South King County Cultural Coalition Fri, 24 Apr 2015 00:02:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Hoboes and Homelessness Mon, 20 Apr 2015 23:49:55 +0000 Hobo signs in encaustic by Shaun Doll

Hobo signs in encaustic by Shaun Doll

by Elizabeth P. Stewart

What could art possibly have to tell us about homelessness? With history as the nexus between art and current events, an exhibit of work by artist Shaun Doll at the Issaquah Depot Museum creates the opportunity for us to consider homelessness in all its dimensions, from the romantic hobo “riding the rails” to today’s pernicious stereotypes of all homeless people as lazy or mentally ill.

Funded by the 4Culture Site Specific program, with help from the Issaquah Art Commission, the exhibit opened on Saturday, April 13, with a panel discussion that included Shaun Doll, Issaquah History Museum Director Erica Maniez, and Cori Walters of the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank. Inspired by his childhood dreams of a runaway’s freedom, Doll’s encaustic paintings use hobo signs as a jumping-off point. Travelers scrawled these symbols on fences, bridges, and walls, usually near railroads, to communicate to others about the welcome they would receive (or not) at a particular railroad stop. A kindhearted lady would be represented by a childlike drawing of a friendly dog, or a simple triangle indicated that too many hoboes had ruined a town’s hospitality. Doll’s translucent paintings have a stained glass quality, underlining the romance of the rails by turning a medium of communication into something beautiful and supportive.

Maniez’s research into the history of homelessness in Issaquah reminds us, however, that history’s hoboes were not unlike the homeless of today. Civil War soldiers became the very first hoboes, as they mustered out to communities devastated by war. The Panic of 1893 and then the Depression of the 1930s also left many men, women, youth, and children without jobs and without resources. Graffiti uncovered right in the Depot, as well as oral histories with Issaquah residents, revealed that hoboes and their camps have been a Pacific Northwest phenomenon at least since the 1890s. If the economy forced them out on the road in search of work, a better climate, or less expensive housing, the hoboes of the past were no more footloose and fancy-free than those we encounter on the streets of our cities.

And now King County hosts the third largest homeless population in the U.S., with a 21% increase in One Night Count numbers between 2014 and 2015. Today’s homeless come from very diverse backgrounds, with many pushed into insecurity by medical conditions, lack of affordable housing, or just plain bad luck. Doll’s work reflects the survival strategies of people without many options. They stand as a reminder that, whatever the failings of policymakers, as individuals we can manage our irrational fears and expectations and take a moment to be the kindhearted lady or gentleman in the hoboes’ signs.

Make time to see this thought-provoking exhibit Friday through Sunday, 11 AM to 3 PM, at the Issaquah Depot Museum, 78 First Avenue NE, in Issaquah. The exhibit runs through August 31. For more information, go to or contact the Museum by email at or by phone at 425-392-3500.

Liz Stewart is the director of the Renton History Museum. She also serves on the board of the Washington Museum Association. This article originally appeared in Heritage Advisor, the blog of the Association of King County Historical Organizations (AKCHO).

Posted on 4/20/2015.

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Discover Washington – youth heritage project Mon, 20 Apr 2015 23:43:57 +0000 Washington Trust for Historic Preservation
Application deadline: 5/18/2015

Discover Washington: Youth Heritage Project (YHP) is an annual 4-day (and overnight) interactive field school that engages high school students and teachers by connecting them to historic, cultural, and natural resources. YHP is designed to introduce historic preservation to a younger generation – future leaders that will work to save the places that matter. Through grant funding, the Trust is pleased to be able to offer YHP free of cost to all accepted applicants.

This year, the fourth annual Discover Washington: Youth Heritage Project will be held at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, July 15-18, 2015. Working once again with the National Park Service and the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, planning is underway for a program aimed at exploring the early settlement of the American West, the process and significance of archeological excavation, and the merits of reconstruction as a method of historic preservation.

