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PLAY PREMIERE: ‘miku, and the gods.’ opens tonight at ArtsWest. Here’s what playwright Julia Izumi hopes you’ll experience

(WSB photo)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Tonight, New York City playwright Julia Izumi will be at West Seattle’s ArtsWest Playhouse for the opening performance of her world-premiere play miku, and the gods.

Not that she’s just dropping in to check it out. She’s been here for a month, collaborating face-to-face with director Alyza DelPan-Monley and the cast/crew as they brought her play – billed as an “epic adventure” – to life. “For a play, unlike novels, the final form is not the written form – I can’t possibly know what it’s supposed to look or sound or feel like until I see it embodied.” She appreciates the actors “rolling with the punches and taking the edits as they come, even if they memorized the script!”

Now it’s time to bring in the audiences.

We talked with Izumi earlier this week on a sunny morning in The Junction, about her career as well as about her play.

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WEST SEATTLE ART: Desmond Hansen’s newest box mural

Thanks to Brandy for sending the photo! That’s West Seattle muralist Desmond Hansen, working today on his newest signal-box portrait. It’s on the southwest corner of 35th and Trenton, and in case you don’t recognize the subject, we noticed in passing that the north side of the box now identifies him – Portland drummer Joe Plummer, known for his work with bands including Modest Mouse. (Added – commenter points out Plummer has Portland roots but calls West Seattle home!)

THEATER AT HOME: ArtsWest’s ‘Alma’ now streaming

Want to see theater without leaving home? Your next chance is happening right now. You can buy a ticket to a recording of ArtsWest‘s most-recent play, “Alma.” Here’s the synopsis of Benjamin Benne’s award-winning play:

Working mom Alma has singlehandedly raised her daughter, Angel, on tough love, home-cooked comida and lots of prayers. But on the eve of the all-important SAT, Alma discovers her daughter isn’t at home studying. A schooling and la chancla await Angel at home—but so does a creeping realization that more’s at stake than just a test score. A sacrifice from Alma’s past weighs heavy on their present; now, Alma fears that her worst nightmare may soon be their reality. Will the American Dream cost them a life together?

“Alma,” directed by Sophie Franco, is viewable online through June 30th – go here to get your ticket.

P.S. ArtsWest’s next play, “Miku, and the Gods” by Julia Izumi, opens June 16th.

VIDEO: Surprise finale @ Louisa Boren STEM K-8 concert

For most of last night’s school concert at Louisa Boren STEM K-8, the program went along fairly traditional lines. Elementary instrumental-music students began the night:

Introductory Band followed:

The Intermediate Band‘s part of the program included Ukraine’s anthem:

But the closing act turned the tables. For most of the night, parents had comprised the audience, proudly cheering on the students. Then suddenly – parents took the stage!

The tipster told us, “The band teacher, Mx. Sonja Borsman, put this together with 2 rehearsals. As far as we know, this is not a common thing. Several of the parents have been or are currently in bands, and others haven’t played since they were in high school.” Here’s what they called themselves:

This was kept as a total surprise up till showtime.

VIDEO: Student band headlines West Seattle High School’s Field Day

Before the rain swept in, the warm spring weather was perfect for West Seattle High School‘s Field Day activities at Hiawatha Playfield next door. That included a performance by the student band Service With A Smile:

Service With A Smile members are Callan Barth, senior, vocals/guitar; Johanna Duncan, senior, bass; Mollie Slatkin, junior, vocals/guitar; and Wade Beeler, sophomore, drums (Wade’s proud dad Chad Beeler of The Bass Shop [WSB sponsor] tipped us about the show). Field Day fun also included food trucks:.

A trailer from Nintendo was there too.

ART: Student show hosted by Westside School opening at Museum of Museums

(Photos courtesy Westside School)

Student artists from Westside School (WSB sponsor) hope you’ll take a journey to explore a view into their journey. They’re hosting a four-school show at the Museum of Museums, titled “Emerging Attitudes.” Their announcement explains that it’s “based on the many different perspectives into the middle-school journey.” The exhibit also features work by students from SAAS, Lake Washington Girls School, and University Prep, in multiple mediums, and was organized by Westside’s middle-school art teacher Colleen Barry.

Westside students and family are getting their first look at the show tonight, and then it’ll be open to the public June 3rd-July 13 at MoM, which is at 900 Boylston Avenue, just east of downtown.

