Crosscut Festival Schedule

The Crosscut Festival takes place online from May 3 - May 8, 2021.

**All sessions and events are virtual. Links and more information will be sent out in mid-April. Please note that you do not have to register for individual events, all events below, aside from the Headliners Night fundraiser, are open to all attendees**

Session information, dates and times are all listed below. All events are listed in Pacific Time (PT) and sessions run 45 minutes unless otherwise noted. All sessions are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted, but an RSVP is required. Once you RSVP you will receive a link to our scheduling system, Sched, which will allow you to build out your own custom schedule. Session times may change, so check back before the start of the festival.

 

Monday, May 3

 

11:00 AM

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE

 

Track Sponsor

Waldron

Police, Protests & Public Safety
 

Nearly a year has passed since the murder of George Floyd. The ensuing protests called for a reexamination of how we fund and address public safety. We’ll sit down for a candid conversation with the former Police Chief who was at the center of it all. Now a private citizen, Carmen Best will give us her thoughts on what went wrong, what we misunderstand about policing and what she thinks should be done to make public safety work better for everyone.

Carmen Best
Carmen
Best
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David Kroman
David
Kroman

12:00 PM

 

WORKSHOP

Women First



Getting our news from another angle is critical to understanding the full spectrum of the events, issues and ideas we grapple with every day. Founders of the 19th News, a female-forward media organization launched on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, will host an open conversation about what it’s like to lead a media initiative and their experiences as female journalists.

Amanda Zamora
Amanda Zamora
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Emily Ramshaw
Emily Ramshaw
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Starla Sampaco
Starla
Sampaco

3:00 PM

 

WORKSHOP

 

Session Sponsor

Bedrooms & More

 

The Politics of Change

 

Policy and political change doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s not the work of politicians alone. Grassroots activism is often critical to moving the needle. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal emerged from this work to take her seat in the U.S. Congress. She’ll join us for an audience-led conversation on the importance of activism and how to make it most effective.

Pramila Jayapal
Pramila Jayapal
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Crystal Paul
Crystal
Paul

4:00 PM

KEYNOTE

 

Track sponsor

BECU
 

Is Anti-Trust the Answer?

Senator Amy Klobuchar argues that huge corporate mergers of recent decades have rewarded the already rich and squeezed the middle-class. Now chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, she argues that regulation is needed to contain big tech companies' monopolistic growth and to ensure consumer protections against corporate consolidation.

Amy Klobuchar
Amy
Klobuchar
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Mary Harris
Mary
Harris

6:00 PM

 

SPECIAL EVENT 

 

Founding Sponsor

Killinger Foundation

 

Supporting Sponsor

murrow

Headliners Night

(Separate Ticket Required)


Headliners Night will kick-off the festival on May 3rd to celebrate and support great public media and journalism in the Pacific Northwest. A fundraiser for KCTS 9 and Crosscut, this event honors newsmakers who take us beyond the headlines and celebrates the creativity of our community. Look for some familiar faces from PBS and beyond including Judy Woodruff, Rick Steves and local band Ladies! The evening will include cocktails and a retro TV dinner by the innovative team at Seattle's Canlis Restaurant (restricted delivery area, click here for a map of delivery locations).

Click here to purchase tickets!

Judy Woodruff
Judy
Woodruff
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Rick Steves
Rick
Steves

 

 

 

Tuesday, May 4

 

11:00 AM

 

SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT
 

Track sponsor

UBS

 

 

The Great Climate Migration

 

Wildfires in the West. Hurricanes in the East. Droughts and floods throughout the nation. Life has become increasingly untenable for tens of millions of Americans. Other nations face a similar existential threat: From rural Guatemalans to subsistence farmers in Kenya, drought and scorching heat are destroying their way of life. Without money to address the problem, migration is often simply a question of survival. But where will everyone go?

