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WEST SEATTLE ART: New mural to be created with gift from Dan Wiseman

West Seattle’s collection of murals will grow thanks to a gift from the late Admiral District business owner Dan Wiseman. Here’s the announcement from the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce:

Past West Seattle Chamber president Daniel Wiseman passed away on February 17, 2023 and the West Seattle Chamber is declaring April 2nd, 2023 (what would have been Dan’s 70th Birthday) “Dan Wiseman Day” to recognize his contribution to our community.

For the past several years the West Seattle community has come together during Summer Fest to paint a mural of sea life. Local artist Stacey Sterling directs the community project, and the murals hang in Mural Alley in the Junction. Dan Wiseman left funds to pay for a mural. The West Seattle Junction Association and West Seattle Chamber are honored to put that money toward this year’s sea life painting. We will hang the art in Mural Alley and place a plaque next to it in Dan’s honor, remembering his support of the arts and of the West Seattle community.

We are so grateful for Dan’s years of service as a Board Member of the West Seattle Chamber, his volunteerism in the community and being a vibrant business owner (Wiseman’s Appliance) in West Seattle. He will be missed dearly.

Mural Alley is the breezeway on the west side of the 4700 block of California SW.

ST. PATRICK’S DAY: 2 more West Seattle scenes

Before this “wearing of the green” day ends … two more scenes from West Seattle St. Patrick’s Day celebrations:

IRISH DANCE AT THE SENIOR CENTER: As featured in our daily event list today, students from the West Seattle-based Comerford School of Irish Dance performed this afternoon at the Senior Center of West Seattle.

PIANO TUNES @ THE KENNEY: Weekly piano music at The Kenney (WSB sponsor) had a St. Patrick’s Day theme, according to this reader report:

John Van Lierop, Jr., from West Seattle, played Irish songs on the piano for the Memory Care residents (including his 101-year-old Father) at The Kenney today. John plays old-time piano music of the ’30s, ’40s, every Friday. He notices that the faces of the residents light up when he begins to play familiar songs and some even sing. The two favorites today were “My Wild Irish Rose” and “When Irish Eyes are Smiling.” John has been operating a piano studio for over 50 years on Gatewood Hill and has been the organist at Tibbetts United Methodist Church in West Seattle for 42 years!

WEST SEATTLE HISTORY: Rock garden meets Stone Cottage

(WSB photo)

A new arrival today at the spot where the Stone Cottage is being stored, awaiting a permanent home. It’s the Bicentennial Tower from the Walker Rock Garden, saved when the garden was partly demolished for redevelopment in 2021. Since then, the tower has been unceremoniously lying on its side atop a planting strip across the street, east and uphill from Fairmount Park. That house is now in the process of being sold, so it had to be moved.

(This photo and next courtesy Mike Shaughnessy)

Today local preservationists led by Mike Shaughnessy, also part of Save the Stone Cottage, loaded it onto a truck and moved it to the lot where the Stone Cottage has been since it too had to be moved because of redevelopment (which has since stalled, but that’s another story). Here’s a photo of how the tower looked when it stood in the Walker Rock Garden:

The hope is that the tower – whose backstory you can read in this story by Eric Scigliano (who was there for this morning’s move) – can be restored and then placed in a new home yet to be determined – somewhere in West Seattle.

SATURDAY: Northwest Symphony Orchestra in concert in West Seattle

Taking a moment to look ahead to the weekend – if you could use some soul-soothing music, this just might be it. The award-winning Northwest Symphony Orchestra is sponsoring WSB right now to be sure you know about Saturday’s concert:

Northwest Symphony Orchestra presents “Music for the Soul”

The Northwest Symphony Orchestra presents a concert of “Music for the Soul” at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in West Seattle on Saturday, March 18, at 8 pm. This concert features Mozart’s Symphony #41, with its incredible finale, Where Springs Not Fail by local composer Hanna Benn (a piece based on the poignant poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins), J.S. Bach’s exuberant Orchestral Suite #3 (that includes the famous Air on the G String) and a cello concerto by Vivaldi featuring Carlsen Cello Foundation recipient Carson Ling-Efird.

For more information, go here; for tickets, go here.

The concert venue is at 42nd SW and SW Genesee on the north edge of The Junction.

