Spring Clean-Up at Bereiter House

Greater Kent Historical Society
Dates: 4/26/2014 and 5/3/2014, starting at 10 AM

Help spiff up the grounds of beautiful and historic Bereiter House.  There will be many jobs – bring shovels, clippers, rakes, edging tools, hoe, window cleaning supplies, wheelbarrow, or power washer.  Coffee and pastries will be provided.  Call 253-854-4330.

Covington Library hosts a Poetry Coffeehouse

The City of Covington is perhaps best known for a retail core dominated by shopping plazas and big box stores, but on the fringe of that consumer-driven landscape, the Covington Library stands as a bulwark of creative and cultural vitality.

Case in point: the Poetry Coffeehouse taking place there on Wednesday, April 23, 7 PM, in honor of National Poetry Month.

paul nelsonNorthwest poetic promulgator Paul Nelson, formerly of Auburn, returns to South King County for this event and is joined by fellow poets Peter Munro, Amber Nelson and Judith Roche to participate in an evening of open mike poetry reading for all ages. Nelson is the author of A Time Before Slaughter, an epic poem about the history of Auburn that incorporates Whulshootseed, the ancestral language of the Muckleshoot tribe. He has been a literary arts activist for more than a quarter of a century He is a driving force behind the Cascadia Poetry Festival, he writes an American Sentence every day, and his own work has been translated into Spanish, Chinese and Portuguese.

Judith Roche is the author of three poetry collections – Wisdom of the Body is an American Book Award winner. She has published widely in various journals and magazines, and taught at various universities and poetry workshops throughout the country. Currently she is on the Washington State Humanities Inquiring Minds roster. Roche’s poetry has been incorporated into several Western Washington public art projects, including Water Carry, a poem that is incorporated into a public art installation by artist Claudia Fitch at the Tukwila Water Treatment Plant.

Peter Munro is a fisheries scientist who works in the Bering Sea, the Aleutian Islands, the Gulf of Alaska, and Seattle. He is also the founder and host of Easy Speak Wedgwood, a monthly open mike at the Wedgwood Ale House.

AmberNelsonAnd Amber Nelson is the co-founder and poetry editor for alice blue review, as well as the editor of alice blue books, which creates handmade art books in limited editions. She’s the author of several chapbooks, including Diary of When Being With Friends Feels Like Watching TV (Slash Pine) and Your Trouble is Ballooning (Publishing Genius). Her first full-length book, In Anima: Urgency, is forthcoming from Coconut Books.

The Poetry Coffeehouse is free and open to the public – local poets and poetry-lovers are encouraged to attend and participate. This event is made possible thanks to the support of the Friends of the Covington Library and the Maple Valley Library Guild. Treats and coffee will be provided.

Posted 4/22/2014

Rainier Youth Choirs Summer Day Camp

Rainier Youth Choirs Dates: 8/18-21/2014 RYC-boys (3)Rainier Youth Choirs will host their third annual Summer Day Camp August 18th through 21st for singers entering grades four through eight. Campers will participate in educational clinics, fun activities, and group rehearsals 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day at First Evangelical Presbyterian Church on the Kent East Hill. Participants get to explore different musical skills such as rhythms, drumming, keyboarding, movement, theater games, and singing then perform for their families and the community during a free evening concert on August 21st.

The Prodigy Camp – full scholarship available

Scholarship contest deadline: 5/1/2014

The Prodigy Camp is a place where the world’s top 12-18 year old directors, writers, performers, photographers, and songwriters get a chance every summer to come together to hone their storytelling skills and find their creative voice.  A select number of singer/songwriters are also accepted to join the camp each year and are given the opportunity to work one on one with renowned professional musicians.  This year’s camp takes place in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State July 7 through 14.  The Prodigy Camp is offering a full scholarship to their upcoming camp through its annual YouTube scholarship. Learn more here.

Renton SIFF Crash Cinema Challenge – filmmakers welcome

Date: Saturday, 4/26/2014, 9 AM – 5 PM

For Renton’s Crash Cinema, filmmakers are asked to provide all their own equipment and develop the script on the spot, in teams of usually three to six people. The team will design its story based on the team’s resources the Crash Cinema Challenge elements, which will be provided at the Renton History Museum, 235 Mill Avenue S in Renton, at 9 AM on Saturday, April 26. Five “Crash elements” will be chosen randomly, which must be incorporated into the films. All the teams will have the same elements and all films are to be family friendly. Film teams will turn in their creations on a flash drive to event coordinators at 5 PM that same day at Renton Civic Theatre, 507 S. Third Sreet, Renton

A Crash Cinema Wrap Party and Screening will take place from 5 – 6:30 PM at Renton Civic Theatre. All the films will be screened and admission is free and open to the public. The event is a prelude to SIFF-Renton, this May. To sign-up for the competition, visit

Cornish Playhouse Arts Residency Program accepting applications

Application deadline: 6/4/2014

Cornish College of the Arts and the Cornish Playhouse announced the creation of the Arts Incubator Residency program, a new program for artists interested in risk-taking, collaboration, and the innovation of new work. Nine groups will be selected to participate in this residency. The residencies will give artists the time and space to develop work without the pressure of producing a final, polished product. Participating artists will receive free rental space at the Cornish Playhouse for exploring, rehearsing, and further developing their ideas. Open to anyone age 18 or older - professional and non-professional artists, teachers, ensembles and groups, students, Cornish community, and those outside the Cornish community. The lead artist applying must be a Washington State resident. Applications are due by June 4. More information here.

Washington State Arts Commission board openings


ArtsWA is governed by four legislators and 19 governor-appointed citizen commissioners. Commissioners are appointed to 3-year terms by the Governor in July. Terms generally begin with the first meeting of the fiscal year, in August. There are currently three openings on the board. The Commission is looking for members who are diverse in genre, from different parts of the state and represent the many cultures of Washington State. If you’d like to join the Washington State Arts Commission, please click here.


Washington Museum Association Conference – registration now open

Washington Museum Association Conference
June 18-20
Early bird deadline: 5/18/2014


The theme for the annual WaMA Conference this year is “Authenticity: Real Things, Real Stories, Real Places.”   The Conference will be held in Port Townsend. Early registration deadline and reserved lodging deadline are both May 18.    Click here for preliminary program and registration.  Click here for lodging information.


Artists invited to participate in SI Garden of Lights event

Application deadline: 5/1/2014

The Soroptimist International of Kent service club will be celebrating 50th years of serving the greater Kent community. In celebration of this special event they are holding a “Garden of Lights” event that will take place at the Soos Creek Botanical Gardens, 29308 132nd Ave, Auburn, on July 26. Included with the music, cocktails, and hors‘d oeuvres there will be an art walk. Picture your art work displayed among the beautiful flowers and along the pathways of this spectacular garden to be viewed by guests. This could also be a venue where you could sell selected items if you choose. Nonrefundable registration fee is $35, and you will need to provide your  own canopy. If you would be interested in participating, please contact Wanda Koehmstedt SI/Kent at 206-790-0815 or for an application and more information.

Stipends for WaMA Conference

Application deadline: 5/1/2014

Again this year, 4Culture is offering stipends of $250 each to King County heritage museum staff, volunteers, and board members attending the Washington Museum Association Conference in Port Townsend. The 2014 WaMA Conference, Authenticity: Real Things, Real Stories, Real Places will take place June 18th – 20th. Stipends may be used for conference registration, and to defray travel and lodging costs. To receive the stipend, qualifying individuals must attend the conference and be prepared to write a short report about their experiences.

