WS culture/arts 1852 results

CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattleite Claudia Castro Luna chosen as next Washington State Poet Laureate

West Seattle is clearly a hotbed of poetry! For the second time in four years, a West Seattleite has been appointed to serve as Washington State Poet Laureate. The just-announced 2018-2020 Poet Laureate is Claudia Castro Luna, who made history previously as Seattle’s first Civic Poet. She succeeds Tod Marshall, whose 2016-2018 appointment followed that of West Seattleite Elizabeth Austen (2014-2016). From the full announcement of Castro Luna’s appointment:

Castro Luna fled war-torn El Salvador for the United States at the age of 14 with her family. She went on to earn an MFA in poetry and an MA in urban planning. After working as a K-12 teacher, she became Seattle’s first Civic Poet, a position appointed by the mayor. In that position, Castro Luna won acclaim for her Seattle Poetic Grid, an online interactive map of showcasing poems about different locations around the city. The grid even landed her an interview on PBS NewsHour. She is also the author of the poetry chapbook This City and the collection Killing Marías.

Her appointment officially begins on February 1st. In February of last year, we covered her speaking in West Seattle at Southwest Youth and Family Services (photo above), telling the story of her “long journey.”

VIDEO: ‘Years of loving work’ to culminate in Sunday concert dedicating Admiral Congregational Church’s restored organ

That’s Admiral Congregational Church organist Sam Peters, getting ready for a Sunday that will go beyond performing for the congregation: On Sunday afternoon (November 19th) at 3 pm, the entire community is invited to a concert dedicating the restored 21-rank pipe organ in what the concert program calls “a moving culmination of years of loving work for the people of Admiral Church.”

The program – which we obtained while stopping by earlier this week for the photo and video – explains that Admiral Church had a Balcom and Vaughan organ installed in 1962:

As the organ’s 50th birthday approached, then-music director and organist Keith Terhune galvanized a group of Admiral music lovers to work toward restoring and updating their beloved organ. Eventually $92,000 was raised over 4 years, largely from members of the Admiral congregation and surrounding community. The pipes and chests, which had suffered considerable water damage in a severe storm, were renovated and then hybridized to a new state-of-the-art Rodgers electronic 4-manual console.

Peters will be joined at the concert by internationally known, Oregon-based organist Dan Miller and the Admiral Choir, led by Pam Gerke. The program includes a variety of music – hymns as well as selections from composers including Bach, Copland, Handel, and Peters himself (“Variations on Nicaea,” part of which is featured in the video clip above). Admission is free, and refreshments will follow the concert. Doors open at 2:15 pm Sunday at Admiral Church, 4320 SW Hill.

SUNDAY READING: Bright spotlight for West Seattle actor with autism

You might have seen that video online – or maybe this New York Times story from earlier this week – without realizing its subject, actor Mickey Rowe, lives in West Seattle. Mickey has gained natioal fame as “the first openly autistic actor to play the role” of Christopher, an autistic teenager, in “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” He told us he is on the road for three months, performing the play (which closed in Syracuse today, after a run in Indiana) and will return to West Seattle, where he lives in an apartment in The Triangle. He is a 2011 graduate of the University of Washington drama program with a long list of theatrical accomplishments, even before this role brought him a bright spotlight.

BENEFIT CONCERT: Night of music at The Skylark, to help Mary’s Place help families

That’s Pellegrini, onstage at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW) when we stopped in toward the start of tonight’s 2nd annual Benefit Concert for the Homeless. 10+ bands are on the lineup tonight, $12 cover (unless you bought an advance ticket), with all proceeds going to benefit Mary’s Place, which helps families experiencing homelessness (and opened a shelter in nearby White Center earlier this year).

HAPPENING NOW: Season’s first West Seattle arts/crafts fair, at C & P Coffee Company

Inside the cozy converted Craftsman house that holds C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), you have your first chance of the season to browse a holiday arts-and-crafts fair.

