Artfully Edmonds: Have your say March 1 on economic impact of arts; plus performances, exhibits and more


In February 2014, the City of Edmonds published a 90-page community cultural plan. About 22 pages in, under subheading 5.2 in the goal section, is this sage recommendation:

“Establish a method [of assessing] and undertake periodic assessment of cultural tourism and [the] economic impact of arts and culture in Edmonds. (Lead: City of Edmonds)”

This February, four years later, the results of just such an assessment — the Arts and Culture Economic Impact Study — were presented to the Edmonds City Council.

Now, data exists that proves that art-related activities have a profoundly positive impact on the Edmonds economy.

Skeptics might say “Well, I could’ve told you that!” Or “I don’t know why they needed to study that in the first place.” But I would urge you to banish your skeptical thoughts for a moment.

I contend that it’s time to let the process play out. Let’s give our elected officials time to consider the implications of this report. This study might give the city the encouragement it needs to make a greater financial commitment to the arts.

For as long as there have been beans, there have been bean counters. Their minds just work differently. Self-described as data nerds, data geeks, or data bugs, some folks can’t cross the street without a study.

Policymakers are often especially vulnerable to this phenomenon. If you have data that indicates that public funding of the arts will have a positive economic benefit, there’s a chance they’ll act. Without it, they never will. We should embrace their hunger for data and let them have their moment. We need them on our team.

In fairness, public stewards are expected to be judicious in the way they allocate tax dollars. I can’t blame them for wanting something to hang their collective hats on.

I spoke to City Arts and Culture Manager Frances Chapin and Economic Development/Community Services Director Patrick Doherty shortly after the study results were presented to the city council. They were both optimistic about the impact of this study.

I pressed them both to answer the question — what action will be taken as a result of the study findings? Neither felt that they were in a position to predict or advocate for specific outcomes. They pointed out that public input is needed at this point.

The assessment’s creators, BERK Consulting and AdvisArts, Seattle-based management consulting firms that specialize in the public and non-profit sectors, were not expected to make specific recommendations. Edmonds citizens, arts commissioners and advisory boards are believed to be in a better position to understand what to do with this data.

I tried to get a sense of how much of the $63 million city budget has been going to direct support of art programs like the staffing the arts commission, support to the ECA, and grants for arts projects like Iole Alessandrini’s Luminous Forest. It didn’t sound like the total ever exceeded $100,000 annually. I had to adjust my calculator to arrive at such a small number – 2/10 of 1 percent.

We brag about how artsy we are, how we support the arts in our town, we beg and cajole volunteers (taxpayers who love the arts) for thousands of labor hours in our almost entirely privately funded art endeavors, and the city puts up less than 2/10 of a percent of its budget.

We can do better than that. Especially since it would actually benefit us economically.

Pressed a little more, Chapin mentioned that moving forward with the next steps in the Fourth Ave Arts Corridor project might be a priority. Doherty pointed out that affordable housing in Edmonds might be a concern that dovetails well with artists who want to continue living and working in increasingly affluent Edmonds. “We don’t want our success to chase our artists out of town,” he said.

But the overriding sense I received, was that the City of Edmonds really wants your input. How do you see Edmonds moving forward with respect to the nurturing and growing of the arts here? The city could be sitting on a pile of money and have 10 studies that imply greater art funding, but if the citizens of Edmonds don’t propose how we might spend additional dollars, nothing will change.

That’s why it is my fervent hope that readers will make an effort to attend the upcoming open house presenting a summary of results of this recent study, set for Thursday, March 1 in the Plaza Room above the Edmonds Public Library. From 6-7:30 p.m.

Chapin may have said it best. “So many communities around our state are saying let’s make our city into an arts community,” she said. “We already have that. If we don’t continue to support and nurture it, we could lose it.”

To receive an advance electronic copy of the survey, send your request to [email protected]

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René Marie

Thursday – Saturday, March 1 – 3

DeMiero Jazz Fest

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

North Sound Church Conference Center
201 4th Ave. N.

