Shelf Life Community Story Project
Amplifying community voices, learning from neighborhood stories, and interrupting narratives of erasure in Seattle's Central District.


Wa Na Wari!

We are excited and honored to announce Shelf Life’s new collaboration with Wa Na Wari, a project that is reclaiming space for Black art, stories, and connection in Seattle’s Central District neighborhood. Curated by artists Inye Wokoma, Elisheba Johnson, Jill Freidberg, and Rachel Kessler, Wa Na Wari is a Black-owned home that we are converting into an art gallery, gathering space, and oral history studio; a home for celebrating and building community. The house has been in Inye’s family for four generations and will now become a permanent site for Black art and stories, in a neighborhood that has gone from 80% Black in the 70s to 14% Black today.

Wa Na Wari means “our home” in the Kalabari language of Southern Nigeria, Inye's ethnic lineage through his father. It will be a space that reimagines the home where Black people can share their stories, map their childhood, reunite with old friends, and incubate art, all while holding space in a neighborhood that has tried to push them out.

Shelf Life will host a permanent oral history studio in the space, recording and sharing Central District stories, as we’ve done for the past three years.

Support this work. We have identified some promising sources and strategies for long-term sustainability. In the meantime, we are crowdfunding. I hope you’ll give what you can. Donate here! If you’d like your contribution to be tax-deductible, Northwest Film Forum is our fiscal sponsor and they can process tax-deductible donations via their Paypal