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Local Arts Agency Meetings – The Shadow Council

This just in – From Lori at the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Arts Council. This just goes to show you never know where your best efforts are going to land. Lori’s husband is the cartoonist Charlie Capp who creates a weekly cartoon called The Tyranny of Pants  and he is referring to our King County Local Arts Agency Network, 22 hardworking public arts agencies in King County. Yes, we are a proud ‘consigliere’. We meet. We talk creative ideas. And we’re out the change the world. For the better.

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This just in – From Lori at the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Arts Council. This just goes to show you never know where your best efforts are going to land. Lori’s husband is the cartoonist Charlie Capp who creates a weekly cartoon called The Tyranny of Pants  and he is referring to our King County Local Arts Agency Network, 22 hardworking public arts agencies in King County. Yes, we are a proud ‘consigliere’. We meet. We talk creative ideas. And we’re out the change the world. For the better.

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© Charles W. Capp. All Rights Reserved

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An audience at the 2014 National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY). Photo by Mark Malijan
An audience at the 2014 National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY). Photo by Mark Malijan

Do you want to go to arts and heritage events—plays, concerts, exhibitions, movie screenings, readings, lectures, and much more—around King County for free? And even get paid for it? (At least, paid enough to cover your travel costs…) Are you a thoughtful, articulate person who can write about your experiences in a thoughtful, articulate way?

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An audience at the 2014 National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY).  Photo by Mark Malijan
An audience at the 2014 National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY). Photo by Mark Malijan

Do you want to go to arts and heritage events—plays, concerts, exhibitions, movie screenings, readings, lectures, and much more—around King County for free? And even get paid for it? (At least, paid enough to cover your travel costs…) Are you a thoughtful, articulate person who can write about your experiences in a thoughtful, articulate way?

Then you should consider applying to become a 4Culture On-Site Reviewer!

The On-Site Review program is part of how 4Culture evaluates the many arts and heritage organizations who receive Sustained Support funding. All of these organizations (choruses, theaters, art galleries, historical societies, orchestras, dance troupes, film collectives, literary groups, museums, service organizations, and more) tell us which of their events best reflect who they are—which programs best embody the quality of their efforts and the essence of their mission. Then 4Culture sends On-Site Reviewers to these events, who write up brief but substantial reviews, which are later given to the panels that consider the Sustained Support recipients’ next application. The goal of these reviews is to give the panelists a patron’s-eye-view of the organization, to flesh out their understanding of what these organizations actually do.

These reviews are not thumbs-up/thumbs-down critiques—they’re meant to be a description of a well-informed patron’s experience. They must be concise (the panelists will be reading more than 600 of them!), but they must also provide concrete details of the event and some balanced discussion of the quality and substance of the event.

If you can write such reviews, and if you have a demonstrable background in one or more disciplines (for example, if you are an artist or an administrator in an arts or heritage organization), please apply to become an On-Site Reviewer by 5 pm on Monday, April 6, 2015.

For more information about how to apply, go to www.4culture.org/getinvolved/index.htm and click on the tab for On-Site Reviews. There you will find the ‘Call for On-Site Reviewers’, which you can download. You will also find the 2015 Review Form, which is what Reviewers fill out, and a link to On-Site Reviews on 4Culture’s blog, which will give you some samples of the kind of review we seek.

Questions about the program or about applying? Call Bret Fetzer at 206.205.8592 or e-mail him (preferred) at bret.fetzer@4culture.org.

I am from __________. I contain multitudes.

Poet Michelle Peñaloza. Photo by Timothy Aguero Photography.
Poet Michelle Peñaloza. Photo by Timothy Aguero Photography.

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Happy April and National Poetry Month! In this guest post, poet Michelle Peñaloza invites you to participate in a series of events we’re calling the Poetry on Buses Roadshow. We hope to see you.

Do I contradict myself?

Very well then I contradict myself,

(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

–Walt Whitman

For many folks, “Where Are You From?” is often a loaded question because the experience of answering can be complicated, invalidating and exhausting.

Let me illustrate my point by comparing two scenarios unfolding from that question:

Case #1:

“So, where are you from?”

“Nashville. What about you?”

“Oh, cool. I’m from Spokane. I heard Nashville’s nice. Do you like country music?”

Case #2

“So, where are you from?”

“Nashville. What about you?”

“I mean, like, where are you really from?”

“Um. Nashville. What about you?”

“No…like, where were you born?”

“Detroit.”

“Ok…where are your parents from?”

“Detroit. We moved to Nashville when I was in the third grade.”

“Y’know what I mean!”

“Oh. Yes. I see. The Philippines. The explanation you seem to need is the Philippines.”

“I knew it! love lumpia! When did you come to America?”

