Artfully Edmonds: ‘The big reveal’ – 11th Annual ‘Edmonds Center for the Arts Gala

Rick Steves will return from his travels in Europe just in time to officiate the “Raise the Paddle” feature of the ECA 11th Gala to be held on Saturday, Sept. 23. Photo credit: Rick Steves Europe.

One of the most dazzling events of the 2017-18 Performance Season is about to take place!

For the past several weeks, Artfully Edmonds has given you glimpses of what is on the horizon for ECA 11th Annual Gala and Auction. Now it’s time to pull back the curtain and show readers exactly what organizers, volunteers and sponsors have in mind for Edmonds’ pinnacle social event.

Here’s what Executive Director Joe McIalwain says of the Saturday, Sept. 23 gala, “This is ECA’s signature event. The dollars raised are absolutely critical to our ability to present quality programming and services.

“Each year, I am honored and humbled by the outpouring of support we receive. This is such a special community – and this event is such a special evening. Thank you to everyone who attends, and to our amazing staff who make it all seem effortless.”

A number of local luminaries also weighed in on the importance of the gala, including 2017 Gala Co-Chair Jack Loos: “The ECA Gala is the perfect opportunity for friends of ECA to come together to raise funds to support the organization and to have a great time while doing it. It is the “fun” in “fund-ing.”

The room just sizzles!

Maggie Peterson, who has been involved for a long time in the success of ECA, says, “I love this gala! The energy in the room is like no other event in Edmonds. As soon as the lights come up on [master of ceremonies] John Curley, and the live auctions begins, the room just sizzles! You get so caught up in it.

“Attendees of the gala are among the greatest people in Edmonds — the people who make this town so special. We have a lot of fun.

“For me, this gala is a chance to spend a fun evening with great friends, helping to raise money for something that is so important to our community. I can’t imagine Edmonds without ECA. And, I get to dress up!”

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This list of items available for the silent and live auctions at the 11th Annual ECA Gala and Auction include amenities packages from Novelty Hill Winery, Tulalip Casino, and The Garage.

Artfully Edmonds (AE) was able to secure an exclusive interview from (very busy) ECA Development Director Karen Crowley (KC), and here is what she revealed to us:

AE: In the most distilled terms – what is the 11th Annual Edmonds Center for the Arts Gala and Auction all about?

KC: It’s ECA’s best party of the season and a wonderful way to support your performing arts center!

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AE: We understand that Edmonds’ internationally known travel guru will be returning from Europe in time to attend the Gala. Tell us more!

KC: Yes! Rick Steves will be attending and will be the featured speaker during the Live Auction. In agreeing to take a featured role in the evening’s activities, Rick told us, “ECA is so much more than just a great performing arts center. The programming they offer for people with memory loss is an innovative gift to the people of Edmonds and all South Snohomish County.”

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AE: In an overview sweep of the Gala, what highlights can guests expect from the event?


  • Passed-tray appetizers that will make your mouth happy.
  • Four main-course menu choices created by Shubert Ho and Zal Smith of Shooby-Doo Catering. My Edmonds News readers can view the selections and photos here.
  • Dessert Dash – 25 of the best desserts imaginable. Bid high for first choice!
  • Wonderful music performed by Niu Elua (Kalani Kaha’iali’i and Isaac Castillo).
  • An after party on stage! The fun just keeps unfolding.
  • And, over 150 Silent Auction items. The ECA lobby and stage are absolutely filled with an incredible selection of items.
  • Themed baskets include items in these categories: pets, gardening, romantic evening, to art work, photography and gift certificates. Wander, enjoy… and do your holiday shopping here!
  • A new Wheel of Chance: Spin and win for just $30. Everyone is a winner.
  • A Wine Pull: The Wine Pull Collection includes a selection of good wines… at least 20 signature wines, with two or three world-class selections! Each participant may select any three wrapped bottles from our display.
  • A Bling Raffle: The winner of this raffle can select from any of our Almost Live auction items or any of the first 10 Live Auction Items.
  • 30 Live Auction items and another 10 Almost Live items. The full catalog has just been posted online here.

Here are six top Live Auction favorites:

  Rick Steves Europe 7-day city tour, including airfare: Imagine you and your favorite travel partner experiencing Europe vividly on a Rick Steves tour. Choose from London, or Paris, or Rome. Arrangements for air travel through Delta Airlines.  Value = $10,000+

  Designer Diamond Necklace:  A J. Rankin Jewellers selection. Value = $2,500

o   Four tickets to the best seats in the ECA house to see Randy Newman: Dinner & Show. Randy Newman will be performing at the arts center on Thursday, Oct. 12. This item includes four tickets to the show in the 4th row, plus a $250 gift certificate to local restaurant Bar Dojo. Value = $610

   Cinco de Mayo Private Party for 25 at Chanterelle Hometown Bistro: Take over the bar area at Chanterelle from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday May 5, 2018, for a fun Cinco de Mayo Fiesta! Hand-shaken top shelf margaritas and platters of Mexican- inspired finger foods will delight you and 24 of your friends.