Among the artists you’ll meet – Bill Reiswig, who many know as co-founder of Sustainable West Seattle, now based in Olympia:

You’ll find vendors in both main rooms at C&P, so don’t just stop at the front room! The fair is on until 2 pm today, at 5612 California SW.

P.S. This is one of 14 arts/crafts fairs and bazaars on the seasonal list we published earlier this week – if yours isn’t there yet, please send us info as soon as you can, so we can also get it in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and forthcoming West Seattle Holiday Guide.

VIDEO: Skeleton Theatre 2017, night 1

October 31, 2017 8:36 pm
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 |   Holidays | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Night 1 of Skeleton Theatre got off to a late start – they were still “debugging” when we first stopped by around 6:30 – but all’s well now and they are just starting the final performance of the first night.

As promised, it’s full of “pop culture” references, including movie dialogue and music, from “Wizard of Oz” to a wizard named Harry, and more:

With music, dialogue, lighting, and a pro (all-volunteer) crew wearing headsets, this is always a quality production – more comedic than spooky (although skeletons are spooky in almost any context).

Good crowd gathered around the corner of Hanford and 36th:

Scheduled showtimes tomorrow (Wednesday, November 1st) are between 6 and 9 pm.

WEST SEATTLE HALLOWEEN: Skeleton Theatre returns tomorrow & Wednesday

We stopped by 36th/Hanford at dusk to say hi to the Skeleton Theatre team, who were working hard to get West Seattle’s most extensive animatronic Halloween extravaganza ready for the next two nights, on, and behind, the front-yard stage:

As noted in the WSB West Seattle Halloween Etc. Guide, Skeleton Theatre mastermind Chris Walker tells us, “The theme this year is ‘Back to our Roots.’ Through the years people have asked us to do this again, so we’re going to do a show consisting of pop culture clips – like we did for the first two years of Skeleton Theatre a decade ago, with a few new tricks added in. We will end with one original scene: It’s a preview for the new show that we’ll be putting up next year.” The show is set to run continuously 6-9 pm Halloween night and the night after (Tuesday and Wednesday; here’s a map). Free but if you are moved to help the Skeleton crew cover their costs, there’s a donation button on their webpage (where you can also catch up on the backstory – ST has been a tradition since 2006!).

SATURDAY: West Seattle Big Band and West Seattle Community Orchestras team up for student musicians

October 26, 2017 10:44 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Got your ticket(s) yet? Saturday’s the night you can masquerade in the spirit of the season, while also dining, dancing, and bidding to help the West Seattle Community Orchestras support student music. The reminder from WSCO:

Come dance to the great sounds of the West Seattle Big Band and listen to topnotch musicians of the West Seattle Community Orchestras (WSCO) as they get you in the swing of things at this year’s annual gala!

Here’s the general plan:

6:00-7:15: Doors open, cocktail reception, silent auctions, entertainment by WSCO musicians
7:15: Buffet dinner served
7:55-8:40: Live auction, raise the paddle, dessert dash
8:40++: Dancing to the West Seattle Big Band!

Generous supporters have donated very special items for our silent and live auctions:

Tray of WSCO “Masquerade Fantasie” Drinks
Alaska Junction Pack (ArtsWest, Matador, Husky Deli, Cupcake Royale)
Canlis and Seattle Symphony
Conducting Opportunity (you’ve always wanted to lead an orchestra!)
Wine Cellar
Dinner and a Play (10 Mercer and Seattle Shakespeare Company)
Coffee, Tea & Chocolate Pack (Ampersand Cafe, C&P Coffee, Caffe Ladro)
Paradise in Cabo!