 What do we do when we limit our scope of who can be from where? When we invalidate and ignore, or smooth over the nuances of what it means to be from and of a place, a people, a country, a city?

I exaggerate Case #2. A little.  In any case, I am Filipino-American. I grew up in Nashville.  I was born in Detroit. And: These facts are not mutually exclusive!  Still, the lack of space made for the complexity of my history and reality are things I’ve been navigating my whole life. “Where are you from?” has always been a complicated question — not because I didn’t or don’t know, but because people’s responses made me doubt my answer. I learned quickly the subtext of the follow-up: explain your face; it’s not from here.

Skin color, eyes, accents, or lack thereof, each signal our “fromness,” our origins, our homes – but the narratives and realities of these signals are complex – and where we choose to claim as home equally so. It seems fitting that the theme for this year’s Poetry on Buses program is “Writing Home.” In motion, in transit in public space — who are we upon departure? Upon arrival and return?

The “Writing Home” poems demonstrate and engage the complexities of home of “fromness” with breadth and beauty. The program weaves together poetry with the public space of the bus, where “for a short while, all of us are going in the same direction.”

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Poet Michelle Peñaloza. Photo by Timothy Aguero Photography.

I’m honored to continue the work of Writing Home by emceeing and curating three Poetry on Buses events in conjunction with King County Libraries and the Folklife Festival, beginning in April, National Poetry Month. Poets from the Poetry on Buses project will join me to share visions of home. Through prompts and casual workshops* you’ll have the opportunity to engage and explore for yourself the complexities of our claims of home through the lens of poetry.

Let’s interrogate, complicate, and celebrate homeLet’s listen to and honor people when they choose to share with us their answers to the question: “Where are you from?”

 

POETRY ON BUSES ROADSHOW DETAILS:

April 25, 2PM @ Covington Library, 27100 164th Ave SE, Covington, 98042

May 9, 1PM @ Bellevue Library, 1111 110th Ave NE, Bellevue, 98004

May 23, Noon – 6PM @ Folklife, Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St, Seattle, 98109

Big thanks to King County Library System, our partner in the library events. And to Whole Foods Market Roosevelt Square for providing refreshments.

 

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How many of us think of Seattle as home to a river?

Sharon Arnold is the guest curator of our current Gallery4Culture exhibit The Duwamish Residency: Process and Artifacts. We asked Sharon if we could post her gallery statement in time for the artist talk that will take place next Tuesday, March 24, 6-7:30 pm, where residency artists will share their experience and process. Please join us for this free and public event.

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Sharon Arnold is the guest curator of our current Gallery4Culture exhibit The Duwamish Residency: Process and Artifacts. We asked Sharon if we could post her gallery statement in time for the artist talk that will take place next Tuesday, March 24, 6-7:30 pm, where residency artists will share their experience and process. Please join us for this free and public event.

MacFarlane_Over_Georgetown_2013_Bret Corrington
© 2013, Stephen MacFarlane, Over Georgetown, Monotype and graphite on paper. 24″ x 18″. Photo: Bret Corrington.

 

The Duwamish River, flowing through the southern and southwestern reaches of Seattle, is out of sight to many city dwellers on a day-to-day basis. But it’s there, threading its body through the valleys of our industrial districts; its mouth yawning through bridges and around shipyards to pour itself into Elliott Bay.

The Duwamish has been shaped by humans, and its course changed over time. It is still wild in parts, in spite of urban development, holding some small refuge for birds of prey, waterfowl, fish, and a few mammals. As an estuary, it was once home to a complex ecosystem of this kind of wildlife and humans; a resident population of cedars, firs, and alders flanking its shores alongside tideflats, swamps, forest, and wetlands. It is named after the indigenous tribe who populated this region around the river and Elliott Bay and Lake Washington, and who are still fighting for federal recognition of their tribe.

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© 2015, Chris Crites, Unidentified reeds at Herring’s House Park from 20 single moments along the Duwamish waterway, Mixed media on paper. 2.5″ x 3.5″. Courtesy of the artist.

 

This river represents the duality of both timelessness and change. It flows, relentlessly, through land and through time. It rises, falls, and shifts color depending on the season and the weather. And though it no longer meanders, its path is now held by the walls of its industrial bed and the manufactured island splitting its delta. No longer flanked by a forest of native deciduous and evergreen trees, it is adorned with great cranes, container ships, and industrial warehouses.

