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In this Issue — May 2009
Image: Lucia Neare's Lullaby Moon is a series of free performances on the new moon of each month through September 2009. At twilight celestial characters illuminate parks and public spaces. The next performance will be May 24. Photo by Michael Doucett.
Middle school students participate in Scribes, a summer creative writing camp for youth offered by Richard Hugo House. Photo by Fay Gartenberg.
Message from the director
May is Arts Education Month. And while Seattle is recognized for its innovation and creativity, not all students have access to quality arts education in our public schools. The Office and the Seattle Arts Commission have formed an Arts Education Partnership Initiative with Seattle Public Schools to support district-wide systemic change, which includes the first district arts assessment in decades.

Mayor Greg Nickels has pledged his support of the initiative in the city's 2009-2010 budget with a $100,000 allocation matched and leveraged by the school district. Read the mayor's proclamation declaring May Arts Education Month and learn how you can help put the arts back in education in this eNews.

Innovation and creativity were among the top reasons Seattle was named City of the Year in Fast Company magazine's 2009 ranking of "Fast Cities." Editors cited Seattle's "smarts, foresight, social consciousness, and creative ferment" as the ingredients that made it tops this year—"ingredients that we believe will bring our communities—and country—back to prosperity."

We are doing everything we can to protect our core programs in these difficult economic times. The city's latest budget forecast projects $29.5 million less in revenue in the city's general fund for 2009, compared to last year's estimate. To help fill the gap, the mayor asked our department to shave three percent from our general fund budget. This amounts to about $94,000. We will cut our travel budget, delay computer upgrades and reduce administrative expenses, including postage, printing and office supplies.

On the state front, we were disappointed the legislature didn't act this session to extend lodging tax funding for cultural programs in King County into the future. The measure—Senate Bill 6116—would've extended existing lodging taxes in King County to fund the arts. Another proposal put forward by the Prosperity Partnership, would've allowed single or multi-county districts to create a Cultural Access Fund to raise and distribute public funds to scientific and cultural organizations through a voter-approved increase to the state sales tax. While it's unlikely these bills would be resurrected in a special session, both efforts laid a good foundation for success in future years. And some lawmakers have pledged their support to continue conversations about arts funding if the legislature goes into a special session.

Finally, a great opportunity to chart the future of arts and culture in our region is coming to Seattle this June. Americans for the Arts will host its national conference here. Hope to see you there.

Michael Killoren
Peter de Lory, Longfellow Creek Legacy Trail Identifiers, 2004, located along Longfellow Creek Trail from 26th Avenue S.W. and Genesee Street to Roxhill Park. City of Seattle permanently sited public art collection.
Attend free public art workshops
The Office will kick off its 2009 series of public art workshops with Public Art in Two Dimensions, a workshop for painters, printmakers and photographers interested in creating public art. The free workshop is 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, May 18 at Seattle City Hall's Bertha Knight Landes Room.

Artists Deborah Mersky, Barbara Earl Thomas and Robert Yoder will share their experiences translating two-dimensional work into art for public places. The artists will discuss how they look for public art opportunities and select materials and fabricators for commissioned art projects.

The workshop series is designed to offer emerging and experienced artists a chance to network and gain insight into the public art process. While there is no fee to participate, advance registration is required. Contact Eleanor (Elly) Beerman, (206) 233-3930. Click here to find out more about the speakers and upcoming workshops.
New survey: Seattle principals value arts in schools
Youth create a mural during an ArtWorks 2009 Youth Arts funded project. Photo by Troy Yelland.
More than 75 percent of Seattle Public Schools (SPS) principals rate the arts as a high priority in their schools over the next three years, according to the first district-wide survey of arts learning and teaching. With support from the Office, the district commissioned the independent Survey of District Arts Activity last fall through the Arts Education Partnership Initiative, a joint venture of the city and district. Ninety percent of schools responded.

Released in April, the survey findings provide a broad picture of arts instruction and access in Seattle schools, which tends to be modest and fragmented. Visual arts, followed by music are the disciplines most accessible to students. The survey also notes that current levels of staffing and instructional hours do not reflect the high priority principals place on arts education.

