Season 1 of the Artist Workshop Ends with a Successful Showcase

Washington State has always been a breeding ground for creative brilliance, with talented individuals emerging from the nooks and crannies of small towns and quiet suburbs. From painters to athletes to musicians whose songs become timeless, the Evergreen State boasts a rich tapestry of talent. Thanks to organizations like The Shyan Selah Foundation and Brave New World who created programs such as The Artist Workshop – in conjunction with the Washington State Department of Commerce –  the landscape for artists is evolving. The remarkable success of the first annual Artist Workshop Summer Showcase is proof of that.

The inaugural season of The Artist Workshop in 2022-2023 was nothing short of spectacular. It is abundantly clear that this initiative has left an indelible mark on Washington’s cultural scene. Speaking with the founder and creator, Shyan Selah, one can sense the palpable passion and dedication that went into crafting this event. Selah’s vision for this endeavor was nothing short of ambitious, and it was inspiring to hear him describe the inception of the project and its growth over the years. 

When asked how an event like this came to be, Selah thoughtfully responded “This event is the offspring of a lot of hard work and soulful intention to progress the industrial and commercial entertainment artistic talent in our community. To try and garner the same energy and respect around the arts community as there is, say sports. I wanted there to be an opportunity for young talent to show off the hard work and dedication it takes to be in this industry. Show up with some Federal Way spirit, and leave it all on the stage. I’m so proud of these artists for the progress they’ve shown over the past few months.”

Establishing the Artist Workshop program and the talent showcase required meticulous planning, securing adequate funding, and demonstrating the viability of such an event. Through Selah’s unwavering perseverance and belief in the community’s burgeoning stars, along with the joint production efforts of Brave New World and the Shyan Selah Foundation, we witnessed firsthand the resounding success of the talent showcase.

While most of the performers of the showcase had some kind of experience with being on stage already, when asked how it felt to perform in this showcase, their responses all shined light to the fact of how special an occasion this was. 

“It was amazing!” musician and vocalist Gavi beamed. “I had tons of support at the show from my family, who’s never been to any of my shows before and it was surreal. And getting to know so many new people and carrying their words of encouragement around has been an uplifting experience and I can’t wait till someone out of this group makes it big!” 

Shaflo couldn’t contain the smile on her face while she replied, “It was breathtaking to feel the energy in the room and be amongst the few who worked hard and made it through the process! I did a lot of performances but this one was one that set my heart on fire and gave me a feeling that I’ve never felt before.” 

One of the most heartwarming aspects of this event was the genuine camaraderie and support that permeated every corner of the venue. Despite the stakes being high, with the prize being a professionally recorded song produced by an accredited producer, every participant displayed a remarkable spirit of encouragement for their fellow artists. 

Backstage and in the hallways, the air was thick with mutual support and enthusiasm. Tazz Enrico spoke to this fact when asked what the best part of participating in the Showcase was and his reply came without hesitation: “Definitely the artists. You could tell that everybody was there for the same reason and had the same purpose and it was so beautiful to watch.” 

Midnite Blu held a similar sentiment for the best part of being in the showcase. “The best part for me was the Artist Workshop Rehearsal. Getting to know each other and being comfortable showcasing our talents in front of each other!”

This sense of unity was a testament to the exceptional character of the young artists and their commitment to fostering a thriving artistic community.

A huge round of applause goes out to everyone who helped make the Showcase the success that it was. To the performers, Ayana, CAZZI, Gavi, Jade, Midnite Blu, O.Z., Pure Art, Sahanie Shell, Shaflo, Shayla Jasmin, Tazz Enrico and Yung Shaedy; your performances were impactful and memorable to a wide array of guests.  Congratulations on being a part of something so pivotal to your local arts community!

The 2022-2023 Summer Showcase demonstrated the profound impact that dedication, community support, and a belief in local talent can have. This showcase not only celebrated the diverse and extraordinary talents of Washington, but also served as a point of inspiration for aspiring artists everywhere – a point that looks to be underscored with Season two of The Artist Workshop program for Washington State’s artistic community.