HAPPENING NOW: Pop-up art show/sale in The Triangle

August 2, 2015 at 11:36 am | In Triangle, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | No Comments

Thanks to Sheila Lengle for the photo – she’s one of several local artists having a pop-up art show/sale right now at the southeast corner of Fauntleroy/Alaska (Les Schwab lot) in The Triangle. They’ll be there until 4 pm. (Datapoint: Sheila and Gretchen Flickinger, another of the participating artists – who also just messaged us about the sale – are both past winners of the West Seattle Garden Tour poster contest!)

West Seattle Saturday: Ballot vans, Blue Angels, beach naturalists, Kite Festival, WS Outdoor Movies, music, dance, more…

August 1, 2015 at 8:14 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | No Comments

(Great Blue Heron and friend at White Center Bog – photographed last weekend by Gill; click image for larger view)

Welcome to August! Here are the West Seattle highlights for today/tonight, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

VOTE! If you mail your ballot, it needs a stamp. If you drop it off at a King County ballot van, it doesn’t – today, 10 am-5 pm, you’ll find the vans on the West Seattle Stadium driveway and outside the Greenbridge Libraryaddresses/maps here, as well as Monday/Tuesday hours. Remember, this is your historic first-ever chance to vote in the Seattle City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) race; if you’re still deciding among the nine candidates, see our “Last Look” series of reports (including video conversations), one for each candidate:
Arturo Robles
Brianna Thomas
Chas Redmond
Jody Rushmer
Karl Wirsing
Lisa Herbold
Pavel Goberman
Phillip Tavel
Shannon Braddock

The top two vote-getters will advance to the November 3rd general election.

BACK-TO-SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE: Starts today, at the Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) and Fauntleroy UCC. If you’re shopping, pick up something extra and drop it off for the drive! Details in our calendar listing. (9140 California SW)

HELP LONGFELLOW CREEK AND ITS FOREST: 10 am-2 pm today, work party with EarthCorps – go here to find out where to go and what to bring.

LOW-LOW TIDE, WITH BEACH NATURALISTS: Low-low tide is out to -2.1 feet at 12:09 pm; Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists are out to answer questions at Constellation and Lincoln Parks, 10:45 am-1:45 pm.

BENEFIT BARBECUE: Another West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) benefit barbecue lunch – all proceeds this time go to the Humane Society of Seattle-King County. Get your burgers outside the store starting at 11 am. (California/Fauntleroy/Morgan)

BLUE ANGELS TODAY, WITH BRIDGE CLOSURE: First of two “official” days for the Seafair airshow over Lake Washington, with most if not all of its participants taking off from Boeing Field, including the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, who go up around 1:30 pm. The I-90 bridge across the lake will be closed 11:50 am-2:40 pm. Full Seafair info (including fleet tours) here.

NO ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE TOURS THIS WEEKEND: The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is busy with Seafair duties – but check back next weekend!

KITE FESTIVAL: Go fly a kite – or more than one! – at the Seattle Chinese Garden, on the north end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus on Puget Ridge, this afternoon/evening, 2-6 pm. Here’s our preview from earlier this week. (6000 16th SW)

WEST SEATTLE OUTDOOR MOVIES: You know that by the time evening arrives on a hot summer day, it’s cooler outside a non-air-conditioned apartment/house than inside. One of the most fun places to be outside tonight: The courtyard by Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor), home to West Seattle Outdoor Movies, showing “Raising Arizona” (1987). Movie’s free – bring $ for charity-benefiting concessions and raffle if you can. Gates open 6:30 pm; movie’s at dusk, probably not long after 9 this time around. (4410 California SW)

SALSA ON ALKI: Lessons at 5:30 pm, dancing at 6:30 pm, continues until 10 pm. To see what it’s like, check out this video shared (and produced) by Raphael:

For cover-charge info and other details, see this Facebook event page.

LIVE MUSIC &/OR DANCE TONIGHT: Shows tonight at C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor), at Kenyon Hall, and at Feedback Lounge (click each link to see the calendar listing).


‘Think big’: Artwork ahead for Junction Plaza Park. Want to create it?

July 31, 2015 at 4:31 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks, WS culture/arts | 6 Comments

“Think big”! That’s the invitation for artists who are interested in creating something to enhance Junction Plaza Park in the heart of the West Seattle Junction. From the Junction Association, which is heading this up with partners:

Request for Artists

(Photo by Laurel Mercury)
Project: Public Art Installation
Where: Junction Plaza Park (NW Corner of SW Alaska St & 42 Ave SW)
Deadline for submission: August 17, 2015

The West Seattle Junction Association, Junction Neighborhood Organization (J u N O), and Seattle Parks Department are seeking an artist for an exciting opportunity in Junction Plaza Park. While Junction Plaza Park’s dedication was in 2010, funding for this major art installation has only recently come to fruition.

