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.

West Seattle Junction updates: Check out the new banners! Plus, Farmers’ Market move countdown

May 31, 2015 at 11:00 am | In West Seattle Farmers' Market, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 13 Comments

Two West Seattle Junction notes:

BRAND-NEW BANNERS: It’s magic! Overnight the faded old West Seattle Junction banners disappeared and these new ones materialized.

It was planned, of course, and happened very early this morning (sometime between 1:15 am, which is when we drove through The Junction, wondering if the installation was under way yet, and 9:30 am, when we took these photos).

West Seattle Junction Association director Susan Melrose explains the banners’ inspiration:

The colorful series of five designs is meant to inspire neighborhood pride for all of West Seattle. Design elements include the Alki Lighthouse as a symbol of our strong connection to water, the West Seattle Bridge, a salute to history with the streetcars, our weekly farmers market, and The Junction’s iconic Walk-All-Ways. We hope the neighborhood enjoys this addition to The Junction.

The artist is Jeff Rodriguez of Horsepower Design, who also designs other art used by the Junction Association, from posters to advertising. The banner spotlighting the West Seattle Farmers’ Market brings another reminder:

Today’s market (continuing until 2 pm as usual) is the second-to-last time you’ll find it in its longtime spot at 44th/Alaska. Two weeks from today – June 14th – is the day the WSFM moves out into California SW between Oregon and Alaska. Market management is reminding people that means a change in parking, if you drive – no parking on the market block 7 am-4 pm (flyers are under windshield wipers of cars parked on that block right now) but 45 spots will be open in the lot the market is vacating. And if you bicycle to the market – Bicycle Benefits continue. The market move means “new local Washington State farmers (and) more non-profit community groups ” every Sunday. (WSFM is sponsoring WSB for the next month to help get the word out about the big move.)

Duwamish Revealed art project: Maybe you’ve already seen the signs! See what else is in store, from sculpture to dance to …

May 30, 2015 at 6:16 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 5 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

At sites along the Duwamish River, from West Seattle to South Park and beyond, a huge four-month art project is about to “open.” And you might already have seen signs of it … in one case, literally, signs:

When Jonathan tweeted a photo of that sign and called it to our attention Friday morning – with the backdrop at Port of Seattle-owned Jack Block Park, within view of the Shell oil rig Polar Pioneer – we had a hard time imagining that kind of sign could have been guerrilla-installed without port security noticing. Then WSB reader “Grayson Girl” texted us about it this morning and we went over to see for ourselves. She also mentioned another sign out on the pier – and that’s where we found the key clue.

A small label near that sign attributes it to Jack Daws and Duwamish Revealed.

Daws is a Seattle artist; Duwamish Revealed is the name of the big art project that is about to officially open at locations from West Seattle to Tukwila. And we do mean big: More than a dozen sites, and dozens of collaborators. Here’s the program with details (including Daws listed as one of the Jack Block Park artists):

Sarah Kavage and Nicole Kistler are the artistic directors for Duwamish Revealed, a project of the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle, as explained here. (Kavage confirmed to WSB tonight that the Jack Block signs are part of DR, installed with authorization just two days ago.) We recorded them talking about their grand project at last month’s Duwamish Alive! opening ceremony:

Last summer, we published their call for artists – mentioning at the time that it wasn’t just intended for people who already consider themselves artists.

And indeed, the participants are from a range of backgrounds – including students from West Seattle’s Pathfinder K-8 School, whose work at T-107 Park on this side of the Duwamish involves “a sculptural interpretation of a Coast Salish fish trap,” in collaboration with Jennifer Bennett.

Back at Jack Block Park, as noted on the program shown above, you’ll see the Duwamish Lighthouse by George Lee – some of which he’s chronicling on Instagram – plus Jordan Monez‘s work Plant 2015: “To-scale replicas of the ersatz neighborhood built on top of Boeing Plant 2 during WWII are a tribute to the river’s wartime history and the act of revealing, and concealing, history.” Other West Seattle locations on the Duwamish Revealed roster include Terminal 105 and 107 Parks, Lafarge, and Harbor Island (if you can’t see the program embedded above, see it here as a PDF).

Ongoing performance-related art includes free workshops by Ballet Folklorico Angeles de Mexico, weekly in White Center and South Park.

In the photo provided by Duwamish Revealed are Ballet Folklorico’s Aurelia Ramos and Jose Antonio Malagon Garcia.

The grand-opening celebration for Duwamish Revealed is next Friday (June 5th) with soundscapes and sculpture at the installation site called The Estuary on the east bank of the river, 4651 Diagonal Avenue South – details and map here.

Other day/time-specific events along the way include the Water Festival in South Park, August 15-16, and “Revealing Coast Salish Cultures,” with canoe families landing at T-107 Park for an event there and across the street at the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse on September 12th. Even sooner than all that, check out what’s on the calendar.

And for all you’ll find there, it’s just a drop from the river of visual art, performance art, and more that will comprise Duwamish Revealed – browse the official website to sample more.

