Schulte and Michaels mixed media

NiaMichaelsBurien Arts Gallery
1/2 – 2/1/2015

The Burien Arts Gallery is starting up the new year with a mixed media show featuring paintings by Mia Schulte and tin assemblages by Nia Michaels.

Michaels is originally from the East Coast, but has been living in Seattle for more than 25 years. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and then working as a painter for many years, she became obsessed with old decorative tins and tintype photos and began to work exclusively with those materials. She has exhibited widely in galleries and juried exhibitions, including The Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston and ArtsWest Gallery in West Seattle. She also won an award at the 10x10x10Tieton.

Challenge America grants

National Endowment for the Arts
Deadline: 4/16/2015

The Challenge America category offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations — those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Age alone (e.g., youth, seniors) does not qualify a group as underserved; at least one of the underserved characteristics noted above also must be present. Grants are available for professional arts programming and for projects that emphasize the potential of the arts in community development.

Art Works grants

National Endowment for the Arts
Deadline: 2/19/2015

“Art Works” refers to three things: the works of art themselves, the ways art works on audiences, and the fact that art is work for the artists and arts professionals who make up the field. Art works by enhancing the value of individuals and communities, by connecting us to each other and to something greater than ourselves, and by empowering creativity and innovation in our society and economy. The arts exist for beauty itself, but they also are an inexhaustible source of meaning and inspiration.

Weekly work parties – Save Habitat and Diversity of Wetlands

Beginning on January 24, SHADOW (Save Habitat And Diversity Of Wetlands) hosts weekly Saturday work parties in 2015. Work parties to restore habitat on SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve? are hosted every Saturday from 10 AM – 2 PM, rain or shine. From planting native plants, removing invasive species, building habitat zones, carpentry, landscaping, trail maintenance and more – SHADOW works to preserve and restore wetland habitat in South King County. Most projects require moderate to heavy exertion, including but not limited to: lifting, walking, digging, pulling, and hiking. Please come with a water bottle, warm layers, and a smile! No experience necessary, snacks and tools provided. To RSVP and for more information, please contact Sahara at

MLK Day of Service at SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve

On Monday, January 19, from 11 AM – 3 PM, join SHADOW in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy with a day of community service! We will be performing our bi-annual road clean-up on our Adopt-A-Road route around SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve. Please bring a lunch, water bottle, warm clothing, and sturdy shoes. We’ll provide some light snacks and all safety gear. Must be able to walk up to two miles comfortably with frequent bending, lifting, and carry loads up 25 lbs.

SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve is located at 21656 184th Ave SE, Renton, WA 98058. To RSVP and for more information, please contact Sahara at

Recreation/enrichment activity leaders

City of Burien
Application deadline: 1/5/2015

On-site recreation leaders are needed for a collaborative Highline School District/City of Burien after-school program at Cedarhurst Elementary School in Burien. These positions involve leading recreation/enrichment activities for 1st-6th grade students and assisting with homework.

Call for entries – Write Out of This World

Experience Music Project and Jack Straw Productions
Deadline: 1/31/2014

Write Out of This World: Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story Contest provides an outlet for the creativity of young writers. Journey to other worlds and explore your wildest imaginations through EMP’s fifth annual sci-fi and fantasy short story contest.

Submissions are judged by a panel of experts including EMP curators, professional writers, and Seattle community leaders. Student winners for first, second, and third place will be awarded by grade level in the following categories: 3rd–5th, 6th–8th, and 9th–12th.

Ho, Ho, Holidays

Normandy Park City Hall Gallery

Now through 12/30/2014
Three well-known local artists – Kelly Lyles, Theresa Neinas and Phil Scroggs – create this unique show to celebrate the season. Holidays are a time of family togetherness, peace and love. But it’s also consumerism, pressures and stress; therefor we commemorate with humour, twisted iconography, and in some cases inserting the fun in dysfunction.
Many of these works were designed as the artists’ personal Christmas and Hanukkah cards, some created together on the same winter night at a linoleum block carving event. Kelly started her tradition by designing and printing 1,000 cards for her own friends, these are her originals (many of the images are also $1 postcards available for sale). And in the spirit of the season all of these artworks are priced as affordable, memorable gifts.
Normandy Park City Hall is located at 801 SW 174th Street, Normandy Park. The exhibition will be on view and open to the public during December, 2014 (Monday through Thursday, 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM).


