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Spotify and other streaming services have begun removing white supremacist content from their platforms, as websites and musicians alike scramble to distance themselves from the white nationalist movement.

In a statement on Wednesday, Spotify blamed the labels and distributors that supply music to its database but said "material that favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us. Spotify takes immediate action to remove any such material as soon as it has been brought to our attention."

Storme Webber's  'I Cover the Waterfront', a 1950s photograph of the artist's grandmother, 2016. Digital prints modified from original.
Courtesy of Frye Art Museum/Storme Webber

For much of the 20th century, Pioneer Square was the heart of Seattle’s gay community.

Artist Storme Webber grew up lesbian in Seattle and often went to Pioneer Square with her mother – who was also gay.


Courtesy of Libby Lewis Photography

Since 1994, the Seattle Arts & Lectures Writers in the Schools (WITS) program brings professional writers into classrooms to help student writers find their voices and hone their skills. 

Join Front Row Center at 'The Odyssey'

Aug 16, 2017

Join Marcie Sillman for the first Front Row Center of our 2017-2018 Season at "The Odyssey."

The production will feature 100 Seattle citizens alongside professional actors and regional performance groups to create the beautiful and dangerous world of "The Odyssey." 

Front Row Center 2017-2018 Season

Aug 14, 2017

Join KUOW’s Marcie Sillman as she pulls back the curtain on the creative process, giving participants a glimpse of why and how an artist creates work, and we hope, a greater appreciation for the rich and diverse cultural community in our region. 

Never miss a show! Sign up for the Front Row Center e-newsletter to receive exclusive offers to spectacular performances and exhibitions.

Poet Jamaica Baldwin
Courtesy of Stephen Lestat

In the immediate wake of President Trump's inauguration, Seattle poet Jamaica Baldwin wrote a series of poems, including "Vigilant," excerpted below.  KUOW's poetry correspondent Elizabeth Austen talks with The Record's Bill Radke about the ways the poem gives voice to an emotional reaction that is both larger than that single event and feels freshly relevant with each daily newscast. 

Experimental musicians push the boundaries of music with agony and silence

Aug 8, 2017
Courtesy of Yiling Huang

What do you consider music? How about pieces using only one note, agonizing electronic sounds, or no music at all? Today, we challenge the constructs we have about what music should be by exploring the extremes of experimental music.

Phillip Chavira and Shontina Vernon
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to Phillip Chavira, executive director of Intiman Theatre in Seattle, and Shontina Vernon, Seattle writer and musician, about what makes art inclusive.

Elisa Chavez (left) and Ian Martinez (right) are slam poets in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke speaks with Ian Martinez and Elisa Chavez about identity and slam poetry. The duo are members of the Rain City Poetry Slam. They will be competing at the national slam poetry competition in Denver on August 12. 

Courtesy of Larry Krackle

Last year around this time we presented a gathering of tales from a festival of storytelling at PowellsWood Garden, down in Federal Way, Washington. It was an ear-opening experience, not just for the occasional jet approaching Sea-Tac, but as a reminder of the power of well-told stories. 

Courtesy of Jenny Jimenez

Author Claire Dederer was 44-years-old and living a successful life — literary accomplishment, comfortable marriage, family and home — when something caught up to her. 

Jonathan Porretta and Noelani Pantastico in George Balanchine's 'Square Dance.'
Angela Sterling/Pacific Northwest Ballet

Bill Radke speaks with Manuel Cawaling,  executive director of Youth Theatre Northwest, about why he supports a ballot imitative that would increase sales tax in King County by 0.1 percent to provide more funding for arts and culture organizations.

King County Councilmember Larry Gossett also joins the conversation to lay out why he doesn't support the new tax.

File: Magnuson Park movie night, 2015.
Google Maps

If you were hoping to make it to movie night at Magnuson Park in the next few weeks, you're out of luck.

The outdoor movie series has been canceled part way through the season.

Mathematical physicist and educator Robbert Dijkgraaf on the importance of the 'pursuit of useless knowledge' in both the sciences and the humanities.
Courtesy of Andrea Kane/Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ USA

In 1939 the influential American education reformer Abraham Flexner published an essay in Harper’s Magazine titled “The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge.” In it he promoted the well-funded, free pursuit of scientific inquiry, arguing that great scientists were “driven not by the desire to be useful but merely the desire to satisfy their curiosity.”

In an essay on Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf observed, "Of all great writers she is the most difficult to catch in the act of greatness."

To that double-edged and astute assessment, one can add, she is also the most difficult to catch in the act of tea-time.

This observation might seem irksomely contrarian to the legions of Janeites in hats and bonnets gathered around tea and scones to pay fealty to the novelist on the bicentenary of her death, which falls today.

Alice in Chains at Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto, Ontario, September 18, 2010. Alice In Chains' music is being considered for the musical Seattle Repertory Theatre is commissioning
Flickr Photo/cb2vi3 (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/8EgV6r

Bill Radke talks to Sean Nelson and Gretta Harley about the idea of a grunge musical. The Seattle Repertory Theatre has commissioned an original musical that features the music and story of Seattle's 1990s music scene. Nelson is editor at large for The Stranger and Harley is a Seattle musician who co-wrote the rock music play, "These Streets," which ran at ACT in 2013.