To most people, the Duwamish is an abstract idea: a historical artifact, a superfund site, an unrecognized people, a thing that is largely present and yet invisible. Ask a portion of the population what comes to mind when they think of Duwamish and most will say dirty water. Many will recall the local tribe after which the river is named, the People of the Inside, and their displacement. Oddly, few will mention the industry that has replaced the forests, wildlife, and people. Much of Seattle’s historic and present-day trade is seated here: shipyards, steel mills, foundries, steam plants, rail lines, container yards, the Port of Seattle, Boeing, cargo terminals, commercial moorage, garbage and recycle facilities, the Department of Homeland Security, and a few cruise ships. And to others still, the Duwamish is home to neighborhoods like Georgetown, South Park, and Allentown. Nestled in the curves of its banks, these neighborhoods portray a rare urban environment: river life, complete with docks, rowboats, and summertime swims.

This begins to give shape to the abstraction of a river. This river we can see but not see. This river that we know of, but don’t see much of. How do we see a river?

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© 2015, Juliet Shen, Bank Lines, watercolor over relief print, 11” x 17”. Photo: Lynn Thompson

 

In Process and Artifacts, the twelve artists of the Duwamish Artist Residency reveal their vision of the river when they’re working along its shores, hiking through green spaces, sketching among abandoned warehouses, and shooting film from across its bridges. Through their plein-air studies, landscape drawings and paintings, abstractions, rubbings, photographs, and observations of life along the river we begin to see this underrepresented region in a new way. Their bond with this untouristed district of the city is evident in their growing visual language around the river’s history and ecology.

What I felt strongly while viewing the collection of work from the Residency was an underlying connection and response to the enduring nature of the river, the objects alongside it, the blurring of past and present (as in I could not identify a specific time), the relentless flow and movement of the river, the light, the angles, and the color. There is a kind of quiet peaceful nature to this secret revealed through artist eyes. Each piece is like a stolen moment that if not documented, would slip past like a current in the river itself.

The work throughout this exhibition reflects the nature of the Duwamish River’s flux and feeling of lapsed time. It deftly captures this cinéma-vérité, which could be any point in time, not necessarily now, but also past and future. There are recursions in the entire collection of work throughout Process and Artifacts—patterns in composition, negative space, and form. Some pieces form a grid, alluding to the surrounding city blocks; and some exist in resolute denial of it. The artists reference nature, or industry, without falling into a precise narrative about either but instead pulling forward a tactile feeling of the place. The resulting artifacts leave us with a reflection of the timeless pattern of life along a river, looping back into itself, as we loop back around to it. The river calls, and we respond.

Sharon Arnold was invited to curate this exhibition by the Duwamish Residency artists. She is co-owner and director of Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle, Washington.


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© 2015, Fiona McGuigan, Pilings, Sumi ink and graphite on paper, 44” x 58”. Photo: Art & Soul

 

THE DUWAMISH RESIDENCY

The Duwamish Residency is an annual artist residency created in 2012 by Fiona McGuigan and Sue Danielson, two visual artists who sought to redefine the term residency to include and embrace their city of residence by stepping into and engaging with a part of the city that was unfamiliar to them. They chose the Duwamish River because of its economic and environmental importance, and for its visual and social diversity.

Mission Statement: To create a supportive environment for studio artists to work in a landscape of visual, historic and/or economic significance in a way that refreshes their practice while engaging in the artistic community. Education about both historical and contemporary issues is provided as part of the residency.

Learn more: www.duwamishresidency.com

On display through March 26:
The Duwamish Residency: Process and Artifact
Gallery4Culture
101 Prefontaine PL S
Seattle, WA 98104

Please join us in the gallery for a Duwamish Residency Artists talk on Tuesday, March 24 at 6:00 PM. This event is free and open to the public.

WebFuzzy + Listening is Hard

Illustration from 2001 Decorative Cuts and Ornaments, edited by Carol Belanger Grafton © 1988, Dover Publications
Illustration from 2001 Decorative Cuts and Ornaments, edited by Carol Belanger Grafton © 1988, Dover Publications

WebFuzzy is a monthly post by 4Culture staff who are interested in sharing the process of our website redesign by explaining our steps, showing our designs and marveling in our messy mistakes.

Listening is Hard
Post 1

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WebFuzzy is a monthly post by 4Culture staff who are interested in sharing the process of our website redesign by explaining our steps, showing our designs and marveling in our messy mistakes.
Illustration from 2001 Decorative Cuts and Ornaments, edited by Carol Belanger Grafton © 1988, Dover Publications
Listening is Hard
Post 1

Last fall we started a process of asking folks who visit our website about how they use it and why. What a luxury! It’s not often that an organization will invest in the time and resources for such an endeavor.

As a public funder, a producer and an organization with four main program areas, we have confused even ourselves along the way as each new program and project cries out for more attention. 14 annual funding programs, new and ongoing public art projects (sometimes lasting up to 10 years or more), 7 stand-alone programs, two storefront galleries…you get the idea. Jan Brady would have struggled in this family. Our website has become jumbled with confusing language, painful processes and broken functions, all because we relied on our best guesses and good intentions. We needed to stop talking and start listening. So, we did.