Sonia Shah
Sonia
Shah
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Abrahm Lustgarten
Abrahm Lustgarten
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Ted Alvarez
Ted
Alvarez

 

12:00 PM

SPONSORED SESSION 
BECU

 

Grassroots Inspired Philanthropy 

 

BECU’s senior vice president of Social Impact, Solynn McCurdy, will speak with Black Future Co-Op Fund co-founders T'wina Nobles and Michelle Merriweather. Their discussion will center on the impactful approach of grassroots-inspired philanthropy and how it is building equitable change in communities across the region.

This event co-curated with our Keynote Track Sponsor BECU. 

T'wina Nobles
T'wina
Nobles
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Michelle Merriweather
Michelle
Merriweather

3:00 PM

 

ARTS & CULTURE

 

 

Session sponsor

amazon

 

This Is Just Intermission

 

When the COVID shutdowns came, the arts and music industries were among the first to turn off their lights and will likely be the last to come back. The story of the struggle has been told, notably in a survey conducted by Crosscut’s Arts and Culture desk; but we’ll look ahead with leaders from the creative community - a community that is forever changed but determined to return. 

Vivian Hua 華婷婷
Vivian Hua
華婷婷
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Erin Johnson
Erin
Johnson
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Tim Lennon
Tim
Lennon
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Margo Vansynghel
Margo
Vansynghel

4:00 PM

 

POLITICS

Track sponsor

comcast

How the South Won the Civil War

 

In her new book, How the South Won the Civil War, Heather Cox Richardson argues that although the North prevailed in the Civil War, ending slavery and giving the country a "new birth of freedom,"  democracy’s blood-soaked victory was ephemeral. The system that sustained the defeated South continued after the war, and inequality and subordination were woven into the nation's fabric and identity.

Heather Cox Richardson
Heather Cox
Richardson
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Knute Berger
Knute
Berger

 

5:00 PM

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE
 

Track Sponsor

Waldron

The Purpose of Power

 

When Alicia Garza wrote a “Love Letter to Black Folks” on Facebook, she launched the now-famous hashtag #blacklivesmatter. But she wants us to understand that a hashtag is not a movement. Organizing for change comes from the grassroots, and is the key to a better, more equitable future. Garza will be joined by Erinn Haines, founder and Editor at Large for The 19th News, a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom covering the intersection of women, politics and policy. An award-winning political journalist and MSNBC contributor, Haines focuses on issues of race, gender and politics.

Alicia Garza
Alicia
Garza
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Errin Haines
Errin
Haines

6:00 PM

 

TECH & ECONOMY

 

Track Sponsor

comcast

 

Session Sponsor

Metis Construction

Bidenomics vs. Reaganomics 

 

If it wasn’t already obvious with the Great Recession, the COVID pandemic exposed the fragility of the U.S. economic system – and was perhaps the final nail in the coffin for President Reagan’s trickle-down economics. Now, President Biden appears to be leaning into a Keynesian spending spree to dig us out of the COVID hole, and attempting to rebalance the playing field. Will it work?

Robert Reich
Robert
Reich
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Paul Constant
Paul
Constant

 

 

 

Wednesday, May 5

 

11:00 AM

 

ARTS & CULTURE

 

Session sponsor

amazon

Art in a Year of Unrest 



They say art imitates life. We’ll have a conversation with local artists whose work has been affected and inspired by the tumult of 2020, reflecting back to us the story and the journey we’ve all been on, alone together.

Teddy Phillips
Teddy
Phillips
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Steven Miller
Steven
Miller
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Monyee Chau
Monyee
Chau
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Brangien Davis
Brangien
Davis

3:00 PM

 

TECH & ECONOMY

 

Track sponsor

comcast

Big Social in the Age of Disinformation

 

False information has become a feature – not a bug – of social media, spreading faster and wider than the truth, and keeping us tethered to our devices for longer. The implications are vast, from tilting elections to drawing sharper lines between us. Right now the control rests exclusively within the hands of a very few, powerful companies. Can anything be done to change it?

