New Exhibit: Bases As Bridges

Exhibit flyer, courtesy of The Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington. Toiyo Jersey on flyer, courtesy of the Mizuta Family

News from a Heritage Sustained Support recipient

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News from a Heritage Sustained Support recipient

Exhibit flyer, courtesy of The Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington. Toiyo Jersey on flyer, courtesy of the Mizuta Family

The Northwest Nikkei Museum proudly presents, Bases As Bridges: Baseball From Japan To Washington, a new exhibit commemorating the significance of baseball in the history of Japanese communities.

“The seeds of Japanese American baseball were planted by the first generation of Japanese immigrants to the United States. Baseball became a firmly established inter-generational activity through its recreational popularity, which furthered the sense of community through Japanese values and experiences. It brought everyone together at games and tournaments all over the state of Washington. The passion of baseball continues to be shared cross generationally as the history of Japanese American baseball inspires them to reach for the big leagues.” – NW Nikkei Museum

The exhibit showcases objects and photos spanning decades of Japanese and Japanese American baseball in Washington State. It opens September 28th, 2013 at 1414 S. Weller Street, Seattle.

Image: Exhibit flyer, courtesy of The Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington. Toiyo Jersey on flyer, courtesy of the Mizuta Family.

 

Upcoming Deadline for Preservation Sustained Support

Mukai Farm & Garden, Vashon © 2013, photo by Jean Sherrard

4Culture’s NEW Preservation Sustained Support program deadline is Wednesday, October 9th at 5pm. This program provides organizations and agencies in King County, whose primary mission is historic preservation, predictable levels of operating support for everyday costs such as rent, salaries, marketing and utilities. To review the program’s guidelines and eligibility requirements, visit www.4culture.org/apply/preservationsustained.

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Mukai Farm & Garden, Vashon © 2013, photo by Jean Sherrard
Mukai Farm & Garden, Vashon © 2013, photo by Jean Sherrard

4Culture’s NEW Preservation Sustained Support program deadline is Wednesday, October 9th at 5pm. This program provides organizations and agencies in King County, whose primary mission is historic preservation, predictable levels of operating support for everyday costs such as rent, salaries, marketing and utilities. To review the program’s guidelines and eligibility requirements, visit www.4culture.org/apply/preservationsustained.

For questions about eligibility or the application process, contact Flo Lentz at (206) 296.8682.

Take a Crush Course!

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Arts Crush, Crush Course

Sustained Support recipient Theatre Puget Sound sits in that grey area known as “arts service organizations”—organizations that do not create art themselves but help others to do so.  TPS not only offers assistance to individuals and organizations but also cultivates creativity across the theater spectrum.  To that latter end, TPS presents Arts Crush Course 2013, a full day of speakers and workshops designed to stimulate, engage, and inspire.  Modeled somewhat after the popular TED talks, Crush Course features short presentations by arts luminaries from Seattle and across the U.S.

The Seattle-based folk bridge the visual, literary, and dance worlds:  Seattle Art Museum’s Sandra Jackson-Dumont, whose talk is called “To Be Real: Personal Shine and Organization Identity,” specializes in participatory art experiences and blurring the lines between academia and pop culture.  Dance grande dame Pat Graney will discuss her acclaimed program Keeping the Faith, through which she’s been working with incarcerated women for over 20 years.  Ed Marquand’s Marquand Books creates arts books for museums, galleries, and architects, but he’s also the founder of Mighty Tieton, an incubator for “creative and artisan businesses” just outside of Yakima; his talk is subtitled “Building an Entrepreneurial Community in an Unlikely Place.”

The people coming from further afield are just as varied:  Writer and arts consultant Roberto Bedoya of the Tucson Pima Arts Council will speak on “Creative Placemaking and the Politics of Belonging and Dis-Belonging.”  Polly Carl directs and edits Howlround: A Center for the Theater Common, which promotes new practices to make theater more accessible to all, and will speak about “The Beauty of Complexity:  Or the Death of the Pure Aesthetic.”  Marc Bamuthi Joseph, co-founder of Life is Living (a national series of one-day hip-hop festivals aimed at revitalizing under-resourced parks), has a talk called “Kindred: Packing for the Future.”  Margy Waller, a senior fellow at Topos Partnership (a research organization dedicated to “transforming the landscape of public understanding”), has one of the simplest yet most open-ended titles: “Serendipitious Art.”

