Katherine Banwell

There’s an old school house in the Delridge neighborhood of West Seattle that, in part, is dedicated to artist live-work spaces. Many of the walls are crammed with original art—mostly paintings, mixed media and photography—that is part of the 80 pieces of artwork in the collection of the Art Lending Library.

Library co-creator Gina Coffman knew that much of the work of an artist isn't seen and wanted to change that. 

Teens will be the first to complain that no one listens to them. But Seattle's ACT Theatre is doing precisely that. 

For a dozen years now, the theatre has been offering playwrighting classes to young people, in and out of school time. From some 400 submissions, eight young playwrights were chosen to have their words heard in the upcoming Young Playwrights Festival. 

Jeanine Anderson / Flickr

Back before Capitol Hill became the center of gay life in Seattle, most of the American public thought of homosexuality as not only illegal but even dangerous.  

Consequently, gay culture was underground. Gay bars were confined to the red light district and in Seattle, that used to mean Pioneer Square.

But in the cultural shifts of the 1970s, gay people were ready to leave the red light district and Capitol Hill looked like the right place at the right time.

But why Capitol Hill?

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

Katherine Banwell / KPLU

The new LeMay Car Museum in Tacoma is a dream come true for car lovers. But it’s also worth a visit if you’re into art. The color and shape of the vehicles is a feast for the eyes, and there’s art history too, if you consider such things as hood ornaments and how they’ve changed over time.

Listen to this week’s Artscape by clicking the listen button above to get the full picture.

Images courtesy of the Museum of History and Industry

Maybe you’ve heard the line, "Will the last person leaving Seattle turn out the lights." That well-worn phrase came from a billboard in 1971 as the Boeing Company stalled and then fell into a tailspin.

And while the "Boeing Bust" happened a long time ago, that economic slump, almost as much as the most recent one, is still a part of our collective consciousness.

Why does it still resonate all these years later?

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

Michael Brunk / NWLens.com

The ideas of freedom and repression have played out around the world for thousands of years. The Spanish playwright, Frederico Garcia Lorca, explored those themes in "The House of Bernarda Alba."

The play was the last thing the Spaniard penned before he was assassinated in 1936, after General Franco and his military regime took power in that country.

The House of Bernarda Alba will be performed in Seattle by an all-female cast.

For years, the Northwest has had the dubious distinction of being one of the most non-religious regions in the land. In fact, it's often referred to as the "unchurched belt" in contrast to the "bible belt" in the South.

On a recent visit to a North Seattle church, there was only a small group of worshipers, filling about a third of the pews. That's not unusual in Seattle or the Pacific Northwest.

So why, we wondered, don’t people in this neck of the woods go to church?

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

From the beginning of time when single-celled organisms were the only life on earth, to the multiverse where people can exist in parallel realities, to a dying woman who relives her romantic past through a photograph that freezes with the end of time – those are some of the plots for an upcoming showcase of Seattle-area playwrights.

Katherine Banwell / KPLU

Eerie sounds from vegetables and sculptures that look like happy caterpillars. Those are some of the "promising objects" you'll find in an exhibit of the same name. The show is at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and features the art of Alison MacTaggart.

MacTaggart likes creating art that has a familiar aspect to it but something unfamiliar as well. The results are quirky sculptures that are cheerful and noisy. They encourage all sorts of communication and show visitors her sense of humor.

Courtesy of Hedgebrook

On Whidbey Island, among the evergreens, sits Hedgebrook, a writers retreat solely for women. Nestled on 48 acres, women writers, like feminist and journalist Gloria Steinem, have been seeking solitude at the property since 1988. It's a piece of land that many say is a source of creative power.

Recently, young women playwrights have been honing their works with only the sounds of the surrounding forest to interrupt their writing. They've been invited to Whidbey Island to join in the Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival.

For  KPLU's weekly Artscape series, I travelled to Hedgebrook to talk to two of the writers about their work.

Images from refugee camps
Souchinda Viradet Khampradith, Chakrya Lim, Choy Vong and Sam Ung / Courtesy Photo

On April 30th, 1975, the Vietnam War ended. But that was only the beginning for millions of Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians, as they desperately found ways to leave their war torn countries. An account of refugees' struggles and hardships is now on exhibit at Seattle's Wing Luke Museum. This is the story of two refugees who came here to start a new life.

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