Andrew Marantz
Andrew
Marantz
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Jillian York
Jillian
York
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Cecilia Kang
Cecilia
Kang

4:00 PM

 

POLITICS

 

Session Sponsor

trace

America's Gun Violence Problem

 

President Trump may have amplified our divisions, culminating in a siege of the U.S. Capitol building, but America’s anger and violence preceded his presidency. From massacres at schools, movie theaters and dance clubs to recent mass shootings and violence against Asian-Americans, we no longer feel safe. Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, whose state was anguished by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, examines our violent history and obsession with firearms as he dissects the root of our national epidemic.

Chris Murphy
Sen. Chris
Murphy
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Alain Stephens
Alain
Stephens

5:00 PM

 

KEYNOTE

 

Track Sponsor

BECU

 

Session sponsor

alaska

400 Years of Black History

 

In their new curated anthology Four Hundred Souls, editors Ibram X. Kendi (author of the bestseller How To Be an Antiracist) and fellow historian Keisha N. Blain aim to change our notion of how history is written. Their book charts the tragic and triumphant 400-year history of the Black American experience. Contributors include some of the best-known scholars, writers, historians, journalists, lawyers, poets and activists of contemporary America, who together bring to vivid life countless facets of slavery and resistance, segregation and survival, migration and self-discovery, cultural oppression and world-changing artistic, literary and musical creativity. Dozens of extraordinary lives and personalities – as well as the ghosts of millions more – have been rescued from the archives and restored to their rightful place in America’s narrative by Kendi and Blain through their incredible work.

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
Dr. Ibram X.
Kendi
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Dr. Keisha Blain
Dr. Keisha
Blain
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Soledad O'Brien
Soledad
O'Brien

6:00 PM

 

KEYNOTE

 

Track Sponsor

BECU

 

Session Sponsor

Bloedel Reserve

Foreign Travel in a Post-Pandemic World


Someday, when the vaccine rollout is complete and the pandemic is brought under control, we may set out again to travel the world. A lot will have changed since we last went abroad. Cultures, countries and economies have been ravaged. America’s role in the world is different than it once was. What will travel look like in a post-Covid world? No one is better equipped to prepare us than European travel guru, Rick Steves. 

Rick Steves
Rick
Steves
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Enrique Cerna
Enrique
Cerna

 

Thursday, May 6

 

11:00 AM

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE
 

Track Sponsor

Waldron

 

Session Sponsor:
alaska

Hard Truths

(Live Podcast Taping)



Advancing racial equity and combating racism requires us to look inside ourselves at our own complicity. Robin DiAngelo authored the book White Fragility, which proposes ways white people must engage with this issue. The book has been praised by many and challenged by some. In a live taping of Slate’s A-Word podcast, with host and CNN commentator Jason Johnson, DiAngelo will discuss her theory on the complicated role that non-white people should play in this work.

Dr. Robin DiAngelo
Dr. Robin
DiAngelo
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Dr. Jason Johnson
Dr. Jason
Johnson

 

12:00 PM

SPONSORED SESSION
comcast

The Digital Divide for BIPOC Small Businesses 

 

COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on nearly every aspect of our daily lives. As restrictions have required businesses to shift to greater reliance on online sales, the digital divide has become more and more apparent for BIPOC small and medium-size businesses. Join us for a conversation about how we can work together to advance digital equity.

This event co-curated with our Tech & the Economy Sponsor Comcast NBCUniversal. 

Diem Ly
Diem
Ly
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Pamela Banks
Pamela
Banks

3:00 PM

 

POLITICS

Republican Reckoning

 

The Trump presidency upended the Republican Party so completely that they didn’t even present a platform at their convention. It was officially just the party unto a man – and then he lost. So where does this leave the Republicans now? A quiet civil war is underway to resolve this issue. We’ll check in with two conservative columnists with inside-the-beltway access, who explain the many ways this could go.

