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Friday, April 23, 2021

David to Goliath: Setting the New York Times straight

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The New York Times still claims to contain “all the news that’s fit to print.” But it also delivers a constant stream of individual...

Mark Morris Mozart @Meany

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Mark Morris created greatness early in his career. Though he then made plenty of memorable dances, observers wondered if he could ever create another to match his stunning debut. This work, set to Mozart, became that piece.

Remembering Pianist Deems Tsutakawa: On and Off Court

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His pieno style was both universal and totally personal. At times he seemed to have sprung full-grown from an earlier generation of Seattle lounge entertainers--Overton Berry, Joni Metcalf, Walt Wagner, Betty Hall Jones.

Seattle Youth Symphony: What Building Back Better Sounds Like

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Last March the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra – one of the country’s leading training grounds for young musicians – was rehearsing for a spring...

Can Weyerhaeuser’s Iconic HQ be Saved and Repurposed?

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While most of the old Weyerhaeuser campus in Federal Way could well be demolished and replaced with pedestrian commercial uses, this building could instead be re-purposed and acquire a new life.

Making Do and Making Art During the Covid Sabbatical

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The keys to adapting to the pandemic are to complete unfinished tasks, to make Zoom work for you, to solve problems, and to keep creating and displaying art.

‘Ma Rainey’ and the Playwright’s Artistic Journey: Learning to be Black

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Wilson says he did not feel he was Black by nature. He had to learn to be Black, and his education, which began at the age of 20, with the discovery of Bessie Smith and the Blues, is the stuff he transformed with ever growing skill into the tissue of his work.

Stadiums, Sure. Bars, of Course. But Why Close Museums?

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Of course some restrictions would be needed to keep them open, starting with the usual 25 percent capacity, six-foot distance, and masking requirements. But the fact that some institutions can’t operate safely in a pandemic shouldn’t doom those that can.

Streaming Scene: PNB in the House of Imagination

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Made with determination and imagination against the most inimical conditions imaginable, it may come to be seen as one of the harbingers of a new era performance, when all forms of delivery to an audience are seen as equally valid.

Post Alley Zoomcast: Seattle Arts and Surviving COVID

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ArtsFund's Michael Greer, Seattle Theatre Group's Josh Labelle and Post Alley editor Douglas McLennan talk about the state of Seattle's arts community seven months into the COVID lockdown.

Seattle Has Just Built Its Best Urban Plaza

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In some ways, 2&U is a laboratory for cities of the future. It could show us how to activate the all-important ground floor after e-commerce and now the pandemic have dealt blows to downtown retail.

Arts Fix: Return to the Repertory Model?

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The Seattle Repertory Theater (as the name recalls) once deployed a repertory method. It commenced in 1963, right after the Seattle World's Fair, when the repertory idea was the hot idea for regional, non-commercial theater.

Have I got an Opera for you!

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In this spare, intense revival from the Opera am Rhein in Düssedorf, it fits our current national mood like an Iron Maiden.

A New Funder Invests in the Future of Seattle Arts

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All philanthropic support is not equal. And the pandemic lockdown demonstrates different approaches.

Holl on Holl in Bellevue

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Holl’s building remains the most important work of art in the collection of Bellevue Art Museum

Lang Lang: A Goldberg Variations For Our Time

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Surprise: A new recording of JS Bach's Goldberg Variations shows Lang Lang in a new light.

The Return of Byrne

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It’s likely that many reading this piece were not among the audiences that made Stop Making Sense on of the most successful concert films of all time. I can only hope that they take advantage of the opportunity while it lasts.

Reinventing: Time to Reimagine Seattle Arts

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Seattle will go from being an over-achiever in the arts (measured by our population) to something much closer to other mid-sized cities such as Phoenix, San Diego, Portland, and Milwaukee. Or not.

Seattle Symphony: Reimagining, Reduced

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The orchestra opens its season with a socially-distanced performance. "Imagination is not the word I would use in describing the show, which put competence on view but nothing more. No surprise, no delight, no flair, no depth of feeling."

Still Swinging: Fred Radke on Big Bands and the Evolution of Jazz

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In the past you could go out for six weeks at a time. But now maybe you'll go out and work two or three jobs and you'll try to lump them together. But it's nothing to go to Florida for a one-nighter compared to the past. Really why I keep doing gigs now is because I think it's important to keep this music alive. It's part of the American heritage and it's part of history.

Covid Pushes Arts To Innovation. Will That Happen Here?

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An interesting innovation in Atlanta is to create a new kind of local opera company, built around notable singers who live in Atlanta. This kind of repertory company has the flexibility to put on all kinds of imaginative performances.

Join the Circus: A Way To Get The Arts Back Onstage

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"Theatres need to stop worrying about how they can reopen in a reduced form, and look out for other models of production in different spaces and to different audiences."

Statuary Offenses

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It is true that when we take them down, all those people whose sole method of learning history is walking past statues of “great” men, looking up and then looking down again if there’s enough time on the tour schedule to read an inscription, will have to find another way of learning history.

Existential Angst: If New York Culture Fades, will Seattle Arts Benefit?

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Seattle got a little of this regional spirit, but never drank deeply. Our cultural institutions are instead quite derivative, which is more comforting for audiences and donors. Take away the New York dominance, however, and you might have more vitality at the regional level.

The Arts Online: Ten Great YouTubes that wouldn’t have been made without Lockdown

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Deprived of their usual performance venues, artists have turned to the internet to make and disseminate their art. The art is evolving quickly

Paint The Town: Takiyah Ward and the Autonomous Zone’s Defining Mural

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“Normally getting a project of this size done in the city of Seattle would have required months of bureaucracy, red tape, and writing grants, and trying to find the money, all of which can kill a creative vibe or project real quick.”

2010 Entertainment; 2020 Allegory

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How to Train Your Dragon doesn't exactly live up to my memory of it. It far surpasses recollection, shrugging itself out of the familiar skin of animated fantasy action-movie and emerging as a noble allegory.

Behind The Curtain Walls: Seattle’s Tower Architecture

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For more than three decades, Seattle has been earnestly shaping policy and procedure to get better downtown buildings, and fend off the worst. What have we got to show for it? Rainier Square Tower.

FENCE: The Power of Pictures next to a Changing Waterfront

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The show is a reminder of the power of still photos to explore and explain, especially events that blend history with natural phenomena. Much of the exhibit consists of photo essays reminiscent of extinct magazines like Life.

Remembering Lynn Shelton, Storyteller

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At REEL Grrls, all the hard drives we used to store our short films we made were named after female directors. By fate, I got “The Lynn Shelton” hard drive. I admired Lynn because she had the courage to take a leap of faith, shift gears, and begin a second life as a filmmaker.