Works by Jan Rogers

Hill Country SolitudeBurien Community Center
Now through 1/30/2015

Burien artist Jan Rogers has studied classical drawing and painting from the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, Washington since 2007.  She continues to pursue studies in landscape, still life and the figure in the mediums of oil, pastel, and watercolor. The Burien Community Center is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 AM – 8 PM, Fridays 8:30 AM – 5 PM, and Saturdays from 8 AM – noon.  Hours may change during the holidays.  For more information please call 206-988-3700.

Artist Trust fellowships

Artist Trust
Application deadline: 1/20/2015

Washington State artists working in emerging fields/cross-disciplinary, performing, traditional/folk, and visual arts are invited to apply for Artist Trust’s 2015 Fellowships. These $7,500 awards will recognize 12 practicing professional artists of exceptional talent and demonstrated ability, acknowledging an artist’s creative excellence and accomplishment, professional achievement and continuing dedication to their artistic discipline. (Craft, literary, media, and music arts will be offered in 2016.)

In addition, one artist each in emerging fields/cross-disciplinary and visual arts will receive a one-month residency at The Millay Colony for the Arts in upstate New York, along with a $1,000 stipend. To learn more about the colony, visit

The application and guidelines can be found at The deadline is January 20, 2015. Recipients will be announced in June 2015.

Performing Arts and Conference Center executive director

Federal Way Performing Arts and Conference Center
Deadline: 12/22/2014

The Executive Director of the Federal Way Performing Arts and Conference Center (PACC) is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to start a performing arts and conference center from scratch. As the first Executive Director you will literally create your own job and participate in the facility’s construction, hiring the staff and developing and overseeing the programming.

Arts WA deputy director

Washington Arts Commission
Deadline: 12/21/2014

Reporting to the Executive Director, this exempt “at will” position serves as Deputy Director for agency administration, including budget, finance, and agency operations. The incumbent in the position will serve as agency chief budget and financial officer, and coordinates core agency services, including information technology and contracting. This position supervises two administrative staff. As a key advisor that works directly with the Executive Director, this position is relied upon to optimize agency performance and enhance the work environment. In the absence of the Executive Director, this position exercises full executive authority. For more information visit

SeaTac’s public secondary schools

TyeeHighline Historical Society
Now through 2/28/2015

The Highline Historical Society’s new exhibit at SeaTac City Hall displays photos and artifacts from Tyee and Glacier High Schools, and Sunset Junior High and Chinook Middle School. All of these schools are (or were) affiliated with the Highline School District, and are located in the City of SeaTac.

Both Glacier and Sunset were closed due to noise issues associated with proximity to SeaTac Airport. The Sunset campus was completely demolished and that site today is part of North SeaTac Park. The Glacier High School building remains and occasionally is used as a facility for one of the overcrowded Highline School District’s educational programs. Chinook was originally a junior high school and now is a middle school. And the Tyee campus still exists, although the students have been apportioned into “small schools” on the campus.

Holiday chocolate workshops

King County Library System
Date: 12/18/2014

Chocolate Holiday Gift Making for Teens and Adults at the Algona-Pacific Library – Thursday, December 18, 4 PM.
Join pastry chef Laurie Pfalzer to learn how to make chocolate gifts for the holidays. Discover how to make dark chocolate ganache which we will turn into beautiful, hand-rolled truffles. You will also learn to make dark chocolate and candy cane bark, white chocolate popcorn and caramel corn with dark chocolate drizzle. At the end of class you will package your gifts and take them home to give or enjoy.

Handmade Chocolates for the Holidays at the Muckleshoot Library – Thursday, December 18, 7:30 PM.
Join pastry chef Laurie Pfalzer of Pastry Craft to learn how to make chocolate gifts for the holidays. Chef Laurie will demonstrate how to make chocolate ganache and how to roll and finish beautiful, dark chocolate truffles in cocoa powder. She will also demonstrate chocolate tempering to make white chocolate candy cane bark and caramel corn with dark chocolate drizzle. Come enjoy the sweetness of the holidays with handmade gifts you can make at home. Recipes and samples will be available.

Neely Mansion board members

The Neely Mansion Association is looking for enthusiastic and energetic people to participate in the leadership of the Association for 2015 and beyond. If you are interested, email Thanks!

