Artfully Edmonds: Pay a visit to new Cascadia Art Museum exhibit, then laugh, sing and dance with these events

1 Nellie Centennial Cornish. Courtesy of

Looking Back, Moving Forward: A Centennial Tribute to Cornish College of the Arts
Cascadia Art Museum (CAM)
190 Sunset Ave.

One hundred years: What does a century represent in connections that develop into friendships that lead to history-making art forms? This question and the discovery of many answers complete the current curating efforts of David F. Martin on behalf of Cascadia Art Museum.

“To create and inspire, realizing that not many people know more than the basic history of Cornish,” was the motivation behind “Looking Back, Moving Forward,” Martin explained during an exclusive tour for Artfully Edmonds on the show’s opening night. Nellie Centennial Cornish earned her middle name for having been born in 1876 – 100 years after the nation’s founding. She established the college in 1914 and Cascadia Art Museum’s expansive exhibition is a retrospective of the last 100 years.

As Martin moved through the works of art during our tour, explaining the origins and the connectedness of artifacts, the genealogy of Cornish College of the Arts became obvious.

CAM’s current exhibition is manna for art historians, enthusiasts of the “Northwest School” and scholars of Seattle’s history.

One of the tributes to Nellie Cornish in “Looking Back, Moving Forward” begins with a quote by Martha Graham regarding the school’s benefactor: “Nellie influenced the cultural icons to come to Seattle.” Evidently one to balance praise with blunt honesty, Graham is also known to have described her longtime friend as “”a small, round, plump little lady with the dynamism of a rocket and we were terrified of her; terrified of her tongue and in a way, terrified of her dream.”

Nellie was quoted by Martha Graham, painted by Ebba Rapp and photographed by Imogene Cunningham. In many ways, the artists, sculptors and photographers of the college’s early days focused on one another, adding so many “Aha!” moments as we discovered connections among the founders of the Northwest’s arts movement during the exhibition’s Opening Night.

Cornish, who was known as “Miss Aunt Nellie” by her friends and peers, gathered around her an amazing array of art world luminaries and personalities during her 25 years as director of the college – a fact that curator Martin illustrates brilliantly.

Ellen Van Volkenburg, founder of Cornish College of the Arts dance department, as realized by Mark Tobey. (1928). Photo courtesy of Cascadia Art Museum.

Over the years, headline makers of the arts world turned to their protégé, heralding the opportunities to be had in Seattle and in turn the protégé returned the favor to fresh generations. Ultimately, Cornish College of the Arts developed a pedigree of artists so spectacular in their achievements that the school grew to international recognition. From Mark Tobey, who established the first art department; to Adolph Balm, who preceded Martha Graham’s tenure at Cornish as head of the dance department; and on to R. Bruce Iverarity and Ellen Van Volkenburg puppeteers, a spectacular lineage is laid out for CAM patrons, thanks to Martin’s meticulous curating efforts and decades of friendships.

Martin brings home the global reach of Cornish College of the Arts and its “moving forward” aspects at the conclusion of the exhibition with a first-time showing of Aleah Chapin’s painting “Auntie” which won first prize in London’s National Portrait Gallery’s 2012 BP Portrait category.

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Exhibition highlights include “wooden marionettes purchased [and shipped] from Vienna by Helmi [Juvonen] for a puppetry class at Cornish in 1929. She then painted them and created all of their clothing and jewelry.”

The marionettes (which are nearly 100 years old) are costumed in intricately designed layers including crinoline, lace, seed pearls; pleating and vests; baubles and jewels.

Dmitri Carter of the Ballard Puppet Museum has loaned the exhibit the pieces from a 1928 puppeteer show by R. Bruce Iverarity (follow Artfully Edmonds to learn of this “trail of discovery” in February). Characteristic of Iverarity, the puppets are made from “found” objects – a cheese grater for the body with an assortment of egg beaters, scrub pads, utensils and wares to make up a delightful collection of most-unusual puppets.

Artfully Edmonds was also drawn to the glass-encased collection of Max Factor stage make-up with its colors and trays, brushes and pencils. This segment of “Looking Back, Moving Forward” features early handbills of Cornish shows and focuses on the process of moving a production from sketches to stage.

