Artfully Edmonds: A transition among many holiday traditions

In this edition of Artfully Edmonds, we announce a transition.

After four years of covering one of the most exciting and progressive arts scenes in Western Washington, this columnist is stepping aside.

My Edmonds News has published over 200 of my columns, many features, a few photos, and quite a few “bunny slippers” interviews – the online interview during which no one leaves home, and both the interviewer and interviewed can dress up. . . in their bunny slippers!

Many local and national celebrities have answered the Artfully Edmonds call to participate in this sometimes zany, usually dignified bunny slipper forum – and I thank each one with the deepest sincerity.

When I began this job my intention was to promote the slogan, “Edmonds — an arts destination”. I hope that my readers agree that, with the opening of Cascadia Art Museum, the milestone anniversaries of institutions such as Edmonds Driftwood Players, Cascade Symphony Orchestra, and Gallery North – all of which span more than 50 years – Edmonds is indeed a destination for tourists and local residents who are arts and performance enthusiasts.

A temporary art installation has been unveiled on the 4th Avenue arts corridor, Write On The Sound continues to flourish, EPIC Writers Group enjoys success – all achievements of city hall and dedicated volunteers.

There’s much to look forward to on Edmonds’ arts scene and so much to be proud of. With the development of theatre and music opportunities for our youth, and the continued sell-out shows of Edmonds Center for the Arts, plus the upcoming opening of arts center Graphite, there’s no doubt that the arts “beat “will continue in grand style.

Edmonds’ popular bookseller James Spangler will pick up the baton from this point. I wish him all the success in the world!

While James is writing about Edmonds arts, I will be working as publicist and promoter for an authentic Zydeco band that I’ve fallen hard for. Its members are among the most celebrated musicians in the United States.

My new lifestyle is exciting, challenging, fresh, and allows me to follow a music-based passion for my home state – Louisiana. I’ll be working for Richard Allen & The Louisiana Experience” – a Zydeco band established nine years ago that is skyrocketing in popularity.

Many My Edmonds News readers may have caught the band’s performance, with its Mardi Gras flair, in the lineups of Edmonds Taste and Edmonds Waterfront Festival.

I’m very proud of my four-year association with this news source, its mission, and members – but most of all with its elegant visionary-publisher, Teresa Wippel.

All best, it’s been a joy being your Artfully Edmonds columnist.

So, as I complete the balance of the column with what’s happening in the arts and events scene for Edmonds this week – I bid everyone, “Adieu”, and head off for The Louisiana Experience.

~ ~ ~ ~

Opens this week at The Phoenix Theatre, 9673 Firdale Ave. Debra Rich Gettleman is the playwright, so sit up and take notice!

Friday, Dec. 1
8 p.m.

Twist Of the Magi

The Phoenix Theatre
9673 Firdale Ave.

Twist of the Magi is based on O’Henry’s classic short story, Gift of the Magi.

Set in an authentic 1940s radio station as a live, on-air broadcast, this lively over-the-top production mixes up a slew of disgruntled actors, their reticent stage manager, a frantic sound effects technician, a wacky female musical trio, a delinquent (and inebriated) Shakespearean prima donna, a jealous Italian femme fatale and a host of other broadcasting eccentrics.

This classic tale of holiday love and generosity unfolds through a series of comic twists and turns as O’Henry’s heroine, Della, trades her beautiful hair to buy a Christmas gift for her devoted young husband. Tortured by seller’s remorse, Della befriends an unlikely Yiddish Yenta, and the two women embark on a series of zany adventures to attempt to recover the lost locks.

“If you’ve grown tired of dancing sugarplums and shoeless match girls, this entertaining bit of holiday fare for the whole family is cathartic, goofy fun in a season that sometimes chokes on its own sentiment.” The Arizona Republic.


~ ~ ~ ~

Broadcaster Tony Ventrella visits Edmonds with a stack of books and a sharpie – don’t miss this book signing!

Saturday, Dec. 2
10 a.m.– 1 p.m.

Tony Ventrella

Here’s Smiling at You

Book Release

Edmonds’ Holiday Market

5th Avenue North at Bell Street

Popular sports reporter Tony Ventrella will be at Edmonds’ Holiday Market on Saturday to promote his new book, Here’s Smiling at You.

