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Justin Hartinger and Michael Bell Discuss New Club Night, “Hear/Say” at Q (Exclusive Interview)

“It’s Not Just About The Music, But Creating Opportunities And A Sense Of Community”

Justin Hartinger

Justin Hartinger has long been a fixture in the Seattle scene.

Being a musician, artist, and overall creative can be hard. Opportunities don’t always present themselves when they are deserved, and getting recognition for a particular talent can be even more elusive.

Hear/Say bridges the gap between recognizing talent that already exists, while creating opportunities for others to find their talents and really hone them in. Michael used to dabble in music production, and he still considers himself an artist. Not in the sense of creating music or visual art, but in creating a club night where art can thrive; there’s beauty in creation whether it’s on stage or off. Hear/Say is about the community as well.

“Without the community and those around Seattle supporting us we wouldn’t be able to push this idea and platform out the city and beyond. Community means everything both to us and to H/S success. Everyone had to start somewhere, whether that’s with us for this venture or not, it’s quite a blessing to be able to be a teacher in a sense and embrace an individual who wants to give back and join the venture. Quite crazy every time I take a step back and look at the position J & I are in, it’s definitely the stuff dreams are made of”

This community was built on the dreams and support from others, and Hear/Say is no different. It’s a thriving community of talented individuals who all acknowledge that what they are doing is important; it matters. With support from other clubs and individuals around the city who attend these events, Hear/Say will only grow and become a welcoming space for veterans and emerging artists alike.

“With Beauty Comes Darkness”

No matter what we create, what dreams we have, or what goals we want to accomplish, there will always be negative aspects to the beauty of creation. It would be nice if we could have beauty without darkness, but we wouldn’t be able to appreciate those amazing moments of perfection otherwise.

Justin and Michael are devoted to ensuring that Hear/Say is a safe and welcoming environment for everyone, full of inclusion, acceptance, and diversity. This will be a place where creativity can really thrive without it being stifled by sexual assault, discrimination, harassment, and inequality; all we can do is constantly work to mitigate the negativity every single day.

“A comfortable party environment is just as important as the party and music itself. Q has always had a commitment to be a safe venue for all, but there is a stigma that comes from the expected Friday night that can be very negative. Our brand ambassadors, DJs, supporters, people on the dance floor consist of the most respectful, gay, feminine, understanding, helpful, and loving people. Keeping those people throughout our house keeps the doors open to a safer, more welcoming place for party goers.”

Q’s dedication to this issue has taken on its own identity, and their commitment to safety can be seen on a projection cast on the wall of the club every single night. It’s never removed, standing as a beacon of hope that people can trust the space they are in, the people they are with, and the experiences they are having.

Michael and Justin plan on making this projection even larger and would like people to take pictures of the message to post on social media so the word can spread further than just inside of Q. It’s a message we all need to be reminded of sometimes: that inclusion and acceptance are important not just to people’s safety, but to the community as well.

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