Call for one-of-a-kind vintage entrepreneurs

Sweet & Shabby Vintage Market
Date: 5/31/2014

Seeking one of a kind vendors to participate in the first (of many) Vintage Markets. The goal is to host quarterly markets in fantastic venues that showcase the best vintage entrepreneurs in the greater Seattle area. The first event will be at the Des Moines Field House, 1000 S 220th Street, in beautiful Des Moines, Washington; a classic log cabin style site with charm aplenty.

  • Time: set-up 7:30 -10 a.m. Sales 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m
  • Capacity: Approximately 35 well-chosen vendors
  • Fees: 10×10 space–$60  or  8×6.5 space–$40

Heritage Capital Projects Fund

Heritage Capital Projects Fund
Grant application due date: 5/15/2014

Applications for the state Heritage Capital Projects funding are due May 15, 2014 for potnetial funding in the 2015-2017 state capital budget. For more information, contact Janet Rogerson at or 253-798-5909.

The Japanese in the Kent Valley

GKHS-JpnsexhibitKent History Museum
Permanent exhibit

Located on the second floor of the historic Bereiter House, this exhibit focuses on Mr. Ernest Kyozo Saito, one of the previous owners of Bereiter House. Artifacts on display include artwork and a collection of men and women’s clothing. There are also stories of the internment camps during World War II and the Japanese residents of Kent. The Museum is located at 855 E Smith Street in Kent, and is open Wednesday through Saturday, noon – 4 PM.  Suggested admission is $2.  For more information visit

StEPS Up Day

American Association for State and Local History
Date: 4/30/2014

StEPs UP Day 2014 is an exclusive online event on April 30th for organizations and museums enrolled in the StEPS program. Meet with other StEPs museums, sites, and staff; network; celebrate progress; and learn from the best! It takes place April 30, and only 100 spots are available.  Cost is $40 per organization.

Registration for Annual Renton Art Show

Annual Renton Art Show
Registration: 7/20/2014
Art Show: 7/25-27/2014

Registration for the Annual Renton Art Show is Sunday, July 20 from 11 AM to 4 PM, at the Renton Community Center, 1715 Maple Valley Highway. Show hours are Friday and Saturday, July 25-26, from 10 to 6 and Sunday, July 27 from noon to 5 PM. Artists may collect their art after 5 PM on July 27.

Auditions for The Wedding Singer – Renton’s summer teen musical

Renton Civic Theatre
Audition dates: 4/20, 4/21 & 4/23/2014

“The Wedding Singer” will be directed by Matthew Posner, musical direction by John Kelleher, choreography by Kristin Burch.

Audition times will be on:

  • Sunday April 20 2014, 7:00 PM — 9:30 PM
  • Monday, 21 April 2014, 7:00 PM — 9:30 PM
  • Callbacks are Wednesday April 23 2014, 7:00 PM

Renton Civic Theatre, 507 South 3rd Street, in Renton.  Show dates are August 1-3 and 8-10 (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays).

New Beginnings – Danny Mansmith

Danny MansmithBurien Community Center
Now through 5/31/2014

Danny Mansmith is a self-taught, mixed media, fiber, and  installation artist.  “I moved to Burien five months ago and I am very honored and grateful to have the opportunity to introduce myself to you, my new community, here at the Burien Community Center. All the work that you see has been inspired by my new surrounds; especially the yard. It has been a long time dream of mine to have one and its presence fills up my life. So much so, that it spills out and into my studio, its walls, these walls and maybe your walls in the future.  I hope you enjoy it… “

Call to artists – Normandy Park Arts Festival

Normandy Park Arts Commission
Deadline: 5/29/2014

The 2014 Normandy Park Arts Festival is coming on June 7 and 8, and organizers are calling artists from all over the area to submit art in the juried show and or to participate as arts vendors. This year, in both remembrance and celebration of the late Normandy Park Arts Commissioner Lee Paasch, who was a lover of theatre and a drama teacher, the Normandy Park Arts Commission is introducing the theme “All the World’s a Stage.”  

Life drawing sessions

Burien Arts  Association
Beginning in April 2014

The life drawing sessions will be held every Monday afternoon from 1 – 4 PM at the Burien Arts Gallery, 826 SW 152nd Street. Male and female models will pose on alternate weekends with drawing of the figure available in 1 hour of short poses and a 2 hour long pose. Drawing horses and some easels will be available. Four-session passes will be available issued for $40 (no exchanges for future dates). Drop in sessions are available for $20.  Call 244-7808 for more information.

Hot Mess – Works in Encaustic

Burien Arts Hot Mess





Burien Arts Gallery
Now through 4/26/2014

Works in encaustic by artists Maureen Hoffmann, Colleen Monette, Lory Newsom and Marjorie Thompson.  Opening reception on Thursday, April 3, 5-8 PM.  The Burien Arts Gallery is located at 826 SW 152nd Street in Burien and is open Wednesday-Saturday, noon – 6 PM and Sunday, noon – 4 PM.

The Hi-Liners Musical Theatre Summer Programs and Camps

Registration is now open for summer programs and camps at The Burien Annex, 14501 4th Ave SW, Burien, WA 98166.  Each program runs daily and is one week long with a performance the last day of class. At Theatre Art Camps every day is about choosing characters, creating stories, singing songs, playing theatre games and rehearsing a show! In Musical Theatre Intensives spend your time singing, dancing and acting your way through a week of rigorous rehearsal with your director, musical director and choreographer! Choices available for ages 5 to 16. Programs begin June 24. Go to for the complete schedule and descriptions.


MainStage Auditions – 42nd Street

The Hi-Liners
Audition dates: 5/17 and 5/19/2014

Ages 9-22 can sign up now to audition for The Hi-Liners Musical Theatre Fall MainStage Production 42nd STREET.  Auditions take place at The Burien Annex, 14501 4th Ave SW, Burien, WA 98166

42nd STREET is a big, bold musical set in 1933, that celebrates the stuff that dreams are made of. This is the story of hard work, being in the right place at the right time, talent and love. 42nd STREET focuses on aspiring chorus girl Peggy Sawyer, and takes us along her journey. Musical hits include You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me, Dames, I Know Now, We’re In the Money, Lullaby of Broadway, Shuffle Off to Buffalo and Forty-Second Street. Every audience enjoys watching the underdog succeed!

DownStage Center Auditions

The Hi-Liners
Audition dates: 4/14 and 4/19/2014

Ages 7-18 can sign up now to audition for the Summer DownStage Center Shows HONK! JR. and Runaways.  Auditions take place at The Burien Annex, 14501 4th Ave SW, Burien, WA 98166

HONK! JR. is a contemporary musical retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling. Follow Ugly, the awkward duck on his journey as he discovers his true beauty and glorious destiny.

Runaways is a musical about the lives of children who run away from home and live on the city streets. Through songs, monologues and poems the children examine and explain why they are runaways.

Call for artists – Tukwila Fine Arts Show

Tukwila Arts Commission
Artwork drop off dates: 5/7-9/2014

This show is held in conjunction with the Backyard Wildlife Festival and will be held on Saturday, May 10, 2014. A guest juror will select paintings and artwork in the categories of watercolor, oil and acrylic, mixed-media, and recycled art. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three entires in each category and announced during the annual Artist’s Reception on Friday, May 9, 6 PM.