"This baseline study fulfills one of the first goals of the Arts Education Partnership," said Carri Campbell, district manager of visual and performing arts. "The information gathered is a tool to help us improve access to quality arts education for all students."
Plug into Arts Education Month at presentations in May

May is Arts Education Month. We recommend several events you can plug into to recognize the importance of art in our schools.

ArtsEd Washington will host the Arts Education Month Kick-Off Celebration, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Monday, May 4 at Seattle Center's Rainier Room. Enjoy dinner and learn the latest news of arts education in our state. The featured speaker is Eric Liu, Washington State Board of Education member and former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton. Tickets are $10. For more information, or to purchase tickets call (206) 441-4501 or email ArtsEd Washington.

Representatives of arts organizations can learn about Seattle Public Schools' (SPS) education goals and discuss how to collaborate with the district at the final two of five meetings hosted by SPS Visual and Performing Arts Department. The meetings are broken out by arts disciplines. Literary organizations will meet 10 to 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 5, and theater organizations, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 6. Both meetings are at the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence.

Seattle Art Museum (SAM) will present What Do We Mean When We Say Quality Arts Education?, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 20. The panel discussion is part of SAM's 2009 series Art Goes to School, featuring free presentations by some of the nation's leading thinkers in the fields of art, education and 21st-century learning. There is no charge, but registration is required.
Seattle Parks seeks providers for summer art program
Othello Playground
Seattle Parks and Recreation seeks teaching artists or arts organizations to provide cultural programs through its Summer Art in the Park Program.

Summer Art in the Park is designed to provide fun, innovative, curriculum-based visual and performing arts and academic activities. The program aims to increase learning opportunities for youth in the summer, build self-esteem and life skills, and promote cross-cultural experiences. The program will take place in Seattle's Central and Southeast neighborhoods at Othello Playground, Brighton Playfield, Judkins Playfield and Maplewood Playfield.

Parks will allocate up to $8,400 for arts programming at each park. The deadline for proposals is Friday, May 15.

Learn about the program and the RFP process at a free workshop, 6:30 to 8 p.m, Thursday, April 30 at Rainier Community Center. For more information, guidelines and the request for proposals, contact Daisy Catague, (206) 615-0303.
Artists selected for Spokane Street Viaduct project
Claudia Reisenberger and Franka Diehnelt, Sign of the Monkey, Sign of the Horse, 2008, located at Orsini Pedestrian Bridge, Los Angeles, Calif. Photo courtesy of the artists.
California artists Claudia Reisenberger and Franka Diehnelt, working together as Merge Conceptual Design, will develop public art in conjunction with the expansion of the Spokane Street Viaduct. The artists will create artwork that responds to the industrial setting and enhances the area for motorists and bicycle commuters traveling along the lower Spokane Street roadway between Sixth Avenue South and Highway 99. The artwork will be completed by 2012.

Current and past public art projects by the artist team include permanent installations at the Diridon Bart Station and a fire station in San Jose, Calif.; pedestrian bridges in Los Angeles, Calif.; and a light rail station in Phoenix, Ariz. Reisenberger and Diehnelt formed Merge Conceptual Designs in 2003. They approach projects through research and an eye for the unusual and unexpected.

A panel of artists, design professionals and representatives from Seattle's SoDo neighborhood and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) selected the artists from a pool of more than 230 applicants from across the country. The project is commissioned with SDOT 1% for Art funds and administered by the Office.
Northwest Folklife Festival to kick off A-Y-P Centennial
The Nordic Spirit, an early 19th-century Norwegian fishing vessel, will be at the Northwest Folklife Festival standing in for the original Viking ship from the 1909 A-Y-P. Photo c. 1976, courtesy of the Nordic Heritage Museum Collection.
The Northwest Folklife Festival will mark the official start of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Centennial celebration on Memorial Day weekend, May 22 to 25, at Seattle Center. The Nordic community will raise its maypole and show off the restored Nordic Spirit, a replica of the Viking ship that plied the waters of Lake Washington on Norway Day, August 30, 1909.

