West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to Chief Sealth International High School for again inviting us to stop by during the annual Multicultural Night celebration! We were there for two groups’ performances tonight – above, the East African Dance group; below, dancers from the Van-Lang Vietnamese Cultural School:
The celebration also featured food, and smiles:
This year’s theme was “Pass the Plate: Positivity and Peace.”
Friday, a commercial in Sunrise Heights; this weekend, a short film along Beach Drive. We saw the trucks and equipment late today outside a waterfront complex south of Constellation Park and stopped by to inquire; they just said the shoot is for a “short film” and they will be done this evening. Subsequently combing various corners of the internet, we turned up a production-help-wanted listing mentioning a West Seattle shoot this weekend for an independent short film called “Victory“; cross-referencing that to an audition call, the plot summary is: “Our film catapults the viewer into the last fifteen minutes of the story of a mysterious insurgency group trying to do something about a chain-reaction holocaust.” We’ll make a note to watch for it when it’s done.
You might know artist Rachel Austin for her map-based paintings … right now, she’s at Click! Design That Fits (4540 California SW; WSB sponsor) in The Junction for a preview of her new Shadow series, “born out of her love of plants, color, and shape.” Click! tells us this is her only visit this year – and your first chance to see work from her upcoming show, debuting during the May West Seattle Art Walk (May 11th). Go drop by Click! and hop up to the loft to see her.
“It’s hard to think of an accolade that he doesn’t have.” That’s what Susan Rich, one of the curators of the monthly WordsWest Literary Series presentations, says about National Book Award-winning poet Terrance Hayes, who will be featured at WW this Wednesday night. Hayes and Jane Wong, a former student of his who also is an award-winning poet, headline “A National Poetry Month Celebration” at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), 7 pm Wednesday (April 19th). The WW announcement (see it in full here) says they will “read their work as a ‘living anthology’ — a distinctive WordsWest reading format that weaves the ideas and images of each poet’s work into a never-to-be-duplicated collaboration of echoes and connections. No admission charge (you can support the volunteer-run series here) – so get there early enough to ensure yourself a seat!
“A sign might not seem like a big deal, but a sign is everything.” That’s how Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals kicked off a media briefing this morning next to the sign you see above – one of four now in place on the low and high West Seattle Bridges, marking the waterway they span, which carries the name of our area’s First People.
That’s our video of the entire event, held along the bicycle/pedestrian path on the “low bridge” alongside its control tower. Eals explained that the signage was first suggested about a year ago at the launch of a photography book called “Once and Future River” and was shepherded by City Councilmember Lisa Herbold. She did not attend this morning’s briefing, but Eals was joined on the bridge by two well-known members of the Duwamish Tribe. Ken Workman, member of the Duwamish Tribal Council, is great-great-great-great-grandson of Chief Seattle, and noted that the sign is over the stretch of the river where his family once had a longhouse:
James Rasmussen is coordinator of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition:
Both acknowledged and hailed the significance of the signage – a small yet mighty form of recognition, even as the tribe continues battling for federal recognition of its existence and treaty rights, which Workman said is a matter once again in Bureau of Indian Affairs review. Rasmussen also talked about the ongoing river cleanup, with which the DRCC is deeply involved, and voiced concern about how the new administration in Washington, D.C., will affect the cleanup. It’s half-done, he said, and that’s no time to stop. He is currently most concerned about the Pollutant Loading Assessment in the watershed, which is suddenly looking for help with “modeling” – “the project right now is basically stopped” without that help, he explained, and in need of more funding.
P.S. You can take personal action to help the Duwamish River, two weeks from tomorrow – it’s the spring edition of the Duwamish Alive! planting/cleanup events held concurrently at many spots along the river and in its watershed, 10 am-2 pm April 22nd – go here to find out how to help.
P.P.S. Though he didn’t take a turn at the podium, the “Once and Future River” photographer Tom Reese was at the briefing too:
Rasmussen also contributed an afterword to the book, which is available through UW Press.
Sunday nights are often relatively quiet in West Seattle – but not this weekend. Here’s what, and who, you’ll find at The Skylark in North Delridge tomorrow night – organizer Ann-Dee Levine tells us it’s the first of what they hope might become a monthly event citywide, each one benefiting “a local non-profit that is doing work in response to what is happening nationally and/or that is at risk of losing funding due to what is happening nationally”:
CLAMOR! – a Musical Insurgency
A benefit for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
n. insistent public expression (as of support or protest).
v. to raise an outcry.
