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arts

Courtesy of Rick Fienberg TravelQuest International / Wilderness Travel

2017 was a fun, rigorous, informative year for the producers, editor, and host of The Record. Here are some of the segments we couldn’t forget.

Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Looking back at a year that was tumultuous in so many ways, this talk by author Walter Isaacson stands out as something that has almost nothing to do with our modern day trials and tribulations. 

Editor's Note: This story was updated on Dec. 29 to reflect the new closing date for the exhibition.

At first glance, it seems like a charming exhibition: Ten old-fashioned suitcases, with a miniature diorama in each. The models, with their meticulously detailed furnishings, remind you of dollhouses.

Then you spot snaking tangles of exposed wires, rubble-strewn streets and blasted chandeliers. A child's tricycle is gritty, covered in dust.

Rafaelle Del Pesce, 9, looks toward the sun during the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017, at the Pacific Science Center on 2nd Ave., in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

As a round-up to 2017, we had our KUOW photographer Megan Farmer pick out some of the most memorable moments she captured. 

They paint a picture of a region that grew, grieved, fought and celebrated together. 

Make sure to follow @KUOW on Instagram to see more in the coming year.

Portrait of Mary Elizabeth Bowser, Union spy in the home of Jefferson Davis.
Courtesy of Melinda Mueller

Bill Radke talks with poetry correspondent Elizabeth Austen about Seattle-based poet and science teacher Melinda Mueller’s poem “Covert Acts.”

The three-part poem is set in the American Civil War, and illuminates the lives of Union soldier Private Mary Galloway, field surgeon Mary Edwards Walker, and freedwoman and Union spy Mary Bowser — three women who defied the constraints of their time.

Flickr photo/Kian McKellar (CC By 2.0)

When Melyssa Stone was seven years old, she was chosen to play Snow White in a Disney revue at school. She wore a beautiful handmade dress, knew the words to the song she was about to perform. And even though she was nervous, Stone was excited to get on stage.

Mayumi Tsutakawa poses for a portrait on Friday, December 1, 2017, at her home in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Mayumi Tsutakawa is the only daughter of an influential arts family in Seattle. Her father was a sculptor, her mother and brothers musicians. During her career as an arts administrator, Tsutakawa focused on advocating for artists and communities of color.

Marcus Tsutakawa, former orchestra director at Seattle's Garfield High School, poses for a portrait with his double bass on Tuesday, November 28, 2017. Marcus is the youngest of George and Ayame Tsutakawa's four children.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Marcus Tsutakawa is the youngest in a family of famous Seattle artists. He found a way to make his own mark on the cultural landscape of the city by molding Garfield High School into a classical music powerhouse.

Deems Tsutakawa, the third of George and Ayame Tsutakawa's four children, plays his grand piano on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, at his home in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Deems Tsutakawa is the third child of a family of legendary Seattle artists. You can still see the fountains his father, George Tsutakawa, installed all over Seattle. But jazz pianist Deems says he was more influenced by his mother, Ayame Tsutakawa. 

Gerry Tsutakawa's Mitt, at the north entrance of Safeco Field
KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman

If you’re a Seattle Mariners fan, you’ve probably been to Safeco Field. And if you’ve been to the Safe, you’ve probably seen the large bronze sculpture near the north entrance.

It’s a nine-foot baseball glove with a circle cut out of its middle, fittingly titled "The Mitt." The sculpture has become a beloved spot for selfies, family portraits and meet ups.

Bill Radke sits down with Kevin Young, archivist at the New York Public Library and author of the new book "Bunk." The book is a catalog of hoaxes, plagiarism and flimflam of all stripes. Young argues that there’s something uniquely American about hoaxes.

Author Isabel Allende in the KUOW studios on Tuesday, November 28th.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Isabel Allende’s history with Seattle began  with a dress. It looked like a butterfly, she lovingly remembered, and she flew all the way back to the city to try it on. “And I looked terrible. I looked like an extra in the Cirque du Soleil,” she laughed. She brought that sense of humor back to Seattle for a conversation with Bill Radke following the publication of her latest book, "In the Midst of Winter."

Benaroya Hall, home of the Seattle Symphony.
Flickr Photo/D Coetzee (Public Domain)/https://flic.kr/p/6uEiXr

Seattle’s lively theater community will lose two of its leaders.

The 5th Avenue Theater said artistic director David Armstrong is stepping down. Meanwhile, the Seattle Symphony has announced that its president and CEO Simon Woods will leave for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

The theater revised its number of seats down from 798 to 570. The seats are leather and offer enough leg room for an average size adult woman to fully extend her legs (claim tested).
KUOW Photo/Posey Gruener

Bill Radke talks to Dominique Cantwell, executive director of Bainbridge Performing Arts, and Warren Etheredge, curator of  Walla Walla Movie Crush and former programmer for the Seattle International Film Festival, about how they decide, as gatekeepers for arts organizations, when to cut ties with national artists who have been accused of assault and when to showcase their work. 

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When playwright Andrew Russell moved to Seattle in 2009, his mother came to visit. It was her first trip to the Pacific Northwest.

She told him something that he hasn’t forgotten: “Seattle is a great place to keep a secret.”

