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

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.

Washington state Democrats won't have sole control of Olympia in the coming legislative session after all. Two Democratic senators announced on Monday that they will caucus with the GOP to give Republicans a 25-24 bipartisan majority in the state senate. We talk with incoming Senate majority leader Rodney Tom of Medina.

Richard Drew / AP Photo

Journalist Calvin Trillin is a longtime writer for The New Yorker and The Nation magazine's "Deadline Poet." He has published more than 20 books, ranging from memoir ("About Alice") to humor ("Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff"). His latest book, "Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse," is a poetic recap of the memorable milestones along the campaign trail. Trillin joins us to reflect on the people, pitfalls and promises of the 2012 campaign.

Andrea Parrish / Flickr

Same-sex marriage is a reality in Washington state and the weddings have begun. Some of the first couples were married at City Hall on Sunday, others are making plans for the coming year. One couple joins us with their story. Are you newly wed? If you’re planning a wedding, tell us about it. If not, how has the possibility of marriage changed your relationship? Share your thoughts with us at 206.543.5869 or weekday@kuow.org.

courtesy of Experience Music Project

Jimi Hendrix may be one of Seattle’s most famous musical sons, but the legendary guitarist really made his name after he left home. A new show at the Experience Music Project, “Hear My Train A Comin': Hendrix Hits London,” argues that while Jimi Hendrix had a solid musical career in the United States, it wasn’t until he arrived in London in 1966 that he became the rock icon we remember.

Pacific Northwest Ballet dancers perform "Nutcracker."
Angela Sterling

As the busy holiday shopping season revs up, it seems like retail stores and delivery services have the hardest working folks in town.  But another industry shifts into high gear after Thanksgiving: the arts.

Andrea Allen was a force to be reckoned with. For more than two decades she ran Seattle Repertory Theatre's Education Program, but her passion for theater and for kids transcended the Rep. Allen shared her expertise with other Seattle arts groups. She was involved with teen writing programs.  And she was involved in arts advocacy at the state level, as a leader of Arts Ed Washington.

Rachel Neville / Dance Theatre of Harlem

When Dance Theatre of Harlem was forced to close its professional company in 2004, it was a blow to dance lovers around the country and to fans in the Pacific Northwest.  Seattle had been a frequent stop during the company's 35-year history, attracting raves for its productions of classical ballets as well as contemporary work influenced by African and African-American cultural traditions.  So it seems fitting that after Dance Theatre of Harlem re-started its company two years ago, then mounted its first national tour in 2012, Seattle would be on the itinerary.

Political forecaster Nate Silver discusses why some predictions work and others don't.
Robert Gauldin

Nate Silver is the statistician and New York Times polling whiz known for his accurate forecasts of the 2008 presidential election.  Four years ago Silver called the correct outcome in 49 out of 50 states and picked the winner in every senate race.  But he got his start in baseball, using statistics to project how well players would perform over the season. Marcie Sillman spoke with Silver about this year’s election and the benefits and limits of data-driven analysis.

Members of the Seattle Symphony and Opera Players' Organization (SSOPO) voted October 15 to authorize a strike.  In a statement on its website, SSOPO representatives say the latest contract offers from both organizations call for 15 percent reductions in pay and benefits for the 2012-2013 season.  That's on top of concessions the musicians have already made.  The union says its membership can't take further cuts.  

ACT's "Ramayana"
ACT Photo/Copyright LaRae Lobdell

“The Ramayana” is a sacred text for millions of Hindus.  Now Seattle’s ACT Theatre has adapted the epic saga of good and evil for the stage.  Playwrights Yussef El-Guindi and Stephanie Timm used an English translation of the original Sanskrit, and synthesized 24,000 verses into three hours of theater.

"The Blue Room"
Courtesy Centre Pompidou, Paris

Nobody would argue over the fact that women have made significant contributions to the art world.  But a major new exhibition at Seattle Art Museum not only highlights contemporary women artists; it puts them front and center. 

Wikipedia photo/unknown

For most of the 20th century, luxury travel meant train travel. And if you were lucky enough to afford it, you spent the night in a private Pullman sleeping car.

Pages