Ross Douthat
Ross
Douthat
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Henry Olsen
Henry
Olsen
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Monica Guzman
Monica
Guzman

4:00 PM

 

POLITICS

 

Session Sponsor

Mike & Becky Hughes

 

Fixing Democracy: The Fillibuster, Statehood, Supreme Court, Voting Rights and the Electoral College

 

Many on the left, and some on the right, argue that America’s governance is broken. Tensions run high when discussing the Senate and the filibuster. Voting restrictions, the Electoral College, and the lack of statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico frustrates and disenfranchises millions. The Supreme Court has become the default arbiter for too many big issues, and it teeters on the brink of partisanship, as well. Let’s talk about how to fix it all.

Adam Jentleson
Adam
Jentleson
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Elie Mystal
Elie
Mystal
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Dahlia Lithwick
Dahlia
Lithwick

5:00 PM

 

 

SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT

 

Track sponsor

UBS

How to Get Red America to Go Green

 

Democratic Senator Jon Tester keeps winning in red Montana. When he's not in Washington he works full time on his farm. If Democrats want to pass an ambitious infrastructure bill paired with environmental priorities, they'll need to sway skeptics it will renew rural America. Sen.Tester explains how he's been able to win across partisan lines, and the lessons his party can learn from his success.

Jon Tester
Sen. Jon
Tester
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Mark Baumgarten
Mark
Baumgarten

6:00 PM

 

KEYNOTE 

 

Track Sponsor

BECU

 

Session Sponsor

Mike & Becky Hughes

The End of American Exceptionalism



America is faced with a myriad of profound crises: recovering from an uneven and often embarrassing response to the global pandemic; disorder with our traditional foreign allies; economic and political disarray at home; climate emergencies; unending wars in the Middle East; the emergence of China as a true superpower that has invested and become indispensable to nations around the world; and unrelenting cyber-attacks and hacks penetrating deep into our government’s most classified systems. All this has shaken our place as the exceptional nation. Robert Gates, Former Secretary of Defense for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, has a unique perspective and strong opinions on how to navigate this tough terrain with more than just military might.

Robert M. Gates
Robert M.
Gates
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Mary Kay Magistad
Mary Kay
Magistad

 

Friday, May 7 

 

9:00 AM

 

ARTS & CULTURE

Washington State of the Pandemic 

 

It’s been a long year for Washingtonians. From the devastating impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic to the murder of George Floyd and ensuing protest movements, our lives have been turned upside down. The latest Crosscut Elway Poll surveys our state to find out how we’re doing a year later, and what we expect to come next.

Stuart Elway
Stuart
Elway
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Donna Blankinship
Donna
Blankinship
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Mark Baumgarten
Mark
Baumgarten

11:00 AM

 

SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT

 

Track sponsor

UBS

A Matter of Degrees - Tracking the Biden Administration on Climate Change

(Live Podcast Taping)

The new administration has promised to take bold action to combat climate change and shift to a greener economy. This will require pulling many levers to sway the public, as well as pushing the private sector. By appointing former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State John Kerry to a new cabinet post as Presidential Envoy for Climate, and making history appointing Deb Halaand as Secretary of the Interior, President Biden has signaled an apparent seriousness with which his administration will approach this issue. After the first 100 days, we’ll evaluate how far they’ve come and where they appear to be going.

Julian Brave NoiseCat
Julian Brave
NoiseCat
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Leah Stokes
Leah
Stokes
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Dr. Katharine Wilkinson
Dr. Katharine
Wilkinson

 

12:00 PM

SPONSORED SESSION

UBS

 

Sustainable Investing: Make Money While Making a Difference

 

Why sustainable investing is a great option for people who want to make sure they’re doing the right thing with their money management.

This event co-curated with our Science & Environment Sponsor UBS.

John S. Adams
John S.
Adams

3:00 PM

 

TECH & ECONOMY

 

Track Sponsor

comcast

 

Session Sponsors

 

Sea.citi

Future of Cities 

 

The pandemic has changed how we live –  and how we want to live. For some, this has meant leaving the city; others insist we must redefine urban living, practically and philosophically. Richard Florida, founder of CityLab and author of the recent book The New Urban Crisis, shares his thoughts on this pivotal moment for Seattle and other cities around the world.