The art museum hours are posted at this website.

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 Edmonds Comedy Night
Benefiting Edmonds School Kids!
Jan. 29/30
7:30 p.m.
Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N.

This popular event benefits our Edmonds School District kids, but you will definitely want to leave the little ones at home for “Edmonds Comedy Night.”

If laughter is on your bucket list – make sure that you are in the audience for Edmonds Comedy Night either this Friday or Saturday nights (or come back on Saturday if you missed a few of Friday’s one-liners because of the laughter).

You know that Kermet Apio is hosting, right? Local funny-man makes good, Apio has been a guest on Comedy Central and NBC. Sharing the stage with Apio is Jackie Kashian, of Conan and @Midnight fame; and Andrew Rivers, who makes them heehaw over on Fox’s Laughs and also on The [206].

And if for any reason you missed David Crowe in the Seattle or San Francisco Comedy Competitions – here’s your chance to help a great local school cause and catch up with David’s show.

There are both Saturday and Friday night ticket links; so check your calendar and toggle to the ticket outlet that works best for you.

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taste of taste

A Taste of The Taste
Sunday, Jan 31
6 p.m.
Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA)
410 4th Ave. N.

How does the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce want you to stay warm this winter? By stomping, clapping, dancing and singing – at “A Taste of The Taste.”

Edmonds has always been a roll-up-your-sleeves city, and when last summer’s Taste of Edmonds was washed out by nasty weather, the chamber got creative. Everybody’s a winner on this one.

Rock band legends performing for “A Taste of the Taste” will be brought on stage by Jeff “the Fish” Aaron. The program, which may be subject to change, currently features No Rules, Spike and the Impalers, The Joe Slick Band, The Beatniks, Heart By Heart and The Michelle Taylor Band.

Grab your friends and grab your tickets at this box office link.

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4 Andrey_Makarevich wiki
Andrey Makarevich plays two sell-out crowds at ECA this week. Here’s to “Love” — the name of his newest musical production. Photo courtesy of

A Sweetheart of a
Sell Out Alert!
Andrey Makarevich – Songs About Love
Monday, Feb. 1~ 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 2 ~ 8 p.m.
Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA)
410 4th Ave. N.

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“If you take the top 100 most popular songs, 95 of them will be about love; this is just how the world works and that gives us hope,” observed Andrey Makarevich in a recent interview.

After the success of his last project, “The Yiddish Jazz,” this founder and longtime leader of legendary Russian rock band “Time Machine” returns to the United States with a new show titled “Love.”

Makarevich will be joined on stage by acclaimed vocal ensemble A’Capella Express and internationally renowned jazz musicians from “The Yiddish Jazz” project and the Jazz Trio of Evgeny Borets.

This tribute to Valentine’s Day will feature only hit songs about the condition known as love with many well-known favorites by Andrey Makarevich written at different stages of his career.

**The concert will be performed in both English and Russian.

Contact the ECA ticket office directly for ticket-purchaser cancellations 425-275-9595 because this concert is a standing-in- the-aisles sell out.

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5 Riders in the Sky ~ on Feb 3
Riders In the Sky. Photo courtesy of the artist’s official website.

Sell Out Alert!
Riders In the Sky
Wednesday, Feb. 3
7:30 p.m.
Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N.

America’s favorite two-time Grammy Award-winning comedy cowboys, Riders In The Sky, have sold out Edmonds Center for the Arts.

Call the ECA ticket office at 425-275-9595 for the possibility of ticket returns and cancellations if you were hoping to relive the Dale Evans and Roy Rogers days.

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6 Daddy Daughter Feb 3

For Children!
Daddy Daughter Dance
   Saturday, Feb. 6

   6:30-8 p.m.
   Edmonds Senior Center Ballroom
   200 Railroad Ave

What’s it going to be? Queen Elsa ice-blue or Valentine’s Day Pink? Whichever dress your daughter wears to the Daddy Daughter Dance, the occasion will be such a happy and memorable event – and isn’t that what childhood is about?

Make your reservation today!

Call Edmonds Parks & Recreation at 425-771-0230 for your set of tickets!