There are many, many more fabulous items to bid on. Here’s a partial list of donors:

Bartells Drug Store | Bakery Nouveau | Seattle Shakespeare Company
Heavy Restaurant Group | Boehms Candy | C&P Coffee | MoPOP | West5 | Fresh Flours | ACT Theater | Pagliacci Pizza | MOHAI | Northwest Symphony Orchestra | Trader Joe’s | Seattle Theater Group | Seattle Symphony | Alki Spud | MarketSpice | Puzzle Break | Philharmonia Northwest | Seattle Thunderbirds |
Photography by Chris Leavitt | Jet City Improv | Emerald Downs | Museum of Flight | 5th Avenue Theatre |
Great Harvest | Grand Central Bakery | Seattle Theatre Group |10 Mercer | Ampersand Cafe | Seattle Seahawks | Elegant Electrolysis | Lake Union Civic Orchestra | Plus Friends of the Orchestras!

Your support will help WSCO continue to provide FREE participation and instruction in orchestral and band music for our student musicians.

Hope to see you there: Saturday, October 28, 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. at Alki Masonic Lodge, 4736 40th Ave. SW. Tickets are on sale online now or at the door ($35 adults 18+, $20 students and seniors):

Oh, yes! This year’s theme is Masquerade for Musicians: A mysterious night benefiting student music in West Seattle. Diners are encouraged to contribute to the fun by donning a costume — Halloween-themed or otherwise. Wear a costume—or not!—but don’t forget your dancing shoes!

THRESHOLD CHOIR: West Seattle rehearsals starting soon

That video clip from California tells the story of the Threshold Choir, which is expanding into West Seattle. The announcement is from Susan Moskwa:

Are you a woman who loves to sing? Are you drawn to offering your voice as an instrument of kindness to those who are seriously ill or dying? Are you interested in joining a supportive community of women who gather regularly to rehearse and sing at the bedside?

If your answers are yes, yes, and yes, then you are invited to attend a Threshold Choir introductory meeting in West Seattle.

Threshold Choir is an international choir with chapters in over 150 communities throughout the United States and in seven other countries. Our mission is singing for individuals at the thresholds of their lives. Our Seattle chapter is called Seattle Threshold Singers.

This fall the Seattle Threshold Singers will begin rehearsing in West Seattle. We are holding two introductory meetings to provide information about our plans: Saturday, October 21st from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., and Wednesday, November 8th from 10:00 a.m. – noon.

We will meet and greet, sing songs, and answer questions about the international Threshold Choir organization as well as our local chapter.

This is an all-volunteer group. We honor all spiritual paths and have no religious affiliation. There are no auditions but we do ask that you can carry a tune and have time to attend two rehearsals a month.

Rehearsals will be the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month from 10 to noon in West Seattle. If you are interested but cannot make this particular rehearsal time, let us know. At this time, you can either come to rehearsals in Seattle’s north end or wait to see if evening rehearsals will be offered in the south end.

Find out more about the Threshold Choir on its website; if you are interested in joining and/or have questions, you can e-mail

Seattle Latino Film Festival coming to Admiral Theater for closing-night screening, party

October 1, 2017 8:30 pm
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 |   Admiral Theater | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

That’s the trailer for “The Duel of Wine (El Camino del Vino),” which will have its Pacific Northwest premiere at West Seattle’s Admiral Theater as part of the closing-night celebration for this year’s Seattle Latino Film Festival.

The 9th annual festival showcasing Latin American films starts next Friday night (October 6th) downtown and continues for the following week, at venues around the area, from downtown to Federal Way (see the full list of screenings here) – concluding with the film and closing-night party at The Admiral on Saturday, October 14th. Betty Santiago from SLFF tells WSB that the star and producer of “Duel of Wine,” Charlie Arturaola and Lino Pujia, will be in attendance. We’re mentioning this early so you can get tickets if you want to be there – the film and party are included in your $25, and you can get your tickets online, here.

PHOTOS: Children’s Moonlight Festival @ Vietnamese Cultural Center

4:13 PM: Looking for something to do with the rest of your Sunday afternoon? The Children’s Moonlight Festival is happening until 6 pm at the Vietnamese Cultural Center. Above, lion dancers performed toward the start of the event; treats, entertainment, and a lantern parade are still to come.

This is a traditional lunar-calendar end-of-summer celebration; more photos to come. The Cultural Center is at 2234 SW Orchard, just north of Home Depot.