Gallery4Culture 2015 applications available

Deadline: 1/5/2015

Gallery4Culture is currently seeking exhibition proposals for the season beginning September 2015 and running through July 2016. Gallery4Culture offers approximately 1,000 sq. ft. of street-level exhibition space in the Tashiro Kaplan building in Pioneer Square, Seattle. Eligibility is strictly limited to visual artists who RESIDE in King County, WA. Applicants may NOT be represented by a commercial art gallery at the time of submittal. Visual artists working in all media and genres (except performance art) are eligible to apply. Work samples and résumé must clearly demonstrate a candidate’s capacity to successfully execute the proposed exhibition. A Selection Panel of three regional arts professionals will review applications and award ten exhibitions. For more information about the gallery program and past exhibitions visit:

Call for scripts from young female screenwriters/filmmakers

Pacific Northwest Voices Project

TheFilmSchool Digital Media Lab is launching with the Pacific Northwest Voices Project, a sponsored competition that will take 3 original short stories by Northwest female filmmakers or screenwriters, 22 years of age or younger, and craft them into professional level screenplays and produce them with mentorship from media industry professionals. Scripts must be no longer than 15 minutes long and explore the competition theme of kindness. For more information, visit

Race: Are We So Different?

Various King County facilities ( see below)
Now through 10/2015

King County is bringing a selection of panels from last year’s Pacific Science Center exhibit, “RACE: Are WE So Different?” to several King County facilities for one year. Each location will host four educational panels that will be rotated every three months. These panels provide a brief history of equity and social justice facts in King County and surrounding areas. This exhibit is meant to challenge King County employees and patrons to begin a conversation about race, equity and social justice in their workplace, neighborhoods and homes.

All girls film challenge

Puget Sound All Girls Film Challenge
Submission deadline: 12/19/2014

The Puget Sound All Girls Film Challenge was created to give young women filmmakers in the Puget Sound area the opportunity to create films that showcase their perspective. The chosen submissions are juried by experienced women filmmakers and screened at high profile, high quality events that help to connect students with women in the media industry. The three themes for this year are: Interpret a poem or song lyric, Women in (blank) (this could explore women in male-dominated sports, careers, etc.), and Coming of Age. For more information, click here.

NAAM seeks youth curators for 2015

Northwest African American Museum
Application deadline: 12/19/2014

The Dr. Carver Gayton Youth Curator Program at the Northwest African American Museum introduces youth to the philosophy and practices of museum work through creative, community engaged projects on timeless and contemporary topics. Youth Curators gain social skills, learn and understand new concepts and develop artistic expression. NAAM celebrates tradition, art, and history and in doing so, supports opportunities for youth to share their accomplishments, passions and concerns.

Help plan the 2015 Enumclaw Music & Arts Festival

Chalet Arts Showcase Theatre (CAST) is looking for energetic enthusiastic people interested in working with a committee to plan the 2015 Enumclaw Music & Arts Festival. If interested, please e-mail, using 2015 Festival as the subject.

Call to artists – apply for consideration for 2015 exhibitions

Burien Arts Gallery 

The Burien Arts Gallery, centrally located in downtown Burien, is calling for artists to apply via for consideration to have their work exhibited in the Burien Arts Gallery. The interest is in contemporary artists working on topical narratives in all genres, but specific to 2015, we would like to curate shows focusing on:

Boeing Space Center

Kent-Space-Center-1965-edited-300x187Kent Historical Museum

On October 30, 1965, the Boeing Space Center was dedicated and open for business. Built in the middle of the Green River Valley’s fertile agricultural lands, it was the most advanced space research complex in private industry. The $120 million Center provided vital support to Boeing’s Space Division in the years ahead. Four major laboratories were in use: Space Flight Simulation, Space Environment Simulation, Materials and Processes, and Microelectronics. By 1967, the Center had expanded to eleven buildings with one and a quarter million square feet of floor space.

Volunteer in Soos Creek Botanical Garden

SOOSCREEK-lilypondSoos Creek Botanical Garden

Soos Creek Botanical Garden welcomes volunteers and considers them an essential resource that we could not do without. Volunteering is a great way to get involved with the gardens and to meet new and interesting people. Whether you are interested in general garden maintenance, plant propagation or working in the demonstration vegetable garden, we are delighted to have your help. Whatever your talent, there is a volunteer opportunity available for you at Soos Creek Botanical Garden. Visit the website to learn more.