THEATER: Chief Sealth International High School’s new Drama Company gets ready to present ‘She Kills Monsters’

It’s been a long time since Chief Sealth International High School presented a full-length theatrical play. And now, after intense work, the new Chief Sealth Drama Company is almost ready for its first production, “She Kills Monsters,” with performances this Friday and Saturday.

(Photo by Keni Cohen)

West Seattle-based Bayfest Youth Theatre, a 33-year-old nonprofit, has been working with the school for years to re-establish “a high-quality drama program that can offer productions to the school and community.”

The curtain will rise Friday night on the play “She Kills Monsters,” described in Bayfest’s announcement as “a high-octane dramatic comedy by acclaimed playwright Qui Nguyen that offers a heart-pounding dive into the world of Dungeons and Dragons, homicidal fairies, cheerleaders, and the fight against evil. It pays homage to the geek and warrior within us all, and explores themes of loss, identity, and friendship, with original music, projected animations, and many exciting stage combat sequences – swords, battle axes and magical conflict!”

(L-R: AJ Bitseff, Addisen Whited, Satomi Giedeman, Claire Popelka, Larenzo Boney – photo by Gentle McGaughey)

Making this all happen are 23 cast members and more than 20 student designers, musicians, and set and prop builders, working with a team of professional directors, fight choreographers, and designers. They hope you will come see their first production. Here’s what to know:

(WSB photo)

*Public showtimes 7:30 pm Friday (March 17th), 2 and 7:30 pm Saturday (March 18th)
*Onstage in the auditorium at Chief Sealth IHS, 2600 SW Thistle
*Appropriate for ages 11 and up
*Advance tickets $5 students, $10 adults (buy online)
*At the door: $8 students, $14 adults
*Group discounts for 10 or more available – email

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Original ‘Snow White’ meets harp and viola

A one-of-a-kind event happens Saturday night at historic Kenyon Hall – the century-old silent movie telling the “Snow White” fairy tale, accompanied live by a Vashon Island musician’s 21st-century harp and viola score. Here’s what it’s all about:

Everyone knows Disney’s classic animated film “Snow White,” but few are aware that that a teenage Walt Disney growing up in Kansas City saw the original silent movie of the fairy tale, and it was this 1916 silent that inspired him to blaze a path in filmmaking and make his own version in 1937.

Like all silent films, Snow White was made on flammable nitrate film stock, and for many years, it was rumored to have been destroyed in a vault fire. But a single theatrical print was discovered in the Netherlands in 1992, and a heroic restoration was performed by the George Eastman House film archive.

Now the whimsical silent fantasy returns to the silver screen, and West Seattle film lovers can see the long-lost Snow White with live musical accompaniment. Harpist-composer Leslie McMichael’s magical score brings the silent film alive at 7:30 pm on Saturday, March 11 at Kenyon Hall, 7904 35th Avenue SW.

Vashon Island harpist McMichael will perform live on the concert harp for the 63-minute film, and her original score also features her sister Barbara McMichael on viola.

Northwest Film Forum commissioned McMichael to compose a new score for Snow White in 2016, and the 100-year-old film, and McMichael’s live music premiered at opening night of Children’s Film Festival Seattle that year. Since then, the old film and new live score have toured across the country accompanying screenings of the historic film.

How did McMichael approach the project of scoring the film? The harpist says that her DVD remote and digital timer were two modern tools that she relied on to compose a soundtrack that seamlessly fits the onscreen action. After watching the 63-minute film and writing longhand notes about every scene and character, she developed musical themes to reflect the moods in the storyline. Certain motifs reappear in her score whenever a character appears – sweet Snow White has specific music, as does the Witch, the Huntsman, the Prince, and, of course, the Seven Dwarves!

McMichael adds, “It’s thrilling to play live and pair the visuals of film with my music. With every performance, we get to use our instruments to underscore the expressive acting so typical of the silent era – very fun!”

For advance tickets to the Snow White film screening with live harp and viola accompaniment, go here. General admission is $15, $10/seniors and students, and children under 6 are free.

Scenes from March’s West Seattle Art Walk, brightening waning days of winter

5:42 PM: It’s on! The monthly West Seattle Art Walk is happening right now at dozens of venues around West Seattle.