Junction Plaza Park in located in the West Seattle Junction business district which is also the heart of the neighborhood both literally and figuratively. This pocket park acts as a respite for neighbors, is a welcome burst of green amongst much development, a gathering place for events and programming, and is highly visible from the busy vehicle and transit corridor. We are seeking a significant art installation that will have a positive impact for not only park users, but also enhance the broader area.

Art Location and Intent
It is imperative that all applicants visit the park and evaluate the site. The location of the art will be in the area of the large blank wall at the central north side of the park (see right). The intent is to have a very large, prominent, and impactful piece that has a large presence in the park and beyond. Please think big! The installation with be anchored in the ground.

The total, all inclusive budget for the art is $25,000. This includes all material costs, tax, and any other expenses.

How to Apply
Please submit a response with qualifications by August 17, 2015 including:
· A selection of your past work that you feel is most applicable to this project. Include 5- 10 examples.
· Written letter of intent which includes what direction you’d like to take this project and general size of proposed piece. Consider including a sketch to illustrate how you’d use the space.
· Email: Susan@wsjunction.org – not to exceed 5MB and preferable in one PDF, or
· Mail: WSJA, Attn Junction Plaza Park, 4210 SW Oregon St., Seattle, WA 98116

· Submissions due: August 17, 2015
· Finalist selected: Sept 15, 2015
· Art installation: Nov 2015 – Jan 2016

Please contact Susan Melrose, Executive Director, 206-935-0904, susan@wsjunction.org

VIDEO: Naomi Wachira @ Summer Concerts at Hiawatha

July 30, 2015 at 6:34 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

6:34 PM: If you’re not already on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center, what are you waiting for? Singer/songwriter Naomi Wachira is onstage, the audience is in the shade (but within view of the golden evening sun) …

… it’s the place to be, for the second of six consecutive (free!) Thursday-night Summer Concerts at Hiawatha.

8:27 PM: Concert’s over – we were lucky enough to be able to stay for the whole show, and it was excellent. Added a short Instagram clip; longer video, and photos, to come, now that we’re back at HQ.

ADDED: Above, some of the young concertgoers who danced to just about every song – Wachira joked early on that it was great to see them doing that even during the songs with her more-intense lyrics; toward the end, she implored everyone to get up and move around, and they did. Here’s a full song on video:

Among the concertgoers, Katy Walum (center), the concert series’ founder and a past ANA president, enjoying picnic dinner with husband Erik Walum and friend Mary Kay:

(If you don’t want to fix your own picnic, concert-series sponsor and WSB sponsor Metropolitan Market is just a couple blocks away.) Next Thursday night, Star Anna returns to the series, which is presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association, with co-sponsors including WSB. See the full season slate here.

‘Something more to contribute’: Award-winning music leader Marcus Pimpleton announces he’s leaving Denny and Sealth

July 29, 2015 at 10:08 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 13 Comments

Our area’s most-renowned music educator has announced he’s leaving for a new career direction, in another school district. Multiple award winner Marcus Pimpleton has told the Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School communities about his departure; he’s staying with the summertime Seattle Public Schools-wide All-City Band program, but otherwise, he is moving into a school-administration role in the Bellevue district. With permission, we share his e-mail announcement in its entirety:

To my Denny and Chief Sealth Family,

It is with mixed emotions that I formally share the news that I will be leaving the Denny and Sealth community this fall to accept the position of Assistant Principal at Interlake High School in the Bellevue School District. I have had the privilege of working with the band students of Denny and Sealth for over 13 years now and it has been a source of great joy and the highlight of my life thus far. It is a tremendous understatement for me to say that this was a difficult process.

Denny and Sealth will forever hold a special place in my heart, both from my time as a student and as an educator. My time at Denny and Sealth has been full of amazing memories and milestones I shall not soon forget. I have been blessed to be a part of thousands of students making their way through the transformational power and discipline music. From the Denny Dolphin Marching Band’s first parade as the only middle school marching band in Seattle Public Schools, to the numerous middle and high school trips to places like New Orleans, New York, Washington D.C., Honolulu and Anaheim, it has been a tremendous ride. There have been amazing partnerships with local artists and community organizations as well as some pretty phenomenal concerts including the Music Night Out, Soul Jambalaya, and Band Jam. Together we have coordinated over 300 student musical performances in school and community events locally, regionally, and nationally – concrete opportunities for students to apply and demonstrate their learning in real and meaningful ways as opposed to a standardized test. It has been a tremendous blessing for me to have had this opportunity to live, learn, and serve in my community, and I pray for your continued musical success in the years ahead.