   Dinner for 8 at the Peterson’s Home with celebrity chef Lynne Vea: Celebrity Chef Lynne Vea will make a fabulous 5-course dinner in the beautiful water view home of Maggie and Rock Peterson. Enjoy a memorable meal in luxury surroundings. Value = $4,000

  Private Dining for 10 at The Metropolitan Grill:  Ten guests will enjoy a fabulous meal in a private dining room at Seattle’s Metropolitan Grill. The Metropolitan Grill is nationally recognized as one of the finest steakhouses in the country. Value = $2,000

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AE: What initiatives will the proceeds from the gala support?

KC: The dollars raised will help create a second decade of magic at Edmonds Center for the Arts:

  • Bring world class artists to this state-of-the art theatre.
  • Create a transformative experience for a family member or dear friend living with memory loss. Participants in ECA Dementia-Inclusive Workshops sing together, improvise scenes, play theatre games, and enjoy films that spark connection, comfort and joy.
  • Give the gift of discovery to a child in an ECA Summer Arts Enrichment Camp: the excitement of a book coming to life, the joy of learning to play in an ensemble, the chance to experience the beauty and mystery of Shakespeare’s language.
  • Place a talented professional performer directly into a local classroom to help both teachers and students discover the magic of performing arts.
  • Support Kidstock! It’s the free, annual family event at ECA that features musical performances, theatre, arts education workshops, and activities for kids and their families.

AE: Karen, Artfully Edmonds and My Edmonds News would like to thank you for taking the time to be with us today. And to also acknowledge the commitment that the ECA team of board members, staff, supporters from the business community, and volunteers have made in continuing the legacy of this Edmonds premier icon.

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Upcoming ECA Events!

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Bird Fest 2017 adds to a very busy Edmonds-Kind-Of weekend!

Friday, Sept. 15

7:30 p.m.


Bird Fest!

Puget Sound Bird Fest

Edmonds Plaza Room
650 Main St.

It’s time for the annual celebration of birds and nature!

This year’s Bird Fest, a 3-day event, kicks off with a Friday evening keynote address by renowned woodpecker expert Stephen Shunk.

This Northwest acclaimed event includes speakers, guided walks, land- and water-based field trips, exhibits and educational activities for children and adults. Join Bird Fest organizers for a full weekend of birding; plus meet birders, naturalists, photographers, and people engaged in fascinating bird research projects.

The Pilchuck Audubon Society will also be holding their September program meeting in conjunction with the kickoff presentation for Puget Sound Bird Fest.

How Woodpeckers Save the World

Bird Fest keynoter and Oregon naturalist, Stephen Shunk will explain how woodpeckers represent one of the most specialized bird families in the world, and in what ways North America’s woodpeckers play a critical role in our continent’s forests and woodlands.

– – –

Kids Birdfest!

Saturday, Sept. 16
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Frances Anderson Center
Room 115

Bring your children or grandchildren to the Bird Fest Kid’s Room where they will find plenty to do, as you accompany them on an amazing aviary journey!

Friendly and knowledgeable volunteers will help with many kid-level naturalist activities including sketching birds, bird-themed sing-a-longs, and crafts.

Special guest Christine Elder – a naturalist, environmental educator and visual artist from Oregon – will be in the Kids’ Room throughout Saturday.

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“Baskerville: A Parody” might be a more fitting title for Ken Ludwig’s play. Regardless, Artfully Edmonds vouches for “Baskerville” — it’s laugh-at-loud funny!

Friday, Sept. 15
8 p.m.

Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery

Edmonds Driftwood Players at

Wade James Theatre
950 Main St.

Surprise! It’s a parody!

As always, Artfully Edmonds was there for opening night and provides this review.

Baskerville easily ranks as one of the funniest parodies that Artfully Edmonds has ever laughed through.

You needn’t miss any 2017-18 Edmonds Driftwood Players performances. So many theatre lovers opt for the full season package, which you can obtain at this ticket link.

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Conspiracy abounds as The Phoenix Theatre joins forces with Edmonds Driftwood Players for the 24-hour Festival.

Let’s take aim at Saturday, Sept. 30 when Edmonds’ two playhouses join forces for a 24-hour Theatre Festival. This is an historic match-up!

You are in for a wild ride as eight playwrights write plays for eight directors who handle the star-power and egos of 24 actors (eek!) in two cross-town theatres – all put together in one 24-hour period!

