WS culture/arts 1837 results

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

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

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

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

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

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

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

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PHOTOS/VIDEO: 2017 Fiestas Patrias parade in South Park

Photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand unless otherwise credited

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

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

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

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

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

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SOUTHWEST ARTIST SHOWCASE: Time to plan your entries!

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

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

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

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

(Red-breasted nuthatch, photographed by Mark Wangerin)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(39th SW/SW Oregon)

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Video courtesy West Seattle Community Orchestras)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PHOTOS: Celebrating Central America at Westcrest Park

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

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

Performances have continued throughout the afternoon:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At his feet, many young fans:

No moshing, though:

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

Music lessons with Peter Cramer: Welcoming a new West Seattle Blog sponsor

August 22, 2017 11:45 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Today we’re welcoming a new WSB sponsor, Peter Cramer, offering private music lessons in West Seattle. New local sponsors get the opportunity to tell you about their businesses, and here’s what he would like you to know:

After 7 years of full-time private teaching for hundreds of clients in the Issaquah/Sammamish area, I have now officially moved my practice to West Seattle.

I love my work, I’m an honors grad from arguably the Pacific Northwest’s best music conservatory, and I have 11 years of full-time private teaching experience, instructing all ages on 5 different instruments.

I hear from my clients regularly how professional, versatile, and personable I am, and how I challenge my students to achieve high levels of music without losing the fun of the process.

Students’ parents see results in their child’s musical development, and often hear the students express how they would like to continue their lessons. I believe it’s changed the lives of their children by enriching their knowledge and interest in the arts, and therefore becoming better humans.

Read more here. To inquire about and book lessons, go here.

We thank music teacher Peter Cramer 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.

VIDEO: The Disco Ballz on the beat at Summer Concerts @ Hiawatha

7:06 PM: Feel like dancing? The east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center is doing dance-floor duty right now with The Disco Ballz performing @ the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s second-to-last Summer Concerts @ Hiawatha show. Of course, it’s also OK to just sit there and listen, whatever your preferred self-provided seating might be:

The show’s on until 8 – while Hiawatha’s official address is 2700 California SW, the east lawn is along Walnut, south of Lander.

ADDED 8:05 PM: Some video from their version of “Boogie Oogie Oogie,” the disco classic by A Taste of Honey:

Yes, people got up and danced! One more video clip to come with that (added – here it is):

And a photo:

If you can’t quite see her, the guy in the middle has a tiny dancing partner. Speaking of tiny dancers –
next week, the season finale for this free concert series – with co-sponsors including WSB – will bring them out in abundance, for the ever-popular kindie rock of Caspar Babypants (6:30 pm Thursday, August 24th).

ATTENTION, ARTISTS: West Seattle Art Walk’s looking for you

August 16, 2017 11:49 am
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 |   West Seattle Art Walk | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Interested in being showcased during the West Seattle Art Walk this fall? Speak up fast! The announcement:

We’re seeking artists for the upcoming Q4 Art Walk:

The West Seattle Arts Council is currently seeking artists to submit their work for the upcoming Q4 (Oct/Nov/Dec) digital and printed Art Walk promotional materials. This includes the printed walking map postcards and posters that will be displayed around West Seattle.

This is a great opportunity for artists to have their work prominently featured and promoted in our community! Please submit your work through (this) link. The deadline to submit is Thursday, August 17th.

To find out more about the West Seattle Art Walk, visit the website.

The West Seattle art walk is a monthly art event that is held the second Thursday of each month 5pm to late year-round. The art walk is hosted by the local West Seattle merchants who feature a wide range of art and showcase our vibrant artist community.

Thanks! We look forward to reviewing the submissions!

And even if you’re not an artist – here’s another way to get involved:

Are you interested in learning more about the Arts Council and West Seattle Art Walk? Our committee meetings are always open to anyone who would like to get involved promoting arts in West Seattle. Our next meeting will be held on Friday, August 18th 9 am at Uptown Espresso (Edmunds/California). We would welcome the community spirit of adding more art here in West Seattle.

UNDER THE WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Trailside art

First, Don and Jason told us about those goats spotted along the bicycle/pedestrian trail under the high bridge, west of the low bridge. When we went over to see for ourselves, we discovered it was part of an official – albeit temporary – installation – this explanatory sign is along the trail behind the goats, for example:

And the goats weren’t alone. There’s more art along the trail – on bridge supports:

And more in the ivy:

The art under the bridge/along the trail is part of Art Interruptions 2017, which stretches further into North Delridge, we found out from Erika Lindsay of the city Office of Arts and Culture. She shared this map/postcard, with locations and information:

As you can see on the map, this is scheduled to continue through year’s end, with a walking tour scheduled for Saturday, October 7th, 10 am-noon – more info as that gets closer.