For a flyer that gives entry specifications, contact Stephanie Gardener at or 206-767-2342.

Washington Cultural Congress

Washington State Arts Alliance
Dates: 4/28-29/2014

Join colleagues including artists, administrators, educators, and cultural leaders from across Washington for the 2014 Cultural Congress, April 28 and 29 on the Seattle Center campus.  The Washington State Arts Alliance produces the Cultural Congress, a collaborative conference that brings together a diverse group of cultural leaders to strengthen skills and cultivate partnerships through intensive workshops, peer dialogue, and dynamic speakers. For schedule, costs, scholarship opportunities and more, click here.

Local teachers flock to the stage in HONK!


HONK! cast members include Heather Waugh, Crestwood Elementary, Kent SD; Tina Snyder, Shadow Lake Elementary, Tahoma SD; Terri Thibodeaux, Lake Youngs Elementary, Kent SD; Jeri Mahaffey, Northwood Middle School, Kent SD; Sunshine Glynn, Panther Lake Elementary, Federal Way SD

A bevy of talented school employees will be flocking to the stage in this award-winning musical rendition of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling.” Presented by Heavier Than Air Family Theatre, HONK! uses charm and humor to tell the endearing story of an odd looking baby duck and his quest to find his mother. Familiar cast members include teachers, para educators and staff from the Kent, Auburn, Tahoma, and Federal Way school districts. Several of these school employees recently hosted a Musical Theatre Night in conjunction with the PTA at Lea Hill Elementary. In addition to providing students with a workshop on the art of acting, singing and performing, the event allowed cast members to deliver HONK!’s message of tolerance in support of the anti-bullying campaigns widely featured at institutions throughout the state.

Call to artists – Enumclaw Artist Studio Tour

The Enumclaw Artist Studio Tour takes place May 17, and local artists who would like to participate ware invited to submit a request for an application to  Participants will pay a $25 fee to help cover advertising costs. Selected artists in Enumclaw will open their studios to the public for sales, conversation and an occasional snack. The Arts Alive! Gallery will participate with hands-on demonstrations, and the  Enumclaw High Hot Shop will be open with student artwork for Sale. Several studio owners are willing to host an artist who doesn’t have a studio.  For more information contact Gary La Turner at 360-802-0239 or by e-mail at the address above. Event sponsors include the City of Enumclaw, 4Culture, Arts Alive! and Spectrum Creative Alliance.

Call for entries – Social Justice Film Festival

Social Justice Film Festival
Deadlines: 5/1/2014 for early bird prices; final deadline 7/1/2014
Youth Visions Program (under age 21): 6/1/2014 for free entry; final deadline 7/1/2014

The Social Justice Film Festival is currently accepting submissions of short and feature-length documentary and narrative films on the topic of social justice. There is also a special Youth division.  All films should explore some social justice-related topic. Special attention will be given to films that address some aspect of the prisoner justice system.

Renton Cooperative Coal Company

Coal minersRenton History Museum
Permanent exhibit

This exhibit tells the story of a group of miners who came to Renton searching for better lives. The exhibit features a DVD presentation showcasing many of the Museum’s rarely seen historic coal mining photographs. The second exhibit features two of Renton’s other early industries and the people who built them: Denny-Renton Clay & Coal and Pacific Car & Foundry (PACCAR). Included are many artifacts and photographs that are being exhibited for the first time. The exhibits were created with grant funding from 4Culture.

Deep Roots: Students Explore Renton Families

Renton History Museum
Now through 5/26/2014

This is the Museum’s fourth collaboration with Renton High School. Sophomore Honors English students, under the direction of teachers Derek Smith and Brea Lawson, visited the Museum three times in October to learn and prepare for this exhibit. Deep Roots compares Renton High sophomores’ family experiences to those of Renton’s historic families. The exhibit features photographs from the Museum’s collection as well as the students’ own family portraits.

Arts-Heritage-Preservation cultural equipment funding

Application deadline: 4/30/2014

Following the successful combining of Arts and Heritage Cultural Equipment last year, 4Culture has expanded the program’s applicant eligibility to include Preservation organizations. The guidelines and online application are now available. The newly expanded program provides an annual opportunity for organizations to request funding for lighting fixtures, speakers, digital projectors, computers, copiers, collections shelving, cameras, large tools, etc.

Call for Youth Visions film submissions

Social Justice Film Festival
Deadlines: 6/1/2014 (free entry); 7/1/2014 (late entry)

The Social Justice Film Festival is calling for youth submissions for their 2014 Festival Youth Visions Program. Youth Visions welcomes the perspectives and talents of films made by filmmakers who were 21 and younger when they completed their films. Films of any length, narrative and documentary, are celebrated in this section. Entry is free through June 1 and the late deadline is July 1.  More information here.

Seeking presenters for Humanities Washington’s Speakers Bureau

Humanities Washington
Application deadline: 4/25/2014

The Speakers Bureau is one of Humanities Washington’s oldest and most popular programs. A roster of cultural experts and scholars provide low-cost, high-quality public presentations across the state, encouraging audiences to think, learn and engage in conversation.  These diverse and engaging speakers cover a variety of topics, including popular culture, photography, architecture, literature, food, film and history. Speakers are carefully selected based on their subject-matter expertise and ability to offer fascinating content and insight on the topics presented.  Click here for more information.

Champion Creatively Alive Children – creative leadership grants for schools

Application deadline: 6/23/2014 (early bird deadline 6/9/2014)

The 2014 program provides grants for innovative, creative leadership team building within elementary schools. In collaboration with the National Association of Elementary School Principals, Crayola is offering up to 20 grants. In order to qualify, the principal must be an NAESP member. Every Early Bird application will receive a Crayola product Classpack. Click here to learn more about this opportunity to build your school’s creative capacity. Each grant-winning school (up to 20 grants awarded) receives $2,500 and Crayola products valued at $1,000.

Call to artists – Auburn’s StreetScape Art

Auburn’s StreetScape Art is a program that seeks to enliven and activate otherwise empty storefront windows in Auburn’s Historic Downtown by providing temporary space to artists, creative businesses, organizations and community groups. Applications for Static Installations and Active Enterprise are accepted on a rolling basis and placed as spaces become available.  Artist participation is sought on an ongoing basis and applications are accepted here.

Rep. Zack Hudgins hosts Renton History Museum exhibit

Legislative aide Doug Honma helped arrange the exhibit in Rep. Zack Hudgins' office

Legislative aide Doug Honma helped arrange the exhibit in Rep. Zack Hudgins’ office

The Olympia office of Rep. Zack Hudgins (11th District) is hosting a selection of the Renton History Museum exhibit, I Am Here: Students Find Themselves in Renton, throughout the 2014 legislative session. I Am Here features the essays and photography of Renton High School sophomores, exploring their favorite places in and outside of Renton. The award-winning Renton History Museum exhibit, widely recognized for its success in engaging youth, represents Rep. Hudgins’ first featured history exhibit.

American Alliance of Museums conference – volunteers needed

American Alliance of Museums

Over 400 volunteers for over 750 shifts are needed to help showcase the city of Seattle for the upcoming American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Annual Meeting and MuseumExpo happening May 18-21, 2014. For every four-hour volunteer shift, a complimentary one-day pass to the conference is given. Volunteers are needed for the following positions: session monitors, hospitality lounge hosts, greeters, book store organizers, registration assistants, evening event assistants, and more. This is a great networking opportunity and an amazing chance to give back to the regional cultural community.

