Antioch University Seattle undergraduate program core faculty member B.J. Bullert is passionate about the iconic Space Needle’s lesser-known history– so passionate that she decided to make not one, but two documentary films about it.
Space Needle: A Hidden History is an 18-minute documentary about the inspiration architect Victor Steinbrueck drew from a beautiful wooden sculpture of a dancer called “The Feminine One” by David Lemon. The film also explores the possibility of a creative link between African American dancer Syvilla Fort and the Space Needle.
In conjunction with a library exhibit on the Space Needle, the Seattle Public Library is hosting a series of events, including a screening of Bullert’s documentary, which will be held on Oct. 22, from 7 to 8 pm, followed by a panel discussion with Bullert, Peter Steinbrueck, and architect Alan Maskin. Bullert will also join a panel discussion alongside Space Needle historian Knute Berger on Oct. 15. The library will also screen Bullert’s 2002 film Space Needle at 40 the same evening. In this film, Bullert imagined the Space Needle as a woman turning 40.
The Library recently released a press release about the screening and the exhibit, which features Space Needle artifacts and memorabilia, including a display case related to Bullert’s film. The press release offers more detail on Space Needle: A Hidden History and commentary from Bullert.
“My goal is to spark conversation about our rich cultural history, including the stories of women left out of traditional narratives,” Bullert says in the release.
Read the press release for more insights from Bullert, as well as detailed information on the exhibit, screening events, and discussion panels.
Read a related story on how Bullert’s film was 20 years in the making and what inspired her to make both Space Needle documentary films.