8:39 PM: As promised, more photos from the festival, which was so picture-perfect, an afternoon shower stopped just in time for the lion dance. Center director Lee Bui offered the lions a good-luck gift:

Joining the festivities at the center were Boy Scouts from Troop 286:

Two people dressed as characters from a Vietnamese legend offered backpacks to kids:

(This photo and next two by Lynda Bui)

There was rubber-duck fishing:

And a lantern parade:

A group photo to commemorate the event:

In addition to special events like this, the Vietnamese Cultural Center is open to visitors on Saturdays, noon-3 pm.

ART BY YOUR NEIGHBORS: 2017 community art show begins at Southwest Library

Friends of the Southwest Branch Library are your hosts during the Community Art Showcase‘s opening reception, continuing at the library until about 4 pm. Among the artists there, Steve and Lori Douglas:

Other art on display includes this guitar by Amanda Musclerat:

And Vera Sterling‘s “Best of Seattle”:

You have time to see the art show if you can’t get there by 4 – it’s on display at Southwest Library (9010 35th SW) for most of the rest of this month.

VIDEO: From ‘Burning Man’ to South Park, see kinetic sculpture ‘Interspecies Communication’

The rain stopped in time for the welcoming ceremony and performances at Duwamish Waterway Park (7900 10th Ave. S.) in South Park, where you have until 9 tonight to see the Seattle debut of Lelavision‘s kinetic/musical sculpture Interspecies Communication, also seen at Black Rock City (aka the annual “Burning Man” festival in Nevada – video here).

The welcoming featured Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen

Then those gathered at the park saw Vashon-based Lelavision‘s duo ascend the sculpture, and then descend to continue the event.

Participatory “human murmuration” was to follow, and then what Leah Mann promised would be a big dance party. We’re not sure what’ll be happening if you head over when you see this, but the sculpture itself is a sight to see. According to the Kickstarter page with which money was raised for the project, Lelavision hopes it will eventually find a permanent public home.

P.S. Thanks to Tom, who tipped us off to this!

UPDATE: School-bus crash at 30th/Genesee, no one hurt

September 28, 2017 4:07 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

4:07 PM: A two-vehicle crash at 30th SW/SW Genesee involves a school bus, but no one is hurt, per scanner – not the students, nor their driver, nor the other vehicle’s driver. We’re headed that way to see if we can find out more.

4:25 PM: SFD has left. The bus and police are on 30th just north of Genesee.

SATURDAY: Lantern Festival & Competition

September 28, 2017 12:10 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | Westwood | WS culture/arts

Now that it’s Thursday afternoon, it’s time to look ahead at some of the weekend highlights, in case you haven’t already seen them in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar. We start with the Lantern Festival and Competition in the Galleria at Chief Sealth International High School (2600 SW Thistle), featuring a chance to win prizes for handmade lanterns, and performances including a lion dance. The Van Lang Vietnamese Cultural and Language School is presenting the free event and hoping you’ll be there, 4:30-8:30 pm – all ages welcome! (Check our West Seattle Saturday lineup that morning for schedule specifics; it’ll wrap up with a lantern handout and night walk with lanterns starting at 8 pm).

Don’t just read them – see them! WordsWest Literary Series starts season 4 this Wednesday

September 18, 2017 9:40 pm
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 |   West Seattle books | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(WSB photo: WordsWest co-curators Susan Rich, Harold Taw, Katy Ellis)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The three West Seattle writers who co-curate WordsWest Literary Series say it’s the kind of series “we would like to be invited to.”

WordsWest opens its fourth season this Wednesday night at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) and co-curators Harold Taw, Katy Ellis, and Susan Rich say it’s become everything they hoped it would be, and more.

While we regularly feature WordsWest in the WSB calendar and previews, we thought the start of the season would be a good time to check in with the co-founders, to re-introduce (or, if you’re new here, introduce) them and what it is they do each month. So we sat down with Susan, Katy, and Harold for that check-in over lunch at Easy Street Records one recent midday.