Over this past school year I have done a great deal of reflecting on the past and thinking about the future through the University of Washington’s Danforth Educational Leadership program and while I love engaging students in music making activities, I have come to believe that I have something more to contribute to the profession in developing the capacity of adults and of school systems for the improvement of the learning experience provided to our students most in need. The opportunity to learn and serve in a highly successful, highly diverse setting as a part of a strong and experienced leadership team like the one at Interlake High School is really the best thing for my career, professional learning, and goals. This new role will provide me with the next step and prepare me for more effective instructional leadership at home or in another high needs community down the road. I hope that through my example, my students will see learning as a lifelong pursuit and find the fortitude to pursue their calling and take the necessary risks in order to grow.

To my students, I want you to know that of the many aspects of this job that I will miss, the most difficult part will be leaving all of you. It has been fun watching you all as you came in, many times as tiny fourth graders to one of our spring break or summer music camps, and to watch your growth as musicians and leaders as you approached your departure for college. While I would have loved nothing more than to continue working with all of you, I believe that every student, in every school deserves access to rich and engaging teachers and curriculum and that it takes high quality school leaders to ensure that happens. I want to learn what it takes to be the type of leader that can help to ensure that all students have access to the high level instruction and experiences that put them on the path for successes in school, college, and life. This is a necessary step for me to do that. I will miss working with you all during the school year, but am excited to share that I have been invited to continue as the Director and Program Administrator for the Seattle All-City Marching Band. Next year we will be celebrating our 65th anniversary and it will be my 25th year as a part of that program. I would love to see many of you participating next summer.

Until we meet again,
Marcus J. Pimpleton

As mentioned in his announcement, Pimpleton himself is an alumnus of both Sealth and Denny. We will be following up with Denny and Sealth principals to ask about plans for who will be leading the programs he’s leaving. (Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand, taken during last Friday’s Band Jam at SWAC)

THURSDAY: Naomi Wachira @ Summer Concerts at Hiawatha

July 28, 2015 at 9:05 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

Singer/songwriter Naomi Wachira will serenade you on what promises to be a warm, clear Thursday night, second Summer Concerts at Hiawatha show of 2015. Above is her official video for “African Girl,” published in 2013, the year she was labeled “best folk singer in Seattle”; find more of her videos, including live-performance clips, here. Music starts at 6:30 pm and usually goes until about 8 on the east lawn of Hiawatha Community Center (Lander/Walnut) – bring a chair, blanket, family, friends, dinner, and be ready to relax. (WSB is proud to be a series co-sponsor again this year.)

HAPPENING NOW: Beauty @ the beach, for Alki Art Fair 2015

July 26, 2015 at 2:23 pm | In West Seattle beaches, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | No Comments

Colorful creativity lines the Alki Beach boardwalk until 6 pm today on this second and final day of this year’s Alki Art Fair.

Above, Salish Sea Designs‘ offerings include bells/chimes made from fire extinguishers recycled from the USS Kitty Hawk. The vendors include West Seattle locals you’ll recognize, like Fred Madrid:

Among Madrid Frame‘s specialties: Historic photos. Keep strolling west on the beach and you’ll find the busker stage:

Nolan Garrett was performing when we strolled the fair at mid-morning. You’ll also find music east of the Bathhouse; the schedule for both stages is here. Also close to the Bathhouse, don’t miss the Seal Sitters Marine Stranding Network‘s booth:

Volunteers John, Barbara, and Eilene were just part of the Seal Sitters contingent on hand as the festival’s day began. Take a close look in the booth to learn about seals and sea lions and their presence in the area, with pupping season just beginning. And ask them about signing up for the August 15th volunteer-training session!

Inside the Bathhouse itself – a silent auction. And right outside, food vendors including Lemongrass (Vietnamese food), ice cream, and fruit. The fair is on until 6 pm, with music scheduled until 8, so you have plenty of time to get there, and we do recommend the shuttle if you’re not already walking/biking/bus-riding – Alki parking already was full for blocks around when we visited in late morning.

P.S. Not an official part of the Art Fair, but, from the WSB Instagram feed, some creativity we spotted on the other side of the seawall:

VIDEO: Musicians on the march @ Band Jam 2015

July 24, 2015 at 7:13 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 4 Comments

7:13 PM: The Junior All-City Band (above) is on the field right now at Southwest Athletic Complex as an hour and a half of marching-band music gets under way @ Band Jam 2015.

