Marcie Sillman

Arts and Culture Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 1985

Marcie Sillman arrived at KUOW in 1985 to produce the station's daily public affairs program, Seattle After Noon. One year later, she became the local voice of All Things Considered, NPR's flagship afternoon news magazine. After five years holding down the drive-time microphone, a new opportunity arose. Along with Dave Beck and Steve Scher, Marcie helped create Weekday, a daily, two-hour forum for newsmakers, artists and thinkers.

The new century brought new challenges. Marcie and Dave Beck created The Beat, Seattle's only broadcast program to focus specifically on arts and culture. In 2002, after more than 15 years as a daily host, Marcie decided to become a full-time cultural reporter. During her career, more than 100 of her stories have been heard on NPR's newsmagazines, as well as on The Voice of America. In 2005, she became KUOW's first special projects reporter. In this role, she produced in-depth audio portraits and documentary series about life and culture in the Puget Sound Region.

In September, 2013, Marcie was part of the team that created The Record, a daily news magazine focused on the issues and culture of the Puget Sound region. After two years as Senior Host of the program, Marcie returned to full-time cultural reporting.

Ways to Connect

Jonathan Porretta was the only boy in his dance class in Totowa, New Jersey. Dance was his refuge, where he could shine. He ended up at School of American Ballet in New York City, where he was scouted by Kent Stowell of Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Courtesy Jane D'Annunzio

A dancer stands alone on the stage. He is dressed in black tights only; his bare chest is broad and muscular.

As the bassoonist plays the first plaintive notes of Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” the lights come up and the dancer’s body undulates like a stalk of wheat in the wind. Slowly, he lifts his shoulders, and his extended arms drift up like wings of a bird.

Tod Marshall is Washington state's new poet laureate.
Courtesy of Amy Sinisterra Photography

Washington state has a new poet laureate: Tod Marshall, a professor and writer at Gonzaga University.

Marshall is the first in his family to attend college. He says that experience inspired him to try to use culture – poetry in particular – to build bridges between academia and the wider community.

Courtesy ACT Theatre

Ayad Akhtar is one of those guys you'd hate if he wasn't so likeable.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright is an award-winning screenwriter, a critically-acclaimed novelist, an actor and a teacher. And he's only 43 years old.

High Voltage Music co-owner Chris Lomba in his backyard shop in north Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

When Chris Lomba and his partners decided to open a music repair shop, they chose a storefront near the corner of Pike and Broadway on the edge of Seattle's Pike/Pine corridor.

"I've always liked the neighborhood," says Lomba. "Throw a rock and you're gonna hit a musician!"

Jeff Coats kidnapped David Grenier and stole his car in Tacoma, Washington on September 6, 1994. Coats was 14 years old, and was sent to adult prison. Now, Coats is a successful real estate agent who speaks on issues of imprisonment and rehabilitation.
Provided courtesy of Katherine Beckett, University of Washington

Ross Reynolds speaks with University of Washington sociology professor Katherine Beckett about the story of Jeff Coats who, along with two 17-year-old friends, robbed and kidnapped Tacoma resident David Grenier on Sept. 6, 1994. Beckett helped produce a full-length audio documentary about Coats, who she believes has rehabilitated himself.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Marcie Sillman speaks with book maven Nancy Pearl about her pick for a new science-fiction novel to transport you out of the dark Pacific Northwest December: "City of Stairs," by Robert Jackson Bennett.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Marcie Sillman talks with book hugger Nancy Pearl about this week's reading recommendation: "Crooked Heart" by Lissa Evans, which Pearl says is every bit as good as the cover design promises it will be.

Wayne Horvitz is one of those musicians who does almost everything — from leading a small group of improvisers to conducting a big band, and from composing for symphony orchestra to running a nightclub. The Seattle-based keyboard player turned 60 this year, and he's celebrating by adding even more to his schedule: playing birthday concerts on both coasts.

Tenor Marty Mullin at Cantare Vocal Ensemble rehearsal.
KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman

If you Google “Puget Sound community chorales,” more than 100 groups pop up, from small Eastern European folk ensembles to the 250-member Northwest Girls’ Choir.

John Luther Adams
MELANIE BURFORD FOR NPR MUSIC

A Grammy-winning recording by the Seattle Symphony has caught Taylor Swift’s ear: The pop star just donated $50,000 to the symphony after hearing its performance of “Become Ocean.”

Swift wrote to symphony music director Ludovic Morlot praising the composition and reminiscing about going to her local symphony with her grandmother.

Ari Berman's 'Give Us the Ballot'
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Marcie Sillman discusses the approach of another presidential election year with librarian Nancy Pearl, who recommends a new book that traces the evolution of American voting rights: "Give Us The Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America," by Ari Berman.

Julianna Baggot's book, 'Hariet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders'
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Marcie Sillman talks with book hugger Nancy Pearl about a book that both surprised and delighted her: "Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders," by Julianna Baggott.

Pacific Northwest Ballet company members in George Balanchine's "The Nutcracker."
Angela Sterling

You take a chance any time you swap out an old favorite for something new.

Make a change during the holiday season and a nonprofit arts group could risk a significant portion of its annual income if tickets don’t sell. But play it safe and there’s the risk of producing stale art.

'The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?' by Dale Russakoff
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Marcie Sillman gets the week's reading recommendations from Nancy Pearl, "The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?" by Dale Russakoff. This new book chronicles one big effort in Newark, New Jersey to improve its public schools. 

photo by Lindsay Thomas

Long before Misty Copeland grabbed international headlines as the first African American woman named principal dancer at American Ballet Theater in New York, Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet was scouting for young people like Copeland: potential dancers who might not find ballet on their own.

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