PHOTOS: KEXP’s 2015 West Seattle ‘Hood-To-Hood’ party

May 29, 2015 at 12:58 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 16 Comments

(SCROLL DOWN for updates; event schedule is here)

12:58 PM: KEXP DJ Cheryl Waters is on the air live from The Junction, just north of the Walk-All-Ways intersection, as the Hood-To-Hood “West Seattle Day” street party gets going. Quiet now but likely to be a much-different scene by mid-to-late afternoon. 1st live music is John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats, starting in a few minutes (1 pm) – rest of the schedule is here. If you can, it’s a good time to come down and meet some of your neighbors – organizations here in the early going include West Seattle Bike Connections, with a bike rodeo and safety-check zone …

Meet cool people like Kathy from WSBC …

… and Kristina from the White Center Food Bank.

Speaking of bikes, Seattle Police officers are patroling on 2 wheels.

We’ll be checking back later in the afternoon.

2:05 PM: Looks like the crowd started showing up in time for John Darnielle’s set:


We’re heading back soon to The Junction, where the street party is on until 6, with Miami Horror up next, live at 3 pm; then at 6 pm, nine West Seattle venues are “taken over” by KEXP DJs, and the event wraps with 9 pm live-music showcases at Feedback Lounge (6451 California SW) and The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW).

4:10 PM: Just starting, an acoustic set by Telekinesis.

(WSB photo, substituted for previously published KEXP tweet)
Among the fans during that set:

The crowd in The Junction has picked up as the day’s gone on. On the air right now, West Seattleite Kevin Cole, who got a visit from Matt Vaughan, proprietor of steps-away Easy Street Records.

We got back here in time for part of Miami Horror’s set last hour – some of the showgoers danced in the sunshine, and Daniel Whitechurch left the stage to dance with them:

Still adding more photos.

6:23 PM: Street party’s over; we’ll check on the street’s status a bit later.

7:46 PM: Tweeted from one of the KEXP DJ “takeover” venues:


8:21 PM: And from another:


9:09 PM: California SW has just reopened between Alaska and Oregon.

West Seattle Hi-Yu Junior Queen Emily Cain wins statewide art contest; her work will likely land in your mailbox

May 29, 2015 at 11:28 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

Thanks to Kevin Plough for sharing the news that the creator of the statewide-contest-winning art above – announced as “Burien 4th grader” Emily Cain – also happens to be West Seattle Hi-Yu‘s reigning Junior Queen.


From left, that’s Kevin – Emily’s teacher at Cedarhurst Elementary – with Emily, her mom Amanda Cain, and Secretary of State Kim Wyman. Kevin also happens to be a West Seattle resident, so he kindly pointed out the local connection, so we could share the news with you and congratulate Emily. As Wyman’s office explains here, you’ll see Emily’s work in the state Voters’ Pamphlet this fall, and the original will be displayed in the Lieutenant Governor’s office in Olympia.

VIDEO: Lafayette Elementary students perform for Seattle School Board

May 22, 2015 at 7:47 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment

Encore performance this week for part of the cast of Lafayette Elementary‘s recent musical! From Luckie:

Lafayette Elementary was invited to performed a scene from this year’s school play, “The Barnyard Musical Mystery,” at the May 20 Seattle Public Schools board meeting in the John Stanford Center auditorium. It was broadcast live on Channel 26 (see the archived video above).

“The Barnyard Musical Mystery” is a one-hour play written by Lafayette Elementary parent Laurie Utterback, who also directed it along with fellow parent volunteer Joel Oltyan and Lafayette’s multi-arts teacher Melia Scranton. A cast of 80 students in third through fifth grade rehearsed after school once a week beginning in January, and performed the play on May 7, 8, and 9 at the Chief Sealth International High School auditorium.

The performers at Wednesday’s school board meeting:

Jane, grade 5
Daisy, grade 4
Audrey, grade 4
Millie, grade 4
Zhaiarah, grade 4
Mason, grade 5
Myah, grade 4
Stella, grade 4
Jordan, grade 4

Lafayette Elementary is very proud of the dedication, enthusiasm, and teamwork shown by all of its talented young actors!

West Seattle summer songwriting camp with Ivory Smith and Kelli Frances Corrado: New WSB sponsor

May 21, 2015 at 5:44 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment

Looking for summer options for kid(s) 7-12? How about a West Seattle summer songwriting camp, taught by two acclaimed local musicians? They’re sponsoring WSB right now to get the word out, and here’s what they’d like you to know:

What makes this music camp unique, is that it’s the first of its kind, a SONGWRITING camp, for children this age. Kelli Frances Corrado (above left) and Ivory Smith (above right) worked for over six years at various rock camps and schools, none of which taught students how to write their own songs. While it is important to learn technique and theory, the value of empowering the individual creative voice is essential, not only in making music, but for childhood development.

We are pursued by parents not only because of our teaching history but our experience as songwriters. We are active professional songwriters. Our resumes cover a wide range of experience from college training, performance, touring, recording, radio play, to receiving grants. For example, Ivory has scored numerous pieces for performances at On The Boards and ACT Theaters, has vocal training from Cornish, and has written songs with many ensembles including her band Ivory In Ice World. Kelli is a touring musician who writes songs that have been featured on various radio stations from KEXP to BBC6, and in 2014 received a grant from the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture to teach a songwriting camp for young women.

Kelli and Ivory’s summer songwriting camp has two week-long sessions in West Seattle in August – get the details here, including how to register.

We thank the West Seattle summer songwriting camp taught by Ivory Smith and Kelli Frances Corrado 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.

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