All welcome – free! See the WSB Instagram feed for video clips as it continues.

9:13 PM: The jamboree is over – another high-energy show! – and the bands are off to get ready for their next gigs, including tomorrow night’s Seafair Torchlight Parade, the lineup for which features two of tonight’s featured bands, the All-City Band and Sumner Spartans Marching Band (below):

We’ve added a few of our Instagram clips, while downloading photos and video to publish/substitute in this story later.

11:44 PM: More photos! A drill team joined the lineup this year, the Washington Diamonds:

You might have seen their award-winning performance in the West Seattle Grand Parade a week ago. Tonight, they performed alone and with the All-City Band.

The ACB, of course, is the host of Band Jam, and the stars of the show, for their moves as well as their music:

The ACB program is directed by Marcus Pimpleton, who also has long led other programs including Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School across the street from tonight’s venue:

The other sizable band in the show, Sumner:

Bands don’t have to be big in size to have a big sound. The Rainbow City Marching Band strode onto the field and proved that:

As announced, and as described online, this Seattle-based band is part of a community-based program promoting LGBTA inclusivity.

Smaller still, but also spirited, the Ten Man Brass Band:

They’re also Seattle-based and describe their style as “riot jazz”:

And then, raucous as ever, comes the Chaotic Noise Marching Corps:

The self-described “renegade marching band” rocked the stadium again this year:

All the acts drew vigorous applause from spectators – cheers and whoops too. Band Jam dates back to 2009 as a Torchlight Parade-eve tuneup opportunity; it moved to Memorial Stadium downtown for a few years but came back here last year.

Alki Art Fair this weekend: Art, music, food, and a new shuttle route!

July 24, 2015 at 3:54 pm | In West Seattle festivals, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 3 Comments

(WSB photo from 2013 Alki Art Fair)
Another full weekend of summer fun ahead – with highlights including the Alki Art Fair, on the boardwalk tomorrow and Sunday. Along with artists/vendors under canopies, you’ll find live music on three stages, two by the Bathhouse and one on the boardwalk. The schedule is still being finalized, festival organizers tell us, but some acts/times are listed here. You can also visit Seal Sitters at the Alki Art Fair, and they tell us Spud is giving their group $1 of each chowder sale during the festival. Speaking of food, here’s what the festival says about its vendors:

Lemongrass Restaurant will be offering a variety of Asian food, David and Sons Kettle Corn – Pop! will be offering Kettle Corn, mini donuts and slushies, Baskin Robbins will be offering ice cream, JJFROYOGO will be offering a variety of soft serve yogurt and ice cream products.

The festival runs 10 am-6 pm both days, with music until 9 on Saturday and 8 on Sunday, so you have the opportunity to have dinner at the beach, too – you might consider making reservations at our two WSB sponsor restaurants at the beach, Phoenecia and Cassis.

Back to what’s offered at the fair: Check out the silent auction and a children’s art activity area for make-and-take arts and crafts. And if you aren’t already planning to walk, run, bus, bike, or paddle to Alki Art Fair, here’s another option – the shuttle bus – different route this year:

A free shuttle bus will be running both days 9:30 – 6:30 from the Park and Ride area under the SW Spokane Street bridge up Admiral stopping at California to the Alki Art Fair and circling back about every 1/2 hour to expand our parking options.

A few more details are on the festival website.

VIDEO: Carrie Akre opens 2015 Summer Concerts at Hiawatha

July 23, 2015 at 7:02 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

7:02 PM: As forecast, the clouds cleared and the sun shone in time for tonight’s first Summer Concerts at Hiawatha show. Hundreds are on hand to see and hear West Seattle-residing singer Carrie Akre:

You still have time to get to the park (east side of Hiawatha Community Center) to enjoy the show until 8 pm or so. If you can’t get there tonight, you have five more concerts to enjoy, over the next five Thursday nights – courtesy of the Admiral Neighborhood Association – see the schedule here.

10:20 PM: We recorded this song:

Akre returned to West Seattle last year, as noted in this WSB story from November.

TOMORROW: Summer Concerts at Hiawatha season starts!

July 22, 2015 at 6:30 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | No Comments

(July 2014 WSB photo)
This time tomorrow night, the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center (map) will be full of people listening local singer Carrie Akre, who’s first up in this year’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha, presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association, with co-sponsors including WSB. Showtime is 6:30 pm Thursday, no admission charge, bring a blanket and/or chair, bring your family/friends/date/co-workers/neighbors/whomever, and enjoy the evening! This is the first of six consecutive Thursday night shows (see the full season lineup here).