West Seattle’s newest Little Free Art Gallery

May 30, 2022 3:35 pm
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 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(WSB photos)

West Seattle has another Little Free Art Gallery. This one’s at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), “made by an awesome customer,” explains C & P co-proprietor Cameron Moores.

You’ll find it on C & P’s covered outdoor north-side porch. Cameron adds, “Anyone is welcome to contribute art or take some home.” P.S. If you’re in the mood for beverages and/or art, C & P is open today until 6 pm.

‘Someone save us’: West Seattle student’s art, after Uvalde

After the Texas massacre, some students around the country marched.
Some gathered in silence.
Knowledge of violence was already a part of their world, from lockdowns, from drills.
And some students expressed their feelings through art. What’s below is by a high-school student whose mom sent it to us, “to share”:

CONGRATULATIONS! Regional festival this weekend for Chief Sealth IHS musicians

Around this time Wednesday, we were telling you about a community campaign to help fund Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School music students. This morning, we have word some of those students are headed to a prestigious festival. From Dawn Pomeroy of Denny-Sealth Performing Arts:

Eleven music students from Chief Sealth IHS were selected to participate in the Music in May Honor Festival this weekend at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. They will be representing orchestra, band, and choir at one of the longest running high-school music festivals in the Pacific Northwest. These students were nominated by their music directors and selected from a large pool of applicants to participate in the festival. They will work with distinguished guest conductors alongside their peers from all over the region during the 3-day festival ending with a concert on Saturday afternoon. Congratulations to all of you!

YOU CAN HELP: Music fundraiser for Denny IMS and Chief Sealth IHS students

Throughout the year, community members have generously supported fundraisers to help local students, from benefit sales and auctions, to dine-out events. As the school year winds down, we have news of another one – from Denny-Sealth Performing Arts president Dawn Pomeroy:

Denny Sealth Performing Arts parent booster organization is currently holding our 3rd annual online fundraiser through Snap Raise. This is our largest fundraiser of the year and the money raised goes to ensure that our students have access to working instruments, new music, uniforms and concert attire, and the ability to participate in music festivals. Please consider donating through either the Denny link or Chief Sealth link. Thank you!

DESTINATION DELRIDGE: One big night of food and fun ‘in support of art, nature, and neighborhood’

You can dine, dance, learn, and enjoy entertainment this Saturday night (May 21st) while giving a boost to the many programs under the wings of DNDA. Here’s the reminder we just received:

Join DNDA to awaken new possibilities in support of art, nature, and neighborhood, as community members come together to raise funds and support DNDA’s programs in SW Seattle. Destination Delridge: Awaken is this Saturday, May 21st at DNDA’s Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. The event will generate proceeds to sustain DNDA’s low-income housing facilities, youth arts and educational programs, and environmental restoration efforts in Southwest Seattle.

Destination Delridge: Awaken
Saturday, May 21
6 pm Doors | 7 pm Dinner | 8 pm Dancing
Youngstown Cultural Arts Center
4408 Delridge Way SW
Tickets available here

Delicious food and drink will be provided by Chef Mulu Abate of Phresh Eats, and entertainment includes live music from Goody Bagg and Sabyu, live painting by Cleopatra Cutler, poetry from Jamaar Smiley, an intergenerational dance performance from Northwest Tap, an aerial performance by Gabby Leiva, and a dance party with KEXP’s DJ Toya B.

“Not only is Destination Delridge a great party featuring stellar performances,” said DNDA Executive Director David Bestock, “it’s rooted in our community and is an important event to sustain all of our innovative art, nature, and neighborhood programming.”

Destination Delridge attendees will mix, minglem, and learn about DNDA’s exciting programs, such as the Restorative Justice program for students at Interagency Academy, Seattle Public School’s alternative high school. Testimonials from DNDA’s other programs, such as the Summer Youth Program and Urban Forest Restoration Program, will be interweaved throughout the event as well.

Guests will engage in interactive art, a raffle, wine ring toss, a raise-the-paddle, and an online silent auction, with all proceeds benefitting DNDA’s programs and the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

Tickets for the event can be purchased through the organization’s website. For more information, call the DNDA office at 206-935-2999 or email

WEST SEATTLE ART WALK SCENE: Students in the spotlight

Even if you didn’t get out to enjoy tonight’s West Seattle Art Walk, you can enjoy art at local businesses all month long. At West Seattle Grounds (2141 California SW), work by West Seattle High School students is on display. After a busy afternoon of breaking news, we arrived just after their reception wrapped up – but we caught up with one of the artists, WSHS junior Esme Jablonsky, who works with “any and every medium I can get my hands on”:

Esme and the other featured artists are all in the WSHS Drawing and Painting program, part of the school’s Visual Arts offerings. A note up with the display at West Seattle Grounds mentions that the program always welcomes donations of art supplies, from watercolor paper and canvas to “analog darkroom equipment/film cameras” for the photography students – donations can be dropped off at the main office (3000 California SW) during school hours.