COOL OFF @ CONCERTS: Outdoor music at Hiawatha, The Mount this week

August 2, 2017 6:39 pm
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 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Two outdoor concerts in the next two nights:

THE ADARNA @ SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA: Thursday night at 6:30 pm, The Adarna performs this season’s third Summer Concerts at Hiawatha show, presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association. Concert organizers describe their sound as “Jet City Rock … fun high-energy rock n’ roll suitable for all ages along the vein of Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age.” The band’s name is taken “from a mythical phoenix-like songbird in Filipino folklore”; The Adarna formed five years ago and has been on seven national tours as well as performing internationally for US troops in five countries. Bring your own chair/blanket, picnic dinner if you want, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers – the show’s free, on the east lawn at >Hiawatha Community Center (along Walnut, south of Lander). WSB is a co-sponsor again this year.

Then on Friday:

FIRST SUMMER CONCERT AT THE MOUNT: The four-Friday-night series at Providence Mount St. Vincent (4831 35th SW) starts this week:

Just a reminder that the first Summer Concert on the South Patio at The Mount is this Friday, August 4th, featuring Cherry Cherry – a Neil Diamond Tribute Band. Dinner is available for purchase from 5:30 to 7 pm and live music is performed from 6 to 7:30. All are welcome to this family-friendly community event. Admission is free. Food and beverage available for purchase. Free snow cones and popcorn. And a reminder to bring your own lawn chairs or blankets.

West Seattle mural mystery: Vandals’ tags finally, suddenly, unofficially cleaned up

blurredtag(WSB photo from February 2016 – we blurred the tag; in ensuing months, others were added)

A year and a half ago, we published that photo, with disheartening news: One of West Seattle’s historic murals had been vandalized in a big way. Other defacement followed. No official cleanup plan was finalized. But now, suddenly, unofficially, that mural – on the north side of 4740 44th SW, along the south side of The Junction’s southernmost free parking lot – has been cleaned up:

We got first word last night from Guy and Joy Smith, best known for sharing interesting news from Alki Point. They wrote:

We go to dinner at Elliott Bay Brewery every Monday night. We always park in the lot to the west of Northwest Art and Frame. We’re happy when we get there, but everything is ruined when we see the graffiti on the big mural to the south.

Last Monday when we pulled in the lot, there was a woman taking photos of the graffiti and we could tell that she was not a happy camper. We asked her what she was up to and she said she reached the boiling point with the ever-increasing graffiti. She was on a mission to do something about it. It turns out she is a muralist and she knew she could fix it. She also said she was afraid she might get in trouble for doing it. …

When we drove into the parking lot (last night), we were dumbfounded to see that there was no more graffiti on the mural and it didn’t show any signs that any had ever been there.

We had to see it firsthand to believe it – and indeed, there it was, or should we say, there it wasn’t. Our “after” photo was taken just before sunset last night.

Before publishing this, we checked with two people we thought might know something about it. Clay Eals, former executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, and Lora Swift, executive director of the West Seattle Junction Association. Guy and Joy said they had told the woman about taking a mural tour with Eals (who led several last year), and suggested she talk with him; she said she knew him. Contacted by us, he said he had seen the cleanup early Monday and wondered about it, but didn’t know for sure who was responsible. Swift, meantime, was completely surprised by the news. (Guy and Joy, meantime, said the artist had given them a name; we’re not publishing it unless we can confirm it, and so far, no response to our inquiry.)

Meantime, as Eals points out, while this is “a positive step,” the future of West Seattle’s murals – 20+ years old and showing wear, aside from the restored mural on the Junction Post Office wall – remains clouded. He wrote about it in summer of last year, after the aforementioned tours. The questions he asked at the end remain unanswered, and waiting for someone to step forward (aside from the Morgan Junction mural that has a restoration project in the planning stage).

P.S. If the rogue mural-cleaner is reading this, Eals and Swift both said they’re glad about it – so you’re not in trouble.