Eighth through twelfth grade students in Washington or Oregon may apply – some short essay questions are included as part of the application. Full program scholarships cover losing, meals, programs and travel during YGP activities, but participants are responsible for their own travel to and from the site in Vancouver. (Additional scholarship funds may be available for travel assistance based on financial need.) Students can get 10 service hours for their participation. A campout and a canoe ride are planned, too, so you’ll have plenty of fun while you learn!

For more information, click here.

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Call for entries – scientists, book artists and writers Mon, 20 Apr 2015 23:35:45 +0000 Collins Memorial Library, University of Puget Sound
Entry deadline: 4/29/2015

2015 is the United Nations International Year of the Soil. Poets and book artists can join soil scientists in making the soil visible! Soil is the Earth’s delicately structured biological skin—something far more complex than dirt, which is what we buy at garden-supply stores or sweep out of our houses. A multilayered resource that is essential to the water cycle, soil anchors and feeds forests, prairies, and farmed fields. Every terrestrial ecosystem and all our foods sprout from soil, and soil supports many burrowing animals and an amazing biodiversity of microbes, insects, arthropods, and worms—many yet to be scientifically described. For many, soil is sacred ground. As essential as soil is, few people appreciate this crucial resource or promote its health. Many human practices, such as industrial lead and arsenic pollution threaten human and soil health.

Book artists and poets who can offer fresh, intriguing perspectives on soil’s value are being sought for this exhibition, which will run August 6 through December 30, 2015, at Collins Memorial Library on the University of Puget Sound campus.

For more information, visit

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Auditions – Sweeney Todd Sat, 18 Apr 2015 20:52:17 +0000 Renton Civic Theatre
Dates: 5/3-4/2015; callbacks on 5/10

Prepare an appropriate one-minute monologue and  32 bars of an appropriate classic Broadway song.  Bring a headshot and resume, and your sheet music in the key you will sing it in the accompanist will not transpose on the spot. No CD’s or acapella singing allowed. To schedule an audition time, email your requested time to

Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – Book by Hugh Wheeler; Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; Director Vincent Ordu?a; Musical Director: Aimee Hong.

Auditions happen Sunday, May 3, 7-10 PM and Monday, May 4, 7-10 PM. Callbacks are Sunday, May 10, 6 PM. Auditions take place at Renton Civic Theatre,   507 South Third Street, Renton.

ROLES:     Open casting men and women ages 16 – 70

Ensemble Cast – Many featured roles, Showcases trained singers, Star Vehicle – Female, Star Vehicle – Male, Strong/Large Chorus, and Teenage Roles

ADOLFO PIRELLI A flamboyant Italian rival barber; a charlatan with a secret past.

Male Range: B2 – C5

ANTHONY HOPE A naive and youthful sailor returning to London. He helps Todd return to London and unexpectedly falls in love with Johanna. Male Range: Bb2 – F4

BEGGAR WOMAN a deranged and schizophrenic woman who harbors a dark, surprising secret. Female, Range: Ab3 – F5

JOHANNA A spritely girl, full of innocence, constantly yearning for freedom. Todd’s long-lost daughter and Turpin’s ward. Female, Range: Bb3 – A5

JONAS FOGG The owner of Fogg’s Asylum. He sells the hair of madmen to wigmakers.

Male, Speaking Role

JUDGE TURPIN A lecherous public official who portrays himself as a sanctimonious authoritarian. He takes advantage of his position in the city and is responsible for imprisoning Todd. Male, Range: E2 – Gb4

MRS. LOVETT An entrepreneurial and amoral meat pie shop owner. She falls in love with Todd and turns his desire for revenge into a profitable business venture.

Female, Range G3 – E5

SWEENEY TODD a wrongfully imprisoned barber seeking to right the wrongs committed against him. He is Johanna’s father, singularly focused on taking bloody revenge. Our story’s tormented protagonist. Male, Range: F2 – Gb4

THE BEADLE A pompous public official. He is deeply loyal to the corrupt Turpin.

