Florangela Davila

Lead Artscape Reporter

Florangela Davila  has been a journalist since 1992. For 14 years she worked at The Seattle Times where she covered both news and features. She's been freelancing for KPLU since 2008, reporting and producing as well as helping coordinate the station's "Looking Back to Look Forward" documentary project. She's also a lecturer in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. Florangela received her B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and her Master's in Journalism from Columbia University. She's been both an arts consumer and an arts practitioner for as long as she can remember.

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Artscape
8:10 am
Sun July 10, 2011

Recess Monkey is kindie-rock fun

Recess Monkey -- Jack Forman, Daron Henry and Drew Holloway -- perform at Auburn Kids Day 2011.
Photo by Florangela Davila

What inspires bands to make music? For Recess Monkey, it’s the lives of kindergarteners and grade schoolers.

All three musicians – Drew Holloway, Jack Forman and Daron Henry – in the band teach at Seattle elementary schools. And they're having anything but a sleepy summer: playing gigs and promoting their latest CD, "Flying" is on their agenda.

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Artscape
4:53 pm
Sun July 3, 2011

The trees get 'yarn bombed' in Seattle's Occidental Park

All 27 trees, 16 lamp posts and 57 bollards in Seattle's Occidental Park have been "yarn bombed" by artist Suzanne Tidwell as part of a summer art installation.
Florangela Davila KPLU

Seattle’s Occidental Park is a leafy oasis in the middle of the city. It’s now also the site of a whimsical installation where all 27 trees and 16 lamp posts and 57 short poles are dressed up in yarn.

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Artscape
8:14 am
Sun June 19, 2011

Now on stage at ACT: Romance and clashing cultures

Shanga Parker plays Musa and Carole Roscoe plays Sheri in "Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World," which is now playing at Seattle's ACT Theatre.
Photo by Chris Bennion

Seattle playwright Yussef El Guindi usually delves into heavy stuff: racial profiling and terrorism.

But his new play, "Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World," which is having its world premiere at Seattle's ACT Theatre, is a romantic comedy.

Musa is an Egyptian immigrant who picks up a woman named Sheri in his cab on a late night in New York City.

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Artscape
8:19 am
Sun June 12, 2011

The art of circus school

Anna Partridge of Mercer Island was one of the first students at The School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts when it opened in 2004. She'll be spending her summer as part of a children's circus troupe in Vermont.
Photo by Florangela Davila

There's a downside to hanging out at the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA) and that is, you start to feel really boring.

There's Nickolai Pirak, an expert juggler. And Erica Rubinstein, who basically juggles people.

"If you can imagine a 12-foot-long bar that’s kind of like a beam and a trampoline, but supported by people. Our flier stands in the middle of the bar," Rubinstein says.

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Artscape
9:03 am
Sun May 22, 2011

It's movie festival time and these folks are film crazy

Mary Bond and her son Ira talk movies at their Seattle home. Bond has a Full Series Pass for this year's Seattle International Film Festival and she's become a movie resource for her son, who is also a film nut.
Florangela Davila

If you’re crazy about films, then this is the time of year when you’re over the moon. Over 25 days, the Seattle International Film Festival shows 450 movies at 20 venues in and around Seattle.
 
Among the ordinary festival-goer is a special type of film fan: those who don’t sleep, mow the lawn, or spend time with friends or family unless they’re with them at the movies.

These are the approximately 400 folks who have a full series pass, who may see around 100 films or so per festival.

A few tips if you wish to be this die-hard:

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Artscape
9:22 am
Sun May 8, 2011

The art of karaoke includes singing - or not!

April Schiller "sings" to a standing-room-only crowd at the Frances Farmer Organ Karaoke Night at the Vermillion bar in Seattle. The FFOK is held the first and third Thursdays of every month.
Florangela Davila KPLU

Throughout Seattle, on any given night, you can find some place hosting karaoke, which means “empty orchestra” in Japanese.

There’s karaoke in friendly community halls in Greenwood; in swanky clubs on Capitol Hill; in private rooms underneath cutesy bubble tea houses in the I-D.

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Artscape
8:00 am
Sun April 24, 2011

Seattle's Langston Hughes African American Film Festival stands apart

The film "Butterfly Rising," written and directed by Tanya Wright, will close the 2011 Langston Hughes African American Film Festival.
Courtsey of Langston Hughes African American Film Festival

If we relied on Hollywood, we’d get a very limited view of African Americans. 

"There’s three models that we have of black people in Hollywood and none of them are any good. The ho, the gangster, the victim. And occasionally you get the saint."

That's Jacqueline Moscou, artistic director of Seattle's Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. And what she's talking about are films like "Booty Call,"The Book of Eli" and "Precious."

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Artscape
6:03 am
Sun April 10, 2011

The Mighty Wurlitzer organ stars at Paramount Theatre's "Silent Movie Mondays"

Jim Riggs is the host and Mighty Wurlitzer organist for this month's "Silent Movie Mondays" series at Seattle's Paramount Theatre.
Photo by Bob Cerelli

Each winter and spring, the Paramount Theatre in Seattle hosts a silent movie series on Monday nights.
This month’s classic films showcase New York City and it also features one of Buster Keaton’s best works.