All-City Band’s big week in West Seattle! Photos at Seacrest tonight; hosting Band Jam at SW Athletic Complex on Friday night

July 20, 2015 at 7:12 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

Right in the middle of a wildly busy summer season of parades and other performances, the Seattle Schools All-City Band is at Seacrest Park tonight for its annual photo session – which tends to spark some curiosity, including potential future members:

Its members are high-school-age musicians from all over the city, led by Marcus Pimpleton, the acclaimed music leader from Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School.

All-City Band put on an award-winning show in the West Seattle Grand Parade this past Saturday, and next Saturday, they’ll be in the Seafair Torchlight Parade downtown. But first – the big, fun, free annual pre-parade tuneup event happens this Friday here in West Seattle, and you’re invited as always: It’s “Band Jam,” 7 pm Friday (July 24th) at Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle, the stadium across from Chief Sealth, featuring not only ACB but also some of the bands that will join them in the Torchlight Parade. Never been? Check out our past coverage.

THIS WEEKEND: Mediterranean Fantasy Festival shakes up Hiawatha

July 17, 2015 at 3:06 pm | In West Seattle festivals, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | No Comments

(WSB photo: Rachel George dancing at 2014 MedFest)

Once again this year, right about the same time the West Seattle Parade heads south from California/Lander, nearby Hiawatha Community Center starts shaking with this year’s Mediterranean Fantasy Festival, MedFest for short. It’s two days of dancing on outdoor (east lawn) and indoor (gym) stages, plus vendors and food, free admission – 11 am-7 pm Saturday and 11 am-5 pm Sunday. The list of who you’ll see and when starts here.

UPDATE: ‘Pianos in the Parks’ in West Seattle, White Center

July 16, 2015 at 1:13 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 11 Comments

ORIGINAL REPORT, 1:13 PM: Just announced: Where you’ll find “Pianos in the Parks” this summer.

(Pianos in the Parks photo: The piano destined for Seacrest)
Twenty-two of the “one-of-a-kind, artist-designed upright and grand pianos” are on their way to parks around the region, including one at West Seattle’s Seacrest Park (a change from last year) and one at White Center’s Steve Cox Memorial Park. But first – they’re starring this afternoon in a recital at Lake Union, with local students using all 22 pianos to perform a version of “I Love a Piano” by Irving Berlin. Once they get to their destinations (starting later today), they’re available for free public use through August 16th; then they’ll be auctioned. Bidding will start soon at pianosintheparks.com; that’s also where you will be able to enter a contest by making a video of yourself and/or your band performing with one of the pianos.

4:07 PM: Seacrest’s piano has arrived! Photo to come. (Added: Actually, our Instagram clip came out best, with a passerby giving the piano a try:)

The Steve Cox Park piano was scheduled to be delivered this afternoon, too.

West Seattle summer: Concerts at Hiawatha, one week away!

July 16, 2015 at 9:00 am | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | No Comments

With huge events just days away, we have a lot of counting down to do today – and here’s the first reminder: The Admiral Way Viewpoint banner (thanks to Erik Walum for the photo) is a big reminder that Summer Concerts at Hiawatha start one week from tonight! It’s a free six-concert series, 6:30 pm Thursday nights from July 23rd through August 27th, presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association (with co-sponsors including WSB), on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center (official address 2700 California SW, but the concerts are on the Walnut side). Next Thursday, Carrie Akre takes the stage to get this year’s concerts going; see the full season lineup (as announced last month) by going here. Bring neighbors, friends, family, chairs, blankets, picnic dinner, and have a great time – see you there!

VIDEO: 2015 Concert in the Park swings with West Seattle Big Band tunes, honors Donn Weaver with Orville Rummel Trophy

July 15, 2015 at 9:03 am | In West Seattle Grand Parade, West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 5 Comments

On the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center last night, they sat on the lawn and soaked up the sound of the West Seattle Big Band during this year’s Hi-Yu Concert in the Park – here’s a two-song section of the show:

Midway through, it was time for a special presentation – the band’s former longtime director Donn Weaver was honored with the Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Community Service in advance of this Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade:

Find out more about Weaver and the Orville Rummel Trophy in our Tuesday story.

