13 for '13

Seattle Times Photo/Erika Schultz

It's a sunny Sunday afternoon, the kind of late autumn day made for raking leaves, or watching the Seahawks annihilate yet another challenger.

Seattle Times Photo/Bettina Hansen

Filmmaker Megan Griffiths always she knew she would come to Seattle. Griffiths spent most of her adolescence in Idaho, and Seattle was the place she'd visit for a concert or to do some shopping. But Griffiths cheerfully acknowledges she knew nothing about Seattle's film community when she decided to relocate to the Northwest.

The Seattle Times/Dean Rutz

Eli Hastings remembers his first writing experience.  "My mom had given me a diary," he recalled. Hastings was in elementary school, and he scrawled down a little poem, the kind of insulting ditty that schoolboys hurl at one another on the playground.

Seattle Times Photo/Erika Schultz

Rose Cano is a social worker in the broadest sense. By day, Cano translates for Spanish-speaking people with health care needs. But Cano's true social platform is theater. She envisions a society where live drama is accessible and in demand by everyone. And she devotes her time outside the office to making that happen.

The Seattle Times Photo/Steve Ringman

Seattle artist Susan Robb’s work has been praised by art critics and gallery owners across the country. But the impact of what she does stretches beyond insider art circles. Her work creates new friendships and gets people thinking about how to live better lives.

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.

The Seattle Times/Genevieve Alvarez

Audio Pending...

Sub Pop Records may have started small but the label has always made a big impression. Sup Pop, which began as a fanzine and evolved into a record label in the late 1980s, is considered the epicenter of the grunge movement. Megan Jasper, vice president at Sub Pop, gives Ross Reynolds a tour of the office.

Eric Banks, composer and founder/director of The Esoterics.
Photo by Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times

If your concept of choral music is somewhere between the TV show “Glee” and the Kings College Choir, the music Eric Banks loves may come as a revelation.

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.

Alan Berner / The Seattle times

Eyvind Kang is a violist, composer and improviser who lives in Seattle.  You might not have heard of him before, but he’s played with the pop stars Beck and Laurie Anderson and with big names in jazz and new music like Bill Frisell and John Zorn.  All these artists are drawn to Eyvind because of his playing, his musical imagination and his unpredictability.

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.

Alan Berner / The Seattle Times

Contemporary art is a lot like baseball: you can't really enjoy it until you understand a few rules.   Nobody, not even the hippest art insider, is born appreciating abstract expressionism or conceptual performance. In fact, no two people will give you the same definition of contemporary art.  It can be anything, from abstract painting to live performance.

With her stylish clothing and regal bearing,  art educator and curator Yoko Ott looks like she was born in one of the world's great art capitals.  But appearances are deceiving.  "It doesn't get further away from the contemporary art scene than a little island in the middle of the Pacific," she laughs.