TPS Executive Director Karen Lane, while enthusiastic about the entire line-up, is particularly looking forward to hearing the founding artistic director of Portland’s Sojourn Theatre, Michael Rohd.  “Arts Crush began as ‘audience development’,” said Lane.  “I question that ‘label’ and ‘goal’ now…I certainly believe that audience development can be a by-product but it seems to lack integrity and be disingenuous as a primary goal…Michael Rohd calls for a conversation that clarifies intention; he asks, ‘What common values, if any, do we believe engagement should hold as a growing body of practice?’”

Crush Course will be on Tuesday, Sept 10, from 9 am to 5 pm at Mt. Baker Community Clubhouse.  Box lunches are available!

Sustained Support for Historic Preservation is Now Available

Youth Heritage Summit © 2013, courtesy of Washington Trust for Historic Preservation
Youth Heritage Summit © 2013, courtesy of Washington Trust for Historic Preservation
Youth Heritage Summit © 2013, courtesy of Washington Trust for Historic Preservation

4Culture is expanding its biennial operating support for King County cultural organizations to include groups and municipalities’ with a core mission of historic preservation. The NEW Preservation Sustained Support program offers predictable levels of funding for nonprofit organizations, public development authorities, and cities with dedicated staffing, programming, and outreach focused on historic preservation. Organizations whose activities promote tourism, contribute to the creative economy, and spread an appreciation of the built environment are welcome to apply.

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Youth Heritage Summit © 2013, courtesy of Washington Trust for Historic Preservation
Youth Heritage Summit © 2013, courtesy of Washington Trust for Historic Preservation

4Culture is expanding its biennial operating support for King County cultural organizations to include groups and municipalities’ with a core mission of historic preservation. The NEW Preservation Sustained Support program offers predictable levels of funding for nonprofit organizations, public development authorities, and cities with dedicated staffing, programming, and outreach focused on historic preservation. Organizations whose activities promote tourism, contribute to the creative economy, and spread an appreciation of the built environment are welcome to apply.

Visit the program’s webpage for information on eligibility criteria for applicants, what gets funded, and required application materials.  The application round is now open, and the deadline to apply is October 9th, 2013 for support in 2014.  Flo Lentz, Preservation Lead, will be hosting weekly drop-in workshops for interested applicants at the 4Culture offices  beginning September 11.  For questions about this program, or any other Preservation program’s 4Culture offers, call or email Flo at (206) 296-8682.

See Arts and Heritage Events for FREE!

Opening night of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) 2011 © Bobby Bonsey
Opening night of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) 2011 © Bobby Bonsey
Opening night of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) 2011 © Bobby Bonsey

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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 Opening night of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) 2011 ©  Bobby Bonsey
Opening night of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) 2011 © Bobby Bonsey

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 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 public programs best represent 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 provide a patron’s-eye-view of the organization, which gives the panelists a broader 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 think 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 September 16, 2013.

For more information about how to apply, go here 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 2013 Review Form, which is what Reviewers fill out, and a link to On-Site Review on 4Culture’s blog, which will give you some samples of previous Reviews.

Questions about the program or about applying?  Call Bret Fetzer at 206.205.8592 or e-mail him (preferred).

The Salon in the Field: Art & Outdoor Events in Kent

Sarah Kavage and Adria Garcia, The Weave, Photo: Corey Scherrer.

4Culture’s Art Projects is a proud supporter of this amazing free, interactive, temporary public art project happening this August and September in Kent. You can visit the site through September 8th to see the weaving work in process or attend an upcoming public event (listed below). Pack a picnic and enjoy!

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4Culture’s Art Projects is a proud supporter of this amazing free, interactive, temporary public art project happening this August and September in Kent. You can visit the site through September 8th to see the weaving work in process or attend an upcoming public event (listed below). Pack a picnic and enjoy!

Sarah Kavage and Adria Garcia, The Weave, Photo: Corey Scherrer.
Sarah Kavage and Adria Garcia, The Weave, Photo: Corey Scherrer

Sarah Kavage and Adria Garcia: The Salon in the Field

Installation construction: August 11 – September 8, 2013 -10 AM to dusk.

Related Events (Below): Sunday, August 18 / 2-6 pm and Sunday, September 8 / 2-6 pm

GRNRA entrance and viewing tower: 21250 Russell Road South, Kent

FREE

From August 11 to September 8, artists Sarah Kavage and Adria Garcia will be creating their latest in-situ woven grass installation—THE SALON – at the Green River Natural Resources Area (GRNRA) in Kent. Imagine an elaborate hairstyle applied directly to Mother Earth’s scalp with tall grass for hair – THE SALON is inspired by the arts of hair braiding, basketry and rope twining. This sprawling organic piece will take several weeks to weave, and will be visible well into 2014 before it naturally decays. In addition to being able to watch the process of creating THE SALON, the public is invited to attend two outdoor events about the traditions that have inspired it.

