Guest Post: Celebrating Filipino-American Elders

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Penaloza Quote

Michelle Peñaloza is the author of two chapbooks, and has had her poetry and essays featured in several publications. She received a 2015 Art Projects grant supporting her work on a collection of in-progress poetry. This Friday, she’ll read from her manuscript alongside other Filipino-American writiers at a location that deepens and enriches our understanding of her work: 

Arroz caldo for lunch. Blaring speakers and a dance floor full of women and men moving in the delightful unison of complex and funky line dances. Their smiling faces remind me of my lola, my parents, my titos and titas. Here, there is a room for bingo, a room for praying the rosary, a room for checkers, a room for pinoy teleserye.

This is the magic of the International Drop-In Center (IDIC), a community-based senior center in the heart of Beacon Hill that primarily serves Filipino and Filipino-American elders. The IDIC is a warm gathering place for senior citizens, retirees, widows, first-generation immigrants, and war veterans. The sense of community here is palpable upon entering. When I first visited, I went back in time to the many parties I attended as a child—laughter, food, song, dance, chatter all happening simultaneously in every room.

So, what does the IDIC have to do with my project? With what I care about as an artist? With my poetry?

My full-length manuscript-in-progress, Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire, is steeped in storytelling, in processing and interrogating the legacies of colonialism, and in honoring, questioning, and remembering family. While the elders at the IDIC are not my blood family, the warmth with which they welcomed me felt like family. I wanted this event to highlight the rich legacies of the Filipino-American community in Seattle and bring attention and homage to the elders of our community. I’m proud to be doing this event with other Seattle-based, Filipino-American writers; we will host story-telling workshops groups, perform our own work, and join in celebration for an open mic and karaoke with our elders. Yes! Karaoke! I hope you’ll join us. It’s going to be a delightful time.

Event details:
Celebrating Filipino-American Elders: Reading and Karaoke
October 7, 1:30—4:00pm
International Drop-In Center
Seattle-based, Filipino-American poets and writers Maria Batayola, Robert Flor, Donna Miscolta, Michelle Peñaloza, Jen Soriano, and Maritess Zurbano will lead Filipino American elders, at the International Drop-In Center in Beacon Hill, in a story-telling workshop, which culminate in writers, elders, and visitors participating in an open mic reading, sharing their stories and participating in a karaoke-singing session. Free to attend.

This event is made possible through support from 4Culture, Poets & Writers, the International Drop-In Center (IDIC), the Filipino American National Historical Society – Greater Seattle Chapter, and Kundiman.

Historic Hansen Building Gets Seismic Retrofit

The Hansen Building pictured in 2012, photo courtesy of the Lohrers.

After announcing and awarding an unprecedented $28 million investment in King County’s cultural infrastructure last year, we’re excited to see funded projects underway all over the county. Saving Landmarks was a portion of Building for Culture funds specifically dedicated to preserving our region’s invaluable built environment, and last month we saw it in action in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. The historic Hansen Building is currently undergoing a seismic retrofit, thanks, in part, to this program.

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The Hansen Building pictured in 2012, photo courtesy of the Lohrers.

After announcing and awarding an unprecedented $28 million investment in King County’s cultural infrastructure last year, we’re excited to see funded projects underway all over the county. Saving Landmarks was a portion of Building for Culture funds specifically dedicated to preserving our region’s invaluable built environment, and last month we saw it in action in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. The historic Hansen Building is currently undergoing a seismic retrofit, thanks, in part, to this program.

Built in 1905, the Hansen Building was nominated to the U.S. Department of the Interior National Register in 1976, as a contributing building in the Ballard Avenue Landmark District. Located in old Ballard, on the corner of Ballard Avenue and NW Dock Place, the Hansen Building is privately owned by Roger and Laurie Lohrer, and leased to commercial tenants.