HAPPENING NOW: ‘Pianos in the Parks’ finale @ Alki Beach

July 30, 2017 4:00 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

As featured in our West Seattle Sunday preview, the final Pianos in the Parks one-day installation of the season is happening right now at Alki – just west of the Bathhouse, to be specific (61st/Alki). It’s there until 6 pm. Above, piano-playing was accompanied by vocals when we stopped by a little while ago. Each one-day stop has showcased a different piano, uniquely decorated and designed by an artist – Angelina Villalobos, for today’s Alki piano:

According to today’s schedule, Scarlet Parke should be performing right now, and ARC Dance Company is scheduled at 5:15 pm.

Yesterday, Pianos in the Parks stopped at Steve Cox Memorial Park, and we covered it for our partner site White Center Now.

AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE: Band Jam 2017 brings musical marching to Southwest Athletic Complex

That’s the Junior All-City Band, elementary- and middle-school musicians from all over the city, first up at Band Jam, which will fill the next hour and a half or so with marching-band music at Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle) – a free and fun showcase on Seafair Torchlight Parade Eve, hosted by the All-City Band and organized by its director Marcus Pimpleton:

Second up, the Gents Drumline:

Excellent crowd this year! No admission charge, still some room in the bleachers over here on the north side.

7:44 PM: From Burien, the Kennedy Catholic High School Marching Band just wrapped up its set:

And the Rainbow City Band has marched onto the field:

Each band performs at least two songs.

8:24 PM: And sometimes the performances aren’t really songs – like the drumline-centered tour de force the Sumner High School Summer Marching Band (which includes middle-schoolers) is performing right now.

We’ll add video of that later – this is from a few minutes earlier:

The Sumner band has more than 100 people on the field! They’ll be followed in a few minutes by the hosts, the All-City Band, Seattle parade fixtures in their green polo shirts and white pants – grand-prize winners at last Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade.

8:52 PM: And with everything from flag-twirling to virtuoso baton-tossing – along with their signature chant, “Who are we? All-City Band!” they have wrapped up the show.

After a march to the fence at the bottom of the stands, and a standing ovation, they’re done, Band Jam is over, and it’s on for many of tonight’s musicians to tomorrow night’s Torchlight Parade downtown. We’ll be adding/substituting more photos/video back at HQ.

11:48 PM: The additions have begun.

VIDEO: Nick Drummond @ Summer Concerts at Hiawatha, week two

July 27, 2017 6:54 pm
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 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

6:54 PM: Still time to get to the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center for the second of this summer’s six Summer Concerts at Hiawatha, presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association.

In our photos are Nick Drummond and Friends, bringing their “alt-folk” sounds to the crowd enjoying tonight’s free show, which continues until about 8 pm, along Walnut south of Lander.

7:55 PM: Photos updated; video to come (added: here it is):

Next week, the “Jet City rock” of The Adarna, 6:30 pm Thursday, August 3rd.

THURSDAY: Nick Drummond and Friends play Summer Concerts @ Hiawatha

July 26, 2017 6:30 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(Photos courtesy Admiral Neighborhood Association)

This time tomorrow night – 6:30 pm Thursday, July 27th – another warm, clear evening is expected for the second of this year’s six free Summer Concerts at Hiawatha, presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association. Onstage will be Nick Drummond and Friends – details from ANA:

Nick Drummond has been a performing songwriter for over 10 years, selling out multi-night runs at historic venues such as Seattle’s Triple Door and Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley with his legendary Pacific Northwest band The Senate (hailed by A Prairie Home Companion’s Garrison Keillor for their “Brilliant Dionysian music.”) Drummond is also known for his work with his former band Impossible Bird, and Seattle Weekly has praised his songwriting as “An absolutely stellar combination of upbeat alt-folk that’s mesmerizing and radiates talent.”

His most recent album “Follow the Rivulets,” released in April 2016, has been widely praised by critics and music fans alike. Featuring a hand-picked lineup of some of Seattle’s finest musicians, “Rivulets” pulses with a purpose and an artistic vision that stands out uniquely in today’s busy musical landscape. Nick’s words and voice dance upon an incessant and infectious groove in his music, and provides the type of melodies that keep a listener coming back for more.

Drummond’s new band has been touring the west coast since the release of “Rivulets,” gaining a loyal and growing following wherever they play. The shows are fun and upbeat affairs, featuring some of the best musicians Seattle has to offer. Whether solo or with a full band, Nick’s shows are not to be missed.

Nick’s music has been featured in: The Bluegrass Situation, Songwriting Magazine, Americana UK, and American Songwriter.