  • Sunday, August 18, 2-6 pm: THE SALON opening day picnic – Nooksack tribal member Elizabeth King George teaches the Coast Salish Native tradition of making twine with nettles. Rueben Turk from Seattle’s Good Hair Salon demonstrates the art of braiding naturally kinky, curly hair. Avant-garde harp by Monica Schley.
  • Sunday, September 8, 2-6 pm: Celebrate the completion of  THE SALON – Ethiopian hair braiding with Ethiopian food by Nibret Aga. Beautiful harmonies of traditional European and American music by The Lonely Coast.

THE SALON will be constructed around one of the tall observation towers at the GRNRA, giving visitors a wraparound birds-eyes view from which to observe the undulating woven tendrils of grass. The GRNRA comprises 300 acres of wetland habitat along the Green River and is one of the best birdwatching sites in the area. The timing of the installation was planned in deference to the nesting habits of local fowl. The idea to braid grass came out of Kavage’s desire to formulate a public art practice that was completely ephemeral and would leave no trace.

Sarah Kavage is an artist and urban planner. Stylist Adria Garcia sings and plays drums in the band Le Sang Song and owns the vintage clothing boutique Indian Summer on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Learn more about their practice.

 

 

A World of Utter Turmoil

Compos Mentis by Manifold Motion. Photo by Divide.
Compos Mentis by Manifold Motion. Photo by Divide.

Compos Mentis from Manifold Motion

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Compos Mentis by Manifold Motion.  Photo by Divide.
Compos Mentis by Manifold Motion. Photo by Divide.

Compos Mentis from Manifold Motion

Through the On-Site Review program, 4Culture evaluates arts and heritage organizations who receive Sustained Support funding. On-Site Reviewers attend events produced or presented by recipients and write up short reviews, which give the adjudicating Sustained Support panelists a patron’s-eye-view of each organization.  Each month, the 4Culture blog presents excerpts from these reviews.  This month’s review is by Amontaine Woods.

 

Compos Mentis was an evening length multi-media dance performance by 5 female dancers from the contemporary dance company, Manifold Motion. The phrase compos mentis is of Latin origin and means rational or of sound mind. Interestingly, the performance connotes humans out of control, in states of extreme anxiety, vulnerability, and on edges of insanity. An excerpt from the program notes states, “What we seek has many names: understanding, peace, God, Nirvana, Samadhi, control, self-actualization, knowledge, sanity. Despite all this search and struggle, we ask: are we moving closer to our spiritual truth, or building more convoluted barriers to it?”

The stage was skillfully utilized as the performance was divided into what felt like interlocking scenes or vignettes that were played out on different areas of the main stage, and on a portion of the balcony. The performance began with a dancer draped in a dress that descended from the ceiling and was attached to the back wing of the stage. This dancer felt like something otherworldly, an angel-like entity, or a “spiritual truth.” Her dance is passionate but limited, moving in all directions as far as she can, but ultimately held in limitation by the constraints of her attachment. Throughout the night she lurks in the background like a compassionate presence available and awaiting recognition, but unable to directly act or interfere in the world of human affairs. As the evening proceeds, multiple stories told through movement and the creative use of props are executed at a fever pitch and a world of utter turmoil is played out before our eyes.

Violent despair emerged as a main theme, as one dancer smashed cups with a hammer and sent broken glass flying about the stage, another thrashed pillows from the balcony until they burst with copious feathers, and a third self-flagellated with seething abandon. One piece that utilized a makeshift television involved two women sitting on stools wearing space age headgear and being systematically electrocuted by a force quite possibly related to the flashing images emanating from the TV screen.

It is a tricky thing to work from a highly-conceptual place such as that outlined in the company’s program notes, and to bring those concepts down to a place where they can be concretely felt and seen. But that is what Manifold Motion has accomplished with Compos Mentis, and masterfully so. For me, this company is well beyond just great or skillful dancers, though they are that as well. Most notably, their conceptual brilliance, mind-boggling creativity, and choreographic fearlessness left me shuddering and pondering for days afterwards.

Go here to learn more about Manifold Motion’s upcoming performances.

