Marcie Sillman | KUOW News and Information

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

Flickr Photo/Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Japanese officials are still battling radioactive groundwater that is leaking as a result of the Fukushima Nuclear plant meltdown triggered by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The latest effort to block contaminated water from leaking into the Pacific Ocean is a $470 million ice wall. How do you build an ice wall and how does it work? Larry Applegate, the president of Seattle-based firm SoilFreeze, a company that  creates frozen walls and tunnels, explains the technology to Marcie Sillman.

Flickr Photo/Robert Gaskin

It has been two months since the last special session in Olympia came to a close. Now Governor Jay Inslee is saying he wants to call another one.

Lawmakers failed to pass a transportation package during the last special session. The special session will only be called if there are enough votes to pass a transportation package that was stalled during the last legislative session.

Senator Rodney Tom said he is holding seven public meetings around the state to assess what the public wants in a transportation plan. Jerry Cornfield of the Everett Herald joins us for more analysis on the compromises and possibilities for a new plan.

KUOW Photo/Jenna Montgomery

Ava Anissipour is on a mission to convince Federal Way to re-classify pygmy goats as pets, not livestock. Anissipour has had a pygmy goat since she was nine years old; she's 12 now.

Anissipour says pygmy goats make perfect household pets: affectionate, smart and well behaved. The Federal Way City Council plans to vote on pygmy goat classification in the coming weeks.

Marcie Sillman sat down with Anissipour to talk about her efforts.

Seattle's Department of Transportation is providing $2.3 million to go toward a change in start times for Seattle Public Schools.
Flickr Photo/tncountryfan

The Seattle teachers union and the school district have reached a tentative agreement on a new two-year contract. The union will vote on the agreement today, on the eve of the first scheduled day of school. Marcie Sillman talks with Ballard high school teacher, Noam Gundle and Chris Eide, executive director of independent teachers group Teachers United, to get their perspectives on the agreement.

 

Sillman also spoke with KUOW reporter Ann Dornfeld who explained the main issues surfacing in the contract negotiations.

Paul Constant

Tuesday afternoon, activists led by The Stranger's Dan Savage will protest in front of the Russian Consul General's house in Madison Park. The protest is in response to a Russian law passed in June that outlaws "propagandizing non-traditional sexual relations among minors."

Russian authorities have interpreted that language broadly and as a result, people seen as "promoting gay values" have been arrested and subject to violence from police or other Russians.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

"When the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they are going to be stunned, and they are going to be angry," said Oregon Senator Ron Wyden on the Senate floor in May, 2011. He was referencing the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance program.

KUOW Photo/Carlos Nieto

UPDATE: 8/7/13, 1:13 p.m. PT

Peter Steinbrueck, who was trailing Ed Murray and Mike McGinn in the Seattle mayor’s primary this morning, spoke with KUOW’s Marcie Sillman on Weekday today and conceded the race.

KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman

If a Hollywood filmmaker decided to make a movie version of composer Richard Wagner's epic "Ring Cycle," he would probably have the latest computer wizardry at his fingertips. But the "Ring" is performed live onstage, featuring more than 15 hours of music spread out over four nights of opera.

Francia Russell hasn't performed in 50 years, but she says as soon as she hears the music for George Balanchine's Concerto Barocco, her body starts to move: "I could do it in my sleep, you know, get up and sleepwalk and do it."

Bettina Hansen/The Seattle Times

If Seattle’s dance community had a mayor, it might be Tonya Lockyer. As executive artistic director of Velocity Dance Center, Lockyer oversees a busy hub of classes, performances, lectures, and even potluck dinners. Professional dancers mingle with aspiring amateurs and visiting artists check in at Velocity to learn more about the city’s dance scene. Velocity is busy seven days a week, and you’ll often find Lockyer at her desk, taking in the activity and plotting to create more.

Wikipedia Photo

One hundred years ago on May 29, 1913; art sparked a riot.

Well, "riot" might be too strong a word. But when the audience in Paris' Theater des Champs Elysees heard the first notes of Igor Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring," the catcalls began. They got even louder when the dancers of Ballets Russes appeared on stage, clad in heavy wool costumes, their legs bandaged in thick stockings that were secured, peasant-style, with wide dark ribbons. And as soon as the classically trained ballet dancers began to stomp, to jump up and down on two feet, to stand with toes pointed inward rather than the more traditional ballet pose, by all accounts the audience went crazy.

Bond Huberman

When it comes to musical talent, there's no shortage in Seattle. The city boasts a thriving indie rock scene, great jazz and classical musicians, and the country's most popular hip-hop act, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. 

But the string trio The Onlies are little outside the norm. For one thing, Sami Braman, Ryan Calcagno and Leo Shannon play fiddle-inspired old-time and traditional tunes. And for another, despite performing together for a decade, none of the three is old enough to have a driver's license.

KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

Chick Corea plays "Darn That Dream"

Pianist and composer Chick Corea has touched almost all the musical bases during a career that has spanned almost five decades.  From avant garde to bebop to Latin fusion, Corea has experimented and mastered multiple jazz styles and has won a loyal following of fans and critics.

Marcie Sillman interviews Chick Corea

Ken Lambert, Seattle Times

Daemond Arrindell wants to change the world. Not through the ballot box or protest marches. Arrindell’s weapon is poetry. He uses his words to touch individual lives, particularly the lives of young people.

