West Seattle scene: Alki rocks! New sign catches attention

April 22, 2015 at 11:08 am | In Seen around town, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 12 Comments

(Photo courtesy Mark)
Have you seen the sign? ALKI, spelled out with 53 rocks in the 59th SW median south of Admiral Way. We noticed it in passing last week and tweeted a photo, but got caught up in other things and didn’t get around to mentioning it here. Since then, though several other people have called it to our attention, and wondered whose work it is – we don’t know either, so we’re publishing the photo to ask if YOU know!

VIDEO: The Sonics rock Record Store Day to its final moments @ Easy Street

April 19, 2015 at 4:07 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 11 Comments

It was another chapter for Easy Street Records in The Junction in the rock ‘n’ roll history books: A raucous conclusion to Record Store Day 2015, with legendary, regrouped The Sonics performing a benefit show announced only a day and a half earlier:

If you don’t know their backstory – which spans half a century, and then some – this might help.

The benefit was for KEXP’s new HQ, with tickets at $100 each – and it was promised that surprise guests would make the price more than worth it. We couldn’t stay past the first few songs and are excruciatingly regretful to have missed said guests, who turned out to include Eddie Vedder (photo, photo) and Mike McCready from Pearl Jam, Chris Ballew (photo) from The Presidents, Matt Lukin (photo) from Mudhoney and The Melvins, Emily Nokes (photo) from Tacocat … and more. Video of the guest performances will certainly surface – KEXP was shooting, as were countless phone-hoisting showgoers. The Sonics, meantime, are touring to support their first record in half a century, “This Is The Sonics,” which brought them to ESR just last month for a signing party.

ADDED 11:34 AM: No one else had uploaded to YouTube by the time we went off duty this morning, but that’s changed since then. Thanks to those who pointed this out to us – the upload is by @marnankev2:

ADDED 1:48 PM: Another perspective – during the show, outside Easy Street. Artist Joshua Boulet says he was in The Junction to catch the Route 50 bus when he drew the crowd:


He also made a quick drawing of Junction-based Seattle Fire Engine 32, which was outside for a while (it left the same time we did) on safety patrol:

(You might recall his drawing of SFD firefighters at work in our coverage of a Beach Drive fire last fall.)

ADDED SUNDAY NIGHT: Charles R. Cross‘s review of the “magic night” is up at SeattleTimes.com.

HAPPENING NOW: Record Store Day 2015 rocks on into the night at Easy Street

April 18, 2015 at 6:16 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | No Comments

The biggest day of the year at Easy Street Records in The Junction started around sunrise, and it’s not over yet. It’s Record Store Day around the world, and that means specials and surprises at Easy Street, which is staying open well into the night for the occasion. Part of the fun – guest DJ’s, including one of West Seattle’s resident rock stars:

Chris Ballew of The Presidents of the United States of America and Caspar Babypants fame was the guest DJ at mid-afternoon. If you drop by between now and 8 pm, Troy Nelson of The Young Evils and KEXP is scheduled to be DJ’ing, followed by Kevin Cole (also of KEXP) until about 9. Then at 10 pm – a benefit for KEXP as announced on FridayThe Sonics, live (maybe you recognized them in the photo behind Chris B, above?). Online tickets have sold out, according to the KEXP website, which suggests calling ESR to see if there’s room. (Surprise guests are promised; ESR’s Facebook page says Mark Pickerel will be among them.)

You can help! Get in on ‘Art for Food’ @ Youngstown, to benefit White Center Food Bank

April 16, 2015 at 8:30 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | No Comments

Just a little more than a week until “Art for Food” at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, benefiting White Center Food Bank, which also serves part of West Seattle. The event is 6-8 pm on Friday, April 24th, WCFB’s Kristina Dahl explains: “Not only does it benefit the food bank, but it’s a fun after- work event with live music from West Seattle jazz trio The Ellis Brothers, held in the wonderful Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, with art from many West Seattle artists (including Peggy Abby, who is co-hosting this event with us). There will be wine (21+) and cheese available also, but the event is open to all ages. We are still welcoming art donations, volunteers at the event, and of course hope that many people from our community will buy tickets and come join us in the fun.” Buy your ticket right here, right now.

