2008 Mayor's Arts Awards announced

Mayor Greg Nickels announces the recipients of the sixth annual 2008 Mayor's Arts Awards.

"Creativity is one of the things that help Seattle lead in so many different areas. I'm pleased to honor the people and organizations making a difference in our community through arts and culture," said Nickels. "The Mayor's Arts Awards allow us to shine a spotlight on the recipients' diverse contributions and share in their inspiring stories."

The Seattle Arts Commission reviewed 229 public nominations and recommended the recipients to the mayor. The recipients of the 2008 Mayor's Arts Awards are:

  • 14/48 - the world's quickest theater festival
  • Coyote Central and Marybeth Satterlee, executive director
  • Hugo Ludeña, photographer and founder of Latino Cultural Magazine
  • Nonsequitur, new music nonprofit
  • Cathryn Vandenbrink, regional director of Artspace Projects
  • The Wing Luke Asian Museum

The recipients will be honored at the Mayor's Arts Awards ceremony, noon, Friday, Aug. 29 at Seattle Center's Northwest Court. The Mayor's Arts Awards are presented in partnership with Bumbershoot®: Seattle's Music & Arts Festival and are sponsored by City Arts Seattle, a new city magazine discovering creativity throughout Seattle.

The outdoor ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will feature award presentations and the official opening of Bumbershoot's visual arts exhibits. The festival's arts exhibits will open to the public a day early, in a free public viewing from noon to 8 p.m. on Aug. 29. The exhibits journey from Tehran's graphic art world into a hands-on fine arts drawing studio, and from themed meals that will feed audience's creative cravings to provoking images that showcase the impact one individual can make on the world. In addition to the exhibits, Bumbershoot will kick off the 1 Reel Film Festival early with a free special screening of award-winning shorts from around the world at 8 p.m.

The Mayor's Arts Awards recognize the contributions made by artists, arts and cultural organizations and community members who make a difference through arts and cultural activities. To reflect the diversity of artistic achievement throughout the city, the awards do not have set categories.

2008 Mayor's Arts Awards Bios

14/48 - the world's quickest theater festival

Shawn Belyea and
Jodi-Paul Wooster

In its 11th year, 14/48 is Seattle's beloved theater marathon. Twice a year, it boasts 14 plays conceived, written, designed, scored, rehearsed and performed in 48 hours, thus its official nickname - "the world's quickest theater festival."

Founded in 1997 by Michael Neff and Jodi-Paul Wooster, the festival has evolved from a one-night one-time only event to a twice-yearly, two-weekend-long theatrical bonanza that features Seattle's most fearless theater artists with occasional guests from Los Angeles; Vancouver, B.C.; and New York. Participation is by invitation only and ranges from experienced fringe theater artists to Seattle's performance elite. Each festival, 14/48's Steering Committee strives to comprise the artist pool of at least 30 percent new participants - or "14/48 virgins" as they are called.

Here's how the 14/48 process works. On the night before the festival, all participants for that weekend meet and choose a theme at random. Seven writers have one night to write a 10-minute play based on that theme. In the morning, seven directors gather and each randomly draw one play. One half hour later, the directors blindly choose actors to cast the show. And then the band shows up to provide music and sound throughout the festival. The directors and their casts spend the day in rehearsal and tech and mount seven brand new plays that evening. At the end of the night, the audience, inspired by the seven world premieres they just experienced, chooses a new theme and the adrenaline-charged theater-a-thon kicks in again.

Ticket sales and grant dollars cover the festival's operating costs. Participants aren't paid, but are rewarded with food, beer and a theatrical experience they will never forget.

Coyote Central and Marybeth Satterlee

Marybeth Satterlee

Marybeth Satterlee, an inspired middle-school teacher, co-founded Coyote Central in 1986 with fellow teacher Greg Ewert. Their goal - to offer the richness of creative discovery to all kids.

Today, Satterlee and Claudia Stelle lead the organization, which targets middle-school age students through weekend and summer workshops led by artists and other professionals in real-life settings. Students become filmmakers, hot glass artists, tree house builders, fashion illustrators, photographers, welders, pastry chefs, furniture makers, painters, cartoonists, public artists and much more.

Since it was founded, more than 10,000 kids have taken part in Coyote's three programs: Studio Coyote, a year-round series of intensive workshops; Hit the Streets, a summer public art project aimed at low-income youth in the Central District and south end; and City Works, collaborations with local businesses and agencies that commission Coyote artists to make site-specific public art.

Coyote's engaging projects attract young people from diverse backgrounds all over the city. No student is turned away. A scholarship program and a system of auction trades and barters ensure all kids can participate.

Hugo Ludeña

Hugo Ludeña

Photographer Hugo Ludeña has been shining a lens on Latino culture in the Northwest for 15 years. His documentary photography creates a colorful visual narrative of everyday activities and celebrations - from weddings to quinceañeras and community festivals.