Cue the coffee! Everyone on their marks!

Patrons! The two theatre companies have 24-hours to write, cast, rehearse, set the stage by curtain time! Can it be done? Yikes!

It’s Saturday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Conspiracy Theories, presented by

Edmonds Driftwood Players and The Phoenix Theatre.

Step right up! Tickets for the 24-hour festival are just one click away!

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Saturday/ Sunday
Sept. 16/ 17

Edmonds Art Studio Tour 2017 (EAST)

Thirty-one Edmonds area artists have been re-arranging their studios in anticipation of EAST; getting their oils, acrylics and oils in order; straightening their French berets, and donning their paint aprons — all in order to welcome you, patrons of art, into their art studios.

Artfully Edmonds cannot wait to start her own self-guided studio tour of the artists who make up the Edmonds art scene!

This week we complete our specialty mentions of the artists who will be awaiting your arrival to their studios this Saturday and Sunday:

Rick Davenport has made his mark in the art world by turning wood. A popular vendor in the Edmonds Summer Market, Rick juries in quite easily to the Edmonds Arts Festival for his exquisite work.

Mona T. Smiley-Fairbanks specializes in monotype printmaking and acrylic paintings. Mona exhibits her work far and wide – including shows at Museum of Northwest Art. This is your opportunity to see Mona in a less-busy environment and ask those questions that arise as you view her inspiring work. Mona’s work can be viewed online at

Image courtesy of David Marty.

David Marty’s oil paintings are breathtakingly beautiful. See how he creates the depth, point-of-view and vibrant colors that comprise his work at the David Marty Studio off Talbot Road. A more recent achievement of David’s is winning the Mayor’s Award at this year’s Edmonds Arts Festival for his painting “Sveti Vlaho, Dubrovnik”.

Pamela Mummy, a figurative artist, will bring out the “Awwww. . .” factor in your heart when you discover her whimsical pieces. But this artist has so much more to offer art lovers beyond her whimsy family. A talented figurative artist specializes in the intense, the dramatic. Don’t miss out on discovering the “Why’s” of and “How’s” behind the art of Pamela Mummy.

Jennie de Mello e Souza caught the attention of Artfully Edmonds for her miniatures; however her work in acrylics and watercolors is equally significant. Jennie also specializes in landscapes, nature studies and tells interested parties that she is “influenced by [a] deep appreciation of, and fascination with, nature.” By the way, her miniatures are sold in the gift shop at Cascadia Art Museum.

Robin Westbook’s hand-sewn beaded jewelry is so pretty, so colorful and imaginative. Robin is another one of those artists involved in the Edmonds art scene who add so much to the landscape with her community involvement noted here by My Edmonds News. Her mastery of art goes well beyond beaded jewelry, as illustrated in this picture, which we grabbed from Robin’s Facebook page.

Your online map of the Edmonds Art Studio Tour is right here: Click, Click!

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As autumn approaches, it’s the perfect time for “A Taste of Italy” and comfort food.

Monday, Sept. 18

A Taste of Italy

Edmonds Senior Center
220 Railroad Ave.

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Edmonds Senior Center presents a “Taste of Italy!” this Monday.

Everyone is welcome! Call 425-774-5555 ext 104 today to reserve your place at the table.

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The work of Cody A. French, Lynnwood artist and recent graduate of Cornish College of the Arts, is appreciated by a couple attending the 2016 “Art on the Terrace” exhibit.

Friday, Sept. 22
6 p.m.

Arts of the Terrace Juried art exhibition

Awards Ceremony

23300 58th Ave. W. ~ Mountlake Terrace

Arts of the Terrace is one of the major juried art shows held in the Pacific Northwest and attracts top artists from throughout the region.

On the festive occasion of the show’s awards ceremony, you will enjoy paintings, prints, drawings, miniatures, photography, 3-dimensional works and artisan works.

Last year’s show incorporated nearly 180 artists submitting over 370 art entries, which marked the highest number of artists and art entries in the show’s history.

As a juried art show, artists compete for more than $4,000 in cash awards and art merchandise. Organizers tell My Edmonds News that “the quality and caliber of art submissions has increased the interest from the art community in being accepted into the show.”

— By Emily Hill

Emily Hill is the author of two novels and a short story collection. 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. Dear Karen and Dorothy,
    “They” say ‘Live Your Passion’ and I am so fortunate to have been accepted by the My Edmonds News community four years ago.

    I’ve made wonderful friends in the arts community and continue to learn so much — like this week — The difference between farce and parody: Edmonds Driftwood Players production of “Baskerville” is a parody! Go see it everyone!! See? “Fun!”

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