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AXIS Dance
AXIS Dance Company, founded in 1987. Photo courtesy ECA.

Sell Out Alert!
Axis Dance Company
Saturday, Feb. 6
7:30 p.m.
6 p.m. pre-show reception for veterans and their guests

Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA) presents AXIS Dance Company, described as, “one of the world’s most acclaimed and innovative ensembles of performers with and without disabilities.”

Founded in 1987, the company has paved the way for a powerful contemporary dance form called physically integrated dance. AXIS collaborates with world-class choreographers and composers to create completely new and innovative performances.

Their ECA Engagement will include a newly- commissioned piece by choreographer Joe Goode, called to go again, that addresses veteran’s issues and themes of resiliency.

The troupe plans a special pre-show reception at 6 p.m. for veterans and their guests, sponsored by Operation Military Family Cares.

For a preview of their featured piece, “To Go Again” click through to YouTube.

Your ticket link for this event is here.

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Simone Barron Curt Simmons Elizabeth Addison ~ Calderwood
Simone Barron (Left), Curt Simmons and Elizabeth Adkisson. Photo courtesy of Melanie Calderwood.

Laughter On the Rise at The Phoenix !

Click here –> Come See.

New Show Opening!

Communicating Doors
   By Alan Ayckbourn    Directed by Christine Mosere 
Feb. 8 – 28
Phoenix Theatre
9673 Firdale Ave.

A sci-fi comedic thriller set in the near future takes on a frantic pace when Poopay is hired by an old man who wants to confess his role in the demise of his wives – all three of them. But that would be too easy for playwright, Ayckbourn. At “just the right moment,” a prostitute, stalked by a killer, flees for her life through a hotel communicating door only to find herself 20 years in the past.

The local cast includes Carlos Martinez, Curt Simmons, Elizabeth Adkisson, Simone Barron, Dan Jacoby and Melanie Calderwood.

Produced with permission of Samuel French

Tickets at the Phoenix Theatre box office or by calling the box office at 206-533-2000.

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Taproot ECA
The Taproot troupe adds delight to Monday mornings during “Re-Ignite the Mind with Improvisation and Play”

Golden Years Event!
Re-Ignite the Mind with
           Improvisation and Play
Mondays, Feb. 8 – March 14
10:30 a.m.
Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N.

Taproot Theatre returns for a second series of improvisational theatre workshops for people with memory loss, their family members and care partners.

Taproot Theatre’s first workshop series at ECA, which began in October, drew an enthusiastic response from the Edmonds community.

The “Re-Ignite the Mind with Improvisation and Play,” workshops are presented as part of ECA’s new Dementia-Inclusive Series, a line-up of creative and social enrichment programs with the mission to create opportunities for people with memory loss and their care partners to connect and experience joy through the arts.

“Re-Ignite the Mind” sessions use improvisation and theatre games to tap into the creative abilities of individuals experiencing early stage memory loss (ESML) and their care partners. Participants engage fully in the present, making improvisation a perfect theatre class for students living with memory loss. There is no memory requirement, just the delight of participating in an experience that releases the imagination while giving a sense of accomplishment, self-confidence and social enrichment. The class is taught by theatre professionals from Taproot Theatre, and promises 90 minutes of success for participants, social interaction and living in the moment.

ECA’s Dementia-Inclusive Series developed collaboratively with the feedback and support of senior services organizations, eldercare and memory care professionals, and arts groups in the Puget Sound region. With the mission to create opportunities for people with memory loss and their care partners to connect and experience joy through the arts, ECA is committed to providing a space where community members with dementia feel welcome and valued; where their creative contributions are celebrated; and where quality time can be spent with families and care partners.

The pilot year of the Dementia-Inclusive Series includes “Re-Ignite the Mind” workshops; a three-film series called Musicals are Golden!: A Celebration of Classic Film, developed in partnership with Northwest Film Forum, Elderwise and Barclay Shelton Dance Centre; and a 2-day community songwriting workshop series with Songwriting Works, to be held at Edmonds Senior Center on April 7 and 8, 2016.