There is both solace and power to be found in art, and we need anthems to help us weather this storm and power up for the battles to come. Five amazing musical acts will fill that need on Sunday, April 2, in the first of what we hope will be many such events. Featuring:
6:30 p.m. – The Hinges
7:15 p.m. – Robert Stewart (photo above)
8:00 p.m. – Young Pioneers (photo above)
8:45 p.m. – Ready Steady Go (photo above)
9:30 p.m. – Jason Webley (top video)
Music is the medium — Resistance is the message! Come listen, laugh, dance, cry, scream and shout, and shake your fist at the sky!
Doors open at 5:30 pm (3803 Delridge Way SW), with music starting at 6:30 pm. All ages welcome. Suggested donation $10, and it all goes to NWIRP.
Those are the West Seattle High School students who, this weekend and three nights next week, are telling a musical version of the tale of “Bonnie and Clyde,” which almost a century after their deaths, remains one of America’s most infamous crime stories. As mentioned in this morning’s “West Seattle Saturday“ preview, there’s a special benefit event tonight, raising money for the WSHS drama program, with a pre-performance reception at 6 and the show at 7:30 pm. We visited the WSHS Theater last night to talk with the cast and crew during their pre-show rehearsal.
Given that Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow’s crime spree was in the 1930s, ending when law enforcers killed them in 1934, we asked the students how they’d heard of Bonnie and Clyde before this. One said her family went to Louisiana last summer and she noticed the historical markers there. Another said he first heard of them when Sarah Hyland, who played Clyde’s sister-in-law Blanche Barrow in the Bonnie & Clyde mini-series, turned up on “Project Runway.” Others had seen the 1967 movie with Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, as well as their memorable Academy Awards appearance earlier this year. But back to the show:
They were rehearsing the Joplin, Missouri, hideout scene when we visited – the “smoke” coming from the car above is from a fog machine.
The show is a co-presentation of the WSHS Drama Club and Music Department – the score is described as “non-traditional, combining blues, gospel, and rockabilly music.” If you can’t get to tonight’s special benefit, “Bonnie & Clyde” plays next week too, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 7:30 nightly at the WSHS Theater, 3000 California SW, ticket info here. (See the cast list here.)
“If you follow drag queens at all, you know that basically all drag happens on Capitol Hill.” So says West Seattle resident and drag performer Cookie Couture, who is presenting a show – Friday night at The Skylark in North Delridge – aimed at changing that: “West End Girls: A Drag Extravaganza.” “The queens I’ve corralled for this event are some of the best in the city & represent how truly eclectic the drag scene (in Seattle) is.”
Chico Johnson & Miss Kitty Franzia
Friday night will start with the brand-new episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” onscreen at 8 pm; the show starts at 9:30 pm. Tickets are $8 in advance – available online here – or $10 at the door. The Skylark is at 3803 Delridge Way SW.
In case you didn’t make it to Chief Sealth International High School for tonight’s art show – featured in our morning calendar preview – here’s a look at some of what you missed. Visual-art teacher Carolyn Autenrieth explained the show in her invitation to the community:
IB Visual Art Show – INdepenDENT
How does the visual expression of ideas make a mark or ‘indent’ on those around us?
This show features mini exhibits by Seniors and Juniors in the IB Art program. The 4 solo Senior exhibits showcase a self-curated exhibition of work over the 2-year course. Four small group exhibits highlight the work by juniors and seniors from this year. Each group is curated and presented to showcase the theme or intention of the art.
Of the 21 student artists whose work was shown tonight, 17 were there, so we got a group photo:
Teacher Autenrieth said she really appreciated the support for her artists from others in the school community – for example, Evelyn needed a door for her project, and five teachers offered one.
They’ve been among the judges’ favorites for years in the West Seattle Grand Parade, but this year you don’t have to wait until July to see the Joyas Mestizas Mexican folk-dance troupe in West Seattle – if you haven’t already seen the listing in the WSB Event Calendar, their spring recital and benefit is happening at Hiawatha Community Center this Saturday night (doors at 5, show at 6). It’s been more than 25 years since a group of parents founded Joyas Mestizas, and community support keeps it going … here’s a way to show yours. Tickets are $10 including refreshments, recital, and auction – at the door, or online in advance.
That’s our video from the “grand entrance” during last year’s Niksokowaaks Community Pow-Wow at Highland Park Elementary. Organizers of this year’s Pow-Wow are inviting you, your neighbors, and everyone in the community to join them this year: “There will be incredible dancing, beautiful arts and crafts from vendors all over the United States, delicious food, and drumming.” It’s happening 6-10 pm Friday inside HPE, 1012 SW Trenton. Its main goal, organizers add, is to “help support the Native youth” in the community, especially in deepening their connection with Native culture, and to bring everyone together “to share in this celebration.” Here’s the flyer with more info.