That’s artist Leon Lowman, at Verity Credit Union (4405 California SW; WSB sponsor) until 8 tonight. He paints abstract art in acrylics, and has been a painter since his years growing up in Puerto Rico.

ADDED 6:06 PM: We also stopped at Viscon Cellars (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor), always open on Art Walk night, where you can meet photographer Doug Early until 8 pm:

And at Canna West Culture Shop (5435 California SW), multimedia artist Rick Klu is showing his work until 7 pm:

See the full list of participating venues – both businesses with art and/or artist receptions, and restaurants/bars with food/drink specials for Art Walk night – by going here. The full preview of artists in tonight’s spotlight is here; we featured four in our preview last night, plus artist Reeve Washburn‘s California/Oregon pop-up here.

PREVIEW: What you’ll find on Thursday night’s West Seattle Art Walk

Tomorrow night (Thursday, March 9th) brings the last West Seattle Art Walk of winter, with artist receptions and exhibitions around the peninsula, as well as restaurants and bars offering food and drink specials to enhance your evening. Above is the list of participating venues, which is updated quarterly. Here are four of this month’s highlights:

REBECCA WOODHOUSE AT COMPASS: What you see above is painter Rebecca Woodhouse‘s “Subway Walls.” Woodhouse is a West Seattle artist who most often shows up in Friday Harbor, so this is a return to her “Stomping Grounds” – which is the title of her show at Compass (4531 California SW), where you can meet her 5-8 pm Thursday. She explains that the show title also reflects her style of abstract painting: “She places wood panels on the floor and steps all over them instead of hand-pressing her linocuts or using a printing press — both of which are prohibitive at the large sizes she prefers.”

IRENE REX AT AND ARLEN: Ready to start your Art Walk-ing a little early? Irene Rex‘s reception at new Junction shop And Arlen (4130 California SW) starts at 4 pm and continues until 7. She is described as an artist “who uses her sketch-style illustrations painted in watercolor, salt, and hand-drawn in layers of acrylic to design joyful home goods & accessories that encourage reusability and self-reflection.”

RHONDA PORTER AT ZELDA ZONK: Also on the early side, the reception at Zelda Zonk Consignment (2210 California SW) for West Seattle artist Rhonda Porter starts at 4 pm too. Rhonda “paints anything that makes her smile.”

DOUG EARLY AT VISCON CELLARS: Toward the south end of the Art Walk zone, Viscon Cellars (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor) is hosting photographer Doug Early, 5-8 pm. Stop in for wine and photos that “can take a person on a journey either by showcasing a foreign city’s highlights that piques the individual’s curiosity, an unusual landscape that begs the observer to want to know more or through capturing a flower in bloom that brings a wonderful calmness and serenity for the viewer.”

Those are just a few of the artists whose work you can see Thursday night – many others are previewed on the Art Walk website.

BIZNOTE: Art pop-up this week in Senior Center of West Seattle’s streetcorner space

The streetcorner space at the Senior Center of West Seattle is hosting another pop-up this week. Artist Reeve Washburn is showing and selling her art, “recent mixed-media work on wood panels, many of which feature hand-created monoprint collage.” She’s there through Sunday, noon-5 pm each day except Sunday (when her hours will be 10 am-2 pm to coincide with Farmers’ Market hours). Plus, on Thursday night you’re invited to a reception during the West Seattle Art Walk (which Washburn has long coordinated), 5 pm-8 pm. She’s “offering complimentary Babycakes from Cupcake Royale while supplies last” that night, as well as “piano backgrounds by Jeremy Bacon, local jazz musician.” (And you can wish her “Happy Birthday!”) If you haven’t been to the space, it’s on the southeast corner of California and Oregon.

SUMMER: Alki Art Fair returning! Applications open now for artists, volunteers, assistant director

(2017 Alki Art Fair from above, photographed by Long Bach Nguyen)

Another major West Seattle summer event has announced the dates for this year – and is accepting applications now for participants, volunteers, and an assistant director. Here’s the announcement sent to us:

The Alki Art Fair has been set for July 21 – 23rd this summer. Applications are currently open so make sure to apply before the end of the month!