YOU CAN HELP: Dinner and dancing Friday with West Seattle Big Band to benefit WSHS musicians

If you haven’t already seen this on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – you can dine and dance (or sit and listen) this Friday night while giving student musicians a boost:

West Seattle High School Big Band Dinner Dance
Friday, May 13th from 6-9 pm
West Seattle High School Courtyard
(Commons if inclement weather)

Featuring the West Seattle Big Band, with performances from our high-school musicians, including our Jazz Bands. Dinner will be provided by Thai U Up, with dessert from our very own WSHS culinary students.

Dinner/Dance tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door for adults and $20 students/children; $10 dance-only tickets are available.

Not only a community performance, this event will help Raise Funds for Fundamentals! Money raised will help us build our foundation with instrument purchases, sheet music, and coaching. We will have direct donation opportunities and a raffle for some really nice baskets filled with gift cards, opportunities, services, much more. We are still accepting donations if you or your business would like to donate!

Please visit for reservation and payment instructions. Any questions, donations, concerns can be sent to

As explained on its website, the WS Big Band was originally formed by WSHS alumni 26 years ago.

WEST SEATTLE ART: Here’s who will create ‘art interruptions’ along greenway

(2017 WSB photo)

Remember those goats and other art under the bridge in 2017? Those were “art interruptions,” temporary installations as part of a city program. Next round is in the works, as this week the city announced the artists chosen to create some along one of West Seattle’s greenways:

The Office of Arts & Culture in partnership with the Seattle Department of Transportation has commissioned four emerging public artists to create temporary art installations along the Delridge-Highland Park Neighborhood Greenway for Art Interruptions 2022. The artworks will be installed on city-owned infrastructure and offer passers-by a brief interruption in their day through moments of surprise, beauty, contemplation, or humor.

The artists selected are:

Va’eomatoka “Toka” Valu
Clare Johnson
Malayka Gormally
Tommy Segundo

Look for the latest artworks in Delridge-Highland Park Neighborhood Greenway summer of 2022! Artists were selected by a panel of artists, community members, and city staff. Art Interruptions is an ongoing program funded by the SDOT 1% for Arts Fund.

You can find a map of the greenway here.

CONTINUING SUNDAY: Seattle Chinese Garden Peony Festival

(WSB photos)

If you appreciate some color in this gray-sky spring, consider visiting the Seattle Chinese Garden as this year’s Peony Festival continues tomorrow. Today, the color wasn’t just from the flowers, but also from Lion Dancers who performed at noontime:

They were a hit, especially with young festivalgoers. Other performances are planned tomorrow, but you can also just go to admire the flowers:

Festival hours tomorrow are 10 am-4 pm. The garden is on the north end of the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus on Puget Ridge. The garden’s worth a visit even when there’s no special event happening – here’s its history.

VIDEO: World music celebration at Roxhill Park

You still have a few hours to enjoy free, live world music at Roxhill Park. as outdoor-music season begins. Deseo Carmin was onstage while we were there, playing a mix of Latin, Flamenco, and Funk music. “Sounds from Around the World,” produced by Janean Wjvold of Urgent Africa, is part of the city-supported Arts in the Parks. Also on the performer lineup: Naby Camera, Comfort Food, and the Lion of Judah Band (which recently performed at The Skylark in West Seattle). The music is scheduled to continue until 7 pm.

Vietnamese-American community commemorates somber anniversary, shows support for Ukrainians’ freedom-fighting

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

What the people of Ukraine are fighting is achingly familiar to the people who were in South Vietnam almost half a century ago.

That’s why Saturday’s Vietnamese Cultural Center ceremony commemorating the fall of Saigon ended with a spirited show of support for the Ukrainians.

It was 47 years ago Saturday – April 30, 1975 – that the capital of South Vietnam was captured, at the end of a war that took hundreds of thousands of lives, both Vietnamese people and those who fought for them, including Americans. They were remembered and honored with a wreath-laying during Saturday’s ceremony.