Northwest History Network – call for microfunding proposals

Northwest History Network
Deadline: 5/1/2014

The Northwest History Network is seeking applications for competitive awards of up to $250 to fund equipment, services, and other one-time needs for history projects. Proposed projects should advance one or more of NHN’s organizational goals

Alpine Photography of George L. Kinkade

Mountain_ExhibitWhite River Valley Museum
1/15 – 6/1/2014

George L. Kinkade was a midcentury photographer, writer, and lover of nature who travelled across Washington State to capture images of “the sublime mountains.” In this show, the first solo exhibit of his alpine photography anywhere, Kinkade’s photographs are paired with his own written words to give viewers a glimpse into the mind of a fiercely independent man who trekked across Mt. Rainier, the Olympics, and the Cascades in search of the rugged beauty and freedom that comes from experiencing the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.  Sponsored by Georgia Kinkade, Friends of George Kinkade and the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe.

2014 Downtown Auburn Sculpture Gallery

Origami$!232The City of Auburn’s new outdoor Sculpture Gallery extends throughout the downtown core, with six sites on Main Street and one additional site at the intersection of N Division Street and 1st Street NE between the City Hall and Auburn General Hospital. The sculptures will rotate annually. Currently on display:

  • Jump by Francisco Salgado
  • Watch My Tail by Patricia Vader
  • Hare by Dan Klennert
  • Organic by Jennifer Ellsworth
  • Origami #2 – Fuchsia by Ken Hall
  • Feather by Kris Vermeer
  • Riparian Totem by Lin Rebolini McJunkin

Free art workshops for students in grades 4-6

Burien Arts Association
Winter/Spring, 2014

The Burien Arts Association, in conjunction with the Burien Library and with support from the City of Burien Department of Parks, Recreation & Culture is offering free art workshops for students in grades 4-6. Classes will take place in the Burien Library’s Multi-Purpose Room from 2-4 PM on the following dates:

Duwamish pioneer served in Civil War militia

Henry Van Asselt – Image Credit: MOHAI, 1967.4236.1

by Pat Brodin, Tukwila Historical Society

Although the Civil War was under way on the eastern side of the nation which seemed far away from the Pacific Northwest, the conflict had coursed its way through the Washington Territory. Vast numbers of military personnel throughout the West were sent through San Francisco on their way to eastern battlegrounds and with their departures, the territorial forts were left vacant. Acting Gov. Henry McGill delivered a proclamation to form local militia, which was prompted by the May 3, 1861, presidential proclamation from Abraham Lincoln calling for 42,000 additional volunteers to serve for three years.

Acting Gov. McGill’s proclamation calling for the militia of the Territory of Washington was put in place to maintain the “laws and integrity of the National Union.” This produced immediate results at Seattle and among the first to report a company were the Citizens of Port Madison, the Puget Sound Rangers from Thurston County and the Jefferson Union Guards. The King County Rifles association was organized at Seattle on Nov. 19, 1861, under the command of Capt. Hugh McAleer. First lieutenant was R. Davies, second lieutenant J. Webbins, and the sergeants were David Kellogg, Henry Van Asselt, George Benning, and R.H. Beatty. As Clarence Bagley noted in his book, Volume 1, entitled “History of King County” the object described in the call was “a feeling among the people of King County that a military organization among themselves was a matter of importance in these stirring times.”

With Washington Territory’s recent experience in the Indian Wars, legislation was already in effect to establish the formation of militia groups. When the call for volunteers was delivered by Adjutant General Franklin Matthias at Seattle, a local group known as the “King County Rifles” was soon formed. It consisted of 60 men and eight officers, including Duwamish Valley settler Henry Van Asselt as sergeant.

Born in Holland in 1817, Van Asselt had already developed his gun skills at an early age. At 19 he was drafted into the army and served three years in the Dutch Second Battalion of Yagers. Van Asselt proved to be an excellent marksman and spent time hunting on local noble estates before emigrating to America at age 30. Like many newcomers, he made his way along the Oregon Trail, arriving in the Willamette Valley by September 1850 and ventured briefly to the California gold fields. Henry returned to Oregon in the early spring 1851 with Jacob and Samuel Maple, and Luther Collins to join them on their trip north. On May 22, 1851, these men became the first settlers of what became King County. However, Henry remained in Oregon for a few months to recover from an accidental gunshot wound before he could travel. Henry selected land in September 1851 and registered his claim on rich fertile soil near the Duwamish River in what is now Boeing Field.

A colorful gentleman known to many as “Uncle,” Henry Van Asselt died on Dec. 9, 1902, at age 85, making him one of the longest surviving first settlers. The obituary from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer remarked that “the sturdy Hollander cleared his 320 valley acres of its primeval forest of firs, and made it truly blossom with farm products. He was a devout man who in later years spent part of every Sunday at the county jail reading holy writ to the prisoners. It was said of the dead pioneer that his proudest boast was that he had never made an enemy in his life.” Henry was a marksman, a craftsman, a dedicated family man, and one of King County’s great pioneers.

Pat Brodin is the outgoing president of the Tukwila Historical Society. This article originally appeared in the Tukwila Reporter.

Posted 12/13/2013

Anybody Can Do Anything – a guide to surviving the bad times

Anybody_coverNorthwest author Betty MacDonald is best known for her phenomenally successful first book, The Egg And I, published in 1945. MacDonald’s third memoir, Anybody Can Do Anything, fondly and wittily recounts her family’s struggles to survive the hard years of the Great Depression in Seattle. Published in 1950, Anybody Can Do Anything offers a nostalgic but realistic portrait of how her family — the Bards — survived the harsh 1930s in a modest home in Seattle’s Roosevelt district.

“There is no getting around the fact that being poor takes getting used to,” Betty wrote. “You have to adjust to the fact that it is no longer a question of what you eat but if you eat. That when you want to go to a movie you can stay home and read the book. That when you want to go dancing you can stay home and make fudge. That when you want to go for a drive in a convertible you can go for a walk in the park. When you want to go to a concert you can play Chinese checkers with Mother” (ACDA, p.94).

Tukwila Sister City Exhibit

TUKHIST--JpnsSisterCity-72Tukwila Heritage and Cultural Center
Permanent exhibit

On permanent display at the Tukwila Heritage and Cultural Center are several gifts presented to the City of Tukwila and its officials from representatives of Tukwila’s Sister City – Miyoshi, Japan.  In 1979 tukwila established formal affiliations with Ikawa-cho, Japan, but when Ikawa merged with five other surrounding cities to form the new city of Miyoshi in 2006, Tukwila continued the sister city relationship with Miyoshi.  However, this relationship is now shared with The Dalles, Oregon, which previously had a sister city affiliation with Ikeda, another one of the merging cities. This exhibit includes dolls, dioramas, scrolls, and more.  The Tukwila Heritage and Cultural Center is located at 14475 59th Avenue S in Tukwila.

Introduction to ballroom dance for teens

Pacific Ballroom Dance
Thursdays, 5 PM – now through 6/13/2014

Pacific Ballroom Dance is offering introductory ballroom classes to students ages 11-18 on Thursdays at 5 PM.  Drop-ins are welcome, you can start any time.  Classes are $45/month.  Pacific Ballroom Dance is located at 1604 15th Street SW, Auburn.  Register at

Ballet for pre-K – grade 2

Pacific Ballroom Dance
Dates: 9/27/2013 – 6/6/2014 

Instructor Crystal Smith teaches ballet classes for kids pre-K to grade 2 at Pacific Ballroom Dance, 1604 15th Street SW, Auburn. Classes are on Fridays, 5-6 PM, and run now until the end of June.  Cost is $45 month.  Register at or in the studio.