First – we should mention that WordsWest events usually feature two writers, in an innovative format, plus a community member reading a “favorite poem,” and a chance for interactivity with the dozens of attendees. More on the 7 pm Wednesday season-opener lineup a bit later – but first, the start of their story:

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PHOTOS/VIDEO: 2017 Fiestas Patrias parade in South Park

Photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand unless otherwise credited

The annual Fiestas Patrias parade in South Park celebrates not only Latin American cultures but their importance in the U.S., and that was more poignant and urgent than ever this year.

Underscoring the issue of justice, King County Superior Court Judge Veronica Alicea-Galván was this year’s Grand Marshal:

More than 60 entries, with hundreds of participants, paraded and performed down the route.

Horses and riders from Charros of Washington concluded the parade, and we have some video too:

Earlier in the parade, different kinds of horsepower were on display:

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SOUTHWEST ARTIST SHOWCASE: Time to plan your entries!

September 8, 2017 8:47 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Everyone’s an artist when it’s time for the Southwest Library‘s annual Artist Showcase – and Jane Gibson tells us the 26th annual showcase is just a few weeks away! Your first step – create up to three pieces of visual art to show off, or choose up to 3 works you’ve already created. Second step: Take your entries to SW Library (9010 35th SW) September 28th through 30th. And then be there for the artists’ reception on October 1st! The artists’ creations are shown at the branch through October 30th, and the month is highlighted by opportunities to “See Art/Make Art.” All the details are here – but we wanted to make sure you knew it’s time to start thinking about how you can participate.

FILM CREW AT LINCOLN PARK: Local production company shooting ‘Chaldea’

Thanks to everyone who noticed, and asked about, the film crew at Lincoln Park, with trailers and equipment visible in the north parking lot. Here’s what we found out by visiting the park: West Seattle-based Anvil Productions will be there for at least three days shooting “Chaldea.” The project’s website describes “Chaldea” as “an adult-themed epic fantasy, steeped heavily in classic mythology, featuring elves, dwarves, and orcs, Egyptian and Norse gods, heroes and villains, high adventure, planetary politics and war … all clashing in the wake of a failing empire.” You can see behind-the-scenes photos here.

West Seattle Friday: Bowling/beer benefit; Lyanda Lynn Haupt @ Words, Writers, WS; art lounge @ HPIC; more!

(Red-breasted nuthatch, photographed by Mark Wangerin)

Highlights for the rest of your Friday, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

INTERVIEW DAY: Looking for work? Providence Mount St. Vincent is hiring, and inviting applicants to Interview Day, continuing until 7 pm tonight – details in our calendar listing. (4831 35th SW)

DONATE BLOOD IF YOU CAN: 1-7 pm, look for the van at Admiral Safeway. Walk-up donors are welcome but note that a 3-4 pm break closure is scheduled. (2622 California SW)

LYANDA LYNN HAUPT @ WORDS, WRITERS, WEST SEATTLE: The nature writer talks about her newest book, “Mozart’s Starling” – featured in this trailer from her publisher:

You can see and hear this acclaimed West Seattle author 5-7 pm tonight during the monthly Southwest Seattle Historical Society-presented series at Barnes & Noble/Westwood Village. Just drop in! (2800 SW Barton)

HPIC ART LOUNGE: Art class at 6:30 pm, and/or just bring what you’re working on, 7 pm and beyond – details on the Highland Park Improvement Club website. (1116 SW Holden)

BOWLING AND BEER BENEFIT: Happening tonight at West Seattle Bowl:

West Seattle Bowl and Georgetown Brewing are hosting the 6th Annual Bob’s Bowl-a-Rama supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington and Alaska at West Seattle Bowl. Lanes are $200 for bowling from 7 pm-10 pm, shoe rental and 8 pints of Georgetown Brewing Beer. 90% of the lane proceeds will be donated to the Seattle Ronald McDonald House. Limited lanes left, but please come down and have a pint and support a great cause. If you would like a lane, please email

(39th SW/SW Oregon)

HIGH-SCHOOL FOOTBALL – AT HOME: Season home opener for the Chief Sealth International High School varsity football team, 7 pm at Southwest Athletic Complex, CSIHS takes on Decatur. (2801 SW Thistle)

HIGH-SCHOOL FOOTBALL – ON THE ROAD: West Seattle High School plays Ingraham HS at Northwest Athletic Complex, 7 pm. (1819 N. 135th St.)