Classical, Intimate and Witty

Unstrung Hero, photo by Matthew Felton © 2012

Through the On-Site Review program, 4Culture evaluates arts and heritage organizations who receive Sustained Support funding. On-Site Reviewers attend events produced or presented by recipients and write up short reviews, which give the adjudicating Sustained Support panelists a patron’s-eye-view of each organization.  Each month, the 4Culture blog presents excerpts from these reviews.  This month’s review is by Chris Jeffries.

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Unstrung Hero, photo by Matthew Felton © 2012
Unstrung Hero, photo by Matthew Felton © 2012

Through the On-Site Review program, 4Culture evaluates arts and heritage organizations who receive Sustained Support funding. On-Site Reviewers attend events produced or presented by recipients and write up short reviews, which give the adjudicating Sustained Support panelists a patron’s-eye-view of each organization.  Each month, the 4Culture blog presents excerpts from these reviews.  This month’s review is by Chris Jeffries.

Very good job all around from Simple Measures.  The performers of Unstrung Hero were uniformly excellent, and could easily hold their own with any other region’s top instrumentalists. Repertoire of 6 pieces very nicely balanced: a famous Brahms quintet performed in its entirety, preceded by single movements from works by 5 other composers, one a little-known conservative composer of Beethoven’s era, 3 from the 20th century, and the clarinetist himself, whose piece was a charming pastiche of various melodies by the Beatles.  The playing was great, at times truly transporting.

Mt. Baker Community Club is one of those charming, small-town-feeling venues that exist all over this area, but which you could live here for decades and never know about, except to attend a wedding reception or performance like this (I’ve encountered several such in the course of 4Culture on-site reviews).  Acoustics were great. A few steps might make for minor accessibility issues. Chairs weren’t very comfortable, and the floor was not raked, making sightlines a bit problematic depending on who’s sitting in front of you.  Size was just right for event. Venue itself is hard to find in the dark, and street parking, while available, was not abundant.  (I note the group uses several venues, not just this one.)

What really sets this org apart, according to its mission, is the informal, interactive nature of the experience, and that’s just what we got. The performers not only took questions from the audience, but asked the audience questions and solicited comments, and gave informative introductions to each composer and piece. I started out feeling like I was not the target audience for this sort of approach, being no beginner when it comes to classical music – and I did feel that these portions of the program went on a bit long. However, even this jaded music major ended up learning a thing or two (including being introduced to an interesting female composer I’d never heard of), and had to admit that it did enhance the listening experience to have taken in the pre-performance discussions. My takeaway: they’re doing exactly what they say they’re all about doing, and doing it wittily and well – without in any way letting the talk and humor and back-and-forth be an excuse for even slightly sub-par musical performances. Most impressive.  I was glad to see it so well attended and wish even more people had been there. They’re doing this music a real service – not least by playing it so splendidly.  I’m glad they’re here.

Unusually, a few weeks after submitting his review, Chris sent in the following:

Since writing this review, I have attended two other chamber concerts, and I am even more convinced that this group’s approach is the way to go. Maybe it wasn’t ideal for me personally, but the more I think about it, their informal, participatory, non-threatening, warmly inviting approach to this repertoire is really a HUGE service to the arts-going public in our area. Three prestigious concerts later, I liked this one the best; this group gets my very highest recommendation.

Simple Measures begins its 2013-14 season in November.

Seattle Chamber Music Society Summer Festival Begins June 29

Seattle Chamber Music Society, Photo Courtesy of SCMS
Seattle Chamber Music Society, Photo Courtesy of SCMS
Seattle Chamber Music Society, Photo Courtesy of SCMS

12 Concerts, 12 Free Recitals on Summer Festival Schedule

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Seattle Chamber Music Society, Photo Courtesy of SCMS
Seattle Chamber Music Society, Photo Courtesy of SCMS

12 Concerts, 12 Free Recitals on Summer Festival Schedule

June 29 – July 26

Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall, Seattle

Seattle Chamber Music Society presents the first of twelve concerts that will make up its 2013 Summer Music Festival on Saturday, June 29 at 8:00 pm. The concert will take place at Nordstrom Recital Hall in Benaroya Hall, Seattle, with works from Beethoven, Enescu, Honneger and Brahms.

Each Festival performance will feature unique pairings of the finest musicians in the world, coming together to play standard chamber music repertoire as well as  lesser known gems. Some of the highlights include works by Beethoven, Dvořák, Tchaikovsky, and Mozart. Performers include former lead trumpet of the Canadian Brass, Jens Lindemann performing works by Honegger, Martinů, and Jolivet; Ricardo Morales, principal clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra playing Brahms, the Seattle Symphony’s concertmaster, Alexander Velinzon, playing Saint-Saëns’ Septet, op. 65, and our Grammy Award winning Artistic Director, James Ehnes, performing the world premiere of composer Lawrence Dillon’s septet, Sanctuary.