As with all big events, planning has to start months in advance, so the Alki Art Fair is sending out the call for help now!

Alki Art Fair brings people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds together to celebrate local art and music on beautiful Alki Beach. Our goal is to promote art appreciation by creating opportunities for community involvement and cultural diversity through the arts.

Seeking Volunteers, Board Members and an Assistant Director

As spring is here and planning has begun, we are looking for volunteers to join the Board; a new president, and fundraising specialists as well as volunteers to help with planning the music and the kids area for the fair.

If you would like to get involved with the planning of the fair please email or visit and fill out the volunteer contact form.

Alki Art Fair is also hiring a stipend volunteer position – Assistant Director.

For more information on the Assistant Director position, please contact Giovannina Souers at

PHOTOS: Macklemore returns to Easy Street Records in West Seattle

(WSB photos unless otherwise credited)

Rapper Macklemore returned to Easy Street Records in The Junction this afternoon for a meet-and-greet signing event to celebrate his new album. Fans were waiting in this street – still closed post-Farmers’ Market – to snap pics:

Previous visits to Easy Street – including 2011 and 2016 – were with his longtime musical partner Ryan Lewis, but this time he’s solo. The new album carries his real name, Ben.

“Ben” was released this week; its first music video, No Bad Days,” features Macklemore’s 7-year-old daughter Sloane. Easy Street sold out of the early “Ben” sales required to get a chance to meet him today.

Macklemore heads out on a world tour next month.

P.S. Days before Macklemore’s visit, artist Desmond Hansen was seen sprucing up his signal-box mural at 35th/Avalon:

(Thanks to Ian for the photo.) Hansen originally painted it in 2019.

MUSIC: West Seattleite writes lyrics, produces video for new song

That’s the video for a new song, “Bend the Arc,” by Western Washington musician Rich Arithmetic. We heard about it from West Seattleite Stewart Lyman, who wrote the lyrics and produced the video, which he wants to share with the community. Rich Arithmetic himself describes it as “a song that calls to mind the protest music of the Sixties. The song is based on MLK Jr.’s famous quote: ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ Produced by James Nicholson and with lyrics written by Stewart Lyman, the recording is filled with folk-rock guitars, crunchy harmonies, and an anthemic singalong chorus.” The video, Arithmetic says, “is filled with powerful images of people trying to bend the arc.”

MYSTERY: Who crocheted – and donated – dozens of snowflakes?

The photo and request are from Caroline:

Over the weekend, while visiting the Senior Center of West Seattle, I came across these crocheted snowflakes. They were selling for $1 each.

I thought about the time and love that someone out into making them and decided that the best outcome for the set would be to keep them together, so I purchased all 49 snowflakes.

I am interested in donating these snowflakes to a folk art museum, and I’m trying to find out who crocheted them so that their name may be identified with the snowflakes. Hopefully one of your readers will recognize the snowflakes and let me know who crocheted them.

Caroline said the Stop ‘n’ Shop thrift shop at the Senior Center, where she bought the snowflakes, told her there was no name attached to the donation, which isn’t unusual. If you have a clue, post a comment and/or email us and we’ll connect you!

WEST SEATTLE MUSIC: 2 more chances to create it and/or enjoy it

Two West Seattle events in the next week welcome musicians as well as spectators:

PIANO BAR AT ‘THE JEWEL OF THE JUNCTION’: Pianist Larry Knapp invites you to the next monthly edition, this Thursday (March 2):

I will be your host at the piano with three of Seattle’s finest jazz artists joining me.


At Piano Bar, we feature music of the Great American Songbook and the early jazz era. Bring your friends and come join the fun! Proceeds benefit the West Seattle Senior Center. 7-1 pm March 2 at the Senior Center (4217 SW Oregon), $10.

Tickets available at the door or you may click on the link below to secure your tickets online.

NEW OPEN MIC: And from Cole, an invitation to a new weekly open mic starting next Monday (March 6):

My name is Cole and I am the organizer and host of the BedHead Open Mic, a new weekly event hosted at the West Seattle Church Of The Nazarene (4201 SW Juneau)!

During our first month, we will be accepting donations for the development of Maarten Park, in honor of our friend and neighbor Maarten Verburg who passed away on February 13th after a nearly year-long battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Our first open mic will be held on Monday March, 6th. Sign up at 6:30 PM. Performances at 7 PM.