Chinese Mai Fak Kung Fu Lion Dancers and Nordic musicians Skandia Allspel will lead two parades to the stage as Mayor Greg Nickels opens the celebration at 3 p.m., Saturday, May 23 at the Mural Amphitheatre. Check out the full schedule of Folklife's A-Y-P Centennial celebration events.

The A-Y-P Centennial celebration commemorates the 1909 A-Y-P. The Office is managing the centennial project in collaboration with dozens of individuals and organizations throughout the region.
Mandy Greer, Mater Matrix Mother and Medium, 2009. Photo by Jennifer Zwick.
Crochet for creeks with artist Mandy Greer
Join artist Mandy Greer to crochet, knot and twist recycled fabrics into her evolving artwork Mater Matrix Mother and Medium. Greer will host an ongoing series of participatory events in May and June.

The artwork celebrates the splendor of Seattle's urban creeks and encourages stewardship of essential watersheds. When finished, the temporary art project will culminate in a performance produced by Greer with choreographer and dancer Zoe Scofield. Stay tuned for performance location and date.

Drop in at two upcoming events: 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, May 2 at the Southwest Branch of the Seattle Public Library; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, May 3 at the Sustainable West Seattle Festival. Go here for additional events. All events are free and open to the public.

"I want to make a space for a dialogue, allowing people to tap into their emotional memories of water and their desires and frustrations concerning our relationship to the environment," said Greer in an artist statement. "Our hands will be knotting together ideas as we ask ourselves, 'what has happened to our sense of the sacred quality of water?'"

The artwork is commissioned with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) 1% for Art funds. The project is administered by the Office in partnership with Restore Our Waters, SPU's program to protect and improve urban waterways.
Free classical music concerts at City Hall this month
Clarinetist Sean Osborn will perform at City Hall on May 21 with pianist Cristina Valdez, violinist Steve Cresswell and cellist Brad Hawkins. Photo by Larey McDaniel.
Enjoy two free lunchtime classical music concerts at City Hall in May. The performances are part of the Seattle Presents concert series. Both concerts are from noon to 1 p.m.

On Thursday, May 7, Seattle Symphony violist Mara Gearman and pianist Ben Hausmann perform the romantic music of Brahms, Chopin and Enesco. Gearman is an active chamber musician who has performed in ensembles including Simple Measures and her own Four Violas quartet. Hausmann is principal oboist with Seattle Symphony and served as principal keyboardist of the Hilton Head Orchestra.

On Thursday, May 21, pianist Cristina Valdez, violinist Steve Cresswell and cellist Brad Hawkins join clarinetist Sean Osborn to perform new classical music inspired by modern rock, folk and pop. Osborn has performed as guest principal clarinetist with the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Seattle Symphony and the American Symphony Orchestra.
Broad view of artists' work at Seattle Municipal Tower Gallery
Paul Berger, Bearman, 1989, computer inkjet print, 30" x 24". City of Seattle Portable Works Collection.
More Than, an exhibition of over 30 artworks by eight Northwest artists in a variety of media, including sculpture, painting, ceramics, prints and mixed media, is at the Seattle Municipal Tower Gallery through June 30.

More Than offers a broad glimpse of the artists' practice, highlighting multiple pieces by each artist. The exhibition includes groupings of artworks by Claire Cowie, Charles Kraft, Paul Berger, Robert Yoder and Joel Lee and installations by Bethany Taylor, Sean Miller and Ruth Marie Tomlinson.

Curatorial Assistant Blake Haygood curated the show, selecting artworks from the city's portable works collection managed by the Office.
Viable Resources showcases artworks made from recycled materials
Laura Sindell, Seeds to Save, Seeds to Sow (detail), 1981, canceled postage stamps, 43" x 74". University of Washington Medical Center Collection. Photo by Blake Haygood.
Thousands of insurance agents' business cards, canceled postage stamps and aluminum can scraps are among the many recycled and repurposed materials artists used to create the artworks featured in Viable Resources: Artwork Selections from Regional Workplace Collections on view at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center through June 30.

Viable Resources features 40 artists and 53 artworks culled from the art collections of the city of Seattle, King County, Safeco Insurance Company, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical Center and Washington State Arts Commission.