We started by connecting with a seasoned user experience (UX) professional, Sue Ann Harkey, to help us clean out our ear wax. She guided us through the process of asking questions and listening, carefully, to the answers. We quizzed online and in-person, tallying the results with pages of content and data. The results seemed obvious. Folks come to us for funding (duh!). But wait, who, exactly? Are we unintentionally leaving a whole group of folks out because we’re not reaching them? Of course we are.

Our goal this year is to change that: make the funding process easier, more transparent and, dare I say, fun. OK, that last part may be nearly impossible but you get the idea. We want you to know who we are, how King County is helping you, why we are helping you and the benefits of a publicly funded arts and heritage organization in local government. Also, we want you…no, we need you to succeed for the benefit of us all.

4Culture is the combination of all our parts. While funding is a large part of our mission, it is not the only way we contribute to our community. We need to make that clear, too. We provide programming ranging from getting vet’s back to work, alternatives to youth incarceration, the mapping and storytelling of historical places to getting poetry on buses. It’s a tall order.

The goal with this series of monthly posts is to share our thinking, designs and progress and to keep us on track. The days of the magical website reveal should be over in a business like ours. We’re looking forward to starting something new.

So to that end, we’re going to start by sharing some of the UX results that were a part of our initial discovery process.

We had to start somewhere so Phase 1 included Subject Matter Experts (SME) interviews, analysis of our web stats and a comparative review of related sites.

SMEs, otherwise known as staff, were the first folks we needed to hear from. Sue Ann asked 15 selected staff to answer 30 questions including: Who do you think your main clients are? How do you interact with the client? Do you provide content for the web site? If so, what and how? What are you clients goals from the website?

Take a look at our collected responses (The use of the word pillars refers to our 4 main program areas).

So what’s to be done with this information? We’ll review the answers of folks who actually use our site and see what the similarities and differences might be.

We’ll find out how well we think we know ourselves next month.

pdf iconSME Interview Questions + 4Culture Findings

 

Illustration from 2001 Decorative Cuts and Ornaments, edited by Carol Belanger Grafton © 1988, Dover Publications

new year, new poetry

Poetry on Buses Launch Party, November 10, 2014 at the Moore Theatre. Photo by Timothy Aguero Photography.
Poetry on Buses Launch Party, November 10, 2014 at the Moore Theatre. Photo by Timothy Aguero Photography.
Poetry on Buses Launch Party, November 10, 2014 at the Moore Theatre. Photo by Timothy Aguero Photography.

Mike Hickey, Seattle’s recent Poet Populist, is one of the 365 voices co-creating Poetry on Buses: Writing Home. A teacher, Mike works with college students and at-risk youth to bring out the poetry within. In this post, one in a series of guest posts by Poetry on Buses poets, he invites us to find poetry in the new year.

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Poetry on Buses Launch Party, November 10, 2014 at the Moore Theatre. Photo by Timothy Aguero Photography.

Mike Hickey, Seattle’s recent Poet Populist, is one of the 365 voices co-creating Poetry on Buses: Writing Home. A teacher, Mike works with college students and at-risk youth to bring out the poetry within. In this post, one in a series of guest posts by Poetry on Buses poets, he invites us to find poetry in the new year.

Less than 2% of Americans read poetry, and I ask myself why? Why would a medium so powerful and so dynamic be so widely ignored? One doesn’t have to sacrifice clarity for creativity. Think of former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins who was hailed by the New York Times as “the most popular poet in America” or Naomi Shihab Nye, the highly acclaimed Palestinian-American poet of whom Bill Moyers said, “Her poems speak of ordinary things – things we take for granted until it’s almost too late.” And when a fourth grader in one of my classes writes “…a dress walked by with a woman inside…” I know that poetry is still very much alive and well. In fact, I loved that line so much I borrowed it (with permission) for the title of my newest book of poems.

There is plenty of room at the table for tonal poets, abstract expressionists, and poets who write mostly for other poets, but Poetry on Buses is for everyone. 

The poems will move and provoke you. Accessible but deep, they are more potent than a double shot of espresso. This celebration of language encompasses a panoramic range of voices from many ages and ethnicities, and in each one you will find something to jump start your heart. These poems will make you fall in love with the poetry of our region all over again.

It’s the time of year for New Year’s Resolutions, and I’d like to invite you to consider making a poetry-related one. Here are some ideas:

  1. Read a poem each day at www.poetryonbuses.org
  2. Write a poem a week. (Hint: Take two disparate ideas that are completely unrelated and see if you can juxtapose them into a poem.)
  3. Attend at least one spoken word or poetry slam performance.
  4. Be bold: sign up for an open mic.