VIDEO: Scenes from West Seattle Art Walk, April 2015 edition

April 9, 2015 at 7:48 pm | In West Seattle Art Walk, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment

(WSB photos by Torin Record-Sand)
This month’s West Seattle Art Walk is on until 9 pm – and at one of the stops, Twilight Gallery and Boutique (4306 SW Alaska), you’ll find Rebecca Rose and her wearable sculptures. It’s opening night for her show “The Spinster and the Carpenter.” If you can’t get there tonight, you’ll also find her giving a talk on Saturday night (April 11th), 6-8 pm. The full list of tonight’s Art Walk venues is in our daily preview published this morning; we’ll add scenes from a few more stops soon.

8:28 PM: At Emerald Water Anglers (42nd/Oregon; WSB sponsor), Little Edie‘s performing bluegrass:

At C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), Mary McGough‘s show has a story behind its title “True Start“:

As noted in the announcement, it’s her first solo show, decades after she showed art at Seattle Center while in kindergarten!

P.S. Missed tonight’s Art Walk? It’s on the second Thursday of the month, year-round, so make plans to explore venues and meet artists on May 14th. You can also refer to the aforementioned venue list while you’re out and about in the days ahead – many shows stay up for the rest of the month at participating locations.

FOLLOWUP: West Seattle filmmakers get ready for world premiere of ‘Drawing the Tiger,’ 7 years in the making

April 8, 2015 at 11:19 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

After seven years of work, West Seattle filmmakers Amy Benson and Scott Squire (left & center in photo) are now just three weeks away from the world premiere of their completed film “Drawing the Tiger.” When we first featured it here almost two and a half years ago, its working title was “The Girl Who Knew Too Much,” but what began as the heartbreaking story of a Nepalese girl whose one-in-a-million chance at an education ended in her suicide, evolved into a story with many more layers. We found out about the project’s evolution when we covered the Washington Global Issues Network youth-led conference at Chief Sealth International High School last month; Benson was a keynoter, and we featured her speech and project in our report. She also told its story in a TEDx talk captured on video last year:

The change in their story also meant a change in funding, as suddenly they were no longer telling “a globalization success story.” Instead, as Benson explains in the TEDx talk above, Squire says, “This film is, in the modest world of documentary films, kind of a unique thing – it’s subtle and observational and not at all an advocacy film. However, it was made with the goal of opening up the conversation of how we ‘in the west’ DO global aid. How, and how well do we account for the new vulnerabilities that arise when radical opportunities are proffered? It’s so important that we help, we believe, but stories like Shanta’s tell us we must consider how we can conduct our interventions more holistically.”

So the couple pressed on, scrapping together backing any place they could find it. Earlier this week, Squire e-mailed us with an update on their timeline and on their push for completion via crowdfunding. By the time we could write this story, they had already passed their goal – but if you’ve ever tried to raise money for something, you know that more always helps. Their Kickstarter campaign is open until Friday. The premiere is April 29th at the Hot Docs festival in Toronto, which Squire says is “one of the two most important doc fests in the world.” They are hopeful the U.S. premiere will be here in Seattle – nothing finalized yet but they promise an update once it is.

‘Arts Day’ @ Sanislo Elementary, thanks to visiting Kellogg Fellows

April 8, 2015 at 2:26 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | No Comments

(WSB photos: District visual/performing-arts manager Gail Sehlhorst leading students in an exercise)
A break from routine on Tuesday at West Seattle’s Sanislo Elementary … and it all traced back to the founder of the world’s most famous breakfast-cereal company. In honor of the birthday of Will Keith Kellogg, people who had gained leadership training via the Kellogg Foundation fanned out for a Day of Service – and Sanislo was among the stops. Among the Kellogg Fellows visiting Sanislo to provide a day of arts education was Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland, reading “Stone Soup” to students via his iPad:

Another Kellogg Fellow who worked with the Sanislo students, Dr. Lora-Ellen McKinney, who is working with the district to facilitate enrichment experiences:

The day’s theme was “Compassionate Leadership,” and the visiting fellows were joined by Seattle Art Museum teaching artists in using the arts to help students work on those skills. Among them, Regan Pro, SAM’s manager of school and educator programs, who showed kindergarteners Malcah Zeldis‘s triptych of the life of President Abraham Lincoln:

The day’s theme was also meant to underscore the district’s Creative Advantage program to bring more arts into the schools; a new South-Southwest Pathway for arts is expected to include Sanislo. The school’s visual-arts teacher Andrew Wakefield was part of today’s programming, as was librarian/teacher Craig Seasholes.