County council designates County Maritime Heritage Area


Des Moines Beach Park is included in the new County Maritime Heritage Area.

The Metropolitan King County Council has voted unanimously to recognize the historic, recreational and economic value of the region’s waterways by designating certain county shorelines as “County Maritime Heritage Area.” The ordinance is intended to encourage the State Legislature to designate saltwater shorelines statewide as a maritime heritage area, and ultimately, to prompt the U.S. Congress to take steps to designate a National Maritime Heritage Area in our region.

“We have worked to build vibrant communities and a growing economy on Puget Sound for decades,” said King Countyt Council Chair Larry Phillips. “We are defined by our waters and shorelines and our interaction with them over time, and that story should be highlighted and celebrated.”

Newcastle – Little Giant of the Eastside

Invitation-1Renton History Museum
Now through 2/7/2015

The Renton History Museum joins forces with the Newcastle Historical Society to present a history of our coal mining neighbor to the North. By the late 1890s, coal mining had made Newcastle the second largest town in King County, second only to Seattle. Pacific Coast Coal Company put its mark on Newcastle in ways that Renton never experienced. When the company left Newcastle after a miners’ strike, many Newcastle residents moved to Renton. Come learn about how different neighboring coal mining towns can be in this fascinating look at another Eastside city.

The Renton History Museum is located at 235 Mill Avenue S, Renton.

Brugger to retire as Auburn’s first Poet Laureate

BruggerOn September 11, the City of Auburn is hosting a public celebration in honor of award-winning poet Dick Brugger as he finishes out his three-year term as Auburn’s first Poet Laureate. (See SoCoCulture calendar for details.)

Throughout Brugger’s tenure as Auburn’s Poet Laureate, his work has heightened the awareness of poetry and brought additional visibility to the many great poets that reside within the area.  He has presented at City events and festivals, written poetry for cultural exchanges, participated in youth workshops and public events, had his poetry integrated into permanent public art projects, and written a monthly “Poets Corner” section in the Auburn Reporter.

RYC founder receives state honor

Leora Schwitters (2)Leora Schwitters, Artistic Director and Founder of Rainier Youth Choirs (RYC), has been presented the Washington American Choral Directors Association (WA-ACDA) Leadership and Service Award for 2014. The organization’s 400-plus membership honors one member with this award each year at its annual state conference.

The award recognizes Schwitters, who currently directs RYC’s Young Women’s Ensemble and Colla Voce choir and co-directs RYC’s Consonare choir, for her outstanding musicianship and leadership. The recipient of this prestigious award must have produced outstanding choirs worthy of regional and national performances, programmed the highest quality literature for all music periods appropriate to performers’ abilities, demonstrated excellence in rehearsal with singers of all ages and ability levels inspiring many to become skilled musicians, and supported ACDA as a loyal member, strong promoter and effective leader making a difference in opportunities for singers and choral directors.

Pianos on Parade in Auburn


IMG_8485 copy

Detail from the piano created by Amaranta Ibarra

Pianos on Parade is back for a third year, celebrating art and music throughout Auburn.  This temporary art project takes the shape of seven art-modified pianos that anyone can see and play. Previously only located in Downtown Auburn, the program has expanded to Les Gove Park and Lakeland Hills. Play one or more of the pianos, take a photo or video, and share it with all of Auburn! #PianoChallenge

Here is a list of pianos, artists and locations:

  • At the corner of Main and Division in downtown Auburn, the piano created by the brother-sister team of Michael  Taskey and Theresa Taskey was inspired by the 1920s German silent horror film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The artists used glow-in-the-dark paint, carved wood and solar-powered lights. The host for this piano is State Farm insurance agent Scott Hubert.
  • At 101 E Main Street, Nelson’s Jewelry hosts the piano created by artist Mary Ellen Bowers, who created a torn-paper collage to depict Mt. Rainier and the view from Auburn’s Centennial Viewpoint Park.
  • At 1406 Lake Tapps Parkway E, the piano by freelance multimedia artist/designer Suzy Fountaine is an updated version of her piano from 2013, with 3-D elements that can be viewed through glasses provided onsite. This piano is being hosted by Haggen Food Grocery Store, Lakeland Hills.
  • At the B Street Plaza at 144 E Main Street, Home Plate Pub is hosting a piano by Amaranta Ibarra, who depicts Día de los Muertos and invites passersby to consider their ancestors.
  • At Sound Transit Plaza (23 A Street), photographer Elise Koncsek created laser-cut wooden notes which began as digital images, and then affixed these to the piano – the public can share their own melodies by arranging the laser-cut wood musical notes on metallic staff lines.=============This piano is being hosted by Station Bistro.
  • In Les Gove Park (910 Ninth Street SE), the City of Auburn is hosting a piano that is no longer playable but is a visual surprise. Illustrator/animator Amy Collins collaborated with artist Jerrud Collins to reimagine this piano as a big fuzzy animal. It is located adjacent to the Discovery Playground.
  • And in tribute to street performers everywhere, the Penny Piano, hosted at 402 E Main Street by Zola’s Cafe, is covered with pennies and has a tip jar built right in.