See where it all takes you. Most of all, have fun and celebrate words!

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/115225918[/vimeo]

Mike Hickey performs his Writing Home poem at the Poetry on Buses Launch Party, November 10, 2014. Footage by Latino Northwest Communications

Tying the mountains together

Poetry on Buses Launch Party, November 10, 2014 at the Moore Theatre. Photo by Timothy Aguero Photography. 
Poetry on Buses Launch Party, November 10, 2014 at the Moore Theatre. Photo by Timothy Aguero Photography. 
Poetry on Buses Launch Party, November 10, 2014 at the Moore Theatre. Photo by Timothy Aguero Photography.

One of the poets most beloved by the audience at November 10th’s launch of Poetry On Buses: Writing Home was Carlos Adams-Tres. His performance in front of an audience of 850 at the Moore Theatre was triumphant, in part because the audience felt his struggle and rooted for Carlos to complete his poem despite his fear. We invited his mother, Alejandra Tres, to talk a little bit about her son, his poetic process and what the experience of Poetry on Buses meant to him. Carlos’ poem Oh, Brother! will be featured on the Poetry On Buses website on December 26th. #WeLoveYouCarlos #CarlosForever

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Poetry on Buses Launch Party, November 10, 2014 at the Moore Theatre. Photo by Timothy Aguero Photography. 
Poetry on Buses Launch Party, November 10, 2014 at the Moore Theatre. Photo by Timothy Aguero Photography.

One of the poets most beloved by the audience at November 10th’s launch of Poetry On Buses: Writing Home was Carlos Adams-Tres. His performance in front of an audience of 850 at the Moore Theatre was triumphant, in part because the audience felt his struggle and rooted for Carlos to complete his poem despite his fear. We invited his mother, Alejandra Tres, to talk a little bit about her son, his poetic process and what the experience of Poetry on Buses meant to him. Carlos’ poem Oh, Brother! will be featured on the Poetry On Buses website on December 26th. #WeLoveYouCarlos #CarlosForever

Carlos crawled and walked a little later than most. He spoke, and spoke eloquently, a little earlier than most. While waiting for a ferry, two-year-old Carlos offered an observation, “Mama, the clouds look like shoelaces, tying the mountains together.”

Toddler babble? Maybe foreshadowing of a unique perspective? Having just heard about the 2007, dream-themed round of Poetry on Buses, I suggested we should submit his two lines. …Unfortunately, busy working mom never did submit it.

He has always had a flair for words and a robust vocabulary to go with it. While exploring how to support those gifts, I Googled across a program called Fancy Figurative Language at Birdseed TV. Carlos was so inspired by the introduction video, that he immediately began composing poetry, even though writing was a skill he had not yet mastered. Another year later, a very special student teacher, Aristy Gill, brought the gift of poetry into Carlos’ multi-age classroom (1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades). “Oh Brother!” happened to be one of the first poems he wrote while learning about poets and their techniques from Miss Gill and gaining inspiration from reading other poets.

Carlos started writing poems in earnest, sharing his poems and building a desire to share beyond his friends and family. In his words:

I love poetry.  I love trying to find words that sound like I want them to sound together.  The whole process just makes me happy.”

We were so excited this year, to learn Poetry on Buses was back!

Being chosen for Poetry on Buses was a huge honor for Carlos, and to have the opportunity to share his poem with an audience at the launch party… that was very exciting. It was also an unknown for him. Having never been on such a stage, the reality of 800+ cheering supporters was overwhelming.

When his name was announced and the cheers went up, Carlos was instantly terrified to get on stage, but heartbroken not to. Bolstered by the support and kindness of the poets around him, the program staff, and particularly emcee Roberto Ascalon, Carlos finally overcame his fear, and “Oh Brother!” came to life through the microphone.

Carlos quickly returned to writing poetry and has again expressed his deep desire to share. This time, he’d like to put poems together in a book, sharing them with a big crowd, … just in a much quieter space.

– The proud parents of Carlos Adams-Tres

A Novel Performance: Gabriela Denise Frank at the Seattle Public Library

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Each November, thousands of writers participate in National Novel Writing November (NaNoWriMo), attempting to write 50,000 words of a new work of fiction in 30 days. Art Projects grant Recipient Gabriela Denise Frank puts a twist on NaNoWriMo by creating a public space for her November novel writing, with support from the Seattle Public Library. We welcome her to the blog and invite you to participate in her upcoming project.

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Each November, thousands of writers participate in National Novel Writing November (NaNoWriMo), attempting to write 50,000 words of a new work of fiction in 30 days. Art Projects grant Recipient Gabriela Denise Frank puts a twist on NaNoWriMo by creating a public space for her November novel writing, with support from the Seattle Public Library. We welcome her to the blog and invite you to participate in her upcoming project.