Diverse Harmony, ‘first queer/straight alliance youth chorus,’ performing free concert Saturday in West Seattle

April 6, 2015 at 6:32 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

That’s a recent performance by the small ensemble that’s part of Diverse Harmony, a youth chorus that has a place in history. The singers are coming to West Seattle this Saturday night for a free concert:

Diverse Harmony comes to West Seattle!
Saturday, April 11, 7:00 pm, at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist

Diverse Harmony is the Nation’s First Queer/Straight Alliance Youth Chorus. Based in Seattle and now in its 13th season, the chorus is comprised of young people, both queer and straight, and “…presents music that opens the hearts and minds of communities and provides a safe environment for youth of diverse backgrounds to share their love of music and be accepted for who they are.” This year Diverse Harmony added a young adult small ensemble, called DH Spectrum, to the family.

The concert will start at 7:00 PM and will include the large chorus and small ensemble. Please come out to enjoy the music and support these talented young people. The performance is FREE and is open to the entire community. Learn more about the chorus at www.DiverseHarmony.org

St. John’s is at 3050 California SW, next to West Seattle High School.

‘Pajama Game’ opens tomorrow at WSHS – plus, tickets available now for special benefit April 10th

April 1, 2015 at 9:31 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | Comments Off

The West Seattle High School Drama Club presentation of “The Pajama Gameopens tomorrow (Thursday) night, 7:30 pm, at the WSHS Theater (3000 California SW).

In addition to the regular run, you have the option of seeing the closing-night performance on April 10th as part of the annual benefit:

Your ticket for the April 10th benefit event also includes:

Gourmet dessert from Essential Baking Company and beverage of your choice (pre-show and during intermission!)
Pajama Game photo booth pictures
Priority seating for benefit ticket holders

You can buy your ticket(s) online by going here – or e-mail tickets@westsidedrama.com.

NOW UNTIL 9 PM: The Sonics @ Easy Street Records

March 31, 2015 at 8:14 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

Northwest rock legends The Sonics, who broke up going on a half-century ago, are back, and you can meet them right now at Easy Street Records in The Junction. As explained on the Easy Street website, “This Is The Sonics,” their first record since the mid-’60s, “reunites original members Jerry Roslie, Larry Parypa and Rob Lind, backed by the powerhouse rhythm section of Freddie Dennis (The Kingsmen, The Liverpool Five) and Dusty Watson (Dick Dale, Agent Orange).” They’re signing the new record in a meet-and-greet at Easy Street (California/Alaska) until 9 pm; Thursday, they play The Moore with Mudhoney, and ESR is raffling two tickets at tonight’s event (which is free).

VIDEO: How do you follow up an ‘incredibly record-breaking’ season? Watch and listen as ArtsWest shows off 2015-2016 slate

March 31, 2015 at 9:31 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Before ArtsWest looked ahead last night with the grand unveiling of its 2015-2016 season, there was a moment to look back:

Artistic director Mathew Wright said that season-to-season, attendance had jumped dramatically, for “an incredibly record-breaking season” – from just under 11,000, to just over 14,000, and that for “2,689 of those folks, it was their first time coming to see a show at ArtsWest.”

But the spotlight was on what lies ahead – the first full-season slate Wright has chosen as artistic director, a role he has had since last summer. In her introduction of Wright, managing director Laura Lee hailed the “collaborative process” of theater making “great and wonderful things happen. .. I’m incredibly proud of what we’re going to do next year.”

In addition to excerpts and songs, the announcement show included sit-down conversations with guests from other theaters around the city. The stage was set with the first guest, Kristin Leahey of Seattle Rep, for a conversation about season planning: “It can be tricky to figure out what kind of theater to put on our stages.” They talked briefly about the place of live theater in today’s society. She listed its attributes as connecting with other audience members, a “utopian moment” during a performance, “that we’re feeling with others in the audience.”

