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

Washington state's fourth poet laureate Tod Marshall.
Gonzaga University

If you want to be Washington State’s poet laureate, you have to apply for the job, the same way you’d apply to be a teacher or a bookkeeper.

Nancy Pearl said you'll learn more than you ever thought possible about mules from this week's reading picks.
Flickr Photo/Greg Westfall (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/sS617i

When KUOW listeners are at a loss for what book to read next, help is just a phone call away – as long as the person picking up the phone is "Book Lust" author Nancy Pearl.

This week, Pearl and KUOW's Marcie Sillman help a history buff in Seabeck, Washington who loved Bernard DeVoto's "The Journals of Lewis and Clark."

Pearl recommends "The Oregon Trail" by Rinker Buck and another title by DeVoto, "Across the Wide Missouri."

Want Nancy Pearl to help pick your next great read? Call 206.221.3663 and tell us about a book you loved – one you wish you could read again for the first time – and we'll see if Seattle's favorite librarian can guide you to your next book.

Mermaid
Flickr Photo/AK Rockefeller (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/20rsa5l

When KUOW listeners are at a loss for what book to read next, help is just a phone call away – as long as the person picking up the phone is "Book Lust" author Nancy Pearl.

This week, Pearl and KUOW's Marcie Sillman help a listener in Friday Harbor follow up on Majia Comella's "The Bay of Mermaids."

Pearl recommends Sarah Addison Allen's "Garden Spells" and "City of Bones" by Cassandra Clare, plus a little Alice Hoffman for good measure.

The outside of the Francia Russell Center in Bellevue. The Francia Russell Center is part of Pacific Northwest Ballet and will soon have to move because it is in the light rail pathway.
Google Maps

UPDATE: On Monday, Jan. 25, King County Superior Court Judge Theresa Doyle ruled against Pacific Northwest Ballet. The judge said Sound Transit may use fair market value for PNB’s eastside school, rather than the replacement value of the facility. The ruling only determines the method of assessment for the property value. A jury may still place a higher value on the school. A court hearing on the issue is set for June.

Pacific Northwest Ballet has performed in a lot of places.

But Friday the dance company will be on a new stage: a King County Superior Court room.

PNB wants a judge to settle a dispute with Sound Transit.

'Inopportune: Stage One' by Chinese contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang is leaving Seattle Art Museum's lobby soon.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

For the past eight years, visitors to the downtown Seattle Art Museum have been greeted by nine white Ford Taurus cars that hang from the ceiling of SAM’s expansive main lobby.

“I noticed them before I even walked into the building,” says Zach, a visitor from Maryland. “It’s like cars are exploding, right?”

Elizabeth Austen, Washington state's outgoing poet laureate.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Elizabeth Austen hadn't given much thought to the state poet laureate job until a few years ago.

That changed after several friends urged Austen, a poet and KUOW's literary producer, to seek the post. She found out quickly she could make the position her own.

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. 

A Seattle third grader auditions for Pacific Northwest Ballet's Dance Chance program.
Pacific Northwest Ballet/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.

music symphony
Flickr Photo/Jason Burrows (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1MJa3Vd

Calling all Francophiles!

Front Row Center is headed to the Seattle Symphony on Dec. 6 for Gabriel Fauré's "Requiem," which the Symphony calls "a masterpiece of utter serenity".

The Seattle Symphony and Chorale will perform together for this all-French program which will include Olivier Messiaen's "Poèmes pour Mi," and Claude Debussy's "Danses Sacrée et Profane."

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman talks with reading guru Nancy Pearl about a series of reprints of classic children's books, including "The Highly Trained Dogs of Professor Petit," by Carol Ryrie Brink.

Musician Wayne Horvitz.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

When Wayne Horvitz moved to Seattle, he was looking for a quiet place to chill out between road trips.

He never imagined himself in a symphony hall.

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman talks to librarian Nancy Pearl about a favorite "comfort book" -- one that she chooses to read over and over again. This week's recommendation is "Larry's Party," by Carol Shields.

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman gets a historically-inspired mystery novel suggestion from book maven Nancy Pearl. "Tabula Rasa," by Ruth Downie, is the latest in a series based on the history of the Romans in the British Isles.

A dancer and stager rehearse Loïe Fuller's 'Lily of the Nile.'
University of Washington/Steve Korn

One of the things that’s so exciting about dance is one of the things that can be most frustrating:

Dance is ephemeral.

It’s live, it’s in the moment, and then, poof, that dance you’ve just seen is a memory.

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman talks with librarian Nancy Pearl about a unique way of transmitting history: through poetry of the era. Pearl's reading recommendation this week is a new anthology from Michael Hulse and Simon Rae called "The 20th Century in Poetry."

Jim Woodring won the 2010 Stranger genius award in literature. Woodring is best known for his cartoonish animalish creations. This is a still from Frank in the 3rd Dimension, 2015
Frye Museum

Name the first genius that comes to mind.

Artist Leonardo da Vinci?

What about composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman gets a reading recommendation from librarian Nancy Pearl, who suggests that if you are a fan of Terry Pratchett, you may like "The Murdstone Trilogy: A Novel," by Mal Peet.

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