If you could bottle buttah (not butter), syrup, a velvet painting of Isaac Hayes in chains, incense, an 8-track tape, and a mimosa, then you would come close to capturing the essence of Breaks ‘n Eggs, a collaboration of Art X Stephanie Morales and Hella Black Hella Seattle.
By Carla Bell
July 19, 2017
Scrolling through Facebook a couple of weeks back, I saw the perfect-for-me summertime event that immediately sent me clicking in that direction to buy my ticket.
Dang! I missed it! Tell me all about it, and don’t skip the fine details.
Breaks n’ Brunch: A Brunch Party, a collaborative effort of AxSM (Art by Stephanie Morales) and Hella Black Hella Seattle (HBHS), a podcast launched last summer by Alaina Caldwell, Jasmine ‘Jazz’ Jackson, and Eula Scott Bynoe, felt like a family reunion, and tasted like one too.
“We want to make space for people to come together, eat good food in comfort, and, really, just be.” —Alaina Caldwell, HBHS
The vibe was all dominos and gin rummy, and that huge floor model console TV that plays in the background through the ebb and flow of conversation and laughter, and Jovan Musk Oil lingering amidst exotic plants hanging in macramé, with EWF’s “In The Stone” spinning on the turntable, Auntie tending the stove, and those bulbous red table top candleholders and a sense that this could go on all night. That, in fact, it should.
The Rhino Room, where the event was held, boasts a grand presentation with its substantial columns and high ceilings. Tucked way up into one corner of it was DJ Topspin, also known as Blendiana Jones, donning a Sonics jersey, fully immersed in his work.
The Women Putting in the Work
Stephanie, “a homegrown Seattle born and based artist” and mother of two, grew up in Ballard and Federal Way. A veteran multitasker, she seems to have energy on tap. “You have to be doing some kind of hustle!” she says. Still, while Stephanie divides her time among original creations, promotion of other artists, and event planning and facilitation all under AxSM, parenting is her mainstay.
Sitting together and looking out over the hall at the guests, we remarked on the personality of the event. It was just right, not rushed. Chill, “just like HBHS,” who drew the crowd, she says. “These are their followers.” Folks ate, for sure!—but they also took time to mingle, and then went about the day at their own pace.
Stephanie shared exciting plans for future AxSM events, now in early collaborative stages. Look for more opportunities to interact, including icebreakers, games, business card drawings, and time designated for networking. She’s also planning a summer series of drop-in Paint & Sip events for all ages at Cal Anderson Park. “I like to help people connect,” she says. “I want to create space and opportunity, which doesn’t currently exist [for people of color].” This has been a definite accomplishment, for Stephanie, and a reward.
Alaina, a self-described “daughter, sister, lover, friend” is a Seattleite from the Montlake area, near the University of Washington, and HBHS’s food reviewer. She talked about HBHS’s motivation behind this event. Difficulties adults encounter in making and keeping plans, meeting responsibilities, and the constantly competing demands for our time means further separation from others. “We want to make space for people to come together, eat good food in comfort, and, really, just be,” says Alaina.
Jasmine “Jazz” Jackson
Jazz—wife, mother, and HBHS’s voice on events, family, fun, and fitness—grew up in the Central District of Seattle. She discussed impacts of gentrification, particularly in the CD, and the resulting migration of the people of color, once residents of inner city Seattle. She praised social media like Instagram for its power to reassemble this diaspora.
Eula Scott Bynoe
Eula, who handles HBHS’s interviews and reporting, was well-represented by her girls while she attended to other matters.
“I appreciate an opportunity to attend an event like this, and mix with Hella Black Hella Seattle! It’s better than I expected.”—Liya Rubio, Fellow, Rainier Valley Corps.