And then, to the slate: Six works “organized around a central question” that he said dated back to his time in college “in post-9/11 America.” Wright and friends tried to effect cultural revolution but didn’t. Eventually, he said, he took a cross-country road trip to Seattle. “I discovered how huge America is, and how beautiful it is.”

The question – “what is it that unites us as a people today in this country?” The answer, on a screen behind him: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness/or/Success.

First, a Tony-nominated musical as the season-opener, “Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’,” September 10th-October 11th, based on the group’s platinum album, telling the tale of friends struggling to find meaning in the post-9/11 world. ArtsWest will be one of the first regional theaters to stage it, Wright said. Two numbers from “American Idiot” were performed for the full house of invited guests last night – here’s “21 Guns”:

(The singers were Devon Busswood, Diana Huey, Chance Michael Eldridge, EmilyRose Frasca, Isaiah Crowson, Jeff Orton, Tori Spero, Sara Porkalob, Stacie Calkins, Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako, Ann Cornelius, Chelsea LeValley, Brian Lange, Brent Moury, Mark Tyler Miller, Frederick Hagreen, Saxton Walker, Janet McWilliams.)

Click to read the rest of VIDEO: How do you follow up an ‘incredibly record-breaking’ season? Watch and listen as ArtsWest shows off 2015-2016 slate…

West Seattle schools: Community performance planned for ‘Wizard of Oz’ featuring Gatewood first-graders

March 27, 2015 at 11:47 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 4 Comments

The book is 115 years old. The movie, 76 years old. But “The Wizard of Oz” as a story is ageless and timeless .. as evidenced by the Gatewood Elementary first-graders’ production. It was staged the past two mornings, but if you didn’t happen to be in the audience, there’s good news – a performance has been added, in the evening on April 7th, with the community invited to see it! More on that shortly. First, parent Jena Inghram shared photos and information about the production:

Their amazing veteran teacher, Mrs. Donna Schwendeman, has spent the last month helping her first-graders prepare for their own musical production of “The Wizard of Oz”. This has been a huge labor of love for our kids and she has put in many many hours of her own time.

A little bit about what they learned along the way…

In preparation for this play, Donna read aloud The Wizard of Oz while the students drew mental images of the story to share out each day. They viewed the movie and discussed the characters in depth. Each student received a full script that was read aloud in class. Students were asked to list 3 characters that they were interested in playing and were cast accordingly. Donna arranged for a field trip experience to see a production of Cinderella…they discussed and critiqued it. A professional actor was invited to Room 2 to discuss his experiences and to teach theater technique (voice projection, etc.). Students and families came together and assisted in set and costume design.

Parent comment: These first graders are amazing- all of them! They sing a capella solos…And read, memorize, and follow along with a huge script. They remember props and cues better than the adults and remind us when we mess up! And especially to the kids who aren’t in as many scenes, they have had to wait patiently during the many hours of rehearsals supporting their peers who had more speaking parts. These kids proposed creative ideas about the set and the costumes and they helped manifest them. What an amazing experience, Mrs. Donna Schwendeman​​ has given this lucky class of first graders. We are all so grateful for the creativity and the exposure to the arts that she brings to Gatewood.

Now, about the community performance, added, Jena says, after so much great feedback about the play: 6:30-7:30 pm Tuesday, April 7th, in the cafeteria at Gatewood (4320 SW Myrtle), with $5 admission at the door, a donation to start an arts fund at the school.

PHOTOS: Biggest-ever West Seattle High School Diversity Dinner

March 22, 2015 at 4:59 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 4 Comments

Thanks to West Seattle High School teacher Rebecka McKinney for sharing photos and info on a big event this past week – the biggest-ever Diversity Dinner organized by the WSHS Diversity Club, with more than 200 people attending, the largest turnout ever, and performances including members of the wider community as well as students:

The night started at 6 p.m. with a wide variety of cultural food that people brought to share. There were many cultures represented with a variety of dishes that included pad Thai, injera, lasagna, pupusas, pan dulce, rice and beans, lumpia and many more.