Grammy award nominee René Marie headlines the evening concerts on March 2 and 3. She’s joined by song stylist Dee Daniels, the All-Star Festival Band, and student scholarship winner Jaidyn Lam.

Friday night only: Greta Matassa and the Sounsation Jazz Choir of Edmonds Community College will join in the jam.

Saturday night only, the Seattle Jazz Singers are the special guests.

See my story here.

Tickets for Thursday night’s performance available at the door before the show. North Sound Church Conference Center, 201 4th Ave N.

Tickets for Friday and Saturday night’s performances at the ECA here:

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Friday, March 2
7 p.m.
Saturday, March 3
2 & 7 p. m.
Sunday, March 4
2 p.m.

Ballyhoo Theatre Presents:

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

The Phoenix Theatre
9673 Firdale Ave.
(Firdale Village)

Join the cast of 12 talented young actors as they perform this delightful classic musical.

Inept, but ever-hopeful, Charlie Brown searches for what it means to be a good person, finding unexpected answers from his friends Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Sally and Snoopy. Visit with the gang as they set out to discover how happiness in life is made up of all the little moments we often take for granted. This bright and sunny show is packed with upbeat songs, funny comics and the creative genius of Charles M. Schultz.

Directed by Shileah Corey, and choreographed by Coulson Bingham. More information:

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Ethereal Windows by Tracy Felix.

Now through March 27

Ethereal Windows by Tracy Felix.

Art Festival Foundation Gallery
Frances Anderson Center
700 Main St.

Portals is an apt descriptor of Felix’s large, vivid, geometric focused color field paintings. Works that seek to draw the viewer into the spaces inhabited by her ethereal, atmospheric effects.

Learn more:

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Thursday through Sunday
March 1-4
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 7 p.m.
Sunday, 3 p.m.

The Edmonds-Woodway Players Present:
The Whole Darn Shooting Match

by Jack Perry — Directed by Bruce Mindt

Edmonds-Woodway High School Theater
7600 212th St. S.W.

Enjoy an afternoon of theater and support this fine local high school drama program.
Set in the crazy world of advertising, the offbeat characters of the creative room are pitted against an efficiency expert who’s recently become CEO, the office boy, and anyone else who gets in their way.

Learn more here.

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Cascadia Art Museum

Saturday, March 3
10 a.m to 2 p.m.

Cascadia Art Museum

Mid-Century Modern: Precedents and Regional Influences

Co-sponsored by Docomomo WEWA and Cascadia Art Museum

Edmonds City Hall
121 5th Ave N.

An opportunity to learn about the influential and progressive design professionals working in Michigan, some of whom had ties to the Pacific Northwest.

This program begins at 10 a.m. at Edmonds City Hall where Brian Conway, Michigan’s State Historic Preservation Officer, will discuss the influential and progressive design professionals working in Michigan at the mid-century. The lecture will conclude by 11:30 a.m.

At noon and 1 p.m., David Martin, curator of the Cascadia Art Museum, will lead tours of the museum’s Northwest Design at Mid-Century exhibition, which showcases a variety of works and objects that define the Northwest aesthetic at mid-century.

For more information and to register:

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Jamie Ford

Friday, March 9
6:30 p.m.

Best-selling Local Author Jamie Ford

Plaza Room  (above Edmonds Library)
650 Main St.

Raised in the Puget Sound region and a former resident of Seattle, Jamie Ford is the author of three fictional novels set in Seattle and the city’s International District. His 2009 debut novel, Hotel on The Corner of Bitter and Sweet (Ballantine Books) received numerous accolades. His following novels, Songs of Willow Frost (2013) and the recently published Love and Other Consolation Prizes follow in the author’s canon of the journey of the human spirit set against a historical Seattle backdrop.

Sponsored jointly by the Edmonds Library, the Friends of the Library, and the City of Edmonds Arts Commission. Admission is free.

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Aldo López-Gavilán joins Harlem Quartet.