Thanks to the anonymous reader who sent photos from last night’s first-ever Girls Jazz Band concert at Madison Middle School, where students performed after eight weeks of mentoring by the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra. Above are the student performers; below, SWOJO:
Beautiful non-rainy night – so if you’re not already busy, get out and check out art! Above, that’s Tracy Cilona, proprietor of the recently rechristened Virago Gallery (formerly Twilight) at 4306 SW Alaska. She says the name is from Latin, for “woman warrior.” Tonight, Virago has three artists in for a reception that’s continuing until 8 pm – Jordan Christianson, below, a couturier, is showing [S]HEROES: Side B:
The focus is a series of handbags inspired by woman musicians. The theme of “women in music” also runs through art painted by Mariel Andrade, who’s there tonight too:
If you don’t recognize them – Patti Smith and Poison Ivy are the musicians on the jackets in our photo (and in the top photo with Cilona, Annie Lennox and Grace Jones). While you’re at Virago Gallery tonight, you can also meet fragrance creator James Elliott:
If you can’t get to Virago before 8 tonight for the reception, this exhibit continues through month’s end at the gallery/shop in the heart of The Junction, open Tuesdays-Sundays.
Before we get to the highlights for today/tonight, we’re shining a spotlight on a free concert coming up Saturday night in West Seattle:
Girls Jazz Band
Hosted by Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra
Join SWOJO in concert with our first-ever Girls Jazz Band featuring middle-school girls from West Seattle!
Saturday, March 18 at 7:30 pm
Madison Middle School Auditorium
3429 45th Avenue SW
Free, all ages. Donations accepted at the door.
Support the next generation of women in jazz!
As explained on the SWOJO website, this concert is the culmination of a two-month program.
Arts, science, and cultural education and access in King County would get a $67 million a year boost if a sales-tax increase proposed by King County Executive Dow Constantine is passed by voters.
Today he sent the County Council a proposal for the August ballot, seeking to increase the county sales tax by a tenth of a cent per dollar spent. The measure dubbed “Access for All” would generate an estimated $469 million over the seven-year life of the proposal. From today’s announcement:
… The funding will focus on four primary areas:
Education for Kids: Students at all 19 King County school districts will see a dramatic increase in free access to curriculum-related art, science and heritages programs, both in-class and at cultural sites, with an emphasis on underserved students. Twenty percent of Access for All funding will ensure access for public school students, including transportation for students and in-class programming.
Equity and Inclusion: Recognizing that philanthropic funding for arts, heritage and science has historically been distributed inequitably, Access for All will intentionally provide higher levels of funding to community-based organizations that serve communities of opportunity. An Equity Advisory Committee will be established to evaluate progress toward achieving equity goals and outcomes.
Opening Doors for All: Families and seniors who earn a lower income will receive free or low-cost admission to nearly 40 major arts, science and heritage organizations, including Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Aquarium, Pacific Science Center, Museum of Flight and others. Everyone in King County will have the opportunity to experience diverse performances and programs.
Investing in Local Communities: Cultural organizations such as heritage museums, organizations that serves communities that are underserved, botanical gardens, children theaters and music training programs, and local art and science groups throughout King County will be able to use the additional funding to meet their specific programming needs and provide enhanced cultural activities.
Funds will be collected by King County and awarded by 4Culture through public panels and contracts for service that call for each recipient to provide continual, measurable public benefits. Every organization that receives public funding through Access for All will provide ongoing documentation of program benchmarks, visitors serviced, and community impact. Their reports, site visits, audits, and program evaluations will be available to the public.
King County Council Chair Joe McDermott, who represents our area on the council, is listed as a co-sponsor of the legislation to create the ballot measure. You can read the legislation in its entirety on the county website, here. No date yet for a County Council vote on sending it to the ballot.
Friday night, you can enjoy beautiful music for free without leaving the peninsula. The West Seattle Community Orchestras‘ Symphony Orchestra is getting ready for its “Spring Celebration” concert; we stopped by last night’s rehearsal to record a bit of video with internationally acclaimed guest violinist Quinton Morris:
Dr. Morris will be performing Mozart‘s “Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major” with the Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James Pham, in the auditorium at Chief Sealth International High School (2600 SW Thistle). Showtime Friday night (March 10th) is 7:30 pm. No admission charge, no tickets required, but as always, donations “will be gratefully accepted,” WSCO says.