“It was a great turnout, even more than I expected,” said senior Diversity Club co-president Emily Fiso. “It was a great atmosphere, seeing different cultures interact with each other.”

After everyone got food, the entertainment began with the WSHS Latino Club.

They performed the punta dance. This group included WSHS seniors Shaneen Walter-Edwards, Brian Silva and Maaza Tsegai.

“It meant a lot to me to be able to perform because there’s not very many Hondurans in Seattle,” said Walter-Edwards. “I was happy to share my culture.”

Next was an Eritrean dance group that performed a Tigrinya dance.

This group included three WSHS students as well.

After the Eritrean dance, the WSHS Chinese class performed a traditional Lion Dance.

Chinese teacher, Su-Chun King, put this performance together.

Mahelet Wondie from Chief Sealth High School followed this with a spoken word piece on Africans and Americanization.

WSHS senior Kate Longabaugh followed that with a traditional Irish dance piece:

Next up was a local mariachi band that was made up of students and adults, some of who attend Chief Sealth:

The Mt. Rainier and Kennedy High School Pacific Islander Club followed this up with two Samoan dances and one Hawaiian dance.

“It was nice to be able to see my own culture represented,” said Fiso, a Samoan student who invited the club to perform. “I like how they brought a different energy to the crowd and everyone was involved.”

The final group of the night was the Northwest Tap Connection African class performing the kuku. This group included performers from age 5-17, led by Ms. Lakema Bell.

“I thought it was really nice that the African dance class could incorporate that type of dancing with people of all ages,” said senior attendee Shaheeda Kariko.

The night ended with a cultural fashion show that represented many of the cultures of WSHS.

This included Irish, Filipino, Somalian, Ethiopian, Yakima Nation, Samoan, Nigerian, Namibian, Eritrean, Moroccan, and Mexican.

“I was really happy to help bring different communities together,” said junior Diversity Club co-president Meron Mulu. “This was the first year we reached out to connections our students had outside of West Seattle. It’s not only important to celebrate culture, but it’s fun.”

See a list of WSHS’s many cultural, service, and interest groups/clubs on the school website.

West Seattle scenes: Mini Pow-Wow at Highland Park Elementary

March 21, 2015 at 1:46 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 6 Comments

Dancing, drumming, and dinner were part of the festivities last night at Highland Park Elementary, as Native community members, family, and friends gathered for a Traditional Mini Pow Wow. We photographed Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen after the blessing she gave to open the event:

This was the second year of the event.

The group Niksokowaak – “all my children, all my relatives” – organized the Pow Wow.

West Seattle scenes: At the WSHS Big Band Dinner Dance

March 19, 2015 at 1:44 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | Comments Off

From Laura Martin with West Seattle HS‘s Music Boosters – if you weren’t there, her reader report and photos show you what happened at the Big Band Dinner Dance!

There was an impressive amount of talent on display at West Seattle High School last Friday night! Guests attending the annual Big Band Dinner Dance dined on a gourmet meal prepared by students in the Culinary Arts program, and danced to top-notch big band music performed by students in the Jazz Ensemble [below].

Dancers of all ages also had a lot of fun swing dancing to the fabulous music of the West Seattle Big Band [below], who performed at the event, and who very generously support the music program at West Seattle High School.

Led by WSHS teacher Danielle Warman [front/center below], students in the ProStart Culinary Arts program prepared a beautiful and delicious buffet of entrees, salads and side dishes for over 150 guests.

After dinner the Culinary Arts students followed up by serving delectable desserts. Guests raved about the dinner, as behind the scenes, 25 students prepped, cooked, plated, and served.

Under the direction of Music Teacher Ethan Thomas, the Jazz Ensemble performed a range of pieces that quickly brought the audience to the dance floor. Jazz Ensemble students rehearse daily for an hour before school for the entire school year, and nearly all of the students also are enrolled in a regular band or orchestra class period during the day.

The proceeds from this fundraising event will help fund travel expenses for orchestra, band and jazz band students to participate in music competitions and festivals. Thanks to everyone who attended and made this event such a success and so much fun!