More information is here. For an explanation of Maarten Park, see the obituary we recently published for its namesake.

THINK SPRING: Signup time for second-ever West Seattle Art Hop & Shop

February 22, 2023 11:56 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

A reason to think spring on a day that started with snow – the West Seattle Art Hop & Shop is returning for a second year, and inviting interested artists and prospective host sites to register right now! Here’s the announcement:

Saturday, May 6, 2023, 10 am to 5 pm all across West Seattle
One Day, Many Artists, All Kinds of Art!

The West Seattle Art Hop & Shop, West Seattle’s community arts tour, is back and has moved to the spring! This year’s tour will be Saturday, May 6th, 10 am-5 pm. Art will be on display and available for purchase at studios, yards and outdoor spaces throughout the West Seattle peninsula. The tour features art of all kinds, at a wide variety of price points from emerging to established artists. Art lovers are sure to enjoy the day as they hop their way across West Seattle.

Unlike traditional art tours, the West Seattle Art Hop & Shop is open to all artists who complete the registration process. Artist registration this year is $25 and the registration deadline is April 9th. Artists are encouraged to start planning early to ensure they have a location to show their work.

While artist participation is unlimited, this year’s event will have a limit of 30 sites, with a minimum of three artists per site. Site hosts will complete an easy, free registration to secure their spot on the tour and then coordinate with artists to fill their location. Site registration will close when 30 sites have registered.

The West Seattle Art Hop & Shop offers an artist and host matching tool to help those offering space with those looking for a location to show their work. Artists and sites will find all the information they’ll need to connect and complete registration on the Art Hop’s registration page. The West Seattle Art Hop & Shop is organized by an all-volunteer committee of artists and art lovers with support from West Seattle Art Walk and West Seattle Junction Association. If you’re interested in getting involved behind the scenes to support the West Seattle Art Hop & Shop, email

YOU’RE INVITED! Big Band Dinner Dance for, and with, student musicians

That’s the West Seattle Big Band in an outdoor performance last summer. But you don’t have to wait until warmer weather to enjoy their music – they’re guest stars at a benefit for the West Seattle High School music program in just a week and a half, with excellent student musicians featured too! Here’s the announcement sent to us:

West Seattle High School Big Band Dinner Dance
Friday, March 3, 2023 from 6-9 pm
West Seattle High School Commons

The community is invited to our Annual Dinner Dance and Benefit, in support of our High School Music Program. Tickets are available at this link, either with dinner provided by the West Seattle High School Culinary Department or Dance only.

Performance by our Special Guest – the West Seattle Big Band, under the direction of Jim Edwards. Earlier performances by all our music groups – Jazz I & II, Band, Choir, Orchestra and Percussion – under the direction of our music teachers, Ethan Thomas and Taylor Fritts.

Thank you to our wonderful sponsor, West Side Music Academy! Auction items will be available to bid on, and all donations will be gratefully accepted.

Visit our webpage to purchase tickets and find more information, as we update it regularly. Please email with any questions.

Inspired by the Duwamish River? Learn to put it into words

(WSB file photo)

While much of Seattle’s only river, the Duwamish River, has been pressed into service as industrial “waterway” over the decades, some stretches retain remnants of its original wild beauty. In all its roles, the Duwamish can be a source of inspiration, and a writer who grew up in West Seattle wants you to know about a writing workshop he’s leading soon – not in WS but not far away. Here’s the announcement:

This winter Simon Wolf will offer Place Based Poetics: Writing with the Duwamish River, a workshop through Hugo House, an essential literary community in Seattle. The course draws on documentary and ecopoetic work that has preoccupied Wolf for the past three years, including his University of Washington Bothell MFA thesis, Charging. That project drew from Seattle settler history texts, family migration stories, and reflections on urban experiences, with the Duwamish River as a grounding line through every element. In his current work he questions his preconceived notions of nature and explores new ways of approaching the Duwamish River through writing, research, and his work in land restoration.