As stewards of the site for the last 18 years, the Lohrers are dedicated to preserving the building and the sense of permanence it brings the community. “Our goal is to preserve its historic character, distinctive features and period-typical craftsmanship” said Laurie Lohrer. “We value our role to preserve this architectural gem. We decided in invest in the voluntary seismic retrofit, as the best, long term way to protect the building, passersby and our tenants. Our thanks goes out to 4Culture and King County for grant funding, to our tenants for their patience and cooperation, our terrific project team—Marpac Construction, SMR Architects and IL Gross Structural Engineers—to the City of Seattle DCI, SDOT, Ballard Avenue Landmark District Board, and Puget Sound Energy, who all helped make our retrofit possible.”

Dock Street Properties LLC PR-16-0795 Hansen 05 Roof Demo for Seismic Ties 092116
Roof demo for seismic ties, September 2016, photo courtesy of Dock Street Properties LLC.

October at Gallery4Culture: Brit Ruggirello

Brit Ruggirello. Blue Hotel, Series 1, Episode 1, 2016. Archival inkjet print, wall paint, gradient rug, chair, mannequin, fake flowers, mini lava lamp, ribbon, balloons, and balloon weight.

Brit Ruggirello
Blue Hotel
September 6—27, 2016
Opening: First Thursday, October 6, 6:00—8:00 pm
Blue Hotel Series 2, Episode 1 with performances by Cake “Alchemy!” and Up North

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Brit Ruggirello. Blue Hotel, Series 1, Episode 1, 2016. Archival inkjet print, wall paint, gradient rug, chair, mannequin, fake flowers, mini lava lamp, ribbon, balloons, and balloon weight.
Brit Ruggirello. Blue Hotel, Series 1, Episode 1, 2016. Archival inkjet print, wall paint, gradient rug, chair, mannequin, fake flowers, mini lava lamp, ribbon, balloons, and balloon weight.

Brit Ruggirello
Blue Hotel
September 6—27, 2016
Opening: First Thursday, October 6, 6:00—8:00 pm
Blue Hotel Series 2, Episode 1 with performances by Cake “Alchemy!” and Up North

Brit Ruggirello is interested in interpersonal relationships, digital representation, party aesthetics, and the interior design of Las Vegas hotels. Her installations, or Mood Boards, commemorate the everyday—objects, events, people, and animals—employing human scale assemblage and collage as well as photographic documentation that reinforces the physicality of the work.

Ruggirello lives in a house she calls Blue Hotel. Her exhibition of the same name references the personalities of this unique environment, negotiating between the imagined and the real, with found objects, vibrantly colored light bulbs, pastel gradients, and digitally altered images.

She writes:

“About a year ago, I moved into a blue house. I ended up naming it Blue Hotel.

The name stems from things my then roommate, Dani and I like. She loves the color blue and I love hotels, especially Vegas ones. We read the same book, Hotel Theory and would leave it on the table when people came over. It’s also our WIFI password.

Anyways, a lot of things happened there:
Dani got a dog named Boone.
I started a band called Up North.
I tried to make the space feel homey by adding an eclectic mix of found items and three chairs that cost a total of $11.
I threw a house party series called Blue Hotel. It was a combination of music, art, and friends coming together in a safe place. Ideas could be tried out with no judgment and celebrated among good people!
What I didn’t know at the time was…

It was going to be the theme of my second set of Mood Boards, a series I began as an undergrad when I was being tested to see if I was bi-polar. While this was happening, I had to keep daily mood charts. This practice developed into the creation of mood boards. I would find images on the web, based on the mood I was in, and it got me thinking about representation online and then just representation in general.

I thought about how the people in my life influenced me, and how I would represent them through objects, color, and composition. This lead to the creation of installations within controlled environments. I then photographed them and posted them on the web.”

About the Artist: Brit Ruggirello received her BFA from the University of Washington and currently lives and works in Seattle. She collaborates with Jueqian Fang as artist duo Mystical Orchid and David Nielsen in the experimental band Up North. She has exhibited her work locally and internationally, in such venues as Gallery 295, Vancouver, BC; Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA; Veronica, Seattle, WA; and GLASSBOX, Seattle, WA.