These pianos are on display in Auburn and are available for playing through Monday, September 8.

Posted on 8/18/2014.



Auburn Valley Creative Arts Gallery

Auburn Valley Creative Arts

AVCA-treeringsView works by AVCA members Zach Tanner, Conni Reinecke, Mary Ellen Bowers, Marie Lyndemere, Amanda J. DeSilver and more in AVCA‘s new gallery space at 222 E Main Street (Suite F in The Arcade building), Auburn.

Coming up – the Military Road Telegraph Sesquicentennial Project

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.56.00 PM
In October of 1864, a group of workers was working its way steadily north along Military Road, installing the poles and telegraph wires that would connect Seattle at last to the rest of the world.  Back then, they called it “tied by lightning!” — and everyone was thrilled with the prospect of being able to stay in closer touch with relatives or business associates back East.

In October 2014, we’ll be celebrating 150 years of the arrival of the telegraph with a series of events along Military Road in South King County. Kevin Saville, president of the Seattle-Tacoma chapter of the Morse Telegraph Club, will be installing hands-on telegraph demonstration stations in Federal Way, Kent, SeaTac and Tukwila that will be hosted by the local historical societies.  Here are the dates:

In Federal Way
September 30 – October 9 (Tuesday – Thursday, 10 AM – 2 PM; also Saturday, October 4, 12-4 PM) at the Historical Society of Federal Way, 2645 S 312th Street, Federal Way, with additional displays from the era.

In Kent
October 1-11 (Wednesday – Saturday, 12-4 PM) at the Greater Kent Historical Society, 855 E Smith Street, Kent, with additional displays from the era.

In SeaTac
October 2-3 (9 AM – 5 PM) at SeaTac City Hall, 4800 S 188th Street, SeaTac
In conjunction with this demo, the Highline Historical Society is hosting a special telegraph exhibit at SeaTac City Hall through the month of October.

In Tukwila
October 5 (12:30-5 PM) at Church by the Side of the Road, 3455 S 148th Street, Tukwila. Hosted by the Tukwila Historical Society.

Please plan to stop by any one of these free, hands-on demonstrations. Recommended for school classes and youth groups (with appropriate number of adult chaperones), as well as for adults.  This series of site-specific telegraph demonstrations was made possible with the support of 4Culture.  For more information about this project, contact

Also, Tied by Lightning Community Conversations…

In addition, there will be two “Tied by Lightning” Community Conversations that will be held along the Road in October.  This is an informal chance to learn a little more about Military Road’s fascinating history, and to share your own stories of life along Military Road.

October 15, 6:30-8:30 PM – at Mike’s Community Cup, 16260 Military Road S, SeaTac – facilitated by author Michael Schein.

October 28, 7-8:30 PM – at Iglesia Rey de Reyes (the old Star Lake School), 3212 S 272nd Street, Kent – facilitated by Green River College history professor David Norberg.

The Tied by Lightning conversations are being funded by Humanities Washington.

Rainier Youth Choirs sing in the Big Easy

SeaTacTwenty-two Rainier Youth Choirs singers, six parent chaperones, and RYC Artistic Director and Founder, Leora Schwitters traveled to New Orleans this summer for a remarkable week at the 15th annual Crescent City Choral Festival in New Orleans. They were one of only ten choirs that had been chosen by audition to participate in the festival held in one of America’s most historic cities.