Male, Range: D3 – D5

TOBIAS RAGG A poor youngster apprenticed to Pirelli. He finds a surrogate family in Todd and Lovett. Male, Range: Bb2 – Ab4


The show runs from September 18 – October 3, 2015.

]]> 0 Call to artists – Soos Creek Botanical Garden and Heritage Center Sat, 18 Apr 2015 20:34:07 +0000 Soos Creek Botanical Garden and Heritage Center
Application deadline: 6/1/2015

Soos Creek Botanical Garden and Heritage Center, in conjunction with the annual celebration of Experience Historical Kent, will hold an Art Walk on Saturday, August 15, 2015 from 10 AM – 4 PM.

Artists will be selected to display their work throughout the beautiful grounds and paths of the Garden. This is an opportunity to show your work at a historically well attended event! The Art Walk will receive publicity through the City of Kent, local newspapers, flyers and on our website for months before the date arrives.

This is an occasion to sell your work directly to the public with full proceeds going to you, the artist. Sales of your work will occur directly between you and the buyer with your preferred method of payment. Please note there will be no electricity available.

Artist’ work will be juried on quality and suitability for a family oriented venue. Juried artists will be able to reserve exhibit space once they receive notification of acceptance and Soos Creek Botanical Garden and Heritage Center receives entry fee payment.

Please apply by June 1, 2015 by sending an email to Include your name, address, phone number, email and 3 to 4 digital images of your artwork. Images should be in jpeg format, 72 dpi and no larger than 500 pixels on longest side. Visit for more information.

A $35 entry fee is payable upon acceptance into the show. Exhibit spaces are 10 x 10 and 10 x 5. Artists will be notified of Art Walk acceptance by June 15. Artists will provide tables, canopies and any display equipment necessary to show their work outdoors. No inside display space is available.

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Jungle Cruise – Rainier Youth Choirs summer choir camp Fri, 17 Apr 2015 23:32:00 +0000 Rainier Youth Choirs
Dates: 8/17-20/2015

This is RYC’s fourth annual camp for singers entering 3rd-8th grades in the 2015-2016 school year.

  • Singers who will start grades 3 & 4 in Fall 2015 meet 9:30-noon (no lunch). Cost: only $50 for the whole week.
  • Singers in grades 5-8 will have sessions from 9:30-2 PM, including lunch. Cost: only $85 for the whole week.

All staff are experienced, certified area music teachers (drawing from the Renton, Tahoma, Kent and Federal Way School Districts).

For more information, visit


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Grants for Artist Projects Sun, 12 Apr 2015 06:12:38 +0000 Artist Trust
Application deadline: 5/18/2015, 10:59 PM

Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) provide support for artist-generated projects, which can include (but are not limited to) the development, completion or presentation of new work in any discipline. In addition to the 60 GAP recipients, who will receive $1500 awards, one artist will receive a one-month residency at Centrum located in Port Townsend and a $500 stipend.

For more information, click here.

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Call to glass artists Sun, 12 Apr 2015 05:42:44 +0000 Burien Arts Gallery

The Burien Arts Association has an open call to artists working in glass or enamel. Fine art glass objects in any form or combined with other mediums in 2-D or 3-D  (sizes established) should be submitted in JPEG form to gallery using the information from the website:  There is no submission fee.

The curators will select work based on the uniqueness of the vision conveyed, the quality of execution and how clearly the artist’s individual technique style is presented in each work.

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Pacific Bonsai Museum Sun, 12 Apr 2015 04:00:27 +0000 Pacific Bonsai Museum

The Pacific Bonsai Museum offers an outdoor heated tent space that can accommodate 49 seated guests and the museum courtyard can accommodate up to 100 guests for meetings, small weddings and special events. Email or call 253-353-7345 for more information.

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Trees for Containers Sat, 11 Apr 2015 00:18:54 +0000 PowellsWood Garden
Date: 6/13/2015, 1 PM

This class covers selecting appropriate trees for containers, managing potential planting, fertilizing, watering and drainage issues, and selecting the right container for long term success. Instructor, Kristine Dillinger CPH. For more information, contact

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