What in the world is Vertical Plank/Box Construction?

The Luigi and Aurora Pagani house in Black Diamond

The Luigi and Aurora Pagani house in Black Diamond

Some people quest for diamonds, shipwrecks, or prehistoric bones – but Seattle historic preservation specialist Kate Krafft seeks a different rare item – examples of Vertical Plank/Box Construction. In the Puget Sound region, vertical plank construction dates from the mid- to late-19th century into the early 20th century. It is a distinctly different construction method and structural system from the construction types (full log, hewn log, balloon frame, western frame) that are generally identified with settlement era construction in the region. One nice example of Vertical Plank/Box Construction can be found in Black Diamond – in the Luigi and Aurora Pagani house. Other known and documented examples include the Charles and Minnie Moore House in Fall City, and the Officer’s Quarters at both Fort Steilacoom and at American Camp on San Juan Island.

Fiestas de Alfabetizacion Temprana en Espanol

Las “Fiestas” son talleres diseñados para los padres hispanos con niños de edades comprendidas entre los 0 a 5 años de edad, ofrecidos en las bibliotecas de KCLS. El objetivo es prepararlos para el Kindergarten. Las “Fiestas” ofrecen la  oportunidad de comprender y reforzar el papel de los padres como primeros y más importantes educadores de sus hijos a temprana edad. 

School boards hold the keys to arts education

Candidate Survey Project logoWith hundreds of Washington school board positions up for election this fall, voters have a critical opportunity to select leaders who are committed to providing the high quality, sequential arts learning that every student deserves – and that the law requires! But how will voters know which candidates support arts education and are willing to work to improve its provision?

Neely Mansion welcomes volunteer help






Neely Mansion Association
Flexible hours

The Neely Mansion Association welcomes and relies on volunteer help in restoring and maintaining this valuable landmarked property as a heritage to our community. 

Arts Alive!

Based in Enumclaw, Washington, Arts Alive! Center for the Arts is an all volunteer, non-profit organization that exists to foster art awareness and provide support for our highly diverse and talented community of visual, performing and literary artists on the Enumclaw Plateau. We provide financial support, encouragement and direction to individuals and groups participating in all facets of the arts, from the aspiring student to the seasoned veteran.

Hubley’s Jack is back – along with The Giant and a saucy Bossy Cow


by Barbara McMichael, SoCoCulture

The guy with the big smile and graying ponytail may work wonders in his day job as Bob-the-Fix-It-Guy, but it’s after work that Bob Hubley really works his magic.

He’s been involved with Heavier Than Air Theatre, Green River Community College’s resident theatre company, since his daughter was young. More than 20 years later, Hubley is still here, a musical mainstay of this unique community theatre that makes use of the combined talents of children, local actors and professionals.

Art on Poverty Bay outdoor sculpture gallery

City of Des Moines
Permanent installation

DMAC-fishsculptureFive sculptures by Washington State artists have been installed at sites along Marine View Drive S and in the Des Moines Marina. Artists whose work is represented include Des Moines resident George C. Scott, Gretchen Daiber of Leavenworth, Leo Osborne of Guemes Island, Lin McJunkin of Conway, students in the Highline School District’s Puget Sound Skills Center welding program, who collaborated on a work called “Graduated Progression.”


Wilderness adventures and outdoor preschool

SHADOW (Shadow Lake Nature Preserve)

SHADOW offers many different ways to experience and learn about the environment. There are weekly formal education programs, Wilderness Adventures and Outdoor Preschool, and private programs also can be scheduled. These programs use the SHADOW land to explore and learn with programs focused on wetlands, water, wildlife, and outdoor adventures.

Open 4Culture

Deadline: six weeks before public event

4Culture recognizes a need for an entry point into 4Culture’s funding opportunities. Open 4Culture provides awards of up to $1,500 for projects that are created by or for underserved communities of King County, and are not served by other 4Culture programs.

Maple Valley Historical Museums

Maple Valley Historical Society
First Saturday of every month

The Maple Valley Historical Society operates three museums: the top floor of the Old Grade School at 23015 SE 216th Way; and the Fire Engine Museum and Gibbon/Mezzavilla Store Museum at 22012 SE 248th Street (corner of Witte Road, behind the Community Center).  These are open the first Saturday of the month from 10 AM to 2 PM, and also are open by appointment.  Call 425-432-3470.

Nihon/WA celebrates Japanese aesthetic


AkioTakamori’s “Sleeping Woman in Yellow Dress

by Barbara McMichael, SoCoCulture

Art exhibit as apology? That’s a gross oversimplification of “Nihon/WA,” the White River Valley Museum’s new exhibit showcasing works by Puget Sound-based artists of Japanese heritage over the last 50 years. But Museum director Patricia Cosgrove and guest curator Kenneth Greg Watson acknowledge that one of the intentions of this extraordinary gathering of work is to honor a population that once thrived in the Auburn area, until it was driven away – literally – by the events of World War II.

Prior to December 7, 1941, the White River Valley had been home to thousands of Japanese immigrants and their children. But the bombing of Pearl Harbor led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to sign Executive Order 9066, which forced their removal and incarceration. Once the war was over, only a few families returned to the place they once called Shirakawa.


Guest curator Kenneth Greg Watson

“Nihon/WA” showcases an aesthetic that has overcome politics, bigotry and exclusion to become an enduring part of our region’s identity. Watson, former Auburn Arts Commission chair and an artist himself, worked contacts and wangled loans to bring together works from 18 different artists of Japanese heritage – Gerard Tsutakawa, Patti Warashina, Aki Sogabe, and Roger Shimomura, to name just a few. Diverse as these pieces are – expressions range from quirky cloisonné miniatures to kites to oversize sculpture – there are shared qualities in terms of gestural line, balance and, as Watson puts it, “letting the moment have its chance.”

The White River Valley Museum long has engaged in sharing the prewar Japanese history of the Auburn area. This exhibit, more contemporary in nature, is a consideration of how that heritage manifests now. It’s not only a celebration but also a homecoming invitation.

Says Watson, “I would love it if someone called this place Shirakawa again.”

For more details on the exhibit, read this coverage from the Tacoma News Tribune.

Posted 4/26/2013 

Jefferson Davis and the making of Military Road














The Pacific Northwest played an often-overlooked role in the Civil War and its continuing legacy through to the Civil Rights Movement.  South King County historian Karen Meador has made several appearances to speak on the topic “An Unlikely Champion: Jefferson Davis and the Pacific Northwest.” She relates the future Confederate President’s considerable role in the settlement of the Pacific Northwest, including the construction of Military Road, right here in South King County.

Thanks to editor Mark Klaas and the Kent Reporter for this great story about a program that Karen presented at the Kent Senior Activity Center (under the auspices of the Greater Kent Historical Society) in February, 2013. Click here:


Free legal services to non-profit organizations

Washington Attorneys Assisting Community Organizations

WAACO provides free legal services to nonprofit organizations on their business transactional legal issues and can help your organization if you need legal help.