The course considers, “How can we write poems from a river? How can this river be the line that guides us through the violent past of Seattle? Part Seattle history, part eco-poetics, we will read excerpts of history texts and discuss poets that engage rivers, industry, and pollution in their work. Students will practice incorporating research into their poetry, will visit the river at least once, and leave class with two river poems.”

Registration is open. Hugo House members receive a discounted rate for the class, which meets in person at Hugo House Tuesdays 5 to 7 pm from February 28 through March 21, 2023.

Wolf also hosts a free monthly Writing Circle at Blue Cone Studios, on Capitol Hill, in Seattle that meets the last Friday of the month from 6-8 pm. Participants are invited to read and discuss poetry, make work together, and to share work in progress — all are welcome!

BIZNOTE: Art pop-up in The Junction

February 18, 2023 3:27 pm
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 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

The Senior Center of West Seattle‘s corner ground-floor space at California/Oregon is hosting another pop-up shop. If you haven’t been yet, you have through tomorrow to go browse the art of Bjoern T.M. Larsen, who tells us a bit about himself and his work:

I’m a Danish artist locally residing in Seattle.

I studied art in Venice (Italy) and within decades I was able to build my own unique style by using iridescent Acrylics and resin on Canvas. I won several Art Festivals (Art Shoreline Festival 2020), I sell originals, prints of different sizes, and greeting cards.

With me there is Lucia, an Italian jewelry and candle maker.

Larsen’s pop-up is open until 5 pm today and again 11 am-5 pm tomorrow (Sunday, February 19th).

APPLICATION TIME: West Seattle Junction Association announces city ‘arts and culture recovery’ grant money

The West Seattle Junction Association wants to make sure you know that city grant money is available for “arts and culture recovery,” with less than two weeks remaining for applications:

The West Seattle Junction Association is pleased to announce a one-time Request-For-Proposal for arts and culture recovery funding for the West Seattle Junction. These funds have been available through the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and are being distributed through Lead Organizations throughout Seattle.

The funding available through this RFP is for activations or events specifically in the West Seattle Junction that assist in arts and culture recovery efforts with a specific priority to those areas and groups most impacted by COVID pandemic and in alignment with the City of Seattle’s vision of equity, inclusion, collaboration, public safety and resiliency for One Seattle.

The total amount of funding available through this Lead Organization for this designated area is $56,950.

We welcome proposals for projects of all sizes, but requests cannot exceed $20,000, and some awardees may only receive part of their requested amount.

Activations and events can occur any time after an award is made with final reports due no later than September 15, 2023. These contracts are made on a reimbursement basis with deliverables that will be outlined in the contracts. While you may apply to other Lead Organizations for projects in other designated areas, you can receive funding for only one award.

The RFP package includes Guidelines, Application & Budget Template, and is due no later than 5:00pm, February 27, 2023. You will be notified of results after our community review panels completes their rating and funding recommendations and shall be no later than March 15, 2023.

You can apply online here and access documents and contact info at

The application form also explains more about the intention of these grants and what type of “event or activation” might qualify, as well as qualifications for applying.

STAY BRASSY! West Seattle musician recruiting for new band

Quirky, lively, joyful … brass bands can make you smile and get you dancing, If you want to give the gift of irresistible music, one of your West Seattle neighbors has an invitation for you:

Do you sometimes hear a song and think, “ya know, that would sound better as brass”? Same here! Let’s play tunes that span multiple decades that will fill any street or venue to the brim with sonic satisfaction!

We’re looking for lead and solid trumpet (x2), trombone (x2), and tuba/sousa (x1) players, a core drum set player (x1) plus percussionists to double up on bass, snare, and cymbals (x3). 21+ only, please. Email Kevin Freitas (photo right) at for more info.

More about the band

Imagine a great mixtape from a school dance (slow dances included plus possibly a little singing and/or karaoke!) but brass and that’s the plan: En Vogue, Boyz II Men, The Police, Radiohead, Soundgarden, Kansas, Lonely Island, Britney Spears, and more!

We’ll rehearse weekly in/around SW Seattle and busk/gig on the streets, in venues, and for festivals around the area. Collaboration on arranging tunes, snagging and managing gigs, and more is welcome. Depending on band travel and other goals, we can decide together how best any $$ earned can be distributed and/or spent.