Deborah Paine, the Office's collections manager, curated Viable Resources. The exhibit will welcome more than 1,000 artists and arts administrators expected to attend the Americans for the Arts national convention at the convention center, June 18 to 20.
Join national arts convention in Seattle
Calling all Seattle-area artists, arts advocates and arts administrators. Americans for the Arts is bringing its annual convention to town, June 18 to 20 at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center. Join more than 1,000 of your peers and colleagues from across the country to investigate the theme of arts and sustainability. Reflect on innovative ideas from speakers in more than 75-field-crafted sessions. Rethink the possibilities to grow our greatest renewable resources—the arts, culture and creativity; and renew your commitment to creating an environmentally and economically sustainable future for our communities.

Take time to be a tourist in your own town. Embark on one of many ArtVenture tours, including privately owned art venues, where you can get a glimpse into some of Seattle's most beloved art spaces from Suyama Space to Western Bridge to Dale Chihuly's Boathouse studio. Venture to Georgetown, hailed as the "last outpost of any blue-collar, bohemian arts culture in Seattle," or experience some of the city's pioneering youth art programs, including 826 Seattle and the Young Shakespeare Workshop.

Come a day early on Wednesday, June 17, to participate in one of seven workshops where you will have more time to focus on specific topics that matter to you, including Diverse Cultures: Leading Change in the 21st Century. This workshop will focus on tools, services and partnerships that support the sustainability of arts organizations serving communities of color.

The Office is proud to be the lead host agency for the convention. Registration deadline is May 22.
The new Seattle OnHold mix features Geísa Dutra's song "The Spanish Piano" from the CD The Spanish Piano.
Calling the city is music to your ears
Callers to the city who are placed on hold can enjoy in the latest Seattle OnHold music mix. The new lineup features film score excerpts by Hummie Mann, Latin classical works by Brazilian pianist Geísa Dutra, soul-filled R&B from Maktub, and indie folk-poppers Fences.

You don't have to dial a city office and be placed on hold to hear the music. Subscribe to the free music podcast to get a new song every seven to 11 days, or visit the OnHold Web site.
Ballerina, film buff and puppeteers on ArtZone
Tune in to Art Zone with Nancy Guppy on Seattle Channel 21, Thursdays at 8 p.m. Here are some highlights from the May lineup. FYI, ArtZone won't broadcast on May 7.

On May 14, see new sculpture by Bill Evans; visit with 2008 Mayor's Arts Award recipient Cathryn Vandenbrink, and hear music from The Femurs. On May 21, tune into local film aficionado Robert Horton's overview of the 2009 Seattle International Film Festival; see hip-hop dance from Free, and be entertained by the jump ropers from On The Double.

On May 28, hear an original tune from local musician Barbara Trentalange, witness the theatrical puppetry of the Zambini Brothers, and watch a tribute to retiring Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Louise Nadeau.
Travel from Africa to China at Seattle Center festivals
Performer at the 2008 A Glimpse of China: Chinese Culture and Arts Festival. Photo by George Cui.
Hop on over to Seattle Center in May for several free events that celebrate the Pacific Northwest's diverse communities.

On May 3, delve into the cultures of Asia with spectacular lion dances, youth drill teams, martial arts, taiko drums and more at the Asian-Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration. On May 9, experience six West African countries through exhibits, live music from hip-hop to jazz, dance performances and storytelling at the Spirit of West Africa festival.

Enjoy Memorial Day weekend by celebrating the Pacific Northwest's diverse cultural heritage with music, art and dance at the Northwest Folklife Festival, May 22 to 25. Folklife hosts more than 7,000 participants in more than 1,000 performances. This year's festival kicks off the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific (A-Y-P) Centennial celebration, which commemorates the 1909 A-Y-P and is managed by the Office.

End the month on May 30 by entering a virtual Chinese garden at A Glimpse of China: Chinese Culture and Arts Festival. Explore rich traditions that cover 5,000 years of China's history through dance, music, martial arts, costumes and crafts.
Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs
City of Seattle
(206) 684-7171
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