Website: britruggirello.com

Chieko Phillips Joins Heritage Team

Photo by Robert Wade.

September brings a new season, new projects, new deadlines, and a new face at 4Culture! Please join us in welcoming Chieko Phillips as our Heritage Support Specialist.

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chieko
Photo by Robert Wade.

September brings a new season, new projects, new deadlines, and a new face at 4Culture! Please join us in welcoming Chieko Phillips as our Heritage Support Specialist.

Chieko is a self-described “history nerd,” and she has an impressive background to back it up. Most recently, she served as Executive Director at BlackPast.org, an incredibly rich online resource for exploring the history of people of African ancestry around the world, and as the Public Program Curator at the Photographic Center NW. She has also worked at the Northwest African American Museum, the United Negro College Fund, and received her Master’s Degree in Museology from the University of Washington. She’s headed up or worked on dozens of heritage projects around the region, and we can’t wait to see what she’ll do next.

Now that Chieko has arrived, our Heritage team—Brian J. Carter joined us in March as our Heritage Lead—is poised to make some exciting things happen in King County! Stay tuned to see what they come up with in the coming months.

Sustained Support Open, with New Opportunities for Cities

Students participate in Seattle Architectural Foundation’s City Stories program. SAF received Preservation Sustained Support funding for the 2015-16 cycle. © 2015, photo by Caroline Nye Stevens, courtesy of Seattle Architectural Foundation.

Where would King County be without our amazing cultural organizations? Large and small, urban and rural, they bring our region’s history to life, connect us with amazing art, safeguard the buildings and locations that define us, and so much more. Through our Sustained Support grant, we assist with the day-to-day needs of these organizations over two-year cycles. It’s available for nonprofit organizations, artistic agencies, and cities supporting cultural activities—see more information on that below—and is open now!

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Students participate in Seattle Architectural Foundation's City Stories program. SAF received Preservation Sustained Support funding in the 2015-16 cycle. © 2015, photo by Caroline Nye Stevens, courtesy of Seattle Architectural Foundation
Students participate in Seattle Architectural Foundation’s City Stories program. SAF received Preservation Sustained Support funding for the 2015-16 cycle. © 2015, photo by Caroline Nye Stevens, courtesy of Seattle Architectural Foundation.

Where would King County be without our amazing cultural organizations? Large and small, urban and rural, they bring our region’s history to life, connect us with amazing art, safeguard the buildings and locations that define us, and so much more. Through our Sustained Support grant, we assist with the day-to-day needs of these organizations over two-year cycles. It’s available for nonprofit organizations, artistic agencies, and cities supporting cultural activities—see more information on that below—and is open now!

Read the full guidelines carefully, and apply by October 19, 2016 at 5:00 pm.

This year, we want to make sure the public knows that Preservation Sustained Support not only provides grants to nonprofit organizations, but also to cities that are contributing to historic preservation. With Sustained Support grants cities can receive operating funds for everyday costs such as salaries, consultant fees, marketing materials, and supplies for two consecutive years. This program is open to all cities in King County with:

  • A historic preservation program established by city ordinance, or historic preservation services contracted through interlocal agreement to the King County Historic Preservation Program (KCHPP).
  • City staff dedicated part or full time to historic preservation tasks, including but not limited to overseeing historic surveys, landmark designations, design review, and public education.

If you live in Auburn, Newcastle, Issaquah or any of the other 17 cities that are eligible to apply, and wish your city could do more in the way of preservation, contact your city manager or local elected officials and let them know about this opportunity! If you have questions about application requirements or eligibility, know that staff is here to help.

Workshops
Bring your questions to these informal, drop-in grant workshops. Program managers will be available to talk about the grant and your application. No need to RSVP!