Thursday, March 8
7:30 p.m.

Edmonds Center For The Arts Presents:

Aldo López-Gavilán and the Harlem Quartet

410 4th Ave. N.

Cuban piano prodigy Aldo López-Gavilán joins the Harlem Quartet in this dynamic cross-cultural collaboration. The program will consist of Latin jazz and classical repertoire, as well as original compositions by Mr. López-Gavilán.

Arrive early and watch:

Los Hermanos/The Brothers
Time: 6-6:40 p.m.

An exclusive first look at the forthcoming documentary feature Los Hermanos/The Brothers, followed by a Q&A with Ilmar Gavilan, Aldo López-Gavilán and the film’s director Ken Schneider.

Born in Havana, these virtuoso musicians are brothers — long separated by geopolitics. Ilmar left for Moscow at fourteen, sent by the Ministry of Culture to study classical violin with a Soviet master after he outgrew his Cuban teachers. He never lived in Cuba again, ultimately landing as a hard working musician in the U.S. Younger brother Aldo grew up mentored by Cuba’s impressive jazz and classical pianists, his extraordinary talent easily achieving renown on the island but stymied from attaining wider fame by the U.S. embargo. He too left Cuba — for the London Conservatory — but returned to his home country to make a life. After 30 years, a thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations offers the brothers the opportunity of a U.S. concert tour together. But just as they hit their stride, Fidel Castro dies and Donald Trump is elected, threatening the future of their dreams.

The film is free and open to the public.

For concert tickets:

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Saturday, March 10
9:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Olympic Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive – Auditions

Frances Anderson Center
700 Main St.

Auditions will be held for persons interested in enrolling in Olympic Ballet Theatre’s 2 and 4 week summer intensive instruction.

For further information, visit

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Saturday, March 10
5:30 – 10 p.m.

The Edmonds Woodway High School Music Boosters Present:
         On Broadway
   Auction and Music Gala

Nile Country Club
6601 244th St. S.W.
Mountlake Terrace

Support award-winning programs as the Edmonds- Woodway High School Music Boosters prepares for their annual music gala at The Nile Country Club. An evening of dinner, games, the excitement of both a silent and live auction, plus the performances from our talented young musicians will ensure that a wonderful time will be had by all.

For tickets:

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By Jacqueline Tribble

Sunday, March 11
1 – 4 p.m.
Awards – 2 p.m.

Gallery North’s Annual
Small Works Show

401 Main St.

Juried by noted Seattle artist Barbara Noonan, this year’s show features 175 paintings by 75 artists from 10 states. In addition to the artists’ reception and awards presentation, an Art Walk Edmonds Third Thursday event will be held March 15, from 5 to 8 p.m.

For more information:

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Saturday, March 24
10 a.m.

Artist Trust Presents: A Free Workshop
Artists Statements and Resumes

Edmonds Plaza Room
650 Main St.
(Above Library)

Artists of all disciplines, and at any stage in their career, will learn the basics of writing successful artist statements and resumes. By the end of the workshop, attendees will have the start of a resume and statement to use on their website, portfolio, or for grant, residency, or fellowship applications.

About the instructor:

Katy Hannigan is a Program Manager at Artist Trust. She’s worked for Shunpike, where she managed the Arts Business Clinic program, and prior to moving to Seattle, Katy worked for a nonprofit that advocated for the arts and cultural communities in Massachusetts. She has an MFA in Arts Leadership from Seattle University and a BA from College of Holy Cross.

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Now through Monday, April 9

Call For Writers
EPIC Group Writers

EPIC Group Writers is currently accepting entries for their 6th annual writing contest. Entries may be submitted on any theme in poetry and prose. Submissions will be judged in two categories – Adult, and Youth (ages 13 through 18)

For information:

To RSVP (required) visit this link.

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— By James Spangler

When not actively scheming about ways to promote the arts in Edmonds, James Spangler can be found (highly caffeinated) behind the counter of his bookstore on 4th Avenue.



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