A Novel Performance

Are writers really introverts—or do we seek to shroud our craft in mystique?

Gabriela Denise Frank, photo courtesy of the artist.
Gabriela Denise Frank, photo courtesy of the artist.

Last fall, I came across a quote by John Green that piqued my attention: “Writing is something you do alone. It’s a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.” I had a strong reaction to this statement; as artists, why would we perpetuate isolationism?

While I have shy moments, I’m a sharer at heart. I didn’t grow up amongst writers, so I’ve spent my life searching for people with whom I could share this thing that I love to do in the privacy of my home with nary a soul around who will ask to read a rough draft. Say, wait a minute…

So, how can we as a creative community overcome our seemingly intrinsic sense of introversion? A Novel Performance was born from wrestling with the desire for transparency and connection. After all, who am I to sling barbs if I’m not risking anything? A public installation gave my quest both an edge and a spotlight that I couldn’t retreat from, and National Novel Writing Month seemed like the perfect driver. Thanks to support from 4Culture and Seattle Public Library, the project found funding and a home. As November 1 approaches, the secretive introvert in me is quivering, but the extrovert is excited. Will people understand what I’m trying to do? Can I actually write 50,000 words with everyone watching?

Ultimately, I hope to move the needle from wherever it’s set. I’d love to see both new and seasoned writers stop by, not just to work, but to engage in conversation. Maybe I’ll end up with a first draft of my first novel—and I’ll feel confident talking about my work for the first time in my life. One thing I do know: if we show up to support each other, magic will happen.

Installation Dates
Nov. 1 to Nov. 30
Central Library, Level 3
1000 Fourth Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
FREE

Weekly Conversations with Gabriela
Mondays from 5 to 6 pm
Chocolati Café, Level 3
FREE

For hours and more information visit: www.gabrieladenisefrank.com

Gabriela Denise Frank, A Novel Performance, stanchion. Courtesy of the artist.
Gabriela Denise Frank, A Novel Performance, stanchion. Courtesy of the artist.

Learn about Community Broadband October 8

Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Lunch and Learn speaker. Photo by Glenn Ricart, courtesy of Sabrina Roach.
Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Lunch and Learn speaker. Photo by Glenn Ricart, courtesy of Sabrina Roach.

A workshop and an evening forum take place on October 8

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A workshop and an evening forum take place on October 8

We welcome Sabrina Roach to the blog to talk about two learning and discussion opportunities about broadband access. Hollow Earth Radio and SouthEast Effective Development’s SEEDArts have recently been given the “green-light” by the FCC for low frequency broadcasting. Both receive support from 4Culture and are working to increase access to arts and culture for their communities, so these issues have been on our minds lately. Broadcast and internet access increasingly affects us all. This is a great opportunity to learn and to have your voice heard. 

Lunch & Learn: Seattle City Hall 

Wednesday, October 8th / Noon – 1:00 PM
Boards and Commissions Conference Room L-280

Evening Forum: Seattle City Hall 

Wednesday, October 8th / 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Bertha Knight Landes Room

Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Lunch and Learn speaker. Photo by Glenn Ricart, courtesy of Sabrina Roach.
Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, is speaking at both events. Photo by Glenn Ricart, courtesy of Sabrina Roach.

I’m working with the City of Seattle’s Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB) to produce a couple forums next week about municipal broadband. They are exploring the implications of a municipally-owned broadband system in Seattle with Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

The forums will evaluate strategies to increase the availability of competitive, affordable and equitable broadband options, including the potential for a municipal broadband option. City of Seattle Mayor Murray also included municipal broadband in his Broadband Initiative

In addition to Internet access being an equity issue, it’s a big arts and culture issue. How often do you use the Internet for collaboration and research? How do we often initially connect to the work of artists or find out more once we’ve been moved by their work? What would happen if those pages loaded slowly or their video lagged while buffering?

If Seattle owned its own broadband infrastructure, it wouldn’t have to worry about network neutrality. Also, who can do that connecting if we don’t have accessible and affordable Internet for everyone?

Our broadband network shouldn’t be a limitation on our creativity. Let’s explore all our options.

Tied By Lightning: Telegraph Sesquicentennial

Telegraph instrument board, at Fort Stevens (Oregon State Park) © 2011. Image provided by Kevin Saville;
Telegraph instrument board, at Fort Stevens (Oregon State Park) © 2011. Image provided by Kevin Saville;
Telegraph wires circa 1863. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, National Archives Still Picture Branch.

The Telegraph Sesquicentennial and Military Road
Tied By Lightning: Exhibitions and Demonstrations
South King County locations & King County Courthouse

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Telegraph wires circa 1863. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, National Archives Still Picture Branch.
Telegraph wires circa 1863. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, National Archives Still Picture Branch.