You’re invited: 2nd annual Traditional Mini Pow Wow this Friday @ Highland Park Elementary

March 18, 2015 at 5:16 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

Making your weekend plan? One-of-a-kind event this Friday (March 20th), 6-10 pm at Highland Park Elementary School:

The Traditional Mini Pow Wow is brought to you by The Niksokowaak; Community Pow Wow Association at Highland Park. Grand entry will be at 6 PM. Our event will feature Highland Park Elementary students as Head Young Lady & Head Young Man. Come enjoy traditional dance performances, Native art & delicious food from local vendors. We are sponsored by Highland Park Elementary, Roxhill Elementary, Blackfeet Tribe, Seattle Indian Health Board, Clear Sky & Community in Schools. For vendor & volunteer opportunities please contact us at niksokowaak@gmail.com.

See the official event flyer here. Highland Park Elementary is at 1016 SW Trenton.

Could West Seattle become an official Arts & Culture District?

March 18, 2015 at 11:29 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 5 Comments

More news from the Junction historical-survey launch event we covered earlier today: Edie Neeson from ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) announced a plan to pursue designation of West Seattle as an official Arts and Culture District. This is a relatively new city program – explained here – and so far, Capitol Hill is the only part of the city with the designation, which happened last fall. ArtsWest’s plan is in its very early stages but the organization’s board is talking about it again this week so you can expect to hear more soon.

VIDEO: See Art Wolfe’s special West Seattle presentation

March 15, 2015 at 4:45 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people, WS culture/arts | 7 Comments

Award-winning West Seattle-based environmental/cultural photographer Art Wolfe has published more than 80 books and taken more than 2 million images in his storied career, according to his website. While he travels much of the year to seek and photograph what’s beautiful in our world, on occasion he is able to stop down for a presentation – like the one shown in these two video clips, a recent gathering with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s top supporters. While there wasn’t enough room at the venue to open this event to the public, SWSHS executive director Clay Eals explains, Wolfe agreed to allow it to be recorded on video so it could be shared, and that’s what we’re doing here. His presentation included his most famous images as well as West Seattle photos from his early days.

Wolfe is a lifelong West Seattleite; his main gallery is in Pioneer Square. And, checking his website, we note he has a presentation coming up one month from today at Benaroya Hall downtown (April 15th) – find out more here.

Help celebrate Youngstown Cultural Arts Center’s ninth birthday!

March 4, 2015 at 9:40 am | In Delridge, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

It’s been 9 years since Youngstown Cultural Arts Center opened in Delridge’s historic Frank B. Cooper School building, and you’re invited to celebrate on March 28th:

It’s back! Youngstown’s annual birthday party, the Thrive, returns this March for an evening of family-friendly arts activities, games, and entertainment at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle. This year, the celebrated, dynamic arts hub is ringing in its 9th year of fostering arts and cultural activities for West Seattle and the city at large. Thrive 9 is a community-fueled night of fun and frivolity that encourages neighbors and friends of the center to come dance, play

The party features the energetic musical stylings of Eduardo Mendonça, award-winning Brazilian singer, composer, and Show Brazil band leader; and Eli Rosenblatt, bringing kid-friendly, multilingual songs in swing, reggae, salsa and samba styles. Also performing is the Dogg Pound Dance Crew, a youthful breakdance group who found their beginnings at Youngstown. Seattle Balloon Arts is back again this year, twisting custom balloons to amaze and astound.

Thrive 9 welcomes families and adults alike, and will feature a lounge area for the 21+ crowd who want a beverage and snack while the kids enjoy making art with Youngstown staff and volunteers as they bounce to the beat of the musical offerings. Guests will enjoy refreshments provided by community partners including Chaco Canyon, Spiro’s Pizza & Pasta, Metropolitan Market, Hilliard’s beer,

Proceeds from the event will benefit critical youth arts programming and facility needs at Youngstown. Tickets can be purchased by visiting brownpapertickets.com/event/1238982.

The building itself is coming up on its centennial – read more about its history here.

(WSB photo, 2012)
Its grand opening as an arts center was in February 2006.

