Four years after taking the title to the Central District's Hidmo Eritrean restaurant, sisters Rahwa and Asmeret Habte are moving on. And while a closing restaurant might seem like food news, anyone who's been to Hidmo knows that it's much more than that.
There were the rotating monthly music events, from "Ladies First" to the youth-centered "Hip-Hop Period" to the cross-genre "Live at Hidmo" to the hugely popular Pan-African Sundays. As Seattle Weekly's former music editor Jonathan Cunningham documented, "Many local musicians, poets, and MCs got their start at Hidmo," including THEESatisfaction, Khingz, JusMoni and Canary Sing. But there was also a strong connection between the music and community-based activism--embodied by their future plans, called "Hidmo NEXT."
Tonight's "Goodbye Jackson Street Party," officially stretching from 5 p.m. to midnight and hosted by Gabriel Teodros, celebrates their past successes and future plans, including a move to the historic Washington Hall in April:
After a short hiatus, we will be back at it with a community planning meeting at Washington Hall on April 13th, 2011 ready to expand our support team and build a new membership-based organizational model. We're calling this new phase "Hidmo NEXT". We're working with 4Culture and Historic Seattle on a plan to be an anchor tenant at Washington Hall. From now until April, we want you to stay in the loop and be a part of shaping the future of Hidmo by signing up for email updates and/or becoming a member of "Hidmo NEXT". Space to build community is key. As an anchor tenant at Washington Hall, we will support and be supported by organizations that are more closely aligned with our core values.
To stay caught up in the meantime, you can sign up for Hidmo NEXT online. While more than a few will miss their spiced lamb and injera bread, the presence on the corner of 20th and Jackson will be the real absence.