4Culture Offices
Arts: Mondays, September 12 and 26, October 3, 10, and 17, 12:00-1:00 pm
Heritage: Wednesdays, September 21 and October 12, 3:00-4:00 pm  October 12, 12:00-1:00 pm
Preservation: Tuesdays, September 20 and October 4, 12:00-1:00 pm

Around King County
Wednesday, September 7, 12:00-1:00 pm, Woodinville Library
Wednesday, September 14, 12:00-1:00 pm, Federal Way Community Center
Wednesday, September 28, 12:00-1:00 pm, Issaquah Depot Museum

Leo Berk Selected for New Colman Dock Terminal

Subterranium, 2016. University of Washington Station, Sound Transit. Aluminum, polycarbonate. 44’ x 109’ x 34’. Photo by Mark Woods.

As King County grows, transit is growing with it—on land and on the water. Water Taxis, managed by the King County Department of Transportation Marine Division, currently depart from downtown Seattle’s Pier 50 and head to the Vashon Island Ferry Terminal and West Seattle’s Seacrest dock. In response to a 9.5% increase in ridership between 2014 and 2015 and expected continued growth, a new multimodal terminal is being designed as part of the larger Washington State Ferries Colman Dock preservation project.

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Subterranium, 2016. University of Washington Station, Sound Transit. Aluminum, Polycarbonate. 44’ x 109’ x 34’. Photo by Mark Woods.
Subterranium, 2016. University of Washington Station, Sound Transit. Aluminum, polycarbonate. 44’ x 109’ x 34’. Photo by Mark Woods.

As King County grows, transit is growing with it—on land and on the water. Water Taxis, managed by the King County Department of Transportation Marine Division, currently depart from downtown Seattle’s Pier 50 and head to the Vashon Island Ferry Terminal and West Seattle’s Seacrest dock. In response to a 9.5% increase in ridership between 2014 and 2015 and expected continued growth, a new multimodal terminal is being designed as part of the larger Washington State Ferries Colman Dock preservation project.

We’re excited that public art will be an essential component of this project, and we are pleased to announce that Leo Berk has been selected to provide permanent work of art for the new Water Taxi terminal! Artwork will serve as a welcoming gateway, a visual indication that a uniquely Northwest journey and experience is about to begin, whether passengers are departing or arriving.

Leo is no stranger to creating art for transit. If you’ve travelled through the new LINK light rail station at the University of Washington, which opened in March of this year, you’ve encountered his immersive and dazzling piece, Subterranium. Over the course of the selection process, Leo discussed the transition from land to water and back again that happens when travelling on the Water Taxi, and his personal connection with that experience, sharing, “As an avid cyclist living in Seattle, one of my favorite local bike trips is to take the ferry to Vashon to ride its bucolic roads. There is an undeniably transformative feeling—a shift in psyche—when the ship leaves the terminal and is free from land. Once the ferry arrives at its destination, there is the comforting feeling of being connected to land again, with the distinct difference that the journey has refreshed and rebooted my body and mind.”

We can’t wait to see how Leo will bring this feeling to life at the King County Seattle Ferry Terminal at Colman Dock, and how travelers will get to experience it! Design is set to be completed early next year. Stay connected with us to see how the project unfolds.

September at Gallery4Culture: Sylwia Tur

Sylwia Tur. C-channels (1 inch), 2016. Porcelain. 22 x 18 x 1 inches. Photo by the artist.

Sylwia Tur
Image Space
September 1–29, 2016
Opening: First Thursday, September 1, 6:00–8:00 pm

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Sylwia Tur. C-channels (1 inch), 2016. Porcelain. 22 x 18 x 1 inches. Photo by of the artist.  
Sylwia Tur. C-channels (1 inch), 2016. Porcelain. 22 x 18 x 1 inches. Photo by the artist.

Sylwia Tur
Image Space
September 1–29, 2016
Opening: First Thursday, September 1, 6:00–8:00 pm

Sylwia Tur’s interests lie in a variety of systems: language, architecture and design, distilled to their basic components of organization, grid, proportion and reduction.

Her new body of work, Image Space, is about the language of structures, space and movement, where she is exploring the continuum between the architecture of language and language of architecture.

