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

Francisco Hernandez poses with his beaded Virgin of Guadalupe in his White Center apartment
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Francisco Hernandez ushers guests into the tiny living room of his modest White Center apartment.

He shows off what looks like a large, colorful painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Close up, you can see it’s not a painting; Hernandez has rendered the Virgin in thousands of tiny glass beads.


Terry Crane, artistic director of Seattle's Acrobatic Conundrum.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Snoqualmie native Terry Crane has always been a climber.

“There are pictures of me climbing fences when I was two,” he laughs.

But Crane didn’t find his climbing bliss until he was 19. That’s when the circus rolled into Oberlin, Ohio, where Crane was a student at Oberlin College.

The Burke Museum breaks ground Wednesday for a major new facility.


Marcie Sillman talks with "Book Lust" author Nancy Pearl about "The Color of Lightning" by Paulette Jiles.

Beth Barrett cheerfully confesses that she almost flunked the only film studies class she took when she was a student at the University of Iowa.


The UW Men's Rowing team practices along the Montlake Cut.
KUOW Photo/Matt Mills McKnight

Hundreds of boaters will converge at Seattle’s Montlake Cut Saturday for opening day of the boating season.

The Windermere Cup rowing regatta is a chance to see the national champion University of Washington crew in action.

Marcie Sillman talks with "Book Lust" author Nancy Pearl about the novel "Vexation Lullaby" by Justin Tussing.

'Isis' painting by Noah Davis.
Courtesy Frye Art Museum

Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes believes that to be an artist, one must live life to the max.

“I meet people all the time that don’t live full enough lives,” he says. “I’m real adamant about living. If people ask me, I’d be more inclined to say I’m a bon vivant than to tell you I’m an artist.”

The University of Washington men's rowing team prepares to launch their shells during an early morning practice.
KUOW Photo/Matt Mills McKnight

The old wooden rowing shell that hangs in the University of Washington crew team’s dining hall doesn’t look all that remarkable. You see boats like it in many nautical-themed restaurants.

But this particular wooden boat — the Husky Clipper — is special.

It carried nine UW athletes to an Olympic gold medal at the 1936 games in Berlin.

Bill Tytus took over Pocock Racing Shells in 1985 from Stan Pocock, the son of founder George Pocock.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

It takes about six minutes for the University of Washington’s top men’s rowing team to power the latest model Pocock racing shell on their home course through the Montlake Cut. 

But it took the factory in Everett, Washington, 260 work hours to get the boat to that point.

Why I row

May 3, 2016
Reporter and rower Marcie Sillman.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

At 5 a.m. on a late winter morning in Seattle, dawn is a distant hope.

But if you peer through the dark, you'll see small white lights pulsing their way along the shores of Lake Union. They mark the bows and sterns of dozens of rowing shells, launched early to take advantage of the smooth morning water.

The University of Washington Men's Rowing team prepares for an early morning practice.
KUOW Photo/Matt Mills McKnight

The early morning water is usually calm in Seattle. That makes it the preferred time for rowers.

It’s beautiful as the sun rises over the water as the University of Washington’s rowing team heads out for practice.

But the peace doesn’t last.

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman talks with "Book Lust" author Nancy Pearl about "Daydreams of Angels," by Heather O'Neill.

Courtesy of Niki Sherey Keenan

Niki Sherey Keenan’s moments of inspiration arrive when most of us are still in bed.

“There might be a sunrise that only lasts five seconds,” she explains. “It would stick with me all day.”

Sherey Keenan recreates these special moments in her dream-like paintings.

Tod Marshall is Washington state's new poet laureate.
Courtesy of Amy Sinisterra Photography

Tod Marshall grew up in the Midwest, but Eastern Washington’s high desert is the place that inspires his poetry.

Marshall, the newly appointed Washington state poet laureate, teaches at Gonzaga University in Spokane. He’s an avid outdoorsman, and he spends much of his free time exploring the nearby vast open spaces.

Pages