ECA’s Dementia-Inclusive Series is made possible with the generous support of the Hazel Miller Foundation, Verdant Health Commission and Edmonds Family Medicine.

Admission to “Re-Ignite the Mind with Improvisation and Play” workshop series is $10 per class or $50 for all six classes, with free admission for family members or care partners (one partner max.) Each session concludes with complimentary coffee and snacks for participants.

Drop-ins are welcome! To register in advance, please contact the ECA Box Office directly at 425-275-9595.

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The 2nd City
A few seats left for “The Second City”. Photo courtesy of

Sell Out Alert!

The Second City – Improv
Wednesday, Feb. 13
7:30 p.m.
Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N.

“The Second City” is an improvisational comedy enterprise, best known as the first-ever on-going improvisational theater troupe in the U.S. and Canada.

The Second City has produced multiple television programs and has consistently been a starting point for the careers of comedians, actors and directors.

At press time there are single seats on the main floor and balcony multiple-seating for this event.

The ticket box office is at this ECA link

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2. SRJO jPeg
Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra will warm up ECA in just a few weeks. Grab your tickets now and avoid the rush-the-door crowd that greeted SRJO at their last Edmonds performance!

Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra (SRJO)
Thursday, Feb. 18
7:30 p.m.
Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N.

SRJO sent out the word early in the season that the world-renowned Terrell Stafford would appear on stage with the well-established jazz orchestra. Which means that jazz lovers can expect this 5-star performer to hit Edmonds — soon!

Says the members of SRJO of their upcoming guest artist, “Stafford is a fabulous player with a style that is reminiscent of the greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard and Clifford Brown.”

Stafford has been hailed by piano legend McCoy Tyner as “one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player.” He has performed and recorded with the Benny Golson Sextet, the McCoy Tyner Sextet, the Jimmy Heath Quintet and Big Band, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni Band. Concert selections include Blame It on My Youth, Candy, and I’ll Close My Eyes.

You can learn more about Terrell Stafford and tune in to a preview of his work at his official website

This is the second season that Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra brings their smooth sound to Edmonds. A certain elegance and style fills the room when this 19-member troupe, led by Michael Brockman and Clarence Acox, saunter onto the stage.

The quips, the good-natured barbs, the liner-note comments about jazz-in-the-day is worth the price of admission. Looking for an evening of sophistication? Then, you’re looking for SRJO.

Ticket box office is at this link 

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Spanish Harlem

Sell Out Alert!

Spanish Harlem Orchestra
Friday, Feb. 19
7:30 p.m.
Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N.

“Spanish Harlem Orchestra, the Latin Jazz powerhouse that won the 2005 Grammy Award for “Best Salsa/Merengue Album” and the 2010 Grammy Award for “Best Tropical Latin Album” is coming to Edmonds.

“Feel the energy!” (on this video) invites musical director of Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Oscar Hernandez. “Celebrating the best of what Latin music is all about,” Hernandez and his colleagues bring Latin to Edmonds.

Artfully Edmonds imagines that by next week you’ll be standing in the aisles if you don’t buy your tickets for this energetic swirl-of-color and music show right now.

Do the click-click here for your tickets!

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9 Driftwood Shorts 2016

Attention Playwrights:

Submit to Driftwood Players!

Yes, Driftwood Players is seeking submissions for “Festival of Shorts 2016”. It’s never too early to get your shorts on!

In spite of winter rain that taps at your window, summer will be here sooner than you think.

Additional details for submissions are available at the Driftwood Players website.

— By Emily Hill


Emily Hill is the author of two novels and a short story collection. She also writes the “Lynnwood Lifestyle” column for Lynnwood Today. Emily is retired from a career in public information and news media relations. If you would like your event listed, or featured, in Artfully Edmonds, Emily invites you to contact her at



  1. Bill !!
    I am so thrilled to learn that you read “Artfully Edmonds” ~ Thank you.

    As an artist who is dedicated to studying the style and technique of ‘The Mystics’ and The Northwest School getting a High-five from you is quite a compliment. <3

    If you're making plans to see this exhibit, please alert me. I would love to tag along and listen to what you think of the style of the artists included in David F. Martin's curating choices (which I think are spectacular.)

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