It would be nice to believe that the reason humanity has taken next to no action to halt the destruction of the world's oceans is because we simply haven't seen the damage report. That argument held more water (sorry) back in 2004, when Davis Guggenheim and Al Gore made An Inconvenient Truth, a film that sought to raise awareness of man-made climate change in the hopes that a momentum would build to reverse the tide and slow the warming of the planet.

Arundhati Roy in 2017.
Flickr Photo/Chris Boland (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/www.chrisboland.com

When an acclaimed novelist publishes their first new work in 20 years, people take notice.

When the first book was Arundhati Roy’s “The God of Small Things,” the interest is especially intense. She was awarded the esteemed Booker Prize for the best novel in the English language in 1997.

Roy’s new work is “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.” The novel concerns, as she suggests in the text itself, “the vast, violent, circling, driving, ridiculous, insane, unfeasible, public turmoil of a nation.”

Bill Radke speaks with Mary Mann, author of "Yawn: Adventures in Boredom." Mann discusses her research into why we get bored, the good that can come out of boredom and some of the ways people have tried to fight boredom through the years. One of those ways involves a study where people chose to give themselves electric shocks rather than sit silently in a room. 

Octavia Butler used to say she remembers exactly when she decided to become a science fiction writer. She was 9 years old and saw a 1954 B-movie called Devil Girl from Mars, and two things struck her. First: "Geez, I can write a better story than that!" And second: "Somebody got paid for writing that story!" If they could, she decided, then she could, too.

Courtesy of Paul Bongaarts

One of the truisms about living in the Great Northwest is that wherever you are, it doesn’t take long to get out into the mountains. Whether we’re from here or migrated here, we crow about the natural beauty and adventure that surround us.

When Kelly Barrales-Saylor was a new mom, she got a lot of children's books as gifts. Most were simple books about shapes, colors and letters. There were none about science — or math.

"My editorial brain lit up and said there must be a need for this," says Barrales-Saylor, who works as an editor for a publishing company outside Chicago.

Halfway across the world, Chris Ferrie was similarly unsatisfied.

When reading to his kids, Ferrie noticed that most books used animals to introduce new words. In today's world, that just didn't make sense to him.

music concert
FLICKR PHOTO/Avarty Photos (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/ffNvCc

You're living in a region with tons of good, new, local music. Too much to take it all in, so Bill Radke speaks with Jonathan Zwickel, who writes a City Arts Magazine column called Attractive Singles. Zwickel has picked out three local artists for you to get to know.

The first book of the Harry Potter series went on sale in the U.K. 20 years ago today. It offers a convenient excuse to reacquaint yourself with a world before anyone on this side of the Atlantic had heard of muggles, horcruxes or pensieves, before tourists would crowd into London's Kings Cross railway station simply to peer wistfully at the space between Platforms Nine and Ten.

Here's the first story NPR ever aired about Harry Potter — a wonderful piece by the late Margot Adler, from All Things Considered in 1998.

Some gems, from that bygone era:

The Slants
Courtesy of The Slants

Bill Radke speaks with Simon Tam of Portland band The Slants and Robert Chang, professor of law at the Seattle University School of Law, about the Supreme Court decision that allowed Tam's Asian-American band to trademark their name, which some argued was too offensive for the designation.

Tam explains how he feels this decision allows people to empower themselves against slurs and thinks this is a huge win for social justice.

Professor Chang disagrees with the SCOTUS decision, claiming that this could open the doors to discriminatory  trademarks that slip past civil rights laws. He also argues that trademarking names may in fact harm future social justice movements. 

Members of the Asian-American rock band The Slants have the right to call themselves by a disparaging name, the Supreme Court says, in a ruling that could have broad impact on how the First Amendment is applied in other trademark cases.

The Slants' frontman, Simon Tam, filed a lawsuit after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office kept the band from registering its name and rejected its appeal, citing the Lanham Act, which prohibits any trademark that could "disparage ... or bring ... into contemp[t] or disrepute" any "persons, living or dead," as the court states.

Courtesy of Joe Iano

If you love radio theatre you may find yourself seeking out the classics — online, on AM radio, or at your local library. There’s something about how those stories were told that still fascinates. They draw folks  into a reverie of imagination, suspense, drama and humor.

Brian Weiss

Six years ago Seattle poet Tara Hardy was blindsided by a mysterious chronic illness. It nearly killed her. She talks with KUOW's Elizabeth Austen about what it was like to live with that mystery, what changed once the disease had a name, and why she believes we're all living with a diagnosis of "human frailty."

Author and filmmaker Sherman Alexie waits with dancers backstage for his turn on stage as the keynote speaker at a celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day Monday, Oct. 10, 2016, at Seattle's City Hall.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

In Sherman Alexie’s deeply personal memoir, “You Don't Have to Say You Love Me,” he tells the story of growing up as the son of Lillian Alexie on the Spokane Indian Reservation.

A noted art collector and philanthropist has sold a major painting for an eye-popping $165 million to raise money for criminal justice reform.

Agnes Gund sold Roy Lichtenstein's 1962 work Masterpiece, reportedly to billionaire hedge fund manager and art collector Steve Cohen. The sale apparently took place months ago; an art industry newsletter reported on the transaction in January, but Gund would not confirm it.

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