Edmonds fans got to know Ventrella shortly after he moved to the Seattle area to join KOMO-TV where he covered the career of Edmonds’ Olympics 1983 World Figure-Skating Champion Rosalynn Sumners – and the career that followed her Olympics achievement.

Here’s Smiling at You’s message is universal: Whenever life throws you a curve, hit it out of the ballpark. That pretty well sums up Tony’s philosophy of life: Find a reason to smile even in the face of despair, sadness, even tragedy. A Seattle Seahawks coach calls Tony’s book “food for the soul.”

The book, Ventrella’s third, is combination memoir and motivational book, presented in a personal way with a large dose of humor and humility. Tony shares experiences from his 11 years with the Seahawks, working among the players and coaches, traveling to three Super Bowls, embedded in team meetings and getting a close-up look at the Pete Carroll “Win Forever” strategy.

Even with all this exposure to sports, Tony makes it clear that his best role models came from inside his own family.

~ ~ ~ ~

Saturday, Dec. 2
7 p.m.

Christmas in Edmonds

Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N.

Delight in an “Edmonds Kind of Christmas” with the Mosaic Choir and orchestra at Edmonds’ premier large stage.

Tickets for this showcase family event are available at this ticket link.

~ ~ ~ ~

Hawaiian musician Willie K takes a tour of the mainland, and Edmonds’ is on the itinerary.

Wednesday, Dec. 6
7:30 p.m.

Willie K

Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N.

Sell Out Alert!

Hawaiian phenomenon Willie K is possibly the only musician who can play anything from indigenous acoustic Hawaiian music to jazz, reggae, rock, country and even opera.

He inspires awe and astonishment as he fulfills the review of Honolulu Pulse, “Willie K can play or sing anything an American audience might ask for.”

It’s going to be a fun, lively evening.

Click, click! Obviously, with nearly every seat in the house taken, you need to get your tickets today!

~ ~ ~ ~

Edmonds talent has traveled the world in the form of The Gothard Sisters. Let’s welcome these beautiful voices home on Thursday, Dec. 7.

Thursday, Dec. 7
7:30 p.m.

The Gothard Sisters

Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N.

The sweetest, most wholesome Holiday music show is returning to Edmonds.

It’s The Gothard Sisters’ Christmas show!

You’ll want to grab tickets for all and make this a festive family event as Selena, Willow, and Greta inspire laughter and love, all in the spirit of the holidays.

— 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


13 Replies to “Artfully Edmonds: A transition among many holiday traditions”

  1. Emily, you will be missed not only from your column but from the Edmonds scene itself! Wishing you all the best as you move on to your next adventure! Gail


  2. Best of luck with your new endeavor Emily!!!
    I hope we don’t lose touch and thank you so much for all the nice publicity over the years.



  3. Thank you, Emily, for 4 years of greatc olumns about the Edmonds art scene. Good luck and happiness in your new position.


  4. Emily –
    You leave very large bunny slippers to fill! Thank you for your enourmous contribution to promoting the arts in Edmonds. Best of luck with your new endeavor – I know any musician that uses Artist Access will be fortunate to have a consummate professional supporting them. You’re the best!


  5. Thanks for the wonderful support you have provided to the arts in Edmonds. Wishing you nothing but the best success in your new role.


  6. I always looked forward to learning about all the arts in the Edmonds area. Your particular style invited me to seek out several of your suggestions across the years. Best of luck in your new undertaking. Like this column, you always give 200% when you take on a task so I imagine that will continue into your new venture adventure!


  7. You will be so missed! I have enjoyed your column all these years and your friendship. I so hope you enjoy your new adventures. Much love.


  8. I’ve enjoyed reading your column these past four years, Emily. Edmonds has such a lively arts scene, and you’ve done a wonderful job of covering it. We, your readers, are going to miss you. Best of luck in your new job as publicist and promoter of a zydeco band. They’re lucky to have you. Have fun and keep in touch.


  9. Thank you to the arts enthusiasts of Edmonds for many kind, encouraging comments over the past few days.

    Covering the achievements of our entertainers, artists, volunteers, and arts investors will be a Joy that I will not soon forget.

    Break a Leg!! (well, not really 😉

    Affection to All, in particular this great news source that Teresa Wippel has poured her heart into.


  10. Emily, you will be dearly missed. Your contributions over the four years have been quite significant in many ways. Though we’ll feel the loss, I’m very happy for you. All the best.


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