The group included Joel Sigrist, Kevin Sweet, Lindsey Pavletich, and Duane Davis of Renton; Makoto Také of SeaTac; Angela Cimo and Haylee Ball of Auburn; Julia Wenndt, Russell Johnson, Janeé Green, Juliana Howe, Tyson Powell, Ariel Gire, Elena Cueto, and Olivia Gendreau of Kent; Sophia Heinz, Elizabeth Zosel, and Jonathan Zosel from Maple Valley; Nick Anderson, Fiona Higgins, and Hannah Burley of Covington; and Amanda Ross of Issaquah. Even before they left for New Orleans, this group of South King County teens was primed to sing, regaling fellow passengers at SeaTac Airport with an impromptu concert before they boarded their flight.

Dance classes at Allegro

Allegro Performing Arts Academy

Allegro Performing Arts Academy offers classes in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, musical theater, drama, tumbling, creative movement (Tiny tots), hip hop and occasional master classes from out-of-town choreographers.  Classes are for all ages and levels! Easy registration at

Auburn PAC to get long-needed upgrades

by Pam L. Smith, managing director, Auburn School District Theatres

AuburnPACbathroomsOne of South King County’s busiest performance halls is shutting its doors – but only temporarily. Hosting over 300 events a year, the 1100-seat Auburn Performing Arts Center, located on the campus of Auburn High School, has been a veritable cultural workhorse. Since it opened in 1981, it has served all of the Auburn School District as well as numerous local and regional groups, including the City of Auburn’s BRAVO Series, the Auburn Symphony Orchestra, and Pacific Ballroom Dance.

But over the years, some challenges have become apparent – from the PAC’s inadequate parking and delivery areas, to worn out theater seats. The theatre’s heating and air conditioning equipment is wearing out and the lighting and sound systems are in need of an upgrade. The building does not meet current structural codes and ADA regulations, and it also falls short in providing common sense amenities – there are only five stalls in the women’s restroom!

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

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

Life drawing sessions

Burien Arts  Association

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 206-244-7808 for more information.

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.

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.

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.

2014-15 Downtown Auburn Sculpture Gallery

Kuhns FertilityThe City of Auburn’s 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 rotate annually. Currently on display:

  • Dancing Starfish by Steve Jensen
  • Anemone by Stephen Nomura
  • JOLI 3 by Steve Farris
  • Fertility by Jennifer Kuhns
  • Silverware Ostrich by Greg Bartol and Deborah Drllevich
  • Hook Nose Salmon by Dan Klennert
  • Timeline Theory Reflections by Ken Turner

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.

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.

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.

Specifically needed are volunteers to lead, coordinate, and support:

  • Supporting special events
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Mowing (we currently have support here)
  • Care for flowers
  • Building tasks (carpentry, plumbing, electrical)
  • Care for trees
  • Trimming
  • Weeding flower beds
  • Maintaining the well

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
Now through 5/2015 DMsculpture

Sculptures by Washington State artists have been installed at sites along S 216th Street, Marine View Drive S and in the Des Moines Marina. Artists whose work is represented include Des Moines resident George C. Scott, Sabah Al-Dhaher, Karsten Boysen, Andries Breedt, Dan Klennert, Lin McJunkin, Pat McVay, Leo Osborne, Kris Vermeer, students in the Highline School District’s Puget Sound Skills Center welding program, and Karsten Boysen, who created the pictured work, titled American Venus.

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 Evergreen City Ballet

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, Angelina Ballerina, Level 1 through Performance Division, Modern, Pilates, Hip Hop, Adult Tap & Ballet.

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.

Act now: charitable deductions under threat

by Elizabeth P. Stewart, Director, Renton History Museum

The American Association of Museums recently offered a webinar titled “Congress Takes a Hard Look at Charitable Giving: How Will Museums Fare?” This topic should be of particular interest to lovers of arts and heritage in Washington state, because our own Senator Patty Murray is a co-chair of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, the committee that will be exploring changes to the charitable tax deduction as part of their package of options to reduce the federal deficit. Their work must be completed by November 23, so there is no better time to make our voices heard on this issue.

Reflections on 9/11

by Barbara McMichael, SoCoCulture administrator

The ripple effects of 9/11/2001 have extended across the miles and through time.  This point was driven home to me last week as I listened to a flight attendant recount her memories of that terrible day a decade ago when terrorists flew passenger jets into the Pentagon and New York’s World Trade Center.  Even ten years later, her tears flowed freely as she remembered where she was and how she felt, and reflected on how it has affected her work ever since that day.