Congratulations! Chief Sealth, Denny musicians’ success at Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival

March 3, 2015 at 8:55 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 4 Comments

If you can stop down for just a moment and hit the “play” button on that clip – even to listen in the background! – you’ll hear why student musicians from Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School left such an impression at a big festival they’re just back from. Their leader Marcus Pimpleton shares the news:

The Denny and Sealth Jazz Bands have returned home from a very successful week at the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival at the University of Idaho. The group went over on Tuesday and returned Sunday evening. The week of jazz featured student performances as well as clinics and concert performances by a host of nationally acclaimed jazz artists including Grammy Award winners Diane Reeves and John Clayton. The Chief Sealth Jazz Band was selected as an “outstanding young performer” and had the honor of closing out the Saturday Night Young Artists Concert (see the video above).

Three students were awarded Noteworthy Performance commendations for their individual musicianship:

Alex Guthery, alto saxophone, Denny International
Chris Laranang, trumpet, Chief Sealth International
Emmett Medaris, alto saxophone, Chief Sealth International

We also want to invite the public out to hear these groups live and to support the Denny and Sealth Music Program by joining us for our Music Night Out Event, which will be a March 27th fundraiser at The Hall at Fauntleroy. For more information on that, please visit: chiefsealthptsa.schoolauction.net/musicnightout

Signups start for free language classes at Seattle Chinese Garden

February 24, 2015 at 1:16 pm | In Puget Ridge, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment

Signups just started for popular free classes at the Seattle Chinese Garden on Puget Ridge – the next session of the Community Chinese Corner:

Experienced Chinese teachers and student assistants lead these fun classes for all ages. Learning activities include talking about food, playing cards, and painting. Co-sponsored by the Seattle Chinese Garden and the Confucius Institute of the State of Washington. The sessions are free, but donations are welcome. Go here for more information.

The classes will be held alternate Tuesdays, March 24-June 30, 4:30-6 pm in the Chan Center at the garden, which is just north of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). You can register online by going here. (2012 photo by Pollyanna Wang)

Local biznote: West Seattle Art Nest open north of The Junction

February 17, 2015 at 12:45 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 4 Comments

We’ve had big conversations in recent days (here and here) about businesses coming to the new developments in The Junction. Today, our biznote is about a new enterprise getting ready to open in an existing building just north of The Junction: West Seattle Art Nest. Its proprietor Karen Crane is hoping to be open at 4138 California SW by the first week of March.

(WS Art Nest proprietors’ kids “helping with the paint job” – photo courtesy Karen Crane)
West Seattle Art Nest will be the first drop-in art studio for children since Young at Art closed last June in Fairmount Springs (where it moved after its original location made way for the Junction 47 project), and Crane says Young at Art’s proprietor Theresa Anderson will be part of the new studio, “bringing her creativity and art expertise to WS Art Nest, as Art Facilitator Extrordinaire.” WS Art Nest will offer “drop-in-studio-style art, after-school art, specialty classes, camps, birthday parties … a paint splatter room, play area for the little ones, recycle crafting, and much more.” The website isn’t done yet but you can check this Facebook page for updates.

Poet/author Lawrence Matsuda to speak at South Seattle College’s Day of Remembrance commemoration

February 9, 2015 at 4:24 pm | In Puget Ridge, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | Comments Off

That’s poet/author Lawrence (Larry) Matsuda, reading his work at the Wing Luke Museum in 2011. This Thursday, he will keynote a special event at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) – and the announcement includes an invitation for you:

On Thursday, Feb. 12, South Seattle College will host a Japanese American Day of Remembrance event featuring keynote speaker Lawrence Matsuda.

A noted author, Matsuda will hold two speaking sessions in the Olympic Hall Auditorium (OLY 120) at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

This annual event commemorates the anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorizing the evacuation and incarceration of 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast; most of whom were U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. The order, known as Executive Order 9066, was signed on Feb. 19, 1942. In Washington State alone, nearly 13,000 people of Japanese descent were sent to detention centers, including Seattleites who were sent to Camp Minidoka near Hunt, Idaho.

Matsuda was born in an Idaho internment camp and spent the first three years of his life there. His latest book, “Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner,” is a collection of poetry that was inspired by the experience of those 120,000.

During both sessions, Matsuda – who earned a Ph.D. in education from the University of Washington – will share personal narratives from Minidoka survivors and pilgrims, and perform excerpts from “Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner.” Additionally, signed copies of the book will be available for purchase.

