seymour and Charles F. Parham by examining the doctrine of God at the core of their bond, the laws and societal norms at the beginning of the twentieth century that impacted interactions across racial lines, and the cultural divide that had shaped two very different contexts for religious experience and worship practice.

As the world grows more and more chaotic; we need more authors like Dr. Croone who have a genuine interest in building bridges between all peoples.  This book is highly recommend!

Copies are available at https://www.amazon.com/Seymour-Parham-Move-Relationship-Conflict/dp/1502499762/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479950535&sr=8-1&keywords=james+croone.

YOU CAN BE A CARTOON CONTEST! WIN A WALK-ON ROLE!

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Have you ever thought about doing voice-over work for cartoons?  What if you were able to not only add your voice, but also your character-likeness?  “Meet the Mascots” is the new cartoon series being produced in Seattle, Washington and set to debut in 2017, and this is your chance to make a starring appearance!

No Experience Needed!

Creator David Toledo is giving fans the chance to win a “walk-on” role in an upcoming episode of the cartoon-animation series “Meet the Mascots”.

Every Saturday between November 12th – December 17th, 2016 Meet the Mascots is offering fans the opportunity to appear in an episode as their own custom cartoon character; complete with that fan’s own voice.

Meet the Mascots will create a unique character based on the winning contestants likeness based on photo’s provided by the winner.

First step; watch the video!  The pilot episode of Meet the Mascots is available for viewing on YouTube and VIMEO.

DIRECTIONS:

1. The pilot episode of Meet the Mascots is available for viewing on YouTube and VIMEO.  (Video links are at the bottom of this page!)

2.  Email MascotCartoons@gmail.com with CONTEST in the subject line.

3.  Answer the following questions in the body of the email;

a)  Why is Ribbie (the Moose) upset with Jelly (the Monkey) at the beginning of the show?

b)  What does Richie (the Bird) tell Blitz (the Dog) he smells like?

c)  What political figure does Jelly meet at the audition?

d)  What is the name of the band holding auditions?

4.  Include your name, age, city, email, and phone number.

* Drawings will be held every Saturday between November 12th and December 17th.  Winners will be notified by email. Please only enter once from your email.  All entries will remain in the pool for the duration of the contest.

** Winners do not receive any monetary compensation for their participation in this project; neither the contest, the cartoon, nor for providing their voices for the cartoon.

*** Winners must complete and return the Appearance Authorization Release form.

PDF:

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WORD:

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**** Winners under 18 years of age must have parent/guardian permission to participate.

http://www.MeetTheMascots.com

sponsored by: http://www.UnifiedOutreach.com

WEST SEATTLE GETS ANIMATED

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October 19, 2016 – The Alaska Junction District of West Seattle is known as an Artist hub so it’s no surprise that it’s home to one of Seattle’s favorite cartoonists, David Toledo. David is the Program Manager for the Unified Outreach youth-arts program which has operated for nearly 2 decades and regularly teaches a summer and winter break day-camp with a focus on cartoon animation.

meet-the-mascots-cartoon-david-toledo-seattleDavid’s current project is called “the Mascots” which when completed will be a 30-minute animated feature scheduled to debut at the 2017 Emerald City ComiCon.  As with most 30-minute cartoon programming the time will be divided into 3 individual cartoon shorts averaging about 10 minutes each.  The first 10-minute episode titled “Join the Band” is currently viewable at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTUZ60sbfR8

 

 What’s the cartoon about?  

The Mascots are 4 friends dealing with peer pressure, girl troubles, and trying to make the “team”. It’s everything you’d expect in the lives of your average, all-American, teenage…. Animorphs?

the-mascots-cartoon-able-fader-meets-jelly_david-toledoDavid says “Everyone is familiar with the superstar mascots that strut their stuff through the world’s biggest sports arenas – bringing smiles to children and firing up the fans in the stands! But have you ever wondered about their lives outside of the spotlight? Life BEFORE they made it to the main stage?”

David Toledo is the Creator, Writer, Illustrator, and Animator of “Meet the Mascots” and also voiced multiple characters who appear in the Pilot Episode including the (4) Leads. Joining him for the pilot episode is a small group of voice-over talent that includes some very well known artists in Seattle’s hip hop community.

Meet the Voices featured in the Pilot Episode:

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robert-anderson-dj-icemanRobert Anderson (DJ Iceman) has been a DJ for 33 years. originally from Brooklyn, New York; he’s been a staple in the South Sound Music scene since he moved to Tacoma Washington in 2007. He is a proud member of 206 Zulu and has been a Wu-Tang DJ since 2011. you can currently hear him on Wednesdays at 7 pm on www.wild1radio.com on his “Sure Shot” radio show.

 

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Clayton Bragg (C-Dogg) is a rapper and video-blog host living in Edmonds, Washington (just north of Seattle).  Born in Des Moines and raised in Snohomish County, Clayton graduated high school in 2009 as a proud Panther.

Clayton was born with conical heart defect and cerebral palsy, but that has not stopped him from pursuing his love of music.  You can follow C-Dogg on twitter at handicapbragg, or at https://www.youtube.com/user/rappercdogg.

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Christina Virgillo-Emery (Mz. Music Girl) is a DJ at Zulu Radio and can be heard at www.kbcs.fm or on 91.3 fm.

Born and raised in Culver City (L.A.), California, Mz. Music Girl moved to Washington State in summer 1995, and became a member of 206ZULU in 2005. She enjoys music, turntablism, traveling,  arts & crafts,  sports, and many other things!

 

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Cinnamon Rosa the founder of Village Keepers; a youth-focused outreach program in Tacoma, Washington; and a  Food Equity Leader for the Puyallup Watershed Initiatives Just & Healthy Food System.  Cinnamon’s role within the “Meet the Mascots” project also includes script consultant and character development.

 

 

faderAble Fader is veteran Hip Hop DJ, Music Producer, Event Promoter, Mobile DJ, Graphic Designer, Web Developer and Recording Artist. Able has been creating art within Hip Hop culture since 1987 and DJing since 1994. He is founding resident of (((THE JAM))) a popular Hip Hop club night on second Fridays at Vermillion on Seattle’s Capitol Hill as well as HOME SLICE a monthly showcase of local NW Hip Hop talent at Seattle’s historic The Crocodile. Able collaborates actively with many of Seattle’s most respected artists and is a member of both 206 Zulu and the Filthy Fingers United producer collective. http://fade.graphics
Music/Mobile DJ Website: Thubba Thubba: http://thubbathubba.com

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Additionally, there will be plenty of opportunities for local artists to partner on the project as it moves forward. There is a Facebook page where updates will post; as well as open-calls for voice-over artists, cosplay actors/actresses, and others interested in being part of the program.

FACEBOOK PAGE:

https://www.facebook.com/SeattleMascots/posts

VIDEO CLIP:

UNIFIED OUTREACH YOUTH ARTS PROGRAM

www.UnifiedOutreach.com

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