But the star attraction isn’t what’s on screen. It’s the instrument making the music.

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Artscape
8:01 am
Sun March 27, 2011

At Washington state's children's psych hospital: poets and Pongo

Poems are typed or written by hand by kids at the Child Study and Treatment Center in Lakewood.
Florangela Davila KPLU

Some of Washington’s toughest kids, at the toughest moments in their lives, are locked-up at the only state-run children's psychiatric hospital. They spend their time as residents, patients and students. And on occasion, they also get to be poets, working with the non-profit Pongo Teen Writing Workshop.

The weekly writing workshop unfolds in an ordinary classroom: five kids paired up with five adult mentors.

The mentors ask questions: How are you feeling? What's on your mind? They type up the answers and then flesh them into verse.

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Artscape
2:58 pm
Mon March 21, 2011

Now at SAM: Art by Nick Cave that's furry and sequined

A Cornish College of the Arts dancer in a Nick Cave Soundsuits "Invasion" at the Seattle Art Museum
Photo by Barbara Kinney

What's the new show at the Seattle Art Museum look like? Think Chewbacca painted neon yellow and bubblegum pink, without any eyes in a cone-shaped head.

There's a tiger-masked creature with a huge cage surrounding his body. The cage is made up of ceramic birds.

There's a jumpsuit stitched from hundreds of Beanie Babies. And suits that look like astronauts made entirely of mother-of-pearl buttons.

There are more than 50 otherworldy, jaw-dropping creations featured in the exhibit, "Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth."

The show is the first museum tour for the Chicago-based artist (not to be confused with that other Nick Cave). It's a riot of texture and pattern that can be experienced in two major ways.

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Artscape
9:27 am
Sun March 6, 2011

A horse, a donkey and Seattle Opera's "Don Quixote"

Millie as Dapple and her human co-star Richard Bernstein in Seattle Opera's production of "Don Quixote."
Photo by Rozarii Lynch

Seattle Opera’s latest production is “Don Quixote.” The show is a spectacle, featuring sets that look like humongous books; computer-animated windmills; and flamenco dancers.

The cast also features a memorable pair from Bothell who is making its operatic debut: Millie, a donkey, and Desperado, a horse.

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Artscape
12:26 am
Mon February 14, 2011

Lakewood Playhouse is young actor's theatrical break

Actor Jeffrey Alan Smith is the lead in "My Name is Asher Lev" at the Lakewood Playhouse.
Courtesy of Jeffrey Alan Smith

Right from the beginning, the Lakewood Playhouse made an impression on Minnesota-transplant Jeffrey Alan Smith.

"When I auditioned for the show, I was kind of taken aback because I’d never seen a theater in a mall."

Yes, a mall, with an Old Navy and a Bed, Bath and Beyond.  But the Lakewood Towne Center also has a 160-seat theater called the Lakewood Playhouse.  And this is where 23-year-old Smith has gotten his theatrical break.

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Artscape
6:55 am
Sun February 6, 2011

A snapshot of local history: the Seattle Camera Club

Sea of Clouds
Dr. Kyo Koike, c. 1922. Gelatin silver print. University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, UW29042z

They were a dedicated group of mostly Japanese photographers from the 1920s whose work at the time was known all over the world.

But until now, there hasn't been much attention here on the Seattle Camera Club and its style of photography that some academics have dismissed.

A new exhibit opening at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington --  “Shadows of a Fleeting World: Pictorial Photography and the Seattle Camera Club” -- showcases 200 black-and-white and sepia-toned images. Photos of awesome Mount Rainier and delicate ballerinas, such as Anna Pavlova who was visiting from Russia.

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Artscape
7:28 am
Mon January 31, 2011

The Highland bagpipe: "voice" of the local Scottish community

Alexander Schiele leads the Northwest Junior Pipe Band at the Pacific NW Highland Games in 2009
Photo by Weatherly Schiele

Go ahead and joke about the bagpipe: It sounds like a dying cat!

Just don't joke in front of 15-year-old Alexander Schiele. The Snohomish resident plays in two Northwest Highland pipe bands and commutes twice a week to Vancouver, B.C. just to learn from some of the world's best.

Nothing compares to playing the pipes, he says, while rehearsing with the Northwest Junior White Spot United Pipe Band in Shoreline on a recent Sunday night.

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Artscape
10:40 am
Mon January 17, 2011

At Seattle Rep: One chameleon actor, 17 roles

Renata Friedman plays 17 different characters in "The K of D, an urban legend," at Seattle Repertory Theatre
Photo by Chris Bennion

Actor Renata Friedman has a distinct look that sometimes cost her roles when she was in college.

"I wasn’t the traditional cute, beautiful blond girl who would be Juliet or Ophelia. I got cast as Hamlet. And did Richard II. I was always playing men. There were times that I resented that and would have loved to have played a little love story and have a stage kiss," she says.

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