Seattle Deputy Mayor Kendee Yamaguchi joined in the wreath-laying with Dr. Dat P. Giap, who spoke of those “who gave their lives for our freedom” – mentioning more than 48,000 Americans as well as people from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, the Philippines, Taiwan, and South Korea, and the more than 600,000 Vietnamese people who died fighting, as well as the hundreds of thousands more who “perished on their journey to freedom.”

For those who made it, he said, “The U.S. is a paradise … not because of its economic power, but because of its compassion for immigrants and refugees.” He urged those present not take freedom for granted, and to pray for those fighting for freedom in Ukraine. “May God bless America, our America,” he concluded.

Those in attendance included many South Vietnam military veterans, wearing the uniforms in which they fought. Toward the ceremony’s start, they saluted as the South Vietnam flag was raised, after the U.S. flag:

Dignitaries in attendance included two who have made history – our state’s first Vietnamese-American state senator, Joe Nguyen of West Seattle, the son of refugees:

Sen. Nguyen, in our photo with Vietnamese Cultural Center director Lee Bui, called April 30th “a day that has seared itself into our memories.” It’s also part of a banner for the center’s founding:

Other dignitaries included Washington’s first Vietnamese-American State House member, Rep. My-Linh Thai:

Rep. Thai (photographed above with City Councilmember Sara Nelson) came to the U.S. as a refugee at age 15. Another refugee among the dignitaries, Hamdi Mohamed, director of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs for the city and an elected Seattle Port Commissioner who came to the U.S. as a refugee from Somalia at age 3. She told those gathered she shared their “commitment to freedom.”

The most impassioned words were those of another Vietnamese-American who arrived as a refugee, Michelle Le from the Vietnamese Community of Seattle.

“We must learn from history – we can’t forget or erase it,” she implored. “Forgetting the past is not the answer.” And she too mentioned Russia’s war on Ukraine as “a reminder of what we went through … Losing freedom is losing everything. … Always stand up for your country and your humanity.”

The Vietnamese Cultural Center is at 2236 SW Orchard and is open to the public noon-3 pm Saturdays.

THEATER: Seattle Lutheran High School’s final production ‘The World According to Snoopy’ opens Friday

April 28, 2022 4:42 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS culture/arts

What will be soon-to-close Seattle Lutheran High School‘s final theater production, “The World According to Snoopy,” opens tomorrow. SLHS is hoping for a good turnout and sent this reminder:

Seattle Lutheran High School Drama is proud to present The World According to Snoopy. Snoopy is the world’s most lovable dog, but people don’t feel the same about his owner, Charlie Brown. In a series of comic strip-like scenes, we watch everyone’s favorite “Peanuts” characters go to school, sit in the pumpkin patch, ask for psychiatric advice, and have wild flights of fancy. This funny, uplifting musical reminds us all of the power of friendship. Don’t miss it!

Thank you to our sponsors: Bakery Nouveau, West Seattle Runner, Sea Pines Physical Therapy, Phoenicia, Biojunction Sports Therapy, BAJ Capital, Seattle Fish Co.,, Peralta Orthodontics. and Freshy’s.

Friday, April 29th at 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 30th at 7:30 pm
Sunday, May 1st at 2:30 pm


$10 for adults
$7 for seniors and non-SLHS students

Location: Menashe Gymnasium at Seattle Lutheran High School (4100 SW Genesee St)

Appropriate for ages preschool and up. Run time of 2 hours with a 15 minute intermission.

Purchase Tickets at the door or online here.

Here’s what’s happening on your West Seattle Tuesday

April 26, 2022 9:27 am
|    Comments Off on Here’s what’s happening on your West Seattle Tuesday
 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(Pacific Bleeding Hearts at Fauntleroy Park, photographed by Rosalie Miller)

From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: If you’re interested in attending the West Seattle Democratic Women’s meeting on Thursday, RSVP deadline is 5 pm today – info’s in our calendar listing.

CITY COUNCIL’S PUBLIC-SAFETY COMMITTEE: 9:30 am, with the agenda including an update on Seattle Police staffing issues (which as we reported Friday appear to be disproportionately affecting our area); you can watch via Seattle Channel.

PORT OF SEATTLE COMMISSION: Public meeting starts at noon, online and at Sea-Tac Airport – here’s the agenda, with info on viewing and commenting.

CITY COUNCIL: Their weekly meeting is at 2 pm, online. The agenda explains how to comment; Seattle Channel is where to watch.

DEMONSTRATION FOR RACIAL JUSTICE: 4:30-6 pm at 16th/Holden, Scott leads this long-running weekly demonstration for racial justice. Signs available if you don’t have your own.