The Telegraph Sesquicentennial and Military Road
Tied By Lightning: Exhibitions and Demonstrations
South King County locations & King County Courthouse

The celebration of the Sesquicentennial (150 years) of the introduction of the telegraph to the State of Washington is taking place along Military Road in South King County and in Seattle this October. Kevin Saville received a Historic Site(s) Specific grant to participate in the Telegraph Sesquicentennial celebration, and will be creating installations and facilitating demonstrations in South King County and the King County Courthouse. In addition, two community conversations about the Sesquicentennial will take place in October. A full schedule appears at the bottom of this post. Barbara McMichael with SoCo Culture gives an overview as our guest on the blog.

Everyone knows King County to be a high tech hub today, but our region’s first brush with cutting-edge technology goes back way before Bill Gates and Paul Allen. A century and a half ago, the first high tech endeavor to put down roots in King County was the telegraph, which came up from Olympia along Military Road, and arrived in Seattle on October 25, 1864.

To mark the occasion, a flag was raised, a cannon was fired, and the newspapers crowed that the Puget Sound region was now “tied by lightning” to the rest of the world. The next day a dispatch was sent to President Lincoln, commending “the suppression of rebellion and the extension of Science.” At last this western outpost could receive up-to-date news about the Civil War, and settlers could connect with family, friends, and business relations on a nearly instantaneous basis.

This October, with the assistance of 4Culture Historic Site(s) Specific funding, the sesquicentennial of the telegraph’s arrival will be marked with “Tied By Lightning” exhibits, free hands-on telegraph demonstrations, and other events along Military Road in South King County, as well as at 4Culture offices and the King County Courthouse. Come try your hand at working a telegraph key, read dispatches from the war front 150 years ago to the day, and check out the equipment that may look quaint now, but represented the forefront of technology back then.  The Tukwila Historical Society, the Highline Historical Society, the Greater Kent Historical Society, the Historical Society of Federal Way and the Seattle-Tacoma Chapter of the Morse Telegraph Club are all participating in this unprecedented collaboration to celebrate history in South King County. The effort was coordinated by SoCoCulture.

For a listing of all events, visit the SoCo Culture calendar page. To celebrate the anniversary, 4Culture and the South King County Cultural Coalition will bring history alive by sponsoring an interactive exhibit on Friday, October 3, when a companion exhibit will take place at the King County Courthouse in Seattle off the 3rd Avenue rotunda. The four sites will host real telegraph stations with members of the Evergreen Chapter of the Morse Telegraph Club sending and receiving telegraph messages throughout the day. Visitors will also be able to learn about the history of the Military Road telegraph line, and how the telegraph transformed communications in the United States.

Tied By Lightning Sites

Hands-On Telegraph Demo – Seattle King County Courthouse, 516 Third Avenue, Seattle October 3, 9 AM – 5 PM

Hands-On Telegraph Demo – Tukwila Church By the Side of the Road, 3455 S 148th Street, Tukwila October 5, 12:30-5 PM

Telegraph Exhibit – SeaTac SeaTac City Hall, 4800 S 188th Street, SeaTac October – November, 9 AM – 5 PM

Hands-On Telegraph Demo – SeaTac SeaTac City Hall, 4800 S 188th Street, SeaTac October 2 and 3, 9 AM – 5 PM

Telegraph Exhibit and Hands-On Telegraph Demo – Kent Kent Historical Museum, 855 E Smith Street, Kent October 1–11, open Wednesday – Saturday, 12 – 4 PM

Telegraph Exhibit and Hands-On Telegraph Demo – Federal Way 2645 S 312th Street, Federal Way September 30 – October 9, open Tuesday – Thursday, 10 AM – 2 PM; also open Saturday, October 4, 12-4 PM

Community Conversations

October 15, 2014     6:30 – 8:30 pm Mike’s Community Cup 16260 Military Road S., SeaTac

October 28, 2014     7:00 – 8:30 pm Iglesia Rey de Reyes (Old Star Lake School) 3212 S. 272nd St., Kent

About Kevin Saville and the Morse Telegraph Club: Kevin Saville is president of the Seattle-Tacoma “Evergreen” Chapter of the Morse Telegraph Club (MTC) which is dedicated to keeping the memory of the original Morse Code, and the Morse Electromagnetic Telegraph, alive. He was contacted to be a telegraph consultant, exhibitor, and resource for the Military Road Telegraph project, sponsored by 4Culture and the South King County Cultural Coalition and is very pleased to be able to assist with a celebration of the first telegraph line extending northward on the west side of Washington Territory in the fall of 1864. The line extended north from Portland and reached Olympia in early September, 1864, and Seattle in late October, 1864.  October 3 falls midway between these two milestone dates. Like most MTC chapters, the Evergreen Chapter is comprised mostly of what are now elderly, former telegraphers.  It is hoped that some of the members will be able to attend events and  participate, since they should be able to send and receive Morse messages in the conventional manner.  In any event, with the assistance of computer software developed by chapter member Les Kerr of Bellevue, the Morse community around the globe is able to effectively communicate regardless of skill level.