Richard Florida
Richard
Florida
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Monica Nickelsburg
Monica
Nickelsburg

4:00 PM

 

TECH & ECONOMY

 

Track Sponsor

comcast

 

Session Sponsor

WITA

What Racism Costs Us All

 

From repeated financial meltdowns to expanding income inequity, the American economy keeps failing the American public. Heather McGhee proposes a common root problem: racism. But it doesn’t just impact people of color – racism has costs for white people, too, and it connects our most complex public problems. How did we get here? Can we find a way out?

Heather McGee
Heather
McGhee
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Michael Harriot
Michael
Harriot

5:00 PM

 

SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT

 

Track sponsor

UBS

 

Animals & Us

 

Our relationship to animals – whether it’s the inefficiency of meat-eating for a population of billions or conservation efforts for at-risk species – has arguably never been so vital as we consider how to adjust to, and mitigate, climate change. And then there are the questions of morality. Peter Singer, best known for his book Animal Liberation, is joined by Michelle Nijhuis, author of a new book on the history of the conservation movement, Beloved Beasts, for a conversation about sustainability and empathy for animals.

Peter Singer
Peter
Singer
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Michelle Nijhuis
Michelle
Nijhuis
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Hannah Weinberger
Hannah
Weinberger

6:00 PM

 

KEYNOTE

 

Track Sponsor

BECU

 

Session Sponsor

murrow

Madam Speaker

 

At the helm of Congressional leadership, and having served in Congress since 1987, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has had a front-row seat for many of the most profound and impactful moments in our government’s history. Often she has been center stage. The last year included some of the most challenging and unprecedented moments of them all. Pelosi sits down with Judy Woodruff, who has anchored PBS Newshour’s coverage of most of these stories, for a conversation about this era of upheaval, Pelosi’s partnership with the Biden administration, and what Congress plans to do to tackle our many urgent issues.

Nancy Pelosi
Nancy
Pelosi
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Judy Woodruff
Judy
Woodruff

 

Saturday, May 8 

 

10:00 AM

 

ARTS & CULTURE

 

 

Worshipping Trump

 

White evangelicals face an identity crisis after the Donald Trump presidency. Some would say they made a deal with the devil, undermining any moral high ground for raw power. But not all Evangelicals are Trump die-hards, and there are important conversations led by these voices inside the church that are more vital than ever.

Kirsten Powers
Kirsten
Powers
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Kristin Kobes Du Mez
Kristin Kobes
Du Mez
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Rev. Rob Schenk
Rev. Rob
Schenk
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Rev. Lenny Duncan
Rev. Lenny
Duncan

11:00 AM

 

KEYNOTE

 

Track Sponsor

BECU

A Reason for Hope



In July 1960, at the age of 26, Jane Goodall traveled to what is now Tanzania and ventured into the little-known world of wild chimpanzees. Her work transformed our understanding of chimpanzees and redefined the relationship between humans and animals in ways that continue to resonate around the world. Over the past 60 years, Dr. Goodall has not only shown us the urgent need to protect chimpanzees from extinction; she has also redefined species conservation to include the needs of local people and the environment. Now, with climate change threatening ways of life around the globe, she remains determined and even hopeful. She will be joined in conversation with Bill Nye (the Science Guy), one of the world’s foremost advocates for a deeper understanding about our relationship to science and the natural world.

Jane Goodall
Dr. Jane
Goodall
spacer
Bill Nye
Bill
Nye

12:00 PM

 

ARTS & CULTURE

 

Session Sponsor

nw harvest

Your Last Meal

(Live Podcast Taping)

 

On this podcast – which has been nominated for a James Beard Award – Rachel Belle asks her celebrity guests what they would choose to eat for their last meal. But that’s just the beginning! An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning reporter, Belle digs into the history, science and culture of each dish with culinary anthropologists, fishmongers, cooks, astronauts – anyone who can help uncover the mysteries behind the foods we eat every day.

Rachel Belle
Rachel
Belle

 

Thank you to all our Crosscut Festival sponsors

 

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