Washington: Seattle Hempfest Organizers, Artist/Activist Shyan Selah Look To The Future
By Hip Hop Press
This August marks the 18th annual Seattle Hempfest, arguably the largest hemp festival in the world. This year's Hempfest theme: "A Hempen Future," will put a focus on the year 2020 and the possibility of the legalization of cannabis in all forms, radically impacting our future environment, economy, food and fuel resources. In honor of looking ahead to the future, the event's organizers have chosen progressive urban artist, Shyan Selah, to headline the opening night (7pm - August 15th) of this "protestival."
Seattle's Hempfest has grown over the years from a small group of activists fighting for the decriminalization of cannabis to hundreds of thousands attendees, volunteers and experts speaking on everything from civil rights to what the hemp plant can do for health, the economy, and the environment.
Hoping to educate the public about how hemp can benefit people beyond recreational use, organizer Vivian McPeak, has made an effort to include everyone from former Seattle Police Chief, Norm Stamper, to travel expert Rick Steves as speakers in years past. In continuing his efforts to include diverse messengers from varied backgrounds in Hempfest, this year he's chosen international artist and activist, Shyan Selah, to headline the opening night.
McPeak first encountered Selah during last year's Hempfest, where Selah was invited to open for the 2008 headliners, Bone Thugs in Harmony (Mo Thugs).
"We've worked with Shyan in the past and his passion, his message and his community involvement is what Hempfest is about," says McPeak. "So we wanted to give him a full performance this year."
Not only an artist, Selah is the President/CEO of Brave New World, Inc. (BNW), an entertainment business that focuses on philanthropy and community outreach. Selah says it was the 2008 Hempfest's theme on Industrial Hemp that first piqued his interest in getting further involved with the event.
"What I love and respect most about Hempfest is its intentions towards spreading the message of civil rights and peace," says Selah. "It's in times like these that a natural product like hemp can be a major solution to so many problems from world hunger to fuel. I'm shocked at the thousands upon thousands of uses of this natural substance. It's an honor to perform main stage Saturday night. As an artist and activist these are the moments you work hard for – delivering good music to so many good people - and to do it in my hometown, it doesn't get better than that."
Brave New World, which considers itself at the forefront of the going green movement, has transcended "normal" entertainment industry projects in an effort to promote healthy and sustainable lifestyles. Recently the company has partnered with radio host and Hip Hop activist Keith Tucker for Tuckers' "Pursuit of a Green Planet (POAGP)" documentary film project targeting urban communities and Selah is producing a "Green" version of his freshman album Brave New World that will serve to educate the youth about living healthier.
More about Hempfest
Established in 1991 at Volunteer Park as the "Washington Hemp Expo," Hempfest has evolved into an annual all-volunteer event at a grass-root level. Initially attracting 500 local Seattle activists and supporters, Hempfest has grown to an estimated 150,000 plus attendees annually. This event advocates freedom for adults to make responsible and informed choices about using marijuana wisely and beneficially for its medical, industrial, and economic use-- without violating the law. Human rights and equality are also among Seattle's hemp/marijuana reform movement.
Hempfest organizers maintain that growing Cannabis can be very beneficial to the economy and friendly to the environment in terms of sustainability. Cannabis contains a significant amount of fiber that can be used to make clothes, rope, paper, building blocks, etc. Studies have shown that after two harvesting cycles the plant is no longer able to be used for recreational purposes, which some say will ultimately relieve the tensions on the drug debate.
This year's festival will look ahead to the 2020 Seattle Hempfest which features a wide display of examples of how cannabis and hemp have revitalized America's economy, helped to alleviate world hunger, assisted in combating soil erosion, helped aid America's farmers, provided biomass, and replaced many opiate-based pain narcotics. In the future, Cannabis/Hemp is routinely used as fuel, and is found in construction, medicine, nutrition, mercantile, manufacturing, cosmetics, and environmental restoration and preservation. This versatile fiber has penetrated most commercial industries in one way or another and has touched the lives of millions of Americans. Hemp has even assisted in fighting climate change. For more information on Seattle Hempfest please visit http://hempfest.org.
Media Contact: Candice Richardson – V.P. of Media Relations
Brave New World, Inc
press at planetbrave.com