All concerts are held on the east lawn next to the Hiawatha Community center. Bring a blanket, family/ friends, a picnic, and enjoy the show!

WSB is a co-sponsor of the series, which continues every Thursday night through August 24th. Hiawatha is at 2700 California SW (but the show’s along Walnut, south of Lander).

BAND JAM 2017: Here’s the lineup for Friday night’s West Seattle showcase


(Saturday photo by Mark Filteau)

You saw their grand-prize-winning performance in Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade … you might have seen their practice and photo shoot at Seacrest five days earlier … and now, the All-City Band has one more West Seattle performance, at this year’s Band Jam on Friday night. ACB director Marcus Pimpleton shares the full lineup in this invitation to you:

The Seattle All-City Band will once again be hosting the annual Band Jam event at the Southwest Athletic Complex in West Seattle.

This year’s event will take place this coming Friday, July 28th, from 7:00-9:00 pm and feature musical performances by the Junior All-City Band, the Gents Drumline, the John F. Kennedy Catholic High School Marching Band, the Rainbow City Band, the Sumner High School Spartan Marching Band, and the Seattle Schools All-City Band.

Stadium concessions will be available beginning at 6:00 pm and pre-show entertainment by the Ten Man Brass Band will begin at 6:30. This family-friendly event celebrating young people and music is free to the public.

The lineup varies each year; here’s our coverage from last year. SWAC is at 2801 SW Thistle, across from Chief Sealth International High School.

READER REPORT: Young Shakespeare Workshop @ Roxhill Park, day 1

July 22, 2017 9:09 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Thanks to Judy for photos from this afternoon’s Young Shakespeare Workshop performance of “As You Like It” at Roxhill Park this afternoon. She enjoyed it and wanted to let you know a few things in case you were thinking about going to the encore performance tomorrow (2 pm Sunday):

Judy says, “I parked at the Roxhill Park parking lot off 29th just south of Barton and walked SE on paths to reach the performance location—they promised there would be direction signs on the paths for tomorrow’s performance. Bring a blanket, towel, or camp chair for sitting on the hillside. There’s some shade but also areas to sit in the sun.” The performance is free.

Young Shakespeare Workshop, by the way, is a nationally acclaimed organization – its director Darren Lay accepted an award at the White House a few years back – and doesn’t usually have West Seattle stops on its summer schedule, so if you have time tomorrow afternoon, don’t miss the chance to see them.

‘Part of our heritage’: WSHS alum Timothy Brock to showcase his silent-film-scoring work @ Admiral Theater benefit

July 21, 2017 10:38 pm
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 |   Admiral Theater | West Seattle news | West Seattle people | WS culture/arts

(Timothy Brock’s video invitation to Tuesday’s event, courtesy of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The last time composer/conductor Timothy Brock was onstage in West Seattle, he was a WSHS student, performing with one of the school’s musical groups.

During his years at the school, he was involved with them all – band, orchestra, stage band, chamber orchestra, choir – he recalled during a conversation this week outside the Admiral Theater, where he’s headlining the next fundraiser for restoration of the moviehouse’s historic circa-1942 murals:

At 6:45 pm next Tuesday night (July 25th), he will be onstage just a few blocks from his alma mater, in a multifaceted event explained by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which is leading the mural-restoration fundraising campaign:

This exciting evening – to last more than three hours, with an intermission – will start with Timothy Brock being interviewed by his childhood friend, West Seattle’s Dave Beck, a host at KING-FM and longtime former KUOW-FM host.

Brock will reminisce with Beck about their West Seattle upbringing and discuss the fascinating process of scoring silent classics. (Brock earned the label of “Silent-Film Music Guru” from Vogue magazine in May 2016.)

Interspersed will be stills and clips from silent films that Brock has scored. Following an intermission, Brock will introduce the screening of the Charlie Chaplin feature “Modern Times,” for which Brock has restored and re-recorded the original 1936 Chaplin score.

This isn’t Brock’s first trip back home – far from it. His mom and sister live in this area. His oldest son lives in Olympia. That’s where Brock moved at age 18, leaving West Seattle, and eventually spending more than a decade conducting the Olympia Chamber Orchestra. Olympia is where he says most of his “silent-film experiments” were initiated, but he now lives in Europe, where there is more of an appreciation for what he specializes in – composing scores for silent films. And it’s not just an appreciation from the spectator standpoint; Brock explains that silent-film history is taught, and in France, there’s even a program to teach silent-film composition.

