Poetry, Music, and Cinematography Weave a Fresh Ode to Seattlein New Destination Video

Directed by Emmy-nominated filmmaker Matty Brown and featuring an original poem by award-winning poet Quenton Baker, new film encapsulates Seattle’s unique identity

Visit Seattle, the non-profit destination marketing organization (DMO) serving Seattle and King County, has unveiled its new destination video. The project, directed by Film Independent Spirit Award winner Matty Brown, and featuring original poetry by Seattle-based poet, educator, and Cave Canem fellow Quenton Baker, highlights the city’s strong connection to nature, vibrant culture, culinary experiences, and rich historical ties.

The three-and-a-half-minute video will be utilized on various digital platforms, serving as a gateway to entice potential travelers to learn more about Seattle’s offerings as a destination. It will serve as a pillar of Visit Seattle’s marketing, shared widely across multiple audiences. It will also be used to attract meetings & conventions business.

Visit Seattle’s aim was to showcase the rich tapestry of Seattle’s culture that both excites visitors and evokes pride in Seattleites. That vision was brought to life with the incredible talents of both director Matty Brown and poet Quenton Baker. Brown was the first winner of the Visit Seattle and Film Independent’s Seattle Story Award—a recognition that brought his name and work to more than 75 million potential viewers when the Independent Spirit Awards aired on the IFC network.

“Seattle has always been home for me,” Brown said. “Even on my travels around the world, I yearn to return to it. No other metropolitan city has really captured the sense of wonder and nature the way Seattle does. Its culturally rich background and modern edge give it such a grand mix of life. I wanted to give us a flurried glimpse through the unique personality of the city, sort of a roller coaster through the heart of it all. There were too many locations and activities to capture – we couldn’t add everything – but it definitely gives you a full range of what Seattle has to offer.”

The video narration comes from Baker, who took inspiration from Seattle’s multi-faceted charm to create an artistic ode to the city with their inspiring lyrics. The poem also pays homage to the musical phenomenon of Washington state, specifically referencing Nirvana’s renowned 1991 track, “Come As You Are.”

“When I set out to write this poem, it was natural for me to think of the city as a collection of texts. Of the intertwined, intertextual nature of the disparate communities of people, wildlife, environments, etc. that make Seattle what it is,” said Baker. “A city is a complicated thing. It raises you, it scars you, it shapes you, it gives you context, it constricts, limits you. Parts of it die and fade; it changes and surprises. Sometimes it disappoints. All of this lives in me, someone who was born here and has lived here my whole life. The opportunity to write this poem, then, means quite a bit. To attend to all of that complexity, all that it’s given to me, everything that’s been lost, I carry it with me. It sings and wails inside me at different registers. The chance to sing back is a gift.”

Some of the local landmarks featured in the film include rooftop restaurant MBar, Capitol Hill’s rainbow-lined streets, Wing Luke Museum, bookstore Twice Sold Tales, Kerry Park, music venue The Crocodile, Pike Place Market, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Alki Beach, the Fremont Troll, Seattle Aquarium, and many more beloved favorites that reflect the dynamic spread of attractions, visitors, and locals.

“Seattle is a welcoming place for individuals of all demographics, ages, abilities, and identities,” states Tammy Canavan, President & CEO of Visit Seattle. “Inclusion of this diversity and sense of acceptance was crucial for this project, as it highlights one of the aspects of the destination that make us uniquely Seattle. Quenton Baker’s words perfectly articulate all the things, tangible and intangible, that make Seattle an incredibly special place.”

The film was produced by Visit Seattle in collaboration with the local Seattle creative agency PB&, and premiered on Friday, Feb. 9 at the Here After at The Crocodile in Seattle. The private screening included a panel discussion featuring special guests Matty Brown and Quenton Baker.