Learn more about 4Culture’s Site Specific program.

The South King County Cultural Coalition can be found online at www.sococulture.org.

For details about the Morse Telegraph Club, log on to www.morsetelegraphclub.org.

Thanks to independent historian Karen Meador for sharing her knowledge of Military Road.

Poetry and Public Life—Writing as Witness

Carolyne Wright, © Jim Parrott 2011. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Carolyne Wright, © Jim Parrott 2011. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Carolyne Wright, © Jim Parrott 2011. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Poet Carolyne Wright is offering a Workshop and Reading as part of her 2013 Individual Artist Project, at Jack Straw Productions on Saturday, October 4. We welcome Carolyne to the blog.

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 Carolyne Wright, © Jim Parrott 2011. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Carolyne Wright, © Jim Parrott 2011. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Poet Carolyne Wright is offering a Workshop and Reading as part of her 2013 Individual Artist Project, at Jack Straw Productions on Saturday, October 4. We welcome Carolyne to the blog.

Poetry and Public Life — Writing as Witness

October 4, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
The Raven Chronicles at Jack Straw Productions
4261 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

As a poet, I have often heard that “poetry makes nothing happen”; but I have also heard that poetry can be a force for good in the world, and that poets are the “unacknowledged legislators of the world.” Which message is more true? In the course of pursuing my own dreams as a literary artist and Seattle native who had an urge to explore and discover in the far fields of culture, I have lived and traveled in many parts of the world—Chile during the presidency of Salvador Allende, Brazil during Carnaval overshadowed by military dictatorship, Calcutta during India’s time as a non-aligned country, when Mother Teresa was probably the best-known resident of the city, and Bangladesh during the transition from military dictatorship to an energetic and tumultuous democracy. In all of these countries and cultures, in the languages that communicate these cultures (Chilean Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Bengali) poetry is a highly esteemed art form, and poets are regarded with great respect and affection, including women poets. In India and Bangladesh, I was thrilled to share my work with Bengali poets, and to translate the poetry of Bengali women to English. I saw how poetry played a vital role in the public lives of people in these countries—on marches and in classrooms, on the page and on the stage, to inspire to greater freedom on the spiritual and civic levels.

Therefore, when I had the opportunity last year to apply for and receive a 4Culture Individual Artist Fellowship, I began work on “Mother-of-Pearl Women,” a sequence featuring inter-cultural encounters with girls and women. This sequence will form one section of a book of poetry in progress, This Dream the World—a book confronting family and national history, the interaction of the personal sphere and the larger public arena, to be published by Lost Horse Press. I have read from these poems in venues throughout King County—libraries, cultural centers, recording studios, and bookstores–and conducted workshops on poetry and public life, writing as witness, literary mentorship, and poetry as narrative. And one small poem in this sequence will be featured on 4Culture’s Poetry on Buses web site and on placards in metro transit buses and/or bus stops!

One of the final events in which I will share work from this project during the grant period is a workshop and reading at Jack Straw Productions in Seattle, “Poetry and Public Life—Writing as Witness.” I know that as poets and writers, we in the U.S. might not consider our work as a public act. For months we struggle to craft a poem or story or essay; and then, with luck, it ends up in a literary journal with a tiny circulation. Yet as I learned in my years abroad, poetry has always been a mode of truth-telling — even more so now, given the conditions of political, social, environmental and ethical extremity that prevail in this new millennium.

The questions I bring to this forum are: how may we reach into the life of our greater human community, the larger public forum, with poems and stories? What does it mean to connect our writing to our public lives as citizens — to working for cultural, social, political, and environmental change as well as inner transformation? How may creative writing function as an ethical and political, as well as an aesthetic endeavor, in an interconnected, rapidly changing global society?

In this workshop co-sponsored by Raven Chronicles, with support from Poets & Writers and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, we’ll look at the work and lives of some poets (Carolyn Forché, Patricia Smith, Lois Red Elk, Taslima Nasrin, Naomi Shihab Nye) who have managed a larger public presence and contribution from within intensely committed writing lives, do some hands-on mapping of our own writing lives within our communities, and discuss new ways that writing can bear witness in the world.

This workshop is $15.00, and class size is limited. Email your intent to register with subject line: C. Wright Workshop.
For more information call 206.941.2955.