Thanks to Steve for the photos – West Seattle High School presented its annual Big Band Dinner Dance this past Friday night, and student musicians were a big part of the lineup:
This fun(draiser) also starred the West Seattle Big Band, whose main mission is to support school music programs. If you missed it – or if you were there but want to see/hear/dance to the WSBB again, while supporting more student musicians – the WSBB is on the slate for the Madison Middle School Swing Dance and Auction in less than three weeks. All the details are in our calendar listing for the March 24th event.
Thanks to Vy Duong for the photos and report:
2017 All City Honors Elementary Orchestra and Band Concert today at Asa Mercer Middle School. Participation is by invitation only from their music teachers.
Elementary students from the following West Seattle schools performed:
Congratulations to the young musicians, their families, and their teachers!
Dutchboy Coffee proprietor Jenni Watkins is looking for artists interested in a new monthly show and sale she’s planning at her stand in Highland Park:
Every month Dutchboy Coffee will be hosting an art show.
Novice artists or people that want to share their talent: 75% of sales will go to the artist and 25% to the charity of the artist’s choice.
First show: Saturday 4/1 from 7-9 at the Dutchboy coffee stand, 1513 SW Holden St.
It’s a small stand, so it’ll be a cozy show – if you’re interested in participating, please e-mail photos of your work to email@example.com.
That’s “The Sower” by West Seattle artist Sarah Mottaghinejad, just announced as the winner of this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour art competition:
The winning piece features cherry veneer, acrylic, watercolor, mica, and hollyhock seeds on a clay panel measuring 18” x 24”. The artwork will be featured on the 2017 Garden Tour’s marketing materials, including the official poster and ticket book. Ms. Mottaghinejad will also receive a $500 cash prize.
Ms. Mottaghinejad says she is a storyteller before anything else. As a letterpress printer and bookbinder, she mostly works with paper, but will use any medium that best tells the story. She has a master’s degree in Linguistics, but very little formal art training. She currently works as an instructional designer, practicing her art and craft on the weekends.
Read more about her and her work on the WSGT website. This year’s tour will be earlier than recent years – June 25th; the winning work will be auctioned in one of the gardens that day, with proceeds going toward this year’s nonprofit beneficiaries, which WSGT organizers plan to announce next week.
It’s a good time for a good cause – whether you plan to perform, or to watch. Mode Music Studios (WSB sponsor) is raising money for Social Justice Fund NW at its monthly open-microphone event tomorrow (Sunday, February 26) next door at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW). Here’s the announcement:
GET ON STAGE / GET INVOLVED!
This month, we’re starting our Get on Stage / Get Involved series of all ages Open Mics. We encourage all of our students to participate in our monthly Open Mics next door at the Skylark, especially if they’ve been working on a song (or three) and want to show it off in front of a supportive audience. If they’re voice students, their teachers can definitely accompany them on stage.
Sign up at 3:00, grab some food and drink, learn about this month’s Get Involved partner, then get on stage starting at 4:00.
This month, Mode Music Studios is partnering with Social Justice Fund NW, a foundation working at the frontlines of social change. They leverage resources to foster significant, long-term social justice solutions throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. We’ll have a representative from SJF who can answer questions, give you information, and accept donations.
Find out more about Social Justice Fund NW by going here.
So much is happening at our local schools, both during classes, and before/after … Earlier this month, we were invited to cover the culmination of a month of work by 9th-grade classes at Chief Sealth International High School, with teaching artists from Book-It Repertory Theatre. As explained here, the program is a “synthesis of literature and theater.” And indeed, that’s what we saw inside the Sealth auditorium – poetry, not presented by a reader standing static in front of a microphone, but performed, in small ensembles, with movement, sometimes matched to the words, sometimes just adding emphasis or flair.
The students were from the freshman classes of Luke Azinger and Heather Griffin. The teaching artists from Book-It, who introduced themselves to the audience before the program, were Kelly Kitchens and Samara Lerman. As explained in the program for the performance:
This semester, Ms. Griffin worked with students to write original poetry. After the writing process, Book-It worked with Mr. Azinger’s classes to analyze and adapt student and professional poems into scripts for the stage in the Book-It Style. Then, the students collaborated to create live plays out of the poems – taking them from page to stage.
With small ensembles trading places while two students drummed interstitially, 23 poems were performed. We recorded them on video from mid-auditorium; all were excellent, but our audio had its shortcomings, so we are featuring the 11 that are clearest in our recordings. We were asked not to publish the authors and performers’ names, but we do have the poems’ titles.
“Once a Friend, Now an Acquaintance”:
Speaking of the passage of time – as did that last poem – this is the 17th year of collaboration between CSIHS and Book-It. Congratulations to the writers, performers, teachers, and teaching artists – and to the students’ families, many of whom were there that night to cheer them on. (The program also was performed earlier in the day during school hours, so other students could see it.)