Nellie Cornish, founder of the school that became the Cornish College of the Arts, taken in the 1920s.
Courtesy Cornish College of the Arts

When Nellie Cornish arrived in Seattle in 1900, she was a 24-year-old piano teacher looking to make a living in a city that was more hospitable to Gold Rush prospectors than it was to the fine arts.

A screenshot of the Seattle Poetic Grid.
seattlepoeticgrid.com

Seattle is a city that’s been shaped by technology, from Boeing to Microsoft to Amazon. But there’s a new digital presence influencing how we see the city: poetry. The Seattle Poetic Grid is the culminating project of Claudia Castro Luna, in her role as the inaugural Seattle Civic poet. In conversation with The Record’s Bill Radke, she says it makes perfect sense for a poetic atlas to live in the world of ones and zeros.

Courtesy of Morgen Schuler Photography

Ignite Seattle is a volunteer-powered event that started back in 2006. The concept is simple: Enlighten us, but make it quick! Puget Sounders of all stripes go on stage to share something that inspires them for five minutes.

In the 1940s, construction of the Grand Coulee Dam ended a generations-long tradition among the region’s Native American tribes who had gathered at a nearby waterfall every year. But last year, five tribes revived that tradition.

Flickr Photo/Jennifer Finley


Jeannie Yandel wanted to know: Why would anyone want to scare themselves by watching horror movies? Isn’t there enough scary stuff in the real world right now?

She got answers from horror fans Amie Simon, the director of marketing at Smart House Creative and writer of the blog, I Love Splatter!, and Melanie McFarland, TV writer for Salon.

Colleen Echohawk, executive director of the Chief Seattle Club.
KUOW Photo/Katherine Banwell


Many Native people who are homeless in Seattle say they feel invisible.

“We are a city that’s named after a great chief of Suquamish-Duwamish descent, and we don’t always know and feel that in this city,” said Colleen Echohawk-Hayashi, executive director of the Chief Seattle Club. “I think that we have an issue where we don’t really want to engage in it.”

Ijeoma Oluo, Kate Harding and Samhita Mukhopadhyay at Seattle First Baptist Church
KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

On the night of November 8, 2016, many writers and journalists were preparing pieces on what it would mean for the United States to elect its first woman president. Those works obviously didn’t make it to print.

Few of us would want the love letters we wrote to our sweethearts at age 21 released to the public. But when you've been president everything in the past is ripe for perusal by historians, researchers and journalists.

And so it is with the love letters of former President Barack Obama — excerpts of which have been released by Emory University's Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, where the letters a young Obama wrote to then-girlfriend Alexandra McNear are now part of the collection.

Author Raj Patel said that, among other things, we don't pay enough for our food.
Flick Photo/Jo Ann Deasy (CC BY ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/7E5ZEP


Seattle (or Amazon-town, if you prefer) is ground zero for cheap things. Amazon has built a world-altering business out of discounting products online.

 

And author Raj Patel says that’s not a good thing.

It's not often you'll find these 24 names in the same place. They are historians and musicians, computer scientists and social activists, writers and architects. But whatever it may read on their business cards (if they've even got business cards), they now all have a single title in common: 2017 MacArthur Fellow.

Nikk Dakota of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe walks into the Indigenous Peoples' Day Celebration at Daybreak Star Cultural Center on Monday, October 9, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle celebrated Indigenous Peoples' Day on Monday with a march from Westlake Park to Seattle City Hall.

"It means we're still here and I'm proud," said Frieda Eide, an Alaskan native and member of the Tlingit Tribe. "I'd like to see more involvement with other communities joining together and acknowledging whose land we're on." 

Bhangra and skateboarding: 'I can do my own thing and that’s fine with me'

Oct 4, 2017
Flickr photo / joellofving https://flic.kr/p/8bouzQ

Two stories on our podcast this week about Seattleites breaking free and breaking stereotypes:

  • Jesse Weinstock is an avid skater. “Most of my best friends I met through skateboarding. My oldest friend, Andy, I met on the first day of seventh grade. I was like, 'You have a skate shirt on, do you skate?' We’ve been friends now for 30 years.” 
  • Ashveen Matharu has been dancing Bhangra since middle school (she recently graduated high school). “I was motivated to dance Bhangra because it’s a stereotype for girls not to dance Bhangra.” 


Author Celeste Ng at KUOW in October, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Celeste Ng’s sophomore novel, "Little Fires Everywhere," is set in her hometown of Shaker Heights, Ohio. But she sees more than a few commonalities between her town and ours.

“Seattle, like Shaker Heights, tries to live with its eyes on the world,” Ng said, speaking with Bill Radke on KUOW's The Record

Inviting a cat to live in a distillery is like offering a child free room and board at a Disney World theme park. In a distillery, there are tall stacks of shipping pallets to climb, oak barrels to jump on, pipes to nimbly tightrope-walk across and — of course — a steady supply of rodents to hunt.

A watercolor by Takuichi Fujii painted between May 1942 and October 1945.
Courtesy of Washington State History Museum

A newly exhibited, hand-painted diary from an internment camp is shedding light on wartime experiences here in the Pacific Northwest.

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