FAMILY GAME NIGHT: Meeples Games (3727 California SW) welcomes families 6-8 pm to this weekly hosted game-playing night.

(added) SPORTS: Two games at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle) – in softball, West Seattle HS vs. Eastside Catholic, 4 pm; in baseball, West Seattle HS vs. Chief Sealth IHS, 7 pm.

TRIVIA X 3: Three of the venues where you can play tonight – 7 pm at Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW), 7 pm at Admiral Pub (2306 California SW), 7:30 and 8:30 pm at The Lodge (4209 SW Alaska).

BELLE OF THE BALLS BINGO: Play bingo with Cookie Couture at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), 8 pm. Free, all ages!

See more on our calendar – and if you have something to add for the future, please email us the info at – thank you!

West Seattle’s Little Free Art Gallery reopens

Along with Little Free Libraries and Little Free Pantries, West Seattle has a Little Free Art Gallery, and it’s reopened for the season. Mindi Katzman first told us about it last year and just sent these photos and update:

After a brief winter closure, West Seattle’s Little Free Art Gallery has re-opened.

As a reminder to your readers, it is located in the Morgan Junction just a few blocks east of Thriftway on 38th Avenue SW, between Graham and Morgan.

Please c’mon by and grab a little piece. Or, leave a piece. Or just enjoy!!!!

Looking forward to brightening your point of view.

THEATER: Now you can watch ArtsWest’s ‘This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing’ at home

April 13, 2022 9:45 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(Cast of ‘This Girl …’, photographed by John McLellan)

Though the latest ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) play “This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing” had its last performance at the playhouse this past Sunday, you still have one more chance to see it – if you buy a ticket for the pre-recorded streaming version. It’s available for online viewing any time until May 1st. Here’s a trailer, and the plot summary of the play by Finegan Kruckemeyer:

Triplet sisters are left in the forest by their woodcutter father. From this fairytale beginning, three resolutions are made – one sister will walk one way, one the other, and the third will stay right where she is. Twenty years later, having circumnavigated the globe, and fought Vikings, and crossed oceans, and tamed wilds, and achieved greatness, the three meet again, as women. What they learn on their separate journeys will change everything, and at the same time nothing, in this moving and irresistibly charming modern-day fairytale.

It’s a “universal” story, and family-friendly too, director Johamy Morales told us in an interview last month. Go here to buy your ticket to online viewing.

P.S. ArtsWest’s next play of the season is “Alma,” opening May 5th.

Nantes Park party celebrates friendship spanning 5,000 miles and 42 years

April 10, 2022 7:20 pm
|    Comments Off on Nantes Park party celebrates friendship spanning 5,000 miles and 42 years
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks | WS culture/arts

(WSB photos)

The new art tiles at Nantes Park (5062 SW Admiral Way) found their intended audience this afternoon during a visit by a delegation from the park’s namesake French city, celebrating its 42 years as a sister city to Seattle.

The Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association led the art/beautification project over the past three years, involving students in both cities and French writer/illustrator Claude Ponti.

A message from Ponti was read during this afternoon’s reception in the park, saying he hopes the park and its art will help people find “a sliver of joy and happiness.” The ~50 people in attendance heard from, left to right below, Susan Kegel of the Seattle-Nantes SCA, Christena Coutsouboss of City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s office, acting Seattle Parks superintendent Christopher Williams, Adiam Emery from Mayor Bruce Harrell‘s office, Franck Coutant from the Nantes park department, and Nantes deputy mayor Pierre-Emmanuel Marais.

Marais offered poignant remarks about the importance of international friendship at a time when part of the world is at war; he noted that Nantes, like Seattle, is opening its arms to Ukrainian refugees, and offering help. After speeches, today’s event also included music and refreshments. You might not be surprised to see the source of treats offered to the French visitors:

The park project, made possible in part by a Department of Neighborhoods matching-fund grant, isn’t entirely done – a walkway with inset art is incomplete because of the just-concluded concrete strike. But the park is fully open to visitors.

Support student theater by sponsoring Shakespeare! Madison Middle School has an offer

April 10, 2022 1:10 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS culture/arts

Madison Middle School students are working on a virtual production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” and they’re seeking sponsors. Among the sponsorship offers is a “personalized Shakespearean advertisement.” Here’s the flyer with info on sponsorship. As for the production, you’re invited to watch whether you’re a sponsor or not; four performances are planned on three dates – 7 pm April 25 and 28th, 1 pm and 7 pm May 1st, no admission charge. (You can go here to RSVP.)