Mirror
Courtesy/Doug Aitken Workshop

When Seattle Art Museum opened its expanded downtown building in 2007, some people thought the main entrance on First Avenue was a little undistinguished.

One of those people was the late arts patron Bagley Wright. His wife, Virginia, says he thought the museum entrance needed to be marked in a dramatic way. "Because it looked like the entrance to an office building," she recalls.

POC Photo/Paul O'Connell

When you hear the word burlesque, what comes to mind?

Some of us envision down and dirty night clubs populated by weary strippers clad in not much more than feather boas and G-strings. For most of the past century, burlesque has been synonymous with women doing a little bump and grind for mostly male audience members. Remember the musical "Gypsy?"

charred battery
NTSB Photo

Last Updated: March 12, 2013 5:30 p.m. 

In a statement, the FAA said Boeing could go ahead with its plan to test a redesigned battery system for the 787. The FAA also gave the green light to limited flights for two aircraft that will have test versions of the new systems.

12th Ave Arts
Illustration/SMR Architects

The 12th Avenue Arts project will transform a Seattle Police Department parking lot into one of Capitol Hill's newest multi-use buildings. In addition to retail and apartments, the building will include two theaters and office space for three small theater companies.

Photo/Charles Peterson

You probably know the bands that put Seattle on the international music map in the early 1990s. Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam have become legends, but they're only part of the Seattle music story. Women rocked the scene, too. Gretta Harley came to Seattle in 1990, looking for her tribe, and she says she found it.

courtesy Pacific Northwest Ballet

If you ask American ballet dancers to name the person with the biggest impact on their artform, chances are they'll answer: George Balanchine.

"George Balanchine changed the way we look at dance," enthuses Seattle arts writer Sandi Kurtz. "In the same way Picasso changed the way we look at visual art, the same way Mozart changed what we heard in the concert hall."

Courtesy University of Washington

Alden Mason was a Pacific Northwest native and a lifelong resident, but his artistic influence reaches far beyond this corner of the country. Mason was born in Everett, Wash., in 1919, and he grew up enamored with the outdoor world around him. 

He planned to study entomology when he enrolled in the University of Washington.  By chance, he told an interviewer, he wandered over to the art building, where a nude model was posing for painting students.  Mason was only half-joking when he says that encounter changed his career path.

Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times

When Randy Engstrom and Andy Fife start talking about Seattle arts and culture you can almost feel the air around them vibrate. "It’s like a natural resource," enthuses Engstrom. Fife chimes in. "This is a place where nature is abundant and provides so much. Likewise culture."

You get the sense you’re face to face with the contemporary versions of Frederick Weyerhauser or Bill Boeing, adventurers who came West to seek their fortunes more than a century ago. Instead of harvesting trees, though, Fife and Engstrom plan to harness culture to expand Seattle’s economic vibrancy.

Steve Mohundro / Flickr

Seattle's Chinatown-International District is home to many commercial establishments. Think about the legions of great Asian restaurants, boutiques, even pet stores. Now meet the ID's first hip-hop dance studio: The Beacon. It's one of the newest participants in Storefronts Seattle, a collaboration between neighborhood businesses, the city and Shunpike, an artist support organization.

It’s Friday — time to talk over the week’s news with Joni BalterEli Sanders and Knute Berger. The state legislature doesn't convene until next month, but Olympia was the center of attention this week as a two Democrats joined with minority Republicans to take power in the senate. What stories caught your attention this week? Call us at 206.543.5869 or write to weekday@kuow.org.

A parasite worms its way into a host, hijacks its nervous system and begins to control their behavior. Sounds like T.V. or the movies, but scientists have long known that parasites can take over and manipulate invertebrate and some vertebrate hosts. We talk with Dr. Shelley Adamo of Dalhousie University about how parasites may be turning hosts into zombies.

Former People
courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

In 1917, the glittering elite of Tzarist Russia were crushed, practically overnight, by the Communist revolution. What happened to the nearly two million people who lived at the top of Russian society? Douglas Smith, awarding-winning historian and author, joins us to talk about "Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy."

Flickr Photo/Ryan Sitzman

Officials from the US Army Corps of Engineers and state Department of Ecology hear public comment in Seattle this afternoon about a plan to build the largest coal export terminal on the West Coast near Bellingham. KUOW's Ashley Ahearn joins us with details. Then, we look at Michigan's new "right to work" legislation and the possible ripple effects in Washington state with University of Washington Professor Jim Gregory.

The Hobbit
courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment

Vancouver Sun political correspondent Vaughn Palmer brings us the latest news from Canada. Film critic Robert Horton previews "The Hobbit." Then, we look at Northwest companies in the news with Michael Parks.

(Photo courtesy of Crai Bower)

Are you staying home for the holidays? You can still enjoy a winter excursion in Western Washington. Travel writer Crai Bower joins us with ideas for getting away while staying close to home. What are your favorite nearby getaways? Call us at 206.543.5869 or write to weekday@kuow.org.

Looking for a holiday gift for the green thumb in your life? Greg Rabourn and Marty Wingate join us with a few ideas for useful gifts sure to please any gardener.

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