Catch the world premiere of faculty documentary on Seattle’s Central District

Time to roll out the red carpet.

The Foster School of Business is co-hosting the world premiere of On the Brink, the new documentary of history, hope and determination in Seattle’s vanishing Central District, on June 9 at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute.

The gala screening will be followed by a Q&A with Seattle Supersonics legend Slick Watts, hip-hop artist and activist Xola Malik, classic soul and funk musician Robbie Hill and the filmmakers.

One of the latter is producer/director Jeff Shulman, the Marion B. Ingersoll Professor of Marketing at Foster and creator of the award-winning Seattle Growth Podcast.

Jeff Shulman

Shulman’s debut feature film was inspired by the podcast, which has explored Seattle’s ongoing transformation and examined its repercussions on transportation, real estate, emergency services, healthcare, small business, music, arts, culture, professional sports and homelessness—nearly every facet of life in the Emerald City.

Shulman became especially intrigued by what is being lost amid this unprecedented economic boom. Top of the list of at-risk Seattle cultural treasures is the Central District, the once-vibrant heart and soul of Seattle’s African American community.

As the incubator of American cultural icons Ray Charles, Ernestine Anderson, Quincy Jones, Jimi Hendrix and Sir Mix-a-Lot, the CD has historical significance.

“More than that,” Shulman says, “I came to learn of a deep connection the residents held with the neighborhood and with each other. The Central District draws parallels to communities around the country and is a story that needs to be told.”

To tell that story, he collaborated with Steven Fong, an up-and-coming local filmmaker, to interlace historic footage and new conversations with long-time residents, community leaders and neighborhood business owners—many of whom have been supported by the Foster School’s Consulting and Business Development Center).

If the documentary tells a cautionary tale, it’s also filled with hope and determination.

On the Brink tells a universal story of a struggle to hold on to a sense of community in the face of change,” Shulman says. “It also tells the story of individuals from that community who are determined to play a role in defining its future, and finding hope instead of despair.”

Learn more about upcoming screenings of On the Brink at onthebrinkmovie.com.