When Ludeña arrived in the Northwest in 1993, he was struck by the cultural separation between Latinos and other cultural groups. His photo essay "Latinos in the Northwest: A Cultural Journey," widely exhibited throughout the region in 2007, aimed to break down barriers between cultures and celebrate local Latino life.

Two years ago, Ludeña launched Latino Cultural Magazine to highlight Latino contributions to arts and culture. The quarterly fine arts publication also serves as networking tool for artists.

Ludeña grew up in Lima, Perú and moved to the United States at the age of 18. He studied graphic design and photojournalism. His people and bilingual skills landed him a youth outreach job in Seattle in the early '90s.

Today, Ludeña continues to mentor youth through the medium of photography. Last year, as a teaching artist for Youth in Focus' South Park PhotoVoice Project, he helped connect young residents of the South Seattle neighborhood to their culture and community through photography.


Steve Peters

Nonsequitur Foundation, a new music nonprofit, recently transformed a chapel space into a hopping hub for experimental music.

Founded by Steve Peters and Jonathan Scheuer in 1989 in New Mexico, Nonsequitur moved to Seattle in 2004. After a few years of renting venues around town on a per-event basis, the organization struck a long-term deal with Historic Seattle to use the renovated Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford. In early 2007, Nonsequitur presented its first official show in the new venue.

Nonsequitur presents adventurous and experimental music ten times a month in the Chapel, sharing most of those nights with a cadre of like-minded artists and organizations at a very reasonable semi-subsidized rate. If ticket sales are under $200, the 20-percent rental fee is waived.

The Chapel quickly struck a chord in the music community. The hall has hosted more than 100 innovative, experimental music performances and is booked well into 2009.

Dedicated to the presentation of experimental music and sound art, Nonsequitur began as a CD publishing project and about a decade ago shifted its focus to live events and sound installations. A composer and sound artist, Peters' own work is often site-specific, made with recorded sounds of the environment and found objects, traditional instruments and spoken text. He performs with the Seattle Phonographers Union and also works as a freelance producer, writer and curator.

Cathryn Vandenbrink

Cathryn Vandenbrink

Cathryn Vandenbrink has dedicated the past dozen years of her career working to carve out long-term affordable space for artists and arts organizations in Seattle. In her role as regional director of Artspace Projects, Vandenbrink gives artists room to create in the face of a common scenario - artists settle in low-rent neighborhood, neighborhood becomes hip, artists are forced out by rising prices.

Artspace is the nation's leading nonprofit real estate developer for the arts, based in Minneapolis with an office in Seattle. Vandenbrink was at the helm of the most recent Artspace project in Seattle. The Artspace Hiawatha Lofts in the Central District opened in March and feature 61 affordable live/work studios designed to meet the needs of the creative community. In 2004, Vandenbrink oversaw the rehab of the Tashiro Kaplan Artist Lofts in Pioneer Square, reversing a trend of disappearing artist live/work space in the neighborhood. Both projects feature space for ground-floor retail, galleries and arts organizations.

Prior to joining Artspace, Vandenbrink was deputy director of the Pioneer Square Community Development Organization. Previously, she worked as a self-employed jewelry artist for 20 years.

The Wing Luke Asian Museum

Beth Takekawa

It began as a modest museum more than 40 years. Today, the Wing Luke Asian Museum has grown into a nationally acclaimed institution for Asian Pacific American history, art and culture. Last month, the museum entered a new era when it opened the doors to its new home in the historic East Kong Yick Building in the Chinatown/International District.

The museum embarked on a $23.2 million capital campaign to rehabilitate the Kong Yick Building built by Chinese immigrants in 1910. The 60,000-square-foot, four-story building is more than eight times larger than the museum's previous home in a former parking garage less than one block away.

The museum has set itself apart with its community-driven approach to exhibits. Instead of relying on professional curators to organize shows, museum staff seeks input from community members. The museum's new home features community spaces - a reception hall and theater and galleries with exhibits that address contemporary and historic issues. Guided "Historic Immersion Tours" take visitors back 100 years to a one-room apartment, a neighborhood store, a communal kitchen and more.

After 17 years at the helm, Executive Director Ron Chew retired in December 2007. A self-taught curator, he steered a grassroots museum into a nationally acclaimed institution for Asian Pacific American history and culture. Beth Takekawa, CEO of the museum, took over as executive director early this year.

A Smithsonian Institution affiliate, the museum is the premier pan-Asian Pacific American museum in the country. Its namesake, Wing Luke, served on the Seattle City Council from 1962 to 1965. He was the first Asian American elected to public office in the Pacific Northwest. He was 40 when he died in a plane crash in 1965.

Photos by Jennifer Richard

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