Jefferson Davis – unlikely champion for the Pacific Northwest

by Karen Meador

JeffersonDavisFor most people, the phrase Jefferson Davis and the Pacific Northwest sounds like the ultimate historical paradox. But before he became President of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, Davis had had a long career of public service to the United States as a West Point graduate and Army officer, Congressman, Senator, Secretary of War and closest adviser to President Franklin Pierce. Matters concerning the Pacific Northwest commanded his close attention.

As an ardent expansionist, Jefferson Davis was a great supporter of creating a continental nation. From the time he entered Congress in 1845, through his final term in the Senate as Chairman of Military Affairs, he sponsored numerous bills and secured appropriations to promote American settlement of the West. In the 1840s, many in government discounted the value of the remote Oregon Country. Yet, in his first congressional speech, Davis addressed the boundary dispute with Great Britain, calling for the U.S. to assert its claims to the region. Expanding the Army presence along the Oregon Trail and throughout the Northwest, as well as sponsoring numerous surveys, topographical expeditions and scientific studies were among his top priorities.

Federal Way Symphony Swing Band Concert

by Maureen Hathaway, Federal Way Arts Commission

toddzimbergMost of us have heard the spellbinding words of “there’s no business like show business” and boy do we have a dazzling blitz of music coming to Federal Way and Puget Sound audiences when the Federal Way Symphony presents its annual Swing Concert on Sunday, January 27!

Todd Zimberg and Lonnie Mardis are the dynamic duo and architects of this nostalgic package of music that has people waiting a year to hear some of their favorite swing standards.

Free to SoCo members – organizational assessment

EntrePre Arts

Happy New Year to SoCo members from EntrePre Arts Consulting! EntrePre Arts Consulting provides services in nonprofit board development, enterprise management, revenue strategies and engagement strategies for non-profit arts organizations facing opportunities for growth. Anna Brodie and Nancy Gosen are offering free organizational assessment to SoCo members. To schedule your consultation please email: or call EntrePre Arts at 206.316.8994.  For more information about who we are, visit our website:

Saltwater celebrates centennial of state parks system

by Barbara McMichael, SoCoCulture

On the morning of January 1, nearly two dozen visitors from around Central Puget Sound started off 2013 right with a wonderful guided hike of Saltwater State Park. This event helped to kick off a year-long celebration of the Washington State Park System‘s centennial.

Private music lessons

South King County Music Teachers Association

This organization of local music teachers offers instruction in piano, violin, and much more.  Please visit their website for to find information about private teachers near you.

Oral history project launches in Federal Way

Maureen Holloway interviews longtime Federal Way activist Dave Kaplan

Maureen Hathaway interviews longtime Federal Way activist Dave Kaplan

by Maureen Hathaway – Oral History Project Director, Historical Society of Federal Way

The Historical Society of Federal Way has dreamed of having an Oral Historical Project for many years and now this dream is coming to fruition with a grant from 4Culture. Oral histories preserve our past, present and provide a portrait for future generations.

Halloween leads to early Christmas for Fiji M-CAWA

by Katherine Hernandez, Fiji Multi-Cultural Association of Washington

Wearing a stiff new chef coat, I carried a large, freshly hollowed pumpkin to my car. I was prepared for a networking event one chilly night in late October. It was almost Halloween, and the Pravda Pumpkin party and potluck seemed like a great opportunity to spread the word about my new catering business.

A special twist on S-Pam-a-lot

Kentlake High School drama teacher Pam Cressey and
Mackenzie Visser in character as Lady of the Lake

In 2009, Kentlake High School drama teacher Pam Cressey was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. As she battled for her life, her current and former students produced a revue of the many musicals they were proud to participate in over the 10 years of Pam’s direction at Kentlake. They called this tribute “Pam-a-lot,” and it helped to raise over $8,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, an organization that provides funding for research and patient support.

New cultural blog on the Plateau

A new member of SoCoCulture, Susan Etchey, 72, relocated to the Pacific Northwest in June of 2012 after living 20 years in rural Florida near Lake Okeechobee. She says her return back home to family and many relatives stretching from Lake Stevens, Washington to Corvallis, Oregon was long overdue but precipitated by entering her third age of life. “It was time to return even though I have visited my family many times over the years and we are very close, I needed to be closer.”

Since returning Susan has become involved in several arts organizations, volunteering her marketing skills, and she recently started an arts blog eager to express her feelings about the importance of creatives in society.

If These Walls Could Talk

Neely Mansion Association board members (l. to r.) Karen Meador, Karen Bouton, Linda Van Nest and Hilda Meryhew

by Karen Meador

Over 200 people recently attended the premiere screening of “If These Walls Could Talk” at the Neely Mansion. The video depicts vignettes in the lives of each of the five families who lived at the historic farmhouse from the 1890s through the 1970s.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Black Diamond resident and historian Ken Jensen observed: “Interpreting history is about understanding the context in which it occurs – and the Neely Mansion Association’s video does just that. The arrival of the railroad and modern conveniences, the stock market crash and the Great Depression, immigration and racial discrimination – it’s all there and provides a window into the world of the families that lived in the mansion.”

Boogie-woogie to Enumclaw

Bob Milne is not only one of the world’s best boogie-woogie pianists, he’s also a “traveling ragtimist.” At the age of 72, this indefatigable musician keeps up a nationwide touring schedule that entails approximately 250 concerts annually. He also gives special overseas performances of American music in events arranged by the Department of State at venues from Japan to Switzerland.

Milne is an author and the composer of several musical works. Most recently, he has researched and composed a full-length opera based on Washington Irving’s classic story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Not surprisingly, he has been dubbed a national treasure by the Library of Congress.

The Civil War in Washington Territory

We’re very excited to announce the first program coming out of the Military Road/Civil War Sesquicentennial Project, a joint undertaking of four local historical societies.

On Saturday, October 27, at 11:30 AM, the Historical Society of Federal Way is proud to present Dr. Lorraine McConaghy who will speak on “The Civil War in Washington Territory.” Her talk will take place at the Federal Way Library, 34200 1st Way S, Federal Way.

The Civil War was not just about battles, it was about issues, too — and the people of Washington Territory fully participated in the debate. Now, during the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, you can learn more about the hot topics of that era — territorial attitudes regarding race and slavery, agitation for northwest secession, and federal suppression of freedom of the press.

McConaghy, public instructor for the Museum of History & Industry as well as an instructor at the University of Washington, gives a lively presentation. In addition, Civil War re-enactor Carl Hicks will be on hand, dressed in uniform and displaying items that a Civil War era soldier would have used.

Please join us for this free program, which has been generously funded by the Friends of the Federal Way Libraries and the Historical Society of Federal Way.

Welcoming the salmon home – a public art project

by Barbara McMichael

I’d love to invite everyone to come to Des Moines before the month of October is over to enjoy the Salmon Homecoming Project. To welcome returning salmon, over 300 local residents decorated fishtail-shaped banners that we strung up along the pedestrian bridges that span Des Moines’ salmon-spawning creeks. Students at Parkside and Midway Elementary Schools participated, as did students at Mt. Rainier High School and kids in Des Moines Parks & Recreation’s After-School Program. We held banner-decorating workshops at Des Moines and Woodmont Libraries, the Des Moines Farmers Market, and Highline Community College’s Marine and Science Technology Center (MaST). Des Moines Senior Services invited us to bring our project to two senior lunches – one of them catering to Hispanic seniors.