His path toward his unique career started with a visit to the now-gone Granada Theater (south of The Junction) at an early age. “I actually came back and said to my mom, ‘this is something I would really like to do – play piano and make music for really old films’. She didn’t know I meant silent films. (I explained), ‘no, these don’t have any words at all, just words (onscreen) and music’. She’s been worried about my career ever since.”

He was age 10 when that interest was kindled. At 23, he was commissioned to write his first silent-film score, for “Pandora’s Box,” a film by G.W. Pabst. Since then, he says, he’s written on average one silent-film score a year. He just completed one for Fritz Lang‘s 1929 “Frau im Mond (Woman in the Moon),” a three-hour science-fiction film that he says was the first of its kind. The premiere was last April. He’s now writing a violin concerto for the BBC Symphony, to premiere next season, in 2018-2019.

So what’s it going to be like, to be onstage at The Admiral next Tuesday? we asked.

“It’s the most bizarre feeling to see your name on the marquee of a theater you grew up with,” Brock acknowledged. But also – “It’s great. It’s a little like coming back home and playing for your friends … talking with family and friends about what it is that you do.”

We asked how he views the importance of what it is that he does – Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals recorded Brock’s answer on video:

As you can hear in the video, he listed several reasons – “It’s part of our heritage, specifically for Americans, too … an art form that has obviously died out,” as have most of the people who performed as silent-film musicians. So many of them, Brock explained, performed in symphony orchestras as well as the theater orchestras that played the silent-film accompaniment. And now – “It’s a matter of keeping that art up, learning the craft, teaching it to future generations. One of the reasons I live in Europe is that orchestras of middle- and high-caliber program silent films as part of their seasons.”

The music itself, he added, is of great historical value, with work by composers such as Shostakovich “who liked the idea of writing for this [then-]new art form. … It needs to be kept alive.” Brock’s work includes the silent-film programs for the New York Philharmonic: “It’s important just like any period performances of baroque or Middle Ages [etc.] music.”

And his early music education at West Seattle High School helped lay the groundwork for his one-of-a-kind career. In our conversation, he listed “some fabulous teachers,” including Donn Weaver, who recently retired as director of the West Seattle Big Band.

So come to The Admiral on Tuesday night to see and hear how one of your former West Seattle neighbors is preserving and enhancing film and music history, while contributing to the preservation and restoration of the theater’s historic murals. Tickets are $20 and you’ll want to buy yours online ASAP – go here and choose “Modern Times” at the bottom of the page. (There’s also a $100 VIP opportunity, to meet and talk with Brock and Beck at 5:30 pm.)

HAPPENING NOW: Artists’ Airstream tour stops at Click! in The Junction

July 21, 2017 3:52 pm
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 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Artists/designers Jason and Briana are touring cross-country with the Airstream Basecamp trailer they’re standing in front of in our photo, parked right now in front of Click! Design That Fits (4540 California SW; WSB sponsor) in The Junction. Their company is Brainstorm, based in New Hampshire, with prints “inspired by science, nature, and the outdoors”; they won a cross-country trip in the trailer as the prize in a contest to design a wrap for it. They’re chronicling the journey here. Meet them at Click! and check out their pop-up shop until 7 tonight.

‘Come to the beach and help us celebrate!’ Alki Art Fair celebrates 20th anniversary this weekend

July 20, 2017 10:30 pm
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 |   West Seattle festivals | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(WSB file photo)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

This weekend’s Alki Art Fair is more than a once-a-year event: It’s the festival’s 20th anniversary.

“Come to the beach and help us celebrate!” is your invitation from Giovannina Souers, during our conversation today about the AAF’s milestone. She’s the president of the Alki Art Fair board, and has been involved from the start.

In 1997, she had a pottery studio elsewhere in West Seattle, when a painter from the Alki Bathhouse “came in and said, ‘we’re thinking about having an arts event on the beach, and looking for artists – we want it to be interactive.’ … So I grabbed a couple wheels, and some students, and went down, did a few demonstrations and sold our things.” She says it was “informal,” maybe about 15 different artists/booths, demonstration-based, “the artists were there, doing and selling their art on the beach.”

The next year, she was hired to create a pottery studio at the Bathhouse, and helped put on the art fair the next few years. “We kind of grew it and turned it into more of a fair to sell work, and fun kids’ activities … it just kind of grew from there.”

One major growth point was when music was added after a few years, in the early 2000s.

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