When observing the world, we create invisible movements in space, looking for patterns and connections, making sense out of what we see. Tur thinks of these movements as gestures or vectors and is interested in how we form our own visual and semantic paradigms. By juxtaposing architectural objects, she intends to generate a perceptual awareness of space, access memory and create new spatial relationships.

Tur states, “In my creative process, I tend to avoid that which already has a solid representation in the world. Instead, I focus on ideas and mechanisms, extrapolating them into the objects I make. They come in the form of gestures and fragments of seemingly disjointed processes, and I task myself with finding their patterns and rules. I use analogies similar to the processes that come together to form language. Thinking of language as a system keeps pointing me in the direction of exploring the landscape of systems present around us. I see architecture as a system of processes and treat its organized and multi-dependent nature as a canvas for my work, a starting point. It is on that canvas that I build my linguistic systems.”

About the Artist: Sylwia Tur is a sculptor and installation artist who works primarily in porcelain. Born and raised in Poland, she received her MA and BA in Linguistics from the University of Washington, where she also completed post-baccalaureate studies in ceramics. Tur’s work has been exhibited nationally, including solo exhibitions at the Linda Hodges Gallery, Monarch Contemporary Gallery, the Bellevue Arts Museum, the PNW Gallery, and the UW Ceramics Gallery. She is a recipient of the Artist Trust GAP Grant, the Regional Exhibition Award from the National Council of Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), and an Individual Artist Grant from 4Culture. Her artwork is held in private and public collections in Australia, France, Poland, and the United States. In addition to her art practice, Tur works as a linguist, a field from which she continues to draw inspiration. She lives in West Seattle with her partner who is an architect, and a Harrier Hound named Glinka (which means “clay” in Polish).

Help Shape Cultural Access Washington

Students attend a field trip at the Burke Museum, 2011. Image courtesy of the Burke.

After nearly seven years of work by a wide coalition of Washington State cultural organizations and leaders, a bill called Cultural Access Washington (CAWA) passed through the state legislature last summer, making a path for a public vote. The bill would use funds generated by a small sales tax increase to make cultural experiences of all kinds more accessible to Washingtonians.

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Students attend a field trip at the Burke Museum, 2011. Image courtesy of the Burke.
Students attend a field trip at the Burke Museum, 2011. Image courtesy of the Burke.

After nearly seven years of work by a wide coalition of Washington State cultural organizations and leaders, a bill called Cultural Access Washington (CAWA) passed through the state legislature last summer, making a path for a public vote. The bill would use funds generated by a small sales tax increase to make cultural experiences of all kinds more accessible to Washingtonians.

Help make CAWA as strong as it can be! Before seeking voter approval, cultural organizations from all over the region will be tackling the bill through five main components, and discussing them at public meetings happening this month. You are invited to attend these meetings and give your input on what will eventually be the CAWA funding program! The full schedule is as follows:

Eligibility
Wednesday, August 24, 3:00 pm
Burien Community Center
Discussion points: Defining eligibility to ensure equity is the highest priority, funding the greatest number of cultural organizations possible under existing legislation.

Education
Wednesday, August 24, 1:00 pm
Renton Highlands King County Library
Discussion points: Distributing the educational funds in the most effective way, supporting the most effective opportunities for learning both in and out of the classroom.

Community Organizations and Initiatives – combined meeting
Wednesday, August 24, 10:00 am
Carco Theatre
Discussion points: Using CAWA funds as a catalyst for change and better practices in the cultural sector, defining eligibility to allow the greatest access to funding for organizations and individuals.

Regional Organizations
Tuesday, August 30, 3:00 pm
Woodland Park Zoo
Discussion points: Reporting and eligibility requirements, developing a shared definition of public access/public benefit.

Full Convening – Public Meeting
Wednesday, September 21, 4-6:00 pm
Washington Hall
The First Draft of  CAWA program recommendations and framework will be presented for review and feedback.

Check in on this post or contact willow.fox@4Culture.org for the latest updates.