This event is free and open to the community.

Olympic Hall is at the south end of the SSC campus, which is at 6000 16th SW.

VIDEO: Toe Tag rocks Easy Street for ‘Hide the Knives’ release

January 31, 2015 at 11:51 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

Easy Street Records rocked tonight. Hard. Loud. Local. The band: Toe Tag. Our camera could only handle about half a minute:

They’re longtime musicians, but not fulltime – the lead singer has a day job you might know him from.

That’s Lord Zippy Blaine. Yes, THAT Zippy. But on this Saturday night, he and bandmates Steve (bass), Alex (guitar), and Chris (drums) were all about the music:

The occasion: New 11″ from Toe Tag, “Hide the Knives.”

If you didn’t catch Toe Tag at Easy Street tonight, they’re on the bill at the Benbow at 9 pm next Saturday.

Former ArtsWest artistic director Christopher Zinovitch dies at 43

January 29, 2015 at 12:47 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 11 Comments

(April 2013 WSB photo by Nick Adams)
A Facebook post by ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery (WSB sponsor) confirms what we had just heard from a reader via e-mail: Former ArtsWest artistic director Christopher Zinovitch has died at just 43 years old. According to ArtsWest, “a short battle with cancer” took Mr. Zinovitch’s life. He left AW in summer 2013, after a year and a half as artistic director, following a decade in other roles with the organization, which remembers him today by saying that “during that time, we were blessed with an incredible body of work that he brought to our stage, his unrelenting passion for hard work and theater, and for the many lives he touched as he nurtured new artists.” Mr. Zinovitch had most recently been working as artistic director of Dakota Stage Ltd. in Bismarck, North Dakota. No memorial information yet but we’ll add it if/when we get it.

West Seattle music: New album recorded in a local living room by “Lucky Brown” and friends

January 26, 2015 at 8:47 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 7 Comments

More West Seattle music! Above, you can preview the audio from a record released today, made in a West Seattle living room, according to the musician/producer who goes by “Lucky Brown.” From his artist statement about “Mystery Road”:

Lucky Brown and his friends play music together on a carpet in the living room. They record to a portable tape machine situated in or near a kitchen because most of this music was recorded after a shared meal. Much of this album is the record of the musicians playing or creating the song for the first time together – listening to and communicating with each other. Searching for a beautiful feeling that has not yet been invented. As his thirst for authenticity remains unquenched, Lucky Brown’s journey transcends limitations of time, space, subject or object.

“Lucky” wanted to share it “to help promote the unique arts and culture environment of West Seattle,” and included “the personnel list and where they live”:

Ollie Klomp – Drums, Percussion – Lives in West Seattle and hosted the session in his living room
Bob Heinemann – Bass – Lives in West Seattle
Jason Gray – Bass – Lives in West Seattle
Marc Hager – Rhodes – Lives in West Seattle
Lucky Brown – Trumpet, Producer – Currently living in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Thomas Deakin – Saxophone, Bell – Lived in West Seattle at the time of the recording, now living and touring in Europe.
Mars – Trombone – Lives in Bellingham
Jabrille ‘Jimmy James’ Williams – Lives in the Rainier Valley
Ben Bloom – Guitar – Lives in West Seattle

Click the title link in the embedded audio player to find out even more about “Mystery Road.”

West Seattle music: Another ‘Tiny Desk Concerts’ contender

January 24, 2015 at 2:40 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

Two weeks ago, we featured video of the West Seattle band Woodland recording a song on the Water Taxi for a contest offering an appearance on NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concerts” series. Today, another West Seattle entry:

That’s Margaux LeSourd performing “The Piper.” Her husband Tom sent the link to her video of “The Piper,” explaining it’s her entry in the “Tiny Desk Concerts” contest and also her first video! As noted on the YT page for the clip, she explains:

I love the intimacy of Tiny Desk Concerts… as a musician it is something that both terrifies and touches me. That’s why I chose this song for the submission – I feel that in light of recent and ongoing national events, I have a responsibility to say something meaningful in this small, vulnerable space where people are truly listening.

Margaux teaches music in West Seattle and Georgetown. According to the NPR website, the winner will be announced on February 12th.

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