Military Road – at the crossroads of history

Four local historical societies are collaborating on a project to draw attention to the remarkable history of a road that is often traveled by many of us who live in South King County.  Did you know that Military Road is one of the very oldest roads in the State of Washington?  And that it was built by some of the people who went on to make names for themselves in the Civil War?

Learn more about the work being undertaken by the Historical Society of Federal Way, the Greater Kent Historical Society, the Highline Historical Society and the Tukwila Historical Society to make sure that the significance of this road is not forgotten.

Take a peek at the brochure that we are beginning to circulate:

That is why, in conjunction with the 150-year anniversary of the Civil War, we are planning programs, exhibits, and other events along the road, and we welcome individuals or businesses who want to sponsor any of these activities.  Contact


What motivates the business community to support local arts and heritage efforts

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Stewart, PhD, Renton History Museum Director

At our September 12th membership meeting, co-hosted by the Renton History Museum and the Renton Municipal Arts Commission, SoCoCulture welcomed Brad Brotherton, principal owner of Brotherton Cadillac Buick GMC. A strong community supporter, Brotherton gave SoCo members the following guidance for reaching out to the business community for support.

First and foremost you have to ask. Sometimes you must ask up to seven times to get a “Yes!” Ask them why there is a “No” and what it would take to get a “Yes.”

  • Ask why it is “No” now.
  • Do not ask in December.  (Consider the timing of your ask – sometimes December is a good time to get in when financial times are good, but not if they are bad. So the timing and condition of the market are important.)
  • If you are considering a request for next year, make sure you put some time between your “ask” and the event you are promoting. For example: start the relationship before Halloween in the year before you need the resource to get into their budget cycle.

Real life desperado inspires site-specific play

by Keri Healey, playwright

There’s an interesting story that happened on Auburn’s Mary Olson Farm 110 years ago, and it’s a story I might never have heard until Charlie Rathbun and Eric Taylor of 4Culture (King County’s cultural services agency) clued me into the tale of Harry Tracy, the notorious criminal who cut a treacherous path through Washington State on the way to his final act in Eastern Washington.

Trace Des Moines history via heritage trail

by Barbara McMichael, SoCoCulture administrator
Historical photographs provided courtesy of Des Moines Historical Society 

The Des Moines Beach Park Heritage Trail is a stroll back through time. The Des Moines Historical Society, with support from 4Culture, has erected several informative markers throughout the Des Moines Marina and Des Moines Beach Park so that people can get a sense of the lives of those who came before.

Who was Jerry Meeker?

by Linda Van Nest, Points Northeast Historical Society

Who was Jerry Meeker? A Native American teacher, a family man, a real estate developer, a Puyallup language interpreter, an advisor to chiefs, a weather man, a salmon bake expert, and a good neighbor. Brought up during the period of Native American assimilation, Meeker learned the ways of the white man from friends and at several Indian schools. He was a product of two cultures and lived in two worlds.

Dance classes at ECB

Evergreen City Ballet

Evergreen City Ballet is one of the Northwest’s premiere dance institutions, and offers a wide range of classes year round to all ages and skill levels: Mommy & Me, Creative Movement, Level 1 through Performance Division, Modern, Pilates, Hip Hop, Adult Tap & Ballet. (New students receive 10% off 1st month with sign-up at August 30 Open House.)

For more information: or  425-228-6800 or

Meet Auburn poet Meghan McClure

by Marjorie Rommel, Northwest Renaissance Poets

Connecticut-born Meghan McClure, after 21 moves, a brief stint in the Midwest for college, and a short stay on Seattle’s Eastside, landed in Auburn nearly three years ago. The ripples are still working their way to the edges of the South County literary pond.

McClure, 27, who helps edit A River and Sound Review, a literary journal she describes as “hilarious, intelligent, and unpretentious,” grew up in a military family that bounced between coasts while she was growing up, along the way instilling her with a deep love of reading.

Federal Way pieces together Seattle’s neglected history

by Dick Caster

The Historical Society of Federal Way recently completed its restoration of the historic David T. Denny Cabin.  Historical Society secretary Dick Caster has written a detailed monograph about the Denny Cabin. Below is an excerpt.

As early as 1870 David Denny had expanded his real estate holdings and by the 1880s he owned over 1000 acres and in partnership with others controlled much of the land on southern Queen Anne Hill from Lake Union to Puget Sound as well as some land on the north slope of Queen Anne Hills as far as the Fremont District. In the 1880s David Denny formed a real estate company, D.T. Denny and Son, to market and develop his land holdings. He platted several sub divisions.

Kent’s Give Me Culture grants

Kent Arts Commission

This new funding program will be directed to projects that serve the general public in Kent. Give Me Culture Grants are small, flexible grants available to individuals, organizations, and community groups. The Give Me Culture program is intended to broaden participation in, and showcasing of, arts and culture activities throughout Kent with a special interest in supporting projects that serve and showcase ethnically diverse or underserved communities. Funding amounts will be up to a maximum of $1,000 per project.

Auburn Symphony Orchestra

Some of our musicians also teach. Contact us for referrals.

Assuming the helm and Rockin’ the Boat

by Brian Winnie

Choral music has been a part of social entertainment and the theatre since the times of Greek tragedy. Today choral music is often used in theatre, movies, and commercials to stimulate certain emotional responses and enhance dramatic plot points.

ChoralSounds Northwest (CSN) represents a community of talented vocalists from teenagers to retirees. Beginning in January of this year, we embarked on a journey of the discovery of great choral and solo music featured on the stage and screen. Through this rehearsal process CSN has studied the vast difference of vocal colors and styles in the classical music of Mozart’s Dies Irae, the popular music of Green Day’s American Idiot, the theatrical music of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd  and Into the Woods, the exciting music of John William’s Star Wars Phantom Menace, and more.

Top 10 places for romance in So King Co

In anticipation of the upcoming Romance Extravaganza taking place at Covington Library on Saturday, May 5, the staff there — always eager to help the public gain access to the best resources — thoughtfully put together this list…

10. Seek peace and inspiration together at Kubota Gardens, 9817 55th Avenue S, Seattle.

9. Relax together at Lake Meridian Park, 14800 SE 272 Street, Kent.

8. Stroll through the Lake Wilderness Arboretum, 22520 SE 248th Maple Valley.

MaST tells the poignant real-life tale of a whale

by Barbara McMichael

If you haven’t yet had a chance to visit MaST, Highline Community College’s Marine Science and Technology Center, this spring is the time to do it. For the last several years, this state-of-the-art marine laboratory at Redondo Beach has welcomed the public (free admission!) every Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM, to visit. The lab includes 3,000 gallons’ worth of flow-through saltwater tanks, holding over a hundred species of local marine life. If you’ve never touched a sea urchin or seastar, or seen a wolf eel up close (and chances are you haven’t, because wolf eels are very shy) this is the place to get acquainted.

Meet Auburn’s first-ever Poet Laureate

by Marjorie Rommel, Northwest Renaissance Poets

Richard K. Brugger, well-known and much-beloved former executive director of Auburn Youth Resources, is affectionately known as “Wicked Dick” in the area poetry community.  He was crowned with the figurative laurel wreath of Auburn Poet Laureate in January, and made his official debut during this year’s annual Uniquely Auburn festival, January 29, in the Auburn Performing Arts Center.