‘THE WHO AND THE WHAT’: First weekend for the new play at ArtsWest, 7:30 pm curtain. (4711 California SW)

LUSHY AT PARLIAMENT TAVERN: “Progressive cocktail pop,” 9 pm-midnight. $5 cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

PREVIEW THE WEEKEND … and beyond, via our complete calendar!

MAKE MUSIC! West Seattle Community Orchestras’ new season starts next week – free for student musicians!

September 7, 2017 9:27 am
|    Comments Off on MAKE MUSIC! West Seattle Community Orchestras’ new season starts next week – free for student musicians!
 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(Video courtesy West Seattle Community Orchestras)

The West Seattle Community Orchestras‘ new season is about to begin, so it’s sign-up time for musicians interested in participating! Here’s the announcement:

West Seattle Community Orchestras (WSCO) kicks off its fall session September 12, leading up to performances planned for early December.

The group especially encourages student musicians (through grade twelve) to sign up — experienced or not! Young beginners can participate in string instrument classes (violin, viola, cello, bass) or join the Debut Orchestra (a full orchestra, with strings, winds, and percussion!). Coaching and instruction are provided by professional musicians.

More-experienced student musicians (or adults) can participate in an orchestra (Intermediate or Symphony) or the Wind Symphony (think Concert Band).

The cool thing is that, thanks to the generous contributions of individuals and local businesses, all of these opportunities are provided to students free of charge. (Adults are offered the same opportunities but pay a modest fee.)

Mariane Hermanson, WSCO Executive Director, says, “Currently, there are openings for just about every instrument in most of these groups, but please register soon!”

All rehearsals and classes are held Tuesday evenings at Chief Sealth International High School. Starting dates vary by group. To register and for more info, please see WSCO’s website,, or contact for more info.

PHOTOS: Celebrating Central America at Westcrest Park

August 27, 2017 5:35 pm
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 |   West Seattle festivals | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Festival Centroamericano – one of today’s highlight events – continues until 7 pm on the big field at Westcrest Park. This is the second year that this celebration of Central American culture has come to Highland Park. The group that put it together includes organizing secretary Keylee Fernandez:

Performances have continued throughout the afternoon:

Among the festival’s aims – “embracing our Central American heritage and culture (for) a community that is not well exposed to it.”

Still time to check it out at Westcrest Park, which is at 9000 8th SW.

VIDEO: Caspar Babypants @ 2017’s last Summer Concerts at Hiawatha

7:02 PM: Until 8 pm, Caspar Babypants is onstage – with and without photobombing fans like the one above! – on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center. Again this year, his bouncy kindie-rock is closing out the Admiral Neighborhood Association-presented Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series – this is the sixth of this year’s six free Thursday night concerts.

ADDED 10:26 PM: More of the fun – first, video. “Pushy the Tug” is a West Seattle song if we ever heard one:

Before the show, the concert series’ new organizers Stephanie Jordan and Josephine Davis (wrapping up their first season) conferred with Mr. Babypants:

Leslie and Christi from Dream Dinners-West Seattle, a series co-sponsor as well as longtime WSB sponsor, were there to let the many families in attendance know about their service:

Hey, look! Towering over the crowd, it’s CB:

At his feet, many young fans:

No moshing, though:

That’s it for this year’s series, but we cover the Admiral Neighborhood Association – which has presented the annual concert series every summer since 2009 – throughout the year, so watch our reports for updates on planning for next year.

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