Arts

Arts and culture

This April, roots-rock singer-guitarist Bonnie Raitt released her first album in seven years, Slipstream. It's classic Raitt, mixing bluesy slide-guitar riffs with her soulful voice and a pop-friendly sensibility.

The delivery system, however, is brand-new. After years of working with the majors, Raitt decided to start her own label, Redwing Records. Raitt runs Redwing with the help of a tiny staff; Slipstream is the first release in its catalog.

LWY / Flickr Creative Commons

Non-profit arts groups generated $447.6  million for Seattle’s economy in 2010. That’s over $1 million more than before the economic downturn, according to a recent study by Americans for the Arts, a national advocacy group.

Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU News

Less than two years after the idea was pitched to the public, a new Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibition opens today (Monday 11am) at Seattle Center.

It’s located at the foot of the Space Needle, where the kiddy rides and arcade games of the old Fun Forest once drew crowds.

Now, people are standing on tiptoes to peer in through the fence around the outdoor displays, which beckon with flashes of color.  

A.J. Apuya Photography

The Millennial generation is changing the music scene in Seattle – much like the music tastes of a prior generation lifted grunge music – by driving "electronic dance music" or EDM into the mainstream and overwhelming music venues in the region.

Photo by Florangela Davila

The most prestigious high school jazz band competition begins today in New York City.  And among the 15 finalists are three local competitors: Roosevelt, Mountlake Terrace and newcomer Ballard High School.

"I think we surprised a lot of people," says Ballard's jazz band director Michael James, about being a finalist in the Essentially Ellington jazz band competition. "But I knew if we were able to get into this festival it would put us on people's radar and say, 'Hey, what's going on at Ballard?'"

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.

You can't actually see most of the work that was done on Pike Place Market's $69-million, three-year remodel. It involved a lot of plumbing, wiring, and seismic upgrades. Under the floorboards, inside the walls, and deep in the basements, the bones and nerves of the market were undergoing radical surgery.

Here's a slide-show of snapshots taken by the construction team:

Keith Seinfeld / KPLU

You paid for it, now please come enjoy it. That’s the message the Pike Place Market is sending out, as it wraps up three years and $69-million worth of renovations.

Unfortunately, if you're the proud executive in charge, the public probably won't notice much.

"The most significant parts of the renovations are behind the walls … the seismic upgrades, electrical improvements, all new plumbing," says Ben Franz-Knight, Executive Director of the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority.

The Associated Press

Fifty years ago this weekend Seattle kicked off it’s biggest event ever -- the Century-21 World Exposition. Now, city leaders are hoping the public will come check-out what the fairgrounds have become, the city's arts campus. 

Seattle Center now attracts more visitors per year than the World’s Fair did during its six-month run. That’s partly thanks to some major events, such as Bumbershoot and the Folklife Festival, as well as concerts in Key Arena.

The Firesign Theatre

The surreal humor quartet known as the Firesign Theatre is now a trio.

Founding member Peter Bergman passed away March 9th due to complications from leukemia. He was 72, and in recent years lived on Whidbey Island.

Over the past 40+ years, the Firesign Theatre recorded dozens of albums, and often appeared on NPR. Their work pushed the creative boundaries of radio and inspired a generation of broadcasters, including many of us at KPLU.

The remaining members of the group, Phil Austin, David Ossman and Phil Proctor, are presenting a “Big Brouhaha” tribute to Peter Bergman this Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the Kirkland Performance Center

Phil Austin lives near Tacoma and spoke with KPLU’s Dave Meyer.

'A Salesman' lives on in Philip Seymour Hoffman

Mar 18, 2012

When Philip Seymour Hoffman took the stage on March 15 in the new revival of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, he became the fifth actor in 63 years to walk the boards of Broadway in the shoes of the blustery, beleaguered salesman, Willy Loman. In the last six decades, each incarnation of the play has resonated with a new generation of theatergoers.

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.

www.tetinseattle.org

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has announced the recipients of the 2011 Mayor's Arts Awards. The Seattle Arts Commission chose six winners from a pool of 300 nominees. The honorees are:

Schack Art Center

A big chunk of downtown Everett has been transformed into a spanking new arts district that should bring new life to this former lumber mill town.

The Daily Herald reports the new Schack Art Center anchors a three block arts district in the city. It's a multipurpose facility with a sleek, urban feel that will have a kiln and flame working studio, professional and student exhibit spaces and multipurpose classroom.

AP Photo

One of America's most prominent living poets is coming to Seattle. Dr. Maya Angelou is the author of a groundbreaking memoire published in 1970, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. It describes how she overcame racism and trauma growing up in the South. 

Dr. Angelou is now 83, and recently received the highest civilian honor in the land, the Medal of Freedom, from President Barack Obama. 

KPLU's Bellamy Pailthorp spoke with her and asked, first of all, how she came to write her first work of prose. (Click on the audio "play" arrow at the top of this post to hear KPLU's interview).

Dr. Angelou will speak at Seattle's Paramount Theatre on Monday, March 14th, in an appearance at 7:30 p.m.

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