Call for recordings by local musicians

SoKing Internet Radio

SoKing Internet Radio is all about promoting local artists.  If you’re a local band/musician and want to be featured on this new station, please e-mail Please attach any MP3s, include metadata (song title, artists, genre, bio, artwork, etc.) and/or include a link to any online.

CDs also accepted via snailmail here:
SoKing Internet Radio
15106 10th Ave SW, Suite C
Burien, WA 98166

NOTE: SoKing Internet Radio is fully licensed through ASCAP/BMI/SESAC/SoundExchange.


Museums and students – changing minds together

by Elizabeth P. Stewart

How connected do young people feel to the past? That was one of the things we set out to learn when we began planning for our current exhibit, Two By Two: Students Reinterpret Renton History. Thanks to our partnership with Renton High Language Arts teacher Derek Smith, in fall 2011 we were able to invite 58 Honors English students in to explore the Renton History Museum’s collection. Their task was to select historic objects and photos, research them, then compare and contrast them to their own meaningful objects and photos.

Federal Way Regional Library celebrates 20 years

by Donna McMillen, Federal  Way Library Cluster Manager

Federal Way Library celebrates the 20 year anniversary of the “new” building on February 11, 2011.

We’ve gone from being open 2 hours a week with 150 books in 1944 to being open 126 hours a week total for both Federal Way libraries in 2012, and with over 270,000 items in our combined collections. We have nearly 35,000 square feet in the library building on 1st Avenue that was expanded in 2010.

First Tuesday garden care invitational







Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden
First Tuesday of every month

Join us for our monthly 1st Tuesday Garden Care Invitational at the Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden. From noon till dark each month, the Garden Manager and volunteers will be weeding, raking, thinning and potting up plants from the Botanical Garden’s collections. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned volunteer, we need your help and enthusiasm to keep our Garden looking spiffy and running smoothly. Come for an hour – or stay all day – and gather garden tips and techniques from new friends and old. 

Becoming a Chautauqua scholar

by Joan Wolfberg, Chautauqua performer

I had never heard of Chautauqua until I moved to New Mexico from Florida  in 1991.  I was a working actress in Florida, but in New Mexico acting jobs were scarce.  Someone suggested I contact the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities and inquire about their Chautauqua program, which included performers portraying great humanitarians.  I called and found out that Chautauqua is the show that makes you think.  It is a theatrical transformation of time, which magically transports audiences out of the present and back into the past.

Silent film gets new film score by So King Co harpist








by Leslie McMichael, harpist/composer

I call myself a movie-loving musician, so I was pretty thrilled when I was given a serendipitous chance to write new music for a classic silent film. In 2007, the Northwest Film Forum commissioned me to write a new score for the 1924 silent film version of Peter Pan. After  being lost for generations, the film had been recently located and restored — it’s the only  film version of Peter Pan over which author J.M. Barrie himself had casting approval!

You can help shape King Co’s Comprehensive Plan

by Barbara McMichael, SoCoCulture administrator

Cultural advocates — particularly folks with an interest in local history and heritage, should be aware that the King County Comprehensive Plan is currently undergoing review.  The largest county in the state (and the 14th largest in the nation), King County initially adopted a comprehensive plan in 1994 as part of the Growth Management Act.  Since that time, the demographics of the county have shifted, with the incorporation of five new cities as well as numerous annexations to existing cities.  The population living within incorporated King County has swelled by more than half a million,  while the unincorporated population has decreased by 239,000 — some of this is due to sprawl and annexation.

Normandy Park Yule Craft Bazaar this weekend

High school seniors Sophy and Annastasia are
learning how to market the arts.

The Normandy Park Yule Craft Bazaar is the brainchild of Annastasia Nichol and Sophy Hildreth. Both girls are seniors in high school, Sophy attends Mt. Rainier High School in Des Moines, and Annastasia attends online classes with Insight Schools of Washington. Annastasia and Sophy are dedicated to arts and their community, so this project seemed like the perfect way for them to not only bring recognition to artists and crafters in the area but to give something meaningful back to their communities.

It’s not easy being green

Lanny Caudill, who plays the role of the Grinch in the new Heavier Than Air production of Seussical, the Musical, spends about 45 minutes turning green before every performance.

First he uses a base coat of white, then Mehron performance makeup to color his face, neck, and ears green. He dresses in green sweat pants, sweatshirt, gloves and socks. He highlights his eyebrows in black and dons a bright red lipstick, an old Santa coat, and Santa stocking hat.

On Saturday and Sundays when he is in two shows in one day, he doesn’t take off his makeup between shows…but many times he must touch up his makeup. At the end of the curtain call, he washes his face once or twice with Ivory soap and water to remove all the green.

Pinocchio in panto

by Alan Bryce, Centerstage Artistic Director

The raucous story of Pinocchio, the headstrong puppet who gets into all sorts of mischief on his way to becoming a real boy, is the perfect subject matter for a traditional English Christmas panto.  Most Americans might think a pantomime is a silent art form but — to the contrary — this kind of pantomime is anything but quiet!  Its roots go back as far as commedia dell’arte. With gloriously silly traditions, comic routines as old as the hills, stock characters such as The Dame (a grotesque woman always played by a man), audience participation and popular music of the day… pantomime is a glorious, noisy hybrid.

Ground penetrating radar at the Saar Pioneer Cemetery

Story and photos by Karen Bouton, SKCGS Saar Cemetery Project Coordinator

In late 2004, the Saar Pioneer  Cemetery was dark, gloomy, and horribly overgrown with blackberries and ivy.  One could barely determine it was a burial place for many of the Kent area pioneers. The South King County Genealogical Society (SKCGS) took on the monumental task of getting it cleaned up, and through countless volunteer labor hours and several generous grants the cemetery is now a well-maintained place of reverence.

NWSO concert to feature Karin Stevens Dance

by Karin Stevens, Karin Stevens Dance

In its first concert of the season (Friday, 10/28, at the Highline Performing Arts Center), the Northwest Symphony Orchestra will present two pieces in conjunction with performances by Karin Stevens Dance. Below, Ms. Stevens explains how she came to choreograph these works.

I was commissioned by Glacier Symphony and Chorale  in 2010 to create rep for a Baroque to the 20th Century program that we (ksd-6dancers) would travel to Whitefish, MT and perform with GSC during their Festival Amadeus in August 2010.

The repertoire included Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Grieg, Corigliano, and Copland.

Dancing Classrooms

by Christine France – Teaching Artist and Dancing Classrooms Program Liaison, Pacific Ballroom Dance

This is the second year Pacific Ballroom Dance has offered Dancing Classrooms to area schools.  What is Dancing Classrooms? It is an inter-curriculum program taught to 10- and 11- year-old 5th grade students in public schools, during the school day, as part of a 10-week, 20-lesson course. The students learn the Merengue, Foxtrot, Rumba, Tango, Swing, and Waltz. Dancing Classrooms also qualifies under the Washington State EALRS for the Arts.

Local topography is subject of new public art

Orcas Island artist Bruce Myers recently completed installation of his latest artwork, “Auburn Valley Topography,” which had been commissioned by the City of Auburn for the Les Gove Park Activity Center. The two-panel 13’ x 13’ painted steel artwork is a representation of the local landscape as sculpted by the Green and White Rivers. Flanking each side of the climbing wall, this most recent addition to the City’s Public Art Collection references the elevation of landscape as the climbers literally climb upward… gaining perspective. The seating boulders surrounding the wall are a physical reminder of the natural setting in which the sport of climbing originated.