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Town Hall Seattle: Arts & Culture Series

Town Hall’s Arts & Culture series elevates the voices of local artists while bringing world-renowned cultural icons to Seattle audiences. The series celebrates music, photography, sculpture, philosophy, heritage, and traditions around the world that enrich our lives.

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Jun 23, 2022

According to census data, the greater Seattle area is home to the fifth-largest Filipino American population in the U.S — the majority of which arrived in the area after 1965. From the 1950s to 1970s, Filipino Americans, or Pinoys, faced serious hardships and struggles with racism, discrimination, and exploitation. It was a difficult life for many. The struggle persists today, with the U.S. seeing a steep rise in discrimination and violence against Asian Americans since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a new collection of autobiographical essays, Uncle Rico’s Encore, award-winning author Peter Bacho shared stories that illuminate the Filipino American experience. Bacho related vivid stories of community, generational connection, defiance, and activism, including resistance to the union-busting efforts of the federal government and organizing for decent housing and services for elders. He also illustrated the Filipino American experience of the era through intimate moments of everyday life in familiar places such as Madison Beach, Beacon Hill, and Madrona Park.

The result is a tribute to Filipino Seattle and the people who contributed to Pacific Northwest culture, arts, business, and politics, while also offering a glimpse into the national Asian American experience.

Peter Bacho is the author of six books: CebuDark Blue SuitBoxing in Black and WhiteNelson’s RunEntrys, and Leaving Yesler. His books have received several awards, including the 1992 American Book Award. He is an adjunct professor at The Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus. Bacho was born in Seattle, Washington and grew up in Seattle’s Central District.

Robert Flor is a poet and playwright whose work has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, and his plays have been performed at the Rainier Arts Center, the Eclectic Theater, and in the Filipino Community of Seattle. He was born in Seattle and grew up in Seattle’s Central District and Rainier Valley.

Buy the Book: Uncle Rico's Encore: Mostly True Stories of Filipino Seattle 

Presented by Town Hall Seattle and the Wing Luke Museum, with introductions by Joël Barraquiel Tan, Executive Director of the Wing Luke Museum. Sponsored by the Boeing Company.