Discover original short-run audio series produced by KUOW, Seattle’s NPR news station. KUOW Shorts is created in collaboration with local journalists, artists, storytellers, and community members.
Neighbors: Jane Don't
What happens when your side hustle, your passion, becomes a full time gig? A sudden layoff in 2020 led Seattle drag queen Jane Don’t to put her performance career into overdrive. She invested time into make dresses and wigs and jokes and routines. And after a year of holed up at home, Jane Don’t wanted to show off her hard work.
She spoke with Senior producer Brandi Fullwood spoke about pivoting to drag full time and living with fewer regrets. She wants her drag and Seattle drag to be seen in full for what it can really be: weird, like really weird but in a good way.
Neighbors: the Olympic Marmot
Washington state is known for its variety of flora and fauna. But when it comes to public adoration, it seems like one local animal has been a little jilted - the Olympic marmot. It's ironic, considering the fuzzy rodent was officially declared a state symbol in 2009. But what makes the marmot so worthy of a government distinction?
Soundside producer Noel Gasca introduces us to a scientist and a citizen activist who tell us why, and what the process of getting state recognition for the Olympic marmot looked like.
Neighbors: Eve Palay
When Eve Palay first moved to Bainbridge, she was a stay-at-home parent — married with two young daughters. And for the most part, her family kept to themselves. But things changed. "The kids grew up, marriage ended. And I came out as trans," Palay said. "And as I came out, I really wanted to make sure that other people who needed to come out had an easier time and knew that there are people here."
Neighbors: Pastor Peter Chin
Burnout can manifest differently across job sectors. Long hours and an intertwined work and home life balance makes things tricky. Since the onset of the pandemic, many clergy members have been wrestling with how to do and be everything their community needs. Some have even considered quitting ministry altogether because it’s too much to handle. “After the pandemic, I really felt like I was at my rope's end in terms of ministry,” Pastor Peter Chin said. Chin is the lead pastor of Rainier Avenue Church, located in the Rainier Valley of Seattle.
Senior producer Brandi Fullwood speaks with Pastor Chin about his scheduled sabbatical last year. It was clear he really needed it. But not everyone understood that.
Neighbors: Sea Slugs
Without a boat or special gear, a lot of Puget Sounds’ iconic creatures - from orcas to Dungeness crabs - remain out of our everyday reach. But there is one little guy you can find most any day on your neighborhood dock: sea slugs, also known by their scientific name, nudibranchs.
We go looking for sea slugs with Soundside producer Alec Cowan, Luan Roberts and Karin Fletcher.
Neighbors: Taso Lagos
UW Professor and author Taso Lagos first immigrated to Seattle with his family from Greece when he was just nine years old. For 40 years, this family constellated around the Continental Restaurant on University Way NE, near the University of Washington. Several years ago, Taso’s parents closed The Continental and retired.
Taso and Libby Denkmann walk the Ave and talk about his memories of the U-District, and how the neighborhood and his parents’ old storefront has changed.