He was presented with the trophy in view of neighboring West Seattle High School, where he taught music for decades, with students including his successor as WS Big Band director, Jim Edwards:

Edwards is also a co-coordinator of the parade, in which Weaver will ride toward the start with the trophy; the parade is this Saturday (July 18th), leaving California/Lander in The Admiral District around 11 am, headed southbound to California/Edmunds in The Junction. Meantime, after the presentation, the band played on:

And on the sidelines, a couple danced:

The Big Band’s main mission is to raise money for school music programs. You can track the band’s public gigs via its online calendar – next up, the Ballard Locks this Sunday (July 19th) at 2 pm.

Celebrating West Seattle salmon and stewardship, at streetside as well as creekside: Troop 40255′s project

July 12, 2015 at 7:08 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news, Westwood, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment

A ribbon-cutting today celebrated West Seattle’s newest public art – created by Brownie Girl Scout Troop 40255 at the bus-stop shelter on northbound 35th SW at Cloverdale. It tells the story of salmon, and shows our state’s terrain.

From left in the photo are Molly Gazewood, Marley Strackhouse Parks, Alana Bass, Tannée Heinen, Natalie Aguilar Fox. While inviting us to the event, Marcia Strackhouse explained that it was both a celebration of the art itself and of the people who inspired it:

Most of these young people have grown up along the Fauntleroy Creek Watershed, and in their schools, preschools and day care centers, Judy Pickens (and husband Phil Sweetland) have been there to ensure our youth understood their impact on the environment and our salmon. … As Troop Leaders, we were so impressed with their knowledge at ages 8 and 9. They know the cycle of Salmon, understand the importance of maintaining and
keeping our creeks, rivers, and ocean clean, as do many of our West Seattle youth. They have become environmental stewards.

Judy was there for the ribbon-cutting celebration, and accepted a bouquet:

Judy and Phil have kept the Salmon in the Schools program going locally, from egg deliveries to the creekside events at which fry are released each year.

Music teacher Kirsten Thom: New West Seattle Blog sponsor

July 2, 2015 at 1:37 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | Comments Off

Kirsten Thom is a music teacher and musician, and one of our newest WSB sponsors. Here’s what she’d like you to know:

Specializing in piano and electronic music, Kirsten Thom‘s teaching approach is individually designed for each student based on their area of interest. She teaches students how to integrate injury prevention techniques, as well as personal expression, into practice and performance.

While earning a Bachelor of Arts in Music at University of Puget Sound, Kirsten studied piano under Grammy-nominated pianist Dr. Duane Hulbert, and composition under Dr. Robert Hutchinson. Since graduating in 2010, she has channeled these skills into her electronic music project Bardo:Basho, a moniker under which she has performed extensively with DJ’s and producers from all over the world. Kirsten continues to practice piano while creating and performing, as well as curating a concert series for non-profit event production company Elevator.

Kirsten adds, “I discovered my gift for teaching in college, when a professor of mine asked me to tutor other students in music theory. Many students told me that I helped them to understand the subject matter when other teachers just couldn’t get through. I believe this is thanks to my calm, patient yet enthusiastic demeanor. I have helped students make sense of high-level music theory, daunting electronic music software, complex piano music, and more. One of my very first students was receiving critical acclaim for her own recordings just months after her first lesson.

“In addition to my music degree and my patient, personal teaching approach, students seek me out because of my experience writing, releasing, and performing music. I also have a very broad range of music taste and knowledge, so if a student comes to me wanting to play classical, jazz, metal, techno, or pop music, I am able to tailor my lesson plan accordingly.” Find out more at kirstenthom.com or e-mail kirstenethom@gmail.com.

We thank music teacher Kirsten Thom for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

Congratulations! Delridge RecTech teens and international collaborators score big with animated-poem video

July 2, 2015 at 11:02 am | In Delridge, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 3 Comments

Teens in the RecTech Youth Media Institute program led by Leslie Howle at Delridge Community Center are among the collaborators in that animated-poem video, which scored big in this year’s international Adobe Youth Voices competition, landing second place in the Animation category. The news comes from Seattle Parks’ Parkways website. The poem is written and spoken by Seattle artist Hollis Wong-Wear (who herself has West Seattle ties, including past work at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center). It’s about growing up – something we never quite seem to complete, no matter how “old” we’re lucky enough to live to be. Take a few minutes to look and listen, above.

P.S. We last featured RecTech in our coverage of the Delridge Projects Workshop a month ago – and we see via their website that the Delridge-focused mini-doc they screened there is available for online viewing, with a longer version in the works to be shown at the Delridge Day festival August 8th.

