Gentleman Desperado, Keri Healey © 2012 Tiffany Diamond

Gentleman Desperado, Keri Healey © 2012 Tiffany Diamond

This year, Site Specific began an innovative collaboration between 4Culture’s ArtsHeritage, and Preservation Programs, by teaming artists up with King County historic sites.

11 sites from every corner of the county will be brought to life by artists and arts organizations who will activate these historically significant properties in new ways, providing audiences a new perspective on places so integral to King County’s past.

This year’s series will include 11 projects at 11 sites in 11 artistic disciplines. Highlights include:

  • There are currently 89 unmarked graves in the pioneer Saar Cemetery, each one unable to inform visitors of the individual’s presence and the history of Kent they helped shape. Francis Nelson and Bradly Gunn will give those unidentified graves a emblematic marker through a series of ‘thresholds.’ These wooden armatures will each be unique and would identify the resting place of Kent’s pioneers.
  • Few Issaquah residents know that the forest-covered Cougar Mountain was once the site of a coal mine. Hans Baumann plans to call attention to the Park’s past by spreading biochar, a type of black charcoal with carbon sequestration qualities, around the park. Bauman’s idea is to eventually sequester 29,930,000 tons of CO2 from the project — the amount of CO2 released from the coal mined at Cougar Mountain.
  • In partnership with the Mary Olsen Farm and the City of Auburn, Seattle Playwright Keri Healey will present, Gentleman Desperado, an interactive theatrical experience based on the true story of bank robber Harry Tracy’s legendary hostage-taking event at the farm in 1902. Factual information acts as the outline for a series of vignettes that tell the Johnson family Harry Tracy story.
  • Cabinfever is a dance company that specializes in performances in homes. After spending several months in the Stimson-Green Mansion, conducting research and interviews with mansion caretakers, Cabin fever will host a series of “choose your own adventure” style performances, consisting of maps and context statements handed to audience members upon arrival. Roving performances and installations will take place throughout the evening.

Site Specific is supported with a grant from the Local Arts Agency Program of the National Endowment for the Arts.