All Concerts begin at 8:00pm at Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall. Each performance is preceded by a FREE pre-concert recital at 7:00 pm featuring one or two musicians playing selections of their choice.

For a full listing of concerts and performers visit seattlechambermusic.org

 

The Way Film Is Meant to be Seen

The interior of the Grand Ilusion Cinema. Photo by Patrick Richardson Wright.
The interior of the Grand Illusion Cinema. Photo by Patrick Richardson Wright.

Through the On-Site Review program, 4Culture evaluates arts and heritage organizations who receive Sustained Support funding. On-Site Reviewers attend events produced or presented by recipients and write up short reviews, which give the adjudicating Sustained Support panelists a patron’s-eye-view of each organization.  Each month, the 4Culture blog presents excerpts from these reviews.  This month’s review is by Nicki Sucec.

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The interior of the Grand Illusion Cinema. Photo by Patrick Richardson Wright.
The interior of the Grand Illusion Cinema. Photo by Patrick Richardson Wright.

Through the On-Site Review program, 4Culture evaluates arts and heritage organizations who receive Sustained Support funding. On-Site Reviewers attend events produced or presented by recipients and write up short reviews, which give the adjudicating Sustained Support panelists a patron’s-eye-view of each organization.  Each month, the 4Culture blog presents excerpts from these reviews.  This month’s review is by Nicki Sucec.

If you like independent, foreign or rare film, it is hard not to appreciate the Grand Illusion Cinema.  Seattle’s oldest continuously running theater since in 1968, the group must be doing something right! It is absolutely one of a kind in all respects.  The volunteer-operated, non-profit film house plays a very important role in providing the experience of what going to see classic films used to be like.  More importantly, it provides a venue for small, independent filmmakers to get their work out into the world the way film is meant to be seen—not just on YouTube, but in a theater, ideally with a proper screen, sound system and with 100% of the viewer’s attention.

Set up off the street, the theater is a hidden, magical place that oozes charm.  One must duck under overhanging vines and walk past brightly painted concrete walls to get up to the porch just outside the entry.  The little lobby (where popcorn is sold in paper bags) is warm and inviting. Once inside the tiny theater, one is transported back in time.  The lighting is dim, there are red velvet curtains and chairs and beautiful, antique tin ceilings!  Wonderful!

The evening—a screening of the documentary The Kingdom of Survival (in which one man’s quest for truth and justice thoughtfully challenges our most basic beliefs about the U.S. government and presents alternative options via interviews from well-respected, alternative thinkers)—began with a charming theater volunteer in shorts and a t-shirt, introducing the Cinema itself, offering concise information on membership and upcoming events, and humorously hinting what might be in a “secret” Halloween day screening.  The same volunteer introduced the director (M.A. Littler) and producer (Alex Hebert) before the film and started the Q and A session afterward.  Seated in the audience, he asked the filmmakers one or two thoughtful questions and was very patient in his conversation even after the somewhat defensive (or perhaps, nervous) director cut him off twice.

The Q and A session offered valuable insight into the filmmakers’ approach and beliefs. The director made a point of saying that the G.I. was an ideal venue for his film.  When asked how he is going to get his film to a larger public, he rather strongly professed his dislike of any mainstream distributors (e.g., Amazon or iTunes) and made it clear that he and the producer would not compromise their values and the values expressed in the film, even to get their vision to a wider audience. True renegades! This is their first promo tour.  Let’s hope they succeed in getting their film out there because it absolutely needs to be seen!

Films like this have the potential to have a huge impact, not just in one community, but all over the country, perhaps even around the globe.  The director himself, whose film is a quest for “visions that challenge the status quo”, might be one of the next great thought leaders. Who knows?  Littler also made clear that, unlike the films of now famous documentary maker Michael Moore, his film does not lead the viewer into judgment, but rather simply presents a powerful grouping of information from like-minded individuals. We receive much of this information in the form of often intense, historical and modern day newsreel footage effectively timed with the interviewees’ sharing their philosophies and analyses of contemporary U.S. politics and government, via voice over.

The showing of The Kingdom of Survival without a doubt fulfills one of the Grand Illusion Cinema’s most serious and important aims—to present “truly independent cinema.”

The Grand Illusion Cinema shows a wide and wild variety of films year-round.