Kevin is formerly a founding member of 8-Bit Brass Band, where he helped lead rehearsals, manage gigs, arrange tunes, and play sousaphone. Before that, he played trumpet in Trash Talk and got his nerdy brass band start with D20 nearly 10 years ago. He’s sat in with various Honk bands through the years and looks forward to adding a new krewe to the Honk roster.

(That’s a reference to the boisterous bandfest that has livened up Seattle streets in recent years.)

‘THE LAST ACT’: West Seattle filmmaker telling a story that’s both personal and universal

We’ve reported before on West Seattle filmmaker Amy Benson‘s work, including the award-winning “Drawing the Tiger.” This time, she’s telling a personal story – which is also one that’s ahead for us all, one way or another:

I am making my first personal documentary about my mom, Patsy Benson, a 92-year-old retired actress and homemaker who lives at The Kenney on Fauntleroy.

The film is called “The Last Act: A short documentary about Life and Death.” It follows my mom’s journey of deciding it is no longer safe to live on her own and finding a retirement community she can afford and feel at home — all while her best friend of 60 years is in hospice. It is a film about aging and preparing emotionally for the final stage of life. It is half verite documentary and half theatrical performance. Throughout, my mom performs monologues that we captured on the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center stage.

We are currently running a Kickstarter campaign for finishing funds for the film. We need to raise $14,300 by February 22. The campaign is going really well and I believe we will make our goal. Once we do, we plan on making a stretch goal to fund free screenings at senior settings in greater Seattle accompanied by a curriculum for seniors and their adult children/care partners.

We are on target to have the project completed by May. My mom and I will premiere it at The Kenney over the summer, as well as Kenyon Hall. It is edited by West Seattle resident Kristin Ougendal.

Even if you’re not interested in donating, check out the Kickstarter page to watch a two-minute video about the project, in which you’ll meet Amy’s mom and also hear from Amy, who explains she’s telling the story because she feels her mom’s approach to this stage of life is “both comforting and contagious.” (As somber as the subject matter may sound, the video is likely to make you smile.)

WEEKEND PREVIEW: The Byrd Ensemble in concert in West Seattle

With that video, you can preview the title performance planned for a concert by The Byrd Ensemble tomorrow night (Saturday, February 11th) at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in West Seattle. The chamber vocal ensemble will perform composer John Sheppard‘s “Media vita” – “In the Midst of Life” – with the program also including music by Arvo Pärt, Eric Whitacre’s setting of “When David Heard,” John Tavener’s “Song for Athene,” and more. The Byrd Ensemble is sponsoring WSB today and tomorrow to ensure more know about the concert and to offer a 30% discount – buy tickets online and use the code WSBLOG30. The concert begins at 7:30 pm Saturday; the venue is at 4139 42nd SW. (Not familiar with The Byrd Ensemble? Learn about the ensemble here.)

Scenes from almost-Valentine’s Day edition of West Seattle Art Walk

February 9, 2023 6:01 pm
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 |   West Seattle Art Walk | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

6:01 PM: Love is in the air, and art is almost everywhere, tonight – the February West Seattle Art Walk is on!

AT WEST SEATTLE REALTY: Our first stop, the expansive new offices of West Seattle Realty (2715 California SW; WSB sponsor), where you’ll find an art installation – including paintings and fashion – by LA Wiltbank. Music by Harrison B, too!

We’ll be making a few more stops. Preview all the venues – including Art Walk night food/drink specials – and find out how to play HeART Bingo tonight by going here!

(added 6:34 pm) AT WINDERMERE: Another real-estate office with an artist reception is Windermere West Seattle (4526 California SW), where Pat Sanford is showing his paintings:

The artist is an award-winning TV designer/artist/animator and longtime West Seattleite. His work has included portraits of Mariners stars – you might recognize Julio “J-Rod” Rodriguez in the one with which he posed for our photo above.

AT JET CITY LABS: Jet City‘s regular Art Walk pop-up has moved to their new event space at 4547 California SW – tonight the artists include first-time Art Walk participant Lora Radford:

Lora’s creations include hand-cast concrete bowls and candle orbs, plus refill candle kits. Jet City’s event, like the others we’ve featured, is scheduled to continue until 8 pm tonight – still time to go find artsy Valentine gifts!