5 weeks till West Seattle Garden Tour: Poster artist honored

June 14, 2015 at 1:53 pm | In Gardening, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment

One more scene from this month’s West Seattle Art Walk, this past Thursday: Winning 2015 West Seattle Garden Tour poster artist Gretchen Flickinger was honored. Her work was on display at West Seattle Windermere in The Junction; that’s where WSGT president Jan Clow presented her with the $500 check for winning. (That’s the poster art behind them.) This year’s WSGT (co-sponsored by WSB) is on Sunday, July 19th; your ticket book gets you admission to nine great gardens (and includes their locations) plus Phil Wood‘s midday lecture on garden design. You’ll soon be able to buy yours at West Seattle Nursery or Junction True Value.

West Seattle wins KEXP Hood-To-Hood Challenge, 2nd year in a row

June 12, 2015 at 6:37 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 5 Comments

If you liked the May 29th KEXP Hood-To-Hood victory party in West Seattle … or if you missed it and want another chance … good news: WS just “won” the challenge again. As mentioned in our daily preview, this was the designated day for donations, with neighborhoods “competing,” and when it all ended at 6 pm, West Seattle was about a thousand dollars ahead of Capitol Hill and vicinity, so we get the party next year too. It’ll be a while before the date and other details are set, but stay tuned.

You can help! West Seattle-filmed ‘Present Perfect’ almost done

June 8, 2015 at 3:19 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 5 Comments

“What can the very young and the very old offer each other, if given the chance?” That’s one of the questions you’ll see asked in the trailer above for a documentary focused on West Seattle’s acclaimed Intergenerational Learning Center at Providence Mount St. Vincent. The film, “Present Perfect,” is almost complete; it’s been two years in the making and now filmmaker Evan Briggs is in post-production. As is often the case for noncommercial creations, she could use a little help getting to the finish line, and so a Kickstarter campaign is in progress. Briggs explains on her film’s website:

Up until now, this entire project has been a labor of love, funded entirely out of my own pocket. I invested in new camera and audio equipment so that I could function as a one-woman crew, I paid babysitters to watch my kids so that I could shoot three times a week for the entire school year, and I’ve spent countless hours applying for grants and pitching this film to as many people as possible. I’ve gladly taken all of this on because of how strongly I believe in the power of this story and its potential impact. And while I will continue to work uncompensated hours on this project, I do need funding to pay the professionals who can help me take it to the next level.

The ILC serves kids six weeks to 5 years of age – and of course, those ageless Mount residents, too. Thanks to everyone who messaged us to suggest sharing the news about “Present Perfect.”

From the ‘in case you wondered too’ file: Another ‘Duwamish Revealed’ installation

June 7, 2015 at 12:55 pm | In South Park, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment

(WSB photos)
A midday call today sent us over for a look at the South Park Bridge, where someone wondered what was being hung off its west side. The photos show what we found – another installation for the Duwamish Revealed art project we’ve been covering recently. This is “Cultivate: A River Tapestry,” described as follows on the DR website: “A colorful installation made of recycled materials, Cultivate represents the river’s rebirth and has been created with assistance by community volunteers.”

The artist is Catherine Grisez; the installation even has its own Facebook page. We published an overview of Duwamish Revealed last weekend, after checking out one installation at West Seattle’s Jack Block Park, and also stopped by the Friday night opening at and around its biggest creation, the “Estuary” arrangement of cargo containers. You can explore the locations and creations all summer; they stretch from West Seattle to Tukwila, as shown on this clickable map with pop-up descriptions.

‘Duwamish Revealed’ officially opens on the river’s shore

June 6, 2015 at 1:47 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | Comments Off

When we previewed the four-month Duwamish Revealed” art project last weekend, our introduction happened to be signs that were turning heads at Jack Block Park. But what’s “revealed” in this exploration is so much more, as shown off during opening night Friday, not in West Seattle but right across the water at T-108 Park – a triple-digit crowd came to see the cargo-container sculpture called Estuary, by Christian French.

We stopped by for a quick look just before sunset, as showgoers were getting ready for live performances at the site (which will be home to many – next one in two weeks). This is just one of the installations you can check out, at sites from West Seattle to Tukwila – explore the official website to consider where to go and what to see in the megaproject coordinated by artistic directors Nicole Kistler and Sarah Kavage.

Flourish Dance Project: Welcoming a new WSB sponsor

June 4, 2015 at 10:03 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 4 Comments

Today, we welcome a new WSB sponsor, Flourish Dance Project, which envisions a neighborhood where children and youth of diverse background, skill, and ability can experience dance in an environment that cultivates their growth as artists and young minds. Here’s what else they’d like you to know:

Beginning this September, we are excited to offer after-school dance classes to preschool through high-school-age students at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, one of the neighborhood’s liveliest arts hubs. Our classes vary in style and draw from classical and urban influences, including ballet, creative movement, modern and street jazz. We understand that youth thrive when given the opportunity to express themselves artistically, experience a sense of belonging, and engage in physical activity. Accordingly, our instruction emphasizes more than technique. We strive to expose youth to dance in a relevant, thoughtful, and dynamic manner that nurtures their development as both dancers and vital members of our community.

The Flourish Dance Project staff, accomplished Seattle-area dancers who bring extensive and varied teaching and performance experience, believe that dance instruction should point kids toward something greater than pretty, pointed toes. It can nurture joy, artistry and community. It is with this value in mind that Flourish Dance Project distinguishes itself from other dance offerings. We seek to engage dancers in the creative process, embrace a flexible dress code, and have attempted to set our tuition dues equitably to encourage participation.

Flourish Dance Project desires to share dance in a way that inspires a lasting sense of creativity, strength, and confidence in our students’ lives. The Grow Girl workshop embodies this mission and is a dynamic extension of our Modern dance class offerings. Dancers ages 11 and older who participate in Grow Girl will have the opportunity to explore and confront some of the unique issues young women face – media, academics, relationships, body image, and more – through dance. Classes will follow a typical Modern dance class structure, but will also include community-building activities and extended opportunities for students to develop original choreography.

Although classes begin in September, dancers are signing up now! You may enroll in classes online at: flourishdanceproject.com/enroll or by contacting Flourish Dance Project Founder/Director Megan Snow at: flourishdanceproject@gmail.com. Additionally, Megan will be at Youngstown every Tuesday afternoon from 4-5 pm between now and August to meet with families who are interested in getting to know more.

Megan spent much of the first two decades of her life gliding, leaping, and grooving across dance floors. As a student herself, and then later as a teacher and choreographer working with a variety of dance organizations in the Seattle area and Bellingham, she developed a lifelong reverence for the art form. She temporarily tucked away her dance shoes to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in English and Master in Teaching, dedicating the next handful of years to working with children, youth and families primarily in public education and ministry settings, which included teaching for a year at Chief Sealth International High School. With a specialization in supporting academically and social-emotionally at-risk students, she was continually reminded of how the arts — dance specifically — could contribute to students’ thriving. Flourish Dance Project was conceptualized in response to the complex needs youth have and a love for this city. Believing that dance instruction can support the whole child and positively impact the community, Megan is honored to serve West Seattle, the neighborhood she calls home, through this work.

We thank Flourish Dance Project for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

Next lineup: See who’s playing 2015 Summer Concerts at Hiawatha!

June 3, 2015 at 3:29 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

(WSB photo from 2012 Hiawatha performance by Caspar Babypants, who’s back this year)
Today’s second big summer outdoor-entertainment lineup announcement: The Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha lineup for 2015! From Katy Walum – who’s organized the series from the start – here are the six acts booked for six consecutive Thursday nights, 6:30-8 pm on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center:

July 23rd – Carrie Akre

July 30th – Naomi Wachira

August 6th – Star Anna

August 13th – Modern Relics

August 20th – Ayron Jones and the Way

August 27th – Caspar Babypants

The concerts are free – bring your own chair, blanket, picnic dinner, family, friends, neighbors, and have a great time. (We’re proud to have co-sponsored Summer Concerts at Hiawatha every year since its start in 2009; this is the series’ seventh year!)

Congratulations! Madison Middle School musicians’ big wins

June 2, 2015 at 5:04 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 9 Comments

Thanks to Sheryl Guyon for sharing photos and news of Madison Middle School musicians’ success

Madison Middle School has an award-winning Music Department. They competed this weekend at Music in the Parks in Silverwood, Idaho. Under the expert direction of Mr. Clark Bathum, the concert band won 1st place for their division!

The Orchestra and Jazz band were pleased to each win second place, most notably with an excellent rating. The competition was intense this year, with more than 1,800 music students attending from Northwest high schools and middle schools. The school is incredibly proud of Jonah Elbaum, who was awarded Outstanding Jazz Soloist:

As one of the youngest members of the jazz band, his award is exceptional. Perhaps the greatest compliment of all came at the end of the trip. The hotel manager noted that this was the most polite and respectful group of young people they have ever had stay at the hotel. Mr. Bathum expects the very best from his students and this remarkable group of young people never fails to deliver.

According to the Madison home page, you’ll be able to see the award-winning young musicians in concert before the school year ends – the orchestra and jazz concert is listed